Bravely Risking it All: the Hebrew Midwives

          What are the things in life for which you would risk it all? Shifra and Pua, the Hebrew midwives, risked their lives by saving the Hebrew boys. They answered to a Higher Authority, fearing God rather than the one who claimed he was God (Pharaoh).

          Sometimes in the moments of greatest trepidation we need to see what it is we truly value and act in accordance with it. The midwives were in a tight spot and yet they went with their ultimate value: the safeguarding of life. At times when the chips are on the line, we need to look at what is our ultimate value and how can we safeguard it.

          As a result of their devotion to God, He established houses for them. What are these houses? My Hevruta, Rabbi Mitch Chefitz, suggests in a modern Midrash that it refers to two houses of medicine: Beit Shifra and Beit Pua. Perhaps one of them was more natural (homeopathic, chiropractic) and the other a MD. Like Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, the two medical schools had different philosophies, yet they worked extremely well together.

          These are not easy times in which we are living. They require great courage and care for how to best move forward. Thankfully, most decisions are not life and death matters. They do not require us to disobey a ruler and then make up an excuse as to why we did so. Nevertheless, there are times we need to take risks for what is important to us-safeguarding of life being on the top of that list. To those taking those great risks, our health care first responders, we thank you. You are heroes, the wind beneath our wings.


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