Thursday, January 12, 2012

Talking

I recently heard a story from the protagonist, which is as good an indicator of truthfulness as any I know of.


A young South African gay Jewish man got HIV, in the days when getting HIV was essentially a death sentence. The young man's doctor didn't know whether he should tell him or not, so he asked everyone he knew, including, as it turns out, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Now, I'm not sure exactly what they told the Rebbe, but I do know what the answer was: "Tell him he's got it." Or something along those lines.

What does this mean? I'm not sure. I guess it's not a surprise that the Rebbe dealt with questions like this, and I don't know that I'd expect a different answer, but still. It has to mean something, right?

40 comments:

e said...

The doctor asked a question. The rebbe answered. What's there to ponder?

The Real Shliach said...

How does this effect Lubavitch's groupthink re: homosexuals?

e said...

not at all. If a guy has AIDS he ought to know it. that's all it tells us.

Grammar Nazi said...

It's "AIDS," not "Aids."

The Real Shliach said...

e: You think? No fanciful extrapolation?

Yup.

e said...

What do you think I am? A lit major?

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Are you sure he was a homosexual? There is more than one way to get AIDS.

Presumably, the Rebbe's philosophy was that one should face his problems and fears and have bitochon in Eibershter. Ties very well with this week's parsha.

Also, I would say the Lubavitch groupthink re: homosexuals should be the same as Lubavitch groupthink re: those who break Shabbos or someone who doesn't have a left arm, chv"sh. In the first case, a Jew commits an aveira; we don't support it, but we don't stop loving him. In the second case, a Jew is unable to do a mitzva, in which case we say that G-d loves him not for his mitzvos, but because he is a Jew (something the Rebbe once told an Israeli soldier who had lost his arm).

The Real Shliach said...

e: No, but you're fairly good at making stuff up.

CA: http://ce.columbia.edu/Narrative-Medicine/Paul-Browde-Biography

Fair enough.

It should be, but it's not.

le7 said...

Sorry husband - you can't get AIDS - you can only get HIV.

e said...

TRS, thou hast been infected.

e said...

(I meant with spam)

The Real Shliach said...

Yes.

menachem said...

you heard it from the doctor or the young jewish gay south african?

sarabonne said...

An old teacher of mine swore that all the seagulls in San Francisco are gay because all the people are.
Everyone started yelling and one girl cried.

The Real Shliach said...

Menachem: The latter.

Sara: Which school was this?

e said...

No way! So he didn't die from AIDS?

le7 said...

No he did not - he was able to go on AZT (this happened in the laste 80's or early 90's - I heard the story also) and I'm assuming he is on protease inhibitors or something. Basically it seems he hasn't progressed to AIDS yet.

sarabonne said...

the Tzfat one.

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: and what was your response?

sarabonne said...

I never went to her class. But I heard all about it afterward.

The Real Shliach said...

And what was your reaction?

sarabonne said...

I felt validated for never going to her class. But I also laughed.

The Real Shliach said...

Why did you laugh?

sarabonne said...

Because the situation was absurd.

The Real Shliach said...

Which aspect of the situation was absurd?

sarabonne said...

This is beginning to feel like a therapy session.
The content of what the teacher said, and the context within which it was said.

The Real Shliach said...

You're lucky I'm giving you a discount on my regular rates.

sarabonne said...

For which I'm grateful.
So can I get some Ritalin?

The Real Shliach said...

I'll give the spammers your info.

sarabonne said...

suh-weet.
I was getting low on viagra.

The Real Shliach said...

Darned Google spam filters, eh?

sarabonne said...

Seriously cramping my style.
Now re. AIDS, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_CHMx9UWTI

The Real Shliach said...

Is it worth watching?

sarabonne said...

it's about 1:30 min long

The Real Shliach said...

That's ninety seconds I could spend playing solitaire.

sarabonne said...

But you wouldn't finish the game in 90 seconds. Unless you lost.

The Real Shliach said...

My fastest win was 59 seconds.

sarabonne said...

damn.

Michael said...

Chanan update your blog on current events!

Anonymous said...

it's been a while. Saying Hello to my Lubab friends. Enjoy