Dr Judith Guedalia

Ever-Ready Battery
There is an advertisement for Eveready© batteries in which a group of battery-driven toy bunnies jump around until there is only one left standing - the one powered by Eveready© batteries.  Chaim K.'s life since he was run-over by a car, nine years ago (Yes, this past Ta'anit Esther it was nine years!), has been fraught with uphill battles that most armies could not, and would not have fought.  Fully paralyzed except for his face (he is a quadriplegic on a respirator), Chaim has sat in his motorized wheelchair and watched the world move on.  Painfully he relates that he has siblings who don't remember when he was an "upstanding" and fully functional teen and young adult.
He knows that Hashem has a reason for everything He does, but the many seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of holding on to his strength and purpose in this life, have taken their toll.
 "I am so tired," he says.  "I am so worn out. I have given hope and tried to allay the sadness of my state to those around me. I give, don't you think?"
Throughout your life you have given love and respect to your parents and family, I answer him.  Since THE tragedy you have given so much to others.  Your articles have become a source of strength to those fighting their own battles.
"My battery is empty or very close to empty," he continues. "I feel like I'm going downhill and looking to the sides to see if I have anything to hold onto, but I can't find anything to slow or stop my descent.  My physical situation as well as my mental and psychological state is deteriorating." 
How can I help you?
"Do you have a license for a firearm," he says with his old twinkle in his eye.   "I want to look down the barrel of a gun."
Looking him straight in the eye, I say: I guess this is one of those VERY rare instances when it's not terrible that you can't hold one or even move your hand.
His breaks into a huge smile, one I haven't seen on his face for a very long time.
"This week, I was at a health food-juice bar sitting outside when a guy about my age in a wheelchair passed by.  Somehow he began to talk to us about how he ended up in a wheelchair.
            He told us that he had serious heart disease.  It was very hard for him to live handicapped because of the limitations of his heart.  He tried to commit suicide and ended up failing, but now he is also wheelchair bound!"
What a story!! Aiza Bassa!
"I felt so sorry for him, I never want to find myself in that condition. I can't imagine ending up in worse condition than I am in now.
"These days between Purim and Pesach are the hardest in the year for me.  On Purim it is so hard for me to be happy and get into the spirit of the holiday.  The accident occurred on Ta'anit Esther, the day before Purim.  Each year I mourn again the person I could have been had the accident not happened.
"Pesach is also such a hard holiday for me.  At the time of the accident I was working in a matzoh factory.  I was coming home at midnight when the car ran me over.  I was a healthy kid, active and working, today I am a broken object. 
"My older brother also worked in the same matzoh factory, this is his 10th year. Each year I go and visit him.  This week on my "annual visit" people recognized me from when I worked there.   They came up to me to say hi, but I saw the pain and pity in their eyes.  They remember me as an active and energetic worker.  After a few minutes, I spotted my position on the assembly line, the place where I stood.  I saw a young boy of 16, maybe two years older than I was when I had the job; I looked at him and my blood boiled in my veins; my heart broke. 
"I told my brother: 'get me out of here quickly, it's too hard for me to be in this place.'"
You know, I have to say, I am so proud of you that even though you are so tired and you feel your battery is at its end, you used enormous strength to visit and put your heart in such a place of pain for you.
You gave the people there a chance to visit you, and get the mitzvahof bikur cholim.  Again, you are such a giving person.
"It's a pity that I don't see it that way, that I am giving all the time, I just feel terrible how much I am taking; that I am so helpless; how I can't do things; how I can't help with my mother with Pesach preparation and cleaning.  How I can't go and do the shopping for her, to relieve just a bit the difficulties of bringing up 11 children, thanks to Hashem two are already married and they have children to give her nachat."
You think I'm just "whistling Dixie," but the nachatyou give your family, and especially your Mother, is that you fight so bravely and painfully to stay alive and be part of her wonderful and blessed family.
Our time is up for this week and Chaim K. tells me that we have to bring the article to a close.  Ever thinking of others he dictates a bracha to his readers:
"B'ezrat Hashem may we all be blessed to be able to go up to the holy Third Temple which, it is said will come down from on-high forged in fire.  Then may those in the Diaspora be redeemed and be a part of the joy of dancing in Holy Jerusalem.
I humbly pray, tears in my eyes, may the fourth and fifth cups be yours, may you be redeemed from your chair and may your next year not only be in Jerusalem, but dancing at the Kotel!
Hag Kasher v'Sameach from Chaim K. and Dr. J.
 Dr. Judith Guedalia is Director, Neuropsychology Unit; Senior Medical Psychologist; Shaare Zedek Medical Center; Licensed Psychologist; Supervisor and Specialist in Medical, Rehabilitation, and Developmental Psychology; EMDR Certified Practitioner: Supervisor- Level 1; Co-Chair Nefesh Israel. Dr. Guedalia can be reached through her website: www.drjudithguedalia.com  Chaim K. can be reached at his email: