Ezer Mizion Partners with Chemdat Hadarom for Special-Needs Children

March 9, 2017

 

pr special sun‘Each child is born with its unique value. It’s up to society to ensure that his development enables him to succeed to the limits of his potential.’ Thus spoke Naftali Bennet, Minister of Education in Israel at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Master’s Program at Chemdat Hadarom. The college has proven its goals as it trains its students to reach deep inside each child and help him reach the heights of his G-d-given abilities. At Chemdat Hadorom, special needs children are very special indeed.

And that is why the college has annually loaned out its attractive, spacious campus to Ezer Mizion’s Special Children Division to use for its Summer Camp. A special child works hard to gain each new level but the long summer break can destroy much of his gains. Ezer Mizion’s devoted staff makes sure that this does not happen. Each child is assigned his own personal counselor who devotes himself 24/7 to his charge. The counselors receive no financial remuneration yet they vie with their friends to obtain the coveted position.   Their salary comes in the form of an “I wuv you!” from a child who can barely speak. It comes in the form of the grins of his siblings on visiting day after having had a real summer vacation , perhaps for the first time in their lives, with a mother who was able to do the simple things with them, a bedtime story, a trip to the playground, a playdate with a friend…things that most children take for granted. It comes in the form of a marvelous of satisfaction at having made a real difference to a family dealing with a difficult situation day in and day out. The camp activities, geared especially for each child, are so terrific that many a younger sibling has been known to say, “ I wish I could go to the Ezer Mizion camp.”

Chemdat Hadorom shares the values and goals for the special child with Ezer Mizion and encourages its students to emulate the positive ambience pervading the Ezer Mizion summer experience. Each year it has offered its spacious campus as a venue for the camp. As the college grows and flourishes, Ezer Mizion looks forward to this productive collaboration growing and flourishing as well!

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

For further info: www.ezermizion.org              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219                               718 853 8400

 

 

 

 

The Bat Mitzvah That Almost Wasn’t

March 2, 2017

pr-whats-app-bas-mitzvah-cakeIf you’re like most people, your mental wastebasket is filled with great ideas that didn’t happen. You meant to get to it. You really did. But ‘life’ got in the way. Things were busy that month and it fizzled and died. Maybe someone else could have done it but offhand you didn’t know anyone to ask. And so it joined the many other ideas waiting for ‘someday’.

But this one couldn’t wait. It had to be done now. A young girl was turning twelve. A big milestone, to say the least. A celebration was certainly in order. Each family has its own way of marking this special birthday but not to mark it at all?! To allow the day to pass with not a word? Nothing? That is exactly what will be happening to Malky Cohen*. Why? Because a heavy, dark cloud hung over the Cohen home that did not allow even a ray of sunshine to penetrate. Malky’s mother was terminally ill. Cancer. Rivky*, their next door neighbor, yearned to create a semblance of festivity for Malky, perhaps a cake, but her four pre-schoolers kept her busy every moment of the day. She spoke to another neighbor who loved the idea but whose baking skills didn’t get past chocolate chip cookies.

“We need someone who has the time and is a talented baker.”

“But how do we find such a person?”

“I have a great idea. How about Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life program?”

“I thought the program is for getting emergency rides for patients or delivering medication or medical equipment from here to there?”

“They do a lot of that, it’s true. But they do so much more. Like the time they helped out a man whose car was stuck or the story of the Purim costume.”

“What happened with the Purim costume?”

“That was really amazing. A 7-year-old Hadera boy with cancer especially wanted to be a tiger for Purim. He had very specific ideas. An Ezer Mizion volunteer was determined to get him the costume but couldn’t find what he wanted anywhere. She tried Linked to Life who sent the request to Netanya. Zilch. Then Tel Aviv. Nothing. Hundreds of people were involved but what he wanted could not be found. Another request went out and a volunteer responded that she would sew it. Beep! Beep! A volunteer was needed who lived in his area and could take measurements. A response came in within seconds. Ezer Mizion couldn’t cure the cancer but, through their Linked to Life program, they managed to make a little boy very, very happy.”

“That’s some story. I hope they are as successful with Malky’s cake.”

Several days later, the Cohen family gasped in shock when Rivky rang their bell. And via the tray bearing a magnificent Bas Mitzvah cake produced by Sara A., there entered into their home, for the first time in months, a package of smiles.

Linked to Life. We’re all connected. No one is ever alone.

Czechoslovakia? No problem…

February 22, 2017

helping-hands“I’m sorry. He won’t be back in the office until a week from Tuesday. Please call then.” A typical response. Professional. No complaints. We all understand that being out of the office means being unavailable for work-related matters and we don’t expect him to interrupt his golf game or his very important meeting in China to answer our questions. However, when it comes to saving a life, Ezer Mizion will not accept such a response. What happened? Here’s the story.

Ezer Mizion’s Bone Marrow Registry has saved the lives of over 2000 patients around the globe. Recently, a call came in from Schneider’s Hospital that a six year old child needed a transplant as soon as possible.  Is there a genetic match available? A search was done. Success. Among the 800,000 registrants on the database, an excellent DNA match was found. The potential donor was contacted. She’ll be happy to donate but there’s one problem. The next level of testing must be done asap and she is currently in Brno in the Czech Republic. “Can I make an appointment with the lab for when I return in a few weeks?”  A natural response. Polite. Professional. The Ezer Mizion staff member could simply note on records: Donor out of country. Testing will be done when returns.  The file would then be closed pending her return. The patient? Perhaps his condition would still be such that he can benefit from the transplant. Perhaps not. Ezer Mizion was not going to take that chance.bmr tubes

Linked to Life, another division of Ezer Mizion that utilizes a What’s App program to make vital contacts worldwide, was called. Thousands of screens lit up while the test tubes were being prepared. ‘We need a volunteer to drive vital test tubes from Petach Tikva to the airport in Tel Aviv to meet someone going on the 3:50 flight to Vienna. In moments, a volunteer responded and the tubes were on their way. While he was driving, screens lit up again looking for someone scheduled to be on the flight to take the tubes. Bzzzz. Responding. Am at airport at Gate 123. I’ll take it.  Another Linked to Life volunteer was waiting at the Prague airport and drove the package to the Chabad House. The head of the Chabad House drove through the night to Brno and used his contacts to have the clinic opened in the middle of the night to draw blood from the potential donor. More clicks while the now-filled test tubes were making their way back to Brno. Anyone traveling from Prague to Israel on next flight? By the next morning, another Ezer Mizion Linked to Life volunteer was waiting in the airport at Tel Aviv to transport the tubes to the Bone Marrow Registry in Petach Tikvah. Less than twenty-four hours. Mission accomplished.

Living in the US and like to join Linked to Life? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

The Bubble Baby

February 15, 2017

 

pr-bmr-inbar-ronen-bubble-baby-w-out-mother-ok-to-useThere she sat blowing bubbles for her pre-schooler. Together with several neighborhood children, he ran after them on his chubby legs reaching out to touch the effervescent, multi-hued balls of magic, then watching, mesmerized, as they mysteriously made their way, flying up, up, up to never-neverland.

 

Young children are fascinated by bubbles. Yet certainly no child would want to live in one. As her tiny son ran on the grass with his little friends, she offered up a fervent t’filla of gratitude.   Up until recently, her son was called the Bubble Baby.  He was forced to live in a virtual ‘bubble’, a completely sterile environment, to save his young life. 

 

Ari* was born with SCID, a severe immunodeficiency syndrome. It was essential that Ari not be exposed to normal day-to-day bacteria, allowing him almost no contact with others including family members. A simple cold can be fatal. The soothing hug that only a Mommy could give, the delight of swooping down the slide at the local playground – all this was unknown to Ari. His world consisted of only hospitals, doctors and scary needles. His future?   Babies like Ari born with this rare genetic disorder usually do not survive their early years due to severe, recurrent infections.

 

“A bone marrow transplant could save his life,” his doctor announced at one of the numerous medical meetings.

 

“Give it to him! As soon as possible!” his parents jumped from their seats, grabbing hold of the lifeline that was offered to them.

 

“I wish it were that simple,” the doctor continued. “You see, to be successful, the cells have to come from a donor whose DNA matches Ari’s. Bone marrow transplants are used for many diseases including leukemia and many other forms of cancer and they literally save lives. But nothing can be done until we find a genetic match and so far…there is none.  We’ve put in a request to Ezer Mizion. They are the largest Jewish registry and since you are Jewish and genetics is based on ethnicity, we hope a match will be found there. They have over 830,000 people registered. Pray that we find the perfect one.”   

