I'm not quite ready yet to risk my own voice, but I would like to share one of Rachel Remen's stories:
"As a young pediatrician, I had as a patient a twelve-year-old girl with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lympht nodes, who had come from New York City for radiation treatment at the Stanford linear accelerator. Her father, an Orthodox rabbi, was deeply traditional and obeyed all of the many rituals and laws of this ancient religion. For the Orthodox, the holiest day of the year is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement for sins committed. On this day, among other things, money is not handled, the skins of animals and even leather shoes are not worn, and one does not ride in cars of use electricity for any purpose. Shosana's eighth treatment fell on Yom Kippur. the accelerator was too far for this ill young girl to reach by walking and her father came to see me to discuss this. He explained the importance of the meticulous obervance of Yom Kippur. He proposed skipping the treatment.
"'No,' I said, 'The timing of these treatments is critical to Shoshana's recovery.' Angrily he said that she was not to go. God's laws superseded any human law. I was horrified. 'Are you telling me that God's law is more important that your child's treatment? What sort of a God would ask this?' Offended, he quoted the story of Abraham and Isaac to me. I remained unconvinced. He left the office saying that he would refer the matter to a higher authority, the rabbi in New York City who headed his sect of Orthodox Judaism. My heart sank.
"But on the morning of Yom Kippur, Shosana was sitting in her usual place in the waiting room, on time. With her were her mother and her father. 'I am surprised to see you here, Rabbi,' I said. 'What did the rabbi in New York say?' Subdued, he told me that he had written to describe the situation and his Rabbi, the Great Teacher himself, had called him. He had told him to order a taxi to come to his home on the morning of Yom Kippur. When the taxi arrived, Shosana was to ride to her treatment and he was to accompany her.
"When he protested riding in a car on Yom Kippur, his Rabbi had insisted he accompany his daughter. 'Why is this?' I asked. In a soft voice he said that his Rabbi, the Great Teacher, had insisted that he accompany his daughter so that she would know that even the most pious and upright man in her life, her father, may ride on the holiest of days for the purpose of preserving life. He said that is was important that Shoshana not feel separated from God by this breaking of the law. Such a feeling might interfere with her healing."
From, Kitchen Table Wisdom, by Rachel Naomi Remen, "The Rabbi's Rabbi"