The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Kvetch in the City, January 2024

The other day I was at my yearly gynecologic appointment. I’ve been going to the same caring, kind doctor for over 30 years now. He delivered my son 27 years ago and throughout almost half of my life, has become a trusted personal practitioner. The only off-kilter thing is when I see him at community events throughout the year. It’s always a bit inwardly awkward I must say. Still, it's an easy override because he’s such an easy-going person and I feel blessed to have such a great doctor who has always put my well-being first and has taken such good care of my health in that department. It’s gotten to this funny and endearing point, where, as he is doing his health care routine during my visit, he’s casually chatting about his son-in-law or community events, etc. And I find myself in conversation with him during what could look like an awkward scenario. His nurse in the room is very straight faced and non-reactive. I just find the whole visit comical in a weird kind of way.  

The reason I’m thinking of all this and wanting to shine a light on this subject, well, I’ll get to that in a moment.  

First, I’d like to relay a story about literally shining a light.   

On my last recent visit, I found myself reminded of a very odd coincidence that I thought my gynecologist would get a kick out of. So, while he was in the midst of, well, making sure everything was A-okay down there, I proceeded to chat him up.  

The story was this. Several years ago, I was on one of my weekly yard and estate sale jaunts. Anyone who knows me, knows how much pride I take in finding the coolest things, be it furniture, clothing, etc. at estate and yard sales. Well, this one Saturday morning I found myself in a nearby cool neighborhood consisting of beautiful, old stately homes. In the basement of one such house, I found a great, somewhat vintage, yet modern looking floor lamp which I immediately grabbed, brought home, and planted in my living room to my delight. I prided myself on spending $15 on what appeared to me to be close in design concept to maybe a lamp found in Restoration Hardware. Anyway, I went on to enjoy this lamp for several months. And then. Then, it was once again time for my yearly gyno appointment. Wouldn’t you know, I go into the exam room, and while I sit on the table waiting for my dear doctor to come in, I notice the exam lamp. It was the exact lamp I bought in the basement of that old house, that was now sitting in my living room as a couch-side reading lamp. Wouldn’t you know, I apparently had bought an old time gyno medical office exam room lamp! So much for a Restoration Hardware comparison. Still, me being me, I got a good laugh at my own design expense. Truth is, I have gone on to enjoy the lamp to this day. As a matter of fact, just for fun, whenever I date someone and they come to my home, I casually mention that lamp is a gyno lamp.  

So, there I was the other day, relaying this story to my doctor who found it all pretty amusing, although I noticed his nurse somehow managed to keep a straight face.  

All this to say, the reason this whole subject has been on my mind so much these days is because after the absolute horrific, brutal, atrocities the world bore witness to of the barbaric rapes and torture of Jewish women on October 7th, anything having to do with women’s bodies, especially Jewish women, has taken on a whole new meaning to me. The first videos coming off my computer screen of that nightmare day of young women dragged by their hair, bloodied, and terrified, being torn away by the terrorists has now been seared into my memory forever. Not a day goes by that I do not pray for their lives, well-being, and return. What unbelievably followed, the 50-day silence of the UN and/or the world’s unequivocal slow lack of condemnation of the atrocious stories of rape of Jewish women that day has been unbelievable to me. What I have come to realize now is that the feminist chant of #metoo has now taken on a failed meaning for Jewish women.   

While my recent visit, to my trusted doctor, taking care of my reproductive health, brought back to mind what was once a silly little story of a yard sale find gone sideways, that lamp has since taken on a whole new meaning to me in recent weeks, shining a light on the worlds’ treatment of Jewish women’s bodies and souls in an unimaginable new reality. A reality I wish to have never seen in my lifetime.  

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