The other day, I walked past a billboard in Meah Shearim for one of the local healthcare providers here in Israel, that had a big picture of a smiley charedi doctor doing two big thumbs up. The slogan underneath read something like: “A billion children’s visits to the doctor!!”

Apparently, the healthcare provider felt that this was cause for some celebration, but I walked away scratching my head.

Israel is not a big country – it’s got about 6 million residents. The number of children is clearly less than that. The number of children going to this particular health care provider (probably around 50%) is even less than that.

Now, I’m not a maths whiz, but that sounds like an awful lot of sick children, too me. I mean, by the time you’re taking them off to the doctor it’s usually already up to a level of ‘serious’.

What’s going on here?

Why are there so many sick children walking around?

(Of course, I have my own ideas, but what do you think?)

On a separate, but related note, I was telling someone about my new book, which G-d willing is approaching completion, which talks tachlis about how to keep ourselves mentally and physically healthy by getting G-d involved in our health.

I’m planning to do two versions – one for the ‘frum’ Jewish world, and one for the non-Jewish world.

She told me very candidly: “You’ve got an uphill struggle. Most people in the Jewish frum world will just tell you ‘G-d made Prozac, and He wants us to use it’, and that’s the end of the conversation.”

I was a little bit shocked.

Are things really that bad? I mean, yes, G-d made Prozac, but He also made heroin, cocaine, Rocket Propelled Grenades, Arab terrorists, internet porn and the IRS.

If someone came up and told me ‘G-d made heroin, and He wants me to use it to feel happy’ – that argument really wouldn’t fly with me.

G-d made EVERYTHING, in the world, absolutely everything. Our job down here is to choose between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and between ‘what G-d wants’ and ‘what G-d doesn’t want’.

Sometimes, I can’t believe the moral madness I’m trying to deal with. If I was dealing with a bunch of atheists who were big believers in the idea that ‘bodies are all there is’, and they were telling me this stuff, that would be one thing. But when you’re dealing with the people who are meant to be the ‘light unto the nations’? It’s kinda depressing.

When G-d is out of the picture, who’s to say using heroin is wrong? I mean, if you could get it on prescription, what’s the problem? It’s probably cheaper to produce and has less side affects than most of the other things being produced by Glaxo…

Sigh.

One step at a time. One day at a time.

And who knows? Maybe one day, someone in Meah Shearim will still buy my book.

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