Page 189 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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A Tribute to Harry
. 1
It was about
twenty-five years ago today
that I was wandering through the library stacks, eager to complete
the research paper I was writing. I was in my third year of med
school then.
Beleaguered by the all-too-thin articles I was finding on the
still-unfashionable, soon-to-be-sensational subject of moods and
menses, I looked up for a moment, and saw three blue books, sit­
ting on the shelf. Their spines glistened like gold, and were embla­
zoned with the words “The Jews in Medicine,” Volume I, II, III,
respectively. How those books beckoned.
The next several weeks were spent shuffling through the shelves
of Weiss Memorial Hospital, which was Chicago’s closest answer
to a “Jewish” hospital. During that time, I looked back at those
books, much more than once, wishing that I had the time to plow
through their pages. But, back then, I refused to risk getting en­
grossed in a topic that could distract me from the “real world” of
medical school. . . and the social turmoil of the early Seventies.
The hospital clinics were, after all, teeming with patients whose
poverty would not have been out of place in Calcutta. Some of
them showed up with limbs as bloated and swollen as photos I’d
seen from Bangladesh (which had just won the war against Pakistan
1. Harry Friedenwald (1864—1950) was an ophthalmologist and author of
The Jews and Medicine
(2 vols.), 1944 and
Jewish Luminaries in Medical History
(1946) . Ail three were reprinted in 1967 as
TheJews in Medicine.
A biography of
Harry Friedenwald by A. L. Levin,
Vision: The Story ofDr. Harry Friedenwald of
was published in 1964.
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