Save Grandpa!

The election of a new Seniors Party in Israel will no doubt give some relief to those old folks who were harmed under the confused economic policies of the previous government.

Why do seniors need to fight for their rights in virtually every country in the world?

Has society become so callous and uncaring that they are prepared to let the old and feeble suffer from inadequate nutrition, lack of proper medication or even not being able to afford the "luxury" of home heating to warm their weary bones? Actually society, or many of those who run the society, passed the callous and uncaring phase. It is now moving into the vicious and cruel phase.

 The old and sick are now expected to get out of the way so as not to be a burden on the "life in the fast lane" society. Euthanasia is already passé. Now it is "Enthuse-ansia" - Being Enthusiastic about Euthanasia.

For example: In America, the average life expectancy for patients in a Hospice is 23 days. Whereas those who met the same medical criteria for admission to a Hospice - but managed to stay out – had a median survival rate of 654 days!

A favorite technique for axing the oldsters is to let them starve to death. That's right. No food and just a few drops of water so they won't complain overly. Of course, the heavy sedation makes it a little more convenient. Family members who are somehow bothered by watching this happen, are given intensive explanations why this kind of death is just swell.

So what is the solution? That is to say, what is the solution for those who think getting rid of old people, or just cutting way back on their basic needs, is not a good thing. Remember, even if you are young and healthy - some day you won't be. Do you really want to have to scavenge the garbage for food or suffer for lack of proper medical care – as some of the oldsters must do today?

Unfortunately for you, there is no solution in the present society. The old, sick, and non-productive members of society are a burden. They don't pay taxes and they can't even go bowling - so who needs or wants them? Can you explain why Hitler was wrong in gassing the sick and mentally ill?

There is an explanation, but you won't like it. You see, it requires you to relate to the "G" word. That's right G-d Almighty Himself. Master of the Universe. He says that everyone of us has a divine soul that was placed in our oh-so mortal bodies for a definite purpose. He wants those souls to stay in the body for as long as possible. He doesn't want them to be separated prematurely i.e killed - even if their "quality of life" seems rather low to our mortal eyes. Even those who are terminally ill, brain damaged or poor conversationalists. He wants us all here until He decides otherwise. He does not want some presumably well-meaning doctor or hospice worker electing to "free them from the their suffering" by killing them ever so slowly. 

We could try to explain to you, if you were not aware, that the soul is in this world to demonstrate its desire to be close to G-d. Having a poor back-hand or not being able to use a hand, is not terribly relevant. If our soul tries hard Here, it is allowed to be close to G-d There - in the next world. A sick, old or non-functional body just means one tries harder, with a correspondingly higher level of reward. To end a difficult life prematurely, cruelly deprives a soul of its chance for maximal achievement. Believe it or not, the soul can still accomplish even when the body is unconscious!

 We could also tell you about the tens of thousands who have attended the famed "Discovery Seminar" where the existence of G-d and the fact that He gave the Torah to the Jewish people 3,300 years ago at Mt. Sinai is clearly demonstrated - using logic and reason. If you have a good head and can understand the reasoning behind it - that's fine. But even if you can’t - G-d means exactly what He says: "Do Not Murder" - which includes self-murder, i.e. suicide or physician-assisted murder. He wants us here.

If we are just a bunch of random, swirling electrons, or a slightly more developed variety of Trilobites - then what difference should it make how we treat our senior citizens? But if we remember that they are created in the image of G-d, that they have a divine soul - then maybe we can make a more determined effort to give them proper medical care and perhaps something to eat on a regular basis.

RABBI ADAM A. WINSTON 

POB 27312 JERUSALEM 91272 ISRAEL 

TELEPHONE: 011-972-2-656-5391 FAX: 011-972-2-656-4434

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