Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Dr. Surfer Punk

My wife Jody attends a class every Sunday morning with a remarkable teacher named Aviva. Their topics are freewheeling and rarely traditional. The class of all women has made some strong bonds over the course of the last few years, and Aviva has invited all of them, plus their husbands, to the weddings of three of her four children.

We attended the last of these weddings at the end of the summer (see "A Jerusalem Wedding"). For Shabbat, Aviva’s whole family went for Sheva Brachot to a settlement coincidentally named Har Bracha. You may recall from the news that terrorists broke into Har Bracha and began shooting. Aviv’s daughter and son-in-law, Dalit & Yaakov, were among the injured.

The topic of the class this year is miracles. Aviva sees miracles in everything – whether events be big, small, good, or bad. So Aviva spent much of the class describing the miraculous results of that night. One story in particular stands out and I repeat it here in the spirt of the miracles of Hanukah.

In the shooting, Dalit has taken six bullets and has been rushed to the hospital. Her parents arrive and meet with the doctor. It is late Saturday night and the doctor does not inspire confidence. He has greasy spiked hair and these big gold bangles or chains or something, hanging on his arm. There is a nonchalant affect to his attitude, like he doesn’t quite know what he is doing or he’s just rolled out of bed. He seems too young, or too hip-hop.

He is Dr. Surfer Punk.

Dr. Surfer Punk casually shrugs his shoulders and tells Aviva that he doesn’t know what he is going to be able to do about Dalit’s shoulder. Apparently, a bullet from a Kalashnikov has ripped through her shoulder and upon exiting has left a massive hole. Aviva describes it as akin to a shark bite.

Dr. Surfer Punk explains that he isn’t sure if there is enough muscle tissue left to close it up. Aviva looks at the doctor and starts thinking, Oh my God, no way, no way, this guy does not know what he’s doing, this is insane.

Meanwhile, Dalit whispers to her mother her deepest concern at this critical moment.

“Imma,” she says, “Do you think anyone knows I’m pregnant.”

Dalit is still early in her first trimester. The only people who know up to now are Dalit, her husband, Aviva and her husband. In keeping with Jewish tradition and modesty, she felt it too soon to tell the whole world. She prudently had informed the medical personnel, of course.

Well, Dalit goes into surgery. And the hospital lobby starts filling with friends and family all wishing Aviva Mazel Tov: the news of her pregnancy by now is at the top of all the news reports where it has been reported that she is in an “advanced state of pregnancy.” I suppose it sounds more dramatic on television.

The surgery is supposed to take two and a half hours, but it takes four instead. The tension in the lobby is thick and sticky. Aviva is pacing, searching for a miracle to grab onto but seeing Dr. Surfer Punk’s hair and his chains over and over, it’s just not working.

Dr. Surfer Punk emerges. He has been successful. He has been able to repair the whole shoulder, there will only be a tiny pink scar. He is a genius. Yes, a complete and total genius who we have had complete faith in the whole time.

Ironically, Dalit is in her fifth year of medical school and her residency this year is supposed to be trauma. Aviva turns to her daughter and quietly suggests that perhaps Dalit should continue her studies under that lovely amazing highly competent miracle worker, Dr. Surfer Punk himself.

Listen to Dr. Surfer Punk this week on JpostRadio.com. Click here.

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