As Jewish Hospital welcomes a new secular year, celebrating Tu B’Shevat, the new year for the trees, we take this time to reflect upon the many blessings that the past year has given to us and the many seeds that we are preparing to plant in 2019.
Jewish Hospital continues to experience uncertainty over its organizational future, as complex and confidential discussions regarding the transition of the Louisville-based operations continue. In countless ways, though, this past year has been a time of tremendous growth and optimism for our hospital.
For example, on Dec. 27, 2018, we broke the annual record for the most kidney transplants performed in our 53-year history, with 106 kidneys transplanted at the Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center, shattering the old record set in 1993. In total, Trager has now completed more than 3,000 kidney transplants.
Judaism teaches us to face the unknown with faith in our hearts, and this has been our motto at Jewish Hospital. This philosophy guides our patients through the uncertainties of their own health journeys, and we can reflect upon it as we begin a new year.
When we consider all of life’s uncertainties, one thing of which we can be certain is how the attitude that we bring to any given situation will impact how we experience it, and what potential blessings can emerge from it.
It is this same faith, hope and optimism that leads the Jewish community to celebrate Tu B’Shevat in the midst of January, planting trees that may not mature until we are long gone, and celebrating the fruits of trees that were planted by generations before us.
As we prepare for Tu B’Shevat, and embark upon a new secular year, let us reflect upon the seeds that we wish to sow in the months ahead.
In honor of the holiday, I share this reflection, which was shared with me from fellow mission leaders in the Catholic health care world, and was written by Joyce Rupp:
The Seed of a New Year
Seed of restoration, reach into the layers of my past year. Bring into view the positive gifts that I missed due to clouded expectations and unwanted experiences. Soften the inner places that have been hardened by hurt. Warm the cold ground of dormant hope.
Seed of curiosity, widen my vision of how life is to be received. Keep me open to what the hidden confines of my soul have yet to reveal. Nudge me to be inquisitive, to be ready for the surprises that awaken the wisdom waiting within me.
Seed of insight, expand my ideas and thoughts so the lessons of your love keep influencing the way I think and act. Visit me with unexpected turns of understanding and perception. Urge me to be transformed into an ever more gracious and caring person.
Seed of equanimity, disperse anxious remnants of fear and concern. Strengthen me to free them from my tight grasp. Like a seed planted in the soil, encourage my surrender into your abiding presence. When I wait with uncertainty, draw your enduring tranquility into my heart.
Seed of happiness, enter the gray spaces in which I lose sight of joy. Awaken enthusiasm. Loosen whatever restrains my spirit from life-giving energy. Release gloom when it wraps around me. Let it slide off like the shell of a seed giving way to a greening shoot.
Seed of unity, touch my heart to the suffering of others through each kind thought and caring deed.
Let compassion spread like droplets of rain seeping into the soil of humanity. Thank you for your life resonating in the heartbeat of our co-existence on planet Earth. May there be peace.
(Rabbi Nadia Siritsky is vice president of mission at KentuckyOne Health.)