"I am a chronically ill rabbi who offers spiritual care to those with illness, and elders coming to the end of life."

"Almost no one in my personal or professional world would 'earn' care if the United States were to come to a scenario like Italy. Not my 102-year-old client with brilliant blue eyes and ferocious curiosity who survived Auschwitz; not my friend who is a wickedly smart writer, activist, and wheelchair user currently recovering from major surgery; nor me, with my immune system that doesn’t work well, or works too hard, attacking my own tissues. In the United States, most of my disabled and sick friends believe we are racing to a similar situation as Italy.... The Nazis called chronically ill and disabled people 'useless eaters,' and killed us first.... As a disabled, Jewish, second-generation Holocaust survivor, the words 'useless eater' are practically in my DNA. I can taste the tang of them in my mouth as I read the news, in the bitterness of Italy’s policies, in this country’s callous health care, in affluent people refusing to listen to sick and disabled voices and stay home when they can afford to, in the dismissive internet comments that only the sick and old need to worry, so who cares?... Jewish mysticism holds that the letters of a Torah scroll are black fire on the white fire of the parchment. In this moment, we must find a way to make the spaces between us holy. In this pandemic it is the white fire that will hold our abundant love, our exquisite care, and our unwavering belief that each of our lives is worth saving."

From "My Life Is More ‘Disposable’ During This Pandemic/The ableism and ageism being unleashed is its own sort of pestilence" by Elliot Kukla (NYT).

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