The Baby with a Cleft Lip

The Baby with a Cleft Lip

Dr. Chana Katan writes in her new book “Woman’s Life”:
“Ilana, one of the most beautiful and vibrant women I’ve ever met, told me that when she was still in the delivery room, in the first stages of recuperating after her birth, the doctor told her, “Your daughter has a cleft lip. Why didn’t you do an ultrasound? You could have prevented this birth!”

Ilana sat up straight in her bed, embraced her baby in her chest and answered the doctor with these words, “Doctor, I have news for you: I was also born with a cleft lip…”

The desire that everything should be perfect, that G-d forbid there should never be anything lacking, misleads us. We live in a world full of lack, of pain, of challenge. Even if we don’t experience these at the time of birth…the hope that everything will always be perfect thins our strength to cope with the challenges that await us in our lives, in every area of life.”

This week I heard a story about two people who get punched in the stomach. One of them is outraged and is unable to recover from the unexpected attack. The second person overcomes and recovers quickly. Why? Because the second person is a boxer. For him, punches in the stomach are just a part of life.

I so want everything in my life to be perfect, to be easy, to be struggle-free. But I look around my neighborhood, and for the most part I still see the same unrepentant pedophiles who hurt so many children walking freely along these streets I love so much.

And that means that this year, as we approach Tisha B’Av, I feel the brokenness of the world more sharply than I ever have before in my life.

So please bless me, JewishMOM. Because it doesn’t come naturally to me. Please bless me that I should be a boxer, too.

Click here to read more about the Nachlaot Pedophile Crisis


  1. The Torah sets out the penalty of death for pedophiles. Anyone who protects these monsters is committing criminal acts and perpetuating evil.

    May you, your family, and community find justice in this coming year.
    May you all know that HaShem is the healer of the brokenhearted and wounded. May there be light that comes from this darkness. May HaShem grant your community discernment to know what actions should be taken legally and by Torah. I hope that by this time next year community will be eradicated of these sick monsters so that the children can begin healing without fear and relapse.

  2. Rachel Shifra

    I bless you that you will be present for the Redemption of our people. Never lose the truth of what the world should be in your heart. I love you.

  3. this story reminds me of a conversation a friend once had with her grown children. they were remembering how hard it was for Mommy to handle the challenges of their large family. One daughter commented: well, you didn’t have to have so many!
    to which my friend replied, “fine. which one of your brothers and sisters will you be willing to give back??”
    that ended the discussion immediately

    as for your wish that life be easy, i bentsch you that you should always have the strength and wisdom to ride the waves of life.
    you are an inspiration!

  4. I bless you and me both to be boxers for all the world’s injustices,there are so many… not just the streets of nachlaot, so that we have total faith that justice will prevail in the end. We need to remember that, so when we have done all we are able to do to make things better,and they still aren’t, Hashem is in charge and we cannot get bitter when crimes and criminals of all sorts continue to play out their roles. Let’s bless each other with perfect faith in the redemption so we may have peace and clarity and may these days be transformed into days of joy.

  5. Dear Chana Jenny, remember in Tehilim 55: “send your burden to Him, and He will take car of it”
    so please take off this heavy pain out of your sore shoulders and may Hashem support you and you family and all the hurt children and families of nahlaot!
    and know that all the jewish mom community that you created is behind you!!

  6. You can do it, Chana Jenny.
    You are strong.
    You are wise.
    You are good.
    You can do it!

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