Friday, May 03, 2013
Ask Yer Rabbi
The purpose of this blog is to for some good ol Jewish conversation at the Shabbat meals. Please print and share.
Ever met a first-time parent?
They're worried about everything.
Back in 1996 when we were expecting our first child, the doctor wanted to run a routine ultrasound.
He said it wasn't required, but could reveal certain problems and was a good idea, and that there was no risk.
Something about that technology sounded invasive and risky.
Something bothered us about bombarding our baby with anything, not even sound waves.
Something bothered us about his "no risk" certainty.
So we did something very unscientific.
We asked our rabbi what he thought.
Without hesitation he answered, "There's no evidence that they're harmful, but I don't think they've been around long enough to assume they're safe. Unless there is an urgent medical need, I wouldn't do it."
So we declined. (Later, during the second trimester, we had a more urgent need for one.)
NO, I did not say that rabbis can replace doctors.
And since then, ultrasound tech has become so portable that you can buy your own. (And led to some disturbing uses.)
Yet it wasn't long after that that evidence started to emerge that ultrasounds can affect fetal brain development.
For instance, this 2001 study on the increase in left-handedness among ultrasounded babies.
More recently, even scarier data has come in about a possible link to autism. (But the research, while scary, is not yet conclusive.)
So maybe having the right rabbi - even if he isn't a doctor - is not such a bad idea?
(Of course, having the right rabbi doesn't help much if you don't ask the question....)
Some people say, "I just don't want to bother the rabbi...."
To that concern, Rav Wolbe once said: When you find a rabbi who can answer your questions, "never give him any rest."
So this week's question for your table is: When is the last time you asked your rabbi a question?
PS - Want to make your Table Talk rabbi happy? Like it, tweet it, or just forward it to someone who might enjoy it.