“Pikuach Nefesh: Saving a Life”
Larry feels privileged to be a father, husband and family man. However, his oldest child, Sammy, has Familial Dysautonomia. “On a bad day Sammy sits home retching, his blood pressure and temperature out of control.”
Larry confesses as a Rabbi he never knew the deep sadness and anger, the sense of confusion when life turns out differently than expected . . . until he experienced it himself. But experience is knowledge and Larry wants other Rabbis to know there are genetic diseases and testing available for more than Tay-Sachs. “This is an important and urgent matter, it’s saving a life.”
Over the years, Larry has encountered many young couples who were also unaware of Jewish genetic diseases and the testing available. He now requires all his couples to be screened before getting married. He sits them down and explains the importance of family planning, of making good choices.
Larry carries this message beyond his peers and young couples. “Our community has a responsibility to maintain and ensure a healthy Jewish future – l’Dor l’ Dor – to let people know, from generation to generation. We need to get the word out – get screened.”