 

Ari’s parents didn’t have to be told twice to daven. Their tehillim did not leave their side. They understood that a match could mean a normal life for their son and no match? No match would mean…

 

One day their phone rang. The ring sounded like every other ring. But the voice on the other end – it was ecstatic. It was euphoric. And it said the words they had been davening for. “We found a match!!!”

 

A young woman in her early twenties had registered at Ezer Mizion’s International Bone Marrow Registry together with her friends, never thinking that she would ever actually be called. She had heard how many lives Ezer Mizion has saved. Over two thousand. But she also knew of many people who were still waiting for that life-saving match. And many people for whom it was already too late. And so she and her friends spent ten minutes answering routine questions. Ten minutes that would later save a little child’s life. And his children’s lives. And their children’s lives. Eternity.

 

The former ‘Bubble Baby’ chased another bubble and nearly caught it in his pudgy hands. His sweet, little face mirrored his utter joy.

 

“Thank you, Hashem! Thank you,” his mother whispered.

 

What if there had been no Ezer Mizion? 

 

Tel:718 853 8400        Mail: 5225 New Utrecht Ave Brooklyn NY 11219   Online: http://www.ezermizion.org

 

Caring for the Caretaker

February 8, 2017

lk-del-ok-to-use-2-maleIt was erev Shabbos (shortly before the onset of the Sabbath)  when an elderly mother went for a trip with her daughter and son-in-law…

A death trip…

Road accident. The grandmother was killed instantly, the daughter and son-in-law were very seriously hurt, hospitalized out there in the Nahariya hospital.

Tragic. A simple car ride and life will never be the same. People were in shock. But shock was a luxury that those at Ezer Mizion could not be afford at the time. Things were needed. Crying would have to wait.  The most urgent need was food for those that will be sitting with the patients.

Unlike the United States, Israel’s nursing staff does not provide non-medical care. It is essential that a family member be there at all times to offer the drink, the pillow, the extra blanket. And in this case, it was vital that family be there to hold the patients’ hands, giving them the love and caring that can make all the difference on the road to recovery.

And the caretakers? Spending hour after draining hour at the hospital bedside. Who will take care of them? That’s where Ezer Mizion’s Food Division comes in to play.  Its army of volunteers provide attractive, nutritious meals to be delivered by another fleet of volunteers together with a sympathetic arm around the shoulder and sound advice.

Now it was erev Shabbos. Soon the siren would sound. Would there be food for those distraught relatives who were already emotionally drained by the trauma?

Ezer Mizion’s Yedidya Chazan, the man whose name has become a legend, went to work. The grandmother’s funeral had not yet taken place, but abundant, tasty food for the people who will be sitting by the bedside of the wounded in the hospital on Shabbat was already simmering in the pots of volunteers. In under two hours, the man organized an array of Shabbat food with all the trimmings. ‘Platters of energy’- both physical and emotional- enabling the givers to be strong for those who needed them so desperately.

Yedidya, we salute you.

You are truly a ‘yedid’ of Hashem. Hashem’s beloved.

And ‘Yedid amo’ the beloved of his people.

 

 

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

 

For further info: www.ezermizion.org 5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8400

A Shining Example

February 1, 2017

pr-bmr-lieut-colonel-yossi-cohenFor more than twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Yossie Cohen has been involved in extensive military operational activity as, until recently, head of the General Staff’s Operations Brigade for the Southern Front. He was engaged in many a battle for his country and it was he who coined the names of operations “Protective Edge” and “Pillar of Defense.” Involved in life and death decisions, the few moments he had spent as a young man ten years before at the Ezer Mizion Registration Station, filling out a one-page form was certainly not in the forefront of his mind.   Not even a blip on his own radar screen, those few moments would later make a major difference to a fellow Jew, a man his own age. What sort of a difference? The difference between being alive for his next birthday or….not. As crucial as his work in the army was, Yossie understands that this recent battle was just as vital. His DNA counterpart had tried the standard treatments of chemo and/or radiation to no avail. His physicians held out only one ray of hope. A bone marrow transplant. If somewhere, someplace in the world a person could be found who genetically matched him and was willing to donate his stem cells, his life could be saved. The cure existed. His physicians knew how to implement it. But, without that genetic match, nothing could be done. And so the cancer patient waited. He prayed. He hoped. He leaped each time the phone rang. He knew the facts. Unless a donor would be found soon, his condition would deteriorate and it would be…too late. “Think positive,” his family told him. And so he tried. But there, in the dark of the night, bad thoughts would come to fore and it was hard to even hope. And then came the phone call. It was an ordinary ring but the voice on the other end was anything but ordinary. It was jubilant. It was triumphant. A match was found! And the donor had agreed to the procedure. Another Ezer Mizion miracle! Lieutenant Colonel   Yossie Cohen was that match.

The procedure was explained to Yossie who did not hesitate a moment. The former Lieutenant Colonel became a private in the battle to save a life, obeying each request made by the Registry to perfection. The preparation. The formalities. And finally the Big Day when his life-giving cells were transferred to the body of another Jew. And then it was over. He had done it. The man would live. Yossie was on a high. He wanted to shout from the rooftops. Instead he settled for a proclamation: “I want everyone to understand that donating bone marrow is a simple procedure. I call upon all members of the Jewish people residing in Israel to join Ezer Mizion’s Registry.”

For further info: 718 853 8400               5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219                 718 854 8400

 

 

Inauguration of the New Netivot Building

January 25, 2017

pr-netivot-bldg-inaug-2016-5-ok-to-use“I would wake up in the morning and my mind would begin to churn. Will the deal go through? Will Moishe remember his spelling for the big test today? Can we afford that vacation my wife wants so badly? That was before I attended the inauguration of the new Ezer Mizion building in Netivot and heard Chananya Chollak, Ezer Mizion’s founder, speak. His message was clear. We wake up in the morning and feel fine. Shouldn’t our first thought be: How can I help those that do not wake up feeling fine?”  Thus said an attendee of the inauguration of the new Netivot building who has since registered as an Ezer Mizion volunteer.

Ezer Mizion offers a wide range of medical support services, among them, medical counseling, loan of medical and rehabilitative equipment, transport services for patients and mobility-impaired, services for cancer patients and their families, and support services and rehab for the mentally ill and their families.pr-netivot-bldg-2016-ok-to-use

At Ezer Mizion’s bustling branch in Netivot, there are many innovative services going on, among them, the “Linked to Life department – a network of thousands of volunteers who carry out a variety of assignments and requests to help the ill, disabled, and elderly. The branch also boasts a large division offering support services to special-needs children and their families, operating afternoon clubs and attractive summer retreats for more than 120 children from Netivot and the South. In addition, the Netivot branch also recently opened the Tzipora Fried Center for Families of Alzheimer’s patients, providing counseling and guidance to families caring for Alzheimer’s patients.

pr-netivot-bldg-2016-inaug-6-ok-to-useEzer Mizion has been active in Netivot for more than a decade. Every year, thousands of people in the city benefit from the organization’s services. They find a listening ear and strong, caring source of support at their most difficult hours, both in the staff and the many volunteers.

There are so many people who are sick, says Rabbi Chollak. Just this past year, 30,000 more people were diagnosed with cancer in Israel. We are busy transporting patients to treatments by ambulance. There are great distances here between towns and between hospitals, as opposed to the center of the country, where treatments are easily accessible. Many patients have difficulty getting to treatments, and at times, even miss treatments for that reason. Those who do not require an ambulance are driven in volunteer vehicles. We have 770 volunteers just in the South alone.

There are many special-needs children who need support and we help them progress through activity clubs, day camps and retreats. Last year, 120 children from the South participated in our day camps and retreats.pr-netivot-bldg-2016-inaug-2-ok-to-use

But what do we do when the volunteer roster is exhausted? When every slot at camp is filled? When another community need manifests itself?  That is what we are celebrating today. The new building will enable us to expand our existing programs and add more. It will also encourage others to join as volunteers. A celebration it truly is! We are applauding our dedicated volunteers and all those who will be joining the troops in the future, we are applauding our fantastic mayor Yechiel Zohar, who is very receptive to the needs of the people of this city. We are applauding  Health Minister Rabbi Litzman, a loyal partner in Ezer Mizion’s extensive chessed work. We are applauding Rabbi Naftali Kuber, our devoted director of the Southern branch and we are applauding you, all our generous supporters without whose gifts we would not be able to continue.

For further info: www.ezermizion.org 5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219          718 853 8400

Make a Wish

January 18, 2017

pr-amb-hi-res-img_6381Yisroel Dov was four years old. While his peers were making vroom-vroom noises as they sent their trucks across the living room floor, Yisroel Dov was bravely fighting a battle that no four-year-old should know of. Leukemia. The courageous little boy endeared himself to the Ezer Mizion staff as they provided varied means of support for him and his family. A well-furnished suite was made available to minimize traveling to treatment centers, therapeutic play included Story Hour, Sand Play and even a Petting Zoo. Trips to lift the family’s spirits, rides to the hospital to ease their burden, hot, delicious meals at the hospital bedside and so much more. Now the staff wished to do something special for the little boy whom everyone loved. “What would you like?” they asked. The answer from someone so young surprised them. “ A brocha (blessing) from a tzaddik. From Rabbi David Abuhatzeira.”

If that is what he wanted, well then, a brocha it would be. Wheels began to turn. Ezer Mizion’s Transportaiton Division brings the ill and disabled to clinic appointment and therapy or dialysis centers. A small number of slots are reserved for ‘Dreams’. With some it may be a visit to an equally disabled sister whom she has not met with in years, for others a visit to the kosel or an hour at a lovely, scenic spot. For Yisroel Dov and his parents it was a visit to Reb Dovid, an opportunity to offer heartfelt t’filos at Meron with the day topped off with dinner at a restaurant.

And so the plans began. On Ezer Mizion’s side, a properly equipped vehicle was needed plus a driver and paramedic knowledgeable and experienced in this field. On Yisroel Dov’s side it was what he would say to the tzaddik (if he’s not too shy) and what he would order at the restaurant.

The logistics were challenging but one look at his sweet face gave all those involved the impetus to continue on. Phone calls. Emails. Frustrations. Re-assessments. And then success! Yisroel Dov would have his wish.

It was a dream day for both Yisroel Dov and his parents. They were overjoyed. Each one of you, our friends and supporters, has a hand in bringing this uplifting happiness to a family that has undergone so much. The thank you note received belongs to each one of you.

First of all, I want to thank Hashem for bringing us to this day, and to give a huge “thank you” to Ezer Mizion for arranging and funding it all and to the Ezer Mizion Haifa branch and its special director Moshe Beeri, the special person who organized everything. Thanks so much! You are an amazing person!!!

Thank you to the Ezer Mizion ambulance driver who took responsibility for us for the entire trip and to the paramedic who kept a close eye on Yisrael Dov during the whole journey – a tremendous effort!!!

A great big thank you to the tzaddik Rabbi David Abuhatzeira for his outpouring of berachot and for his warm words and prayers.

And, most of all, thank You to our dear Abba in shomayim (heaven), for enabling us to get to the gravesite of the great tzaddik Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron and speaking to You from that holy place.

And besides all that, I want to give a special thank you to the owner of the restaurant at the Meron junction where we had a delicious meal, to express appreciation for the tasty food he prepared. When we wanted to pay him for the meal, he said, “No need, you should just be well and healthy.”

And again, thank you so much, Abba in Heaven for all that You do to ease our plight, especially sending us your messengers from Ezer Mizion. Our love for You has no end.

Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.

For further info: www.ezermizion.org    5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219       718 853

Do you live on #Whatsinitforme Road or #Howcanihelpout Avenue?

January 11, 2017

helping-handsDear Linked to Life Family,

I want to share with you a special experience I just had. I had a problem that needed the input of some people in power. I had tried political connections. I had applied pressure. I had clicked ‘send’ on email after email and made call after call and got… nowhere. It was an uphill battle with me on one side and everyone else seemingly an opponent. And it wasn’t even about myself. I was trying to obtain a benefit for an oncology patient, a small child from Beit Shemesh.

At long last, one of my emails was forwarded to Shuki L. who, in spite of his position, saw things from the same vantage point as I did. Of course, he did. Shuki is a fellow Linked to Life member.

From that point, we communicated directly, as one ‘Link’ to another and everything will be taken care of, b’ezrat Hashem.

For the hundredth time I discovered that Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life is not just giving rides. It’s a way of thinking, it’s a philosophy, it’s an attitude that’s says, “Let’s make this work for the fellow Jew who is suffering.”

Thanks Shuki, thanks Meir and Elchanan, thank you to everyone who stands at the head of the biggest army of chessed in the world. The Ezer Mizion Linked to Life family! We have tremendous power! May we merit doing only good things with it!

The writer is a member of Linked to Life, an Ezer Mizion What’s App group. Screens light up all day long enabling emergency rides for those dealing with life’s crises, vital forgotten medication to be brought where needed, sometimes across the ocean. It’s a system based on the simple concept that fellow Jews are often traveling from here to there but unaware that someone else has an emergency need to also travel or send something vital from the same ‘here’ to the same ‘there’. They would be happy to help but usually find out about it days later if at all. Or perhaps it is a connection or a source of information that is critically needed like in the above letter. While many are using What’s App for passing around jokes, Ezer Mizion has harnessed its power to create a WorldWide Web of chessed.

Ronit is another case in point. She is a very special human being who is suffering from cancer. And things do not look good. She has been under treatment using a highly expensive medication which no longer has an effect on her condition. While despair would be a normal human reaction, Ronit has discovered another pathway. Chessed. Through Linked to Life, the connection was made, all legalities were taken care of. The medication was cleared for allocation. Read all about it in her reply below. May she merit a speedy recovery in the merit of her selflessness.

Shalom Ezer Mizion!

Thank you for the update and for your kind wishes. I’m so happy that the medicines I sent were delivered and have arrived at their destination. I pray that the Creator should add to those medicines a complete and speedy recovery for the patients who receive them and for the entire Jewish people.

Thanks so much for your dedicated work. It is heartwarming and inspiring to know that there are amazing people like you who go to such lengths to help others. May you be blessed!

I also wanted to share with you the story behind these medicines. Unfortunately, these medicines no longer have an effect on me. The oncology doctor who is overseeing my care told us about a new treatment that has been proven to save lives and do wonders for the patients who receive it. It has been approved in the U.S. but is not covered by insurance.

The cost of treatment is $100,000, a staggering amount that unfortunately, we are unable to come up with at this time. I could have sold the medicines I have in my possession and begin collecting the amount I need for the new treatment. But I decided not to do that, and instead, to lovingly offer my remaining medicine to others who need it, so that G-d willing, they will recover.

I am hoping and praying that Hashem in His kindness will find the right way to help me, whether it is through this new treatment or by any other way He sees fit to cure me and endow me with a life of joy, growth, blessing, and giving.

I have a great deal of gratitude towards the Creator for the many kindnesses he has done and continues to do for me, and also towards the wonderful people like the Ezer Mizion staff and volunteers He sends into our lives at this trying period.

With all my blessings,

Thank you,

Ronit

Living in the US and want to join Linked to Life? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

Ever Wonder Why What’s App Was Invented?

January 4, 2017

cell-phoneIt’s erev Shabbos on a winter Friday. They thought they were already frantically busy but then a call came in on What’s App. The remainder of their personal lists fell by the wayside with nary a thought. It’s an emergency and they are ‘volunteer soldiers’ in the ‘Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life army’ (the real reason why What’s App was invented). It may be a Shabbos meal to prepare, together with other volunteers, for a family whose mother was suddenly hospitalized. Perhaps it’s medication available only at his neighborhood pharmacy that must be delivered before Shabbos to an ill child in a more remote area or maybe it’s a desperate   search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient. Within moments there are enough volunteers. Each mission is accomplished. Each person is cared for. Each volunteer glows with satisfaction. And they know they are appreciated. As the candles are set up moments before candle lighting, a message from the Ezer Mizion coordinator is received on What’s App: One who makes a great effort for another person and bears difficulties for his sake, is considered “literally an angel.”shabbos

…And you, who respond to Linked to Life requests with such joy and readiness, even on these short Fridays … you are truly “angels.”

Have a tranquil and joyous Shabbos!

l2l-bar-mitzvah-7The job is never done. Unfortunately, requests continue to pour in. Over Chanukah, it was two Bar Mitzvahs. The first was for the son of a cancer patient who was recently niftar. The very security of the boy’s home was shaken. No longer would father and son daven side by side. No longer would he see the sheen of pride in his father’s eyes as they reviewed the week’s learning on Shabbos. The very pillar of his life had shattered but ‘thirteen’ was fast approaching. Was he also to miss out on what every boy looks forward to for years? His mother did not have the emotional energy to plan a major event. He understood that. But did that mean that the day would be just a day like every other? He swallowed hard. He had accepted his father’s death. He’d grown up fast, this young man. He would accept this, too. He would. But Ezer Mizion would not. It’s Linked to Life Division got to work. A venue. Invitations. Food-only the nicest would