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Shabbos in Manhattan

Faigy Gerstein

My husband is the youngest in his family, and I am the oldest in mine. There were no weddings in his family after ours, and no weddings in my family before mine. Which meant that I never had the privilege of attending the wedding of a sibling or sibling-in-law until my younger brother Eli got married, a full eight years after I did.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

 As excited as I was for this long-awaited wedding of a sibling, I was even more excited for the Shabbos sheva brachos. Living in Israel, I rarely see my family, and for months before our big trip to America, I dreamed about how nice it would be to spend Shabbos together with my entire extended family. And the best part: My in-laws graciously offered to watch my four little kids in their house over Shabbos so that my husband and I could enjoy the simchahunencumbered.

Things did not quite go as planned, however. My husband, who has a history of serious eye problems, awoke the day after the wedding seeing brown patches in his field of vision. After a flurry of phone calls to medical referral experts, we found ourselves in the posh Manhattan office of a world-famous retina specialist, whom I’ll call Dr. Henshaw.

“It’s a giant retinal tear,” Dr. Henshaw pronounced, marveling at the unlikely angle at which my husband’s retina had torn. I didn’t find the diagnosis quite as enthralling as he did.

From there, things moved very quickly. Dr. Henshaw’s next surgery date was the following day, Friday, and my husband was given a slot for emergency retina surgery at 12 noon. Since the surgery was scheduled on an outpatient basis, I was still hopeful that we could somehow make it to the Shabbos sheva brachos. But that hope was quickly dashed when Dr. Henshaw cheerfully informed us that he would see us in his office Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

Now we would have to find Shabbos accommodations in Manhattan. Gulp.


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