The Silent Scream

Seeing his wife in so much pain for the first time, the young husband felt utterly futile. The only thing he could do was to scream out to Hashem...

3 min

David Perlow

Posted on 14.07.2014

I thought she was waking me up for morning prayers, but by the look on her face I could tell it was time. It only took two minutes for the ambulance to get to my apartment. It was Shabbat and not a single car was to be found in the streets of Jerusalem.  At 2 AM, my wife and I knew that our lives were about to change forever.
Here we were, finally going to the hospital after 9 months of anticipation and excitement. I was confident things were going to be fine after many prayers and blessings from my Rabbis. But after checking in, my wife started having severe contractions; I couldn't stand seeing her suffer like this. I had never seen my wife in such pain, and I couldn’t do anything physically to help her because of the laws of family purity, (when a woman releases blood, she and her husband are commanded to separate by Torah). My Emuna tank was kicked into gear, no longer could I offer physical support to my beloved, rather now, only spiritual care.
She was contracting lightly for four hours before her first real scream shook my heart. It was such a sensitive situation. We had planned for this pregnancy with such precision going to doctors for every checkup, organizing the baby bag, buying all the needed things, making preparations, but no, Hashem was telling us that we are only human and can’t rely on our efforts alone. I felt helpless.
The morning hours went by slowly and with discomfort, we were put on a pullout bed in the middle of the hallway because all the rooms were packed with expecting mothers. The contractions really started to hit forcefully around 8:30 AM, my wife was teary eyed, uncomfortable and desperate for help. Luckily we had made private arrangements for a midwife or ‘dula’ to come to the hospital and help with the delivery. Her expertise put my wife’s nerves at ease to an extent.
In the meantime, I stood in prayer, reading Psalms over and over, but nothing seemed to help so much. The aches and pains that she felt were growing stronger by the minute. I felt like my prayers were not doing anything. I read them faster and with more strength, still no improvement only screams. It was a very delicate situation that left me helpless. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t even hug her or hold her hand to comfort her. We were helpless in a hospital hallway.
Things looked like they were going to change for the better when my wife requested a pain killer, but after being examined by the nurse, she told us that it was too early for my wife to receive it. Now I was really in a jam, my wife started begging me with tears down her cheeks for the pain killer. I didn’t know what to do, and knew the nurses wouldn’t heed my cries. Nevertheless I screamed out in the hallway, “My wife needs aphidoral! Give her the pain killer!” This was a little funny looking back at it now, but in the moment I was desperate; yet, I got nowhere, my wife couldn’t bear the pain.
Suddenly an idea popped into my head, I remembered an important concept I learned in Rav Arush’s book “In Forest Fields: A Guide to Personal Prayer.” In the book it mentioned that sometimes in life we are put in situations that challenge us to awaken us to the belief that there is NO ONE to turn to but Him. On this same idea the Rav explained that when in desperation, a person can silently scream to Hashem at the top of their lungs without anyone else hearing. Rav Arush explained that such an act can shake the heavens and bestow blessing and mercy upon a person.
So I found a private area, lifted my hands up to heaven and silently screamed till my veins in my head could be seen. It was the first time I had ever done this, but I could feel that I was now very close to Hashem. Then I remembered Rav Arush suggests mentioning the names of the tzaddikim in our prayers. So off I went, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, The Vilna Gaon, The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Nachman, etc.
I left this private room and saw in front of me the nurse completing a second checkup to see whether or not my wife could receive the pain killer. It was this time we got the green light and were rushed to the delivery room. Hours later, for the first time I met my daughter Ruth Esther. We all are faced with challenges and difficulties from time to time, the true test however is to always believe. 

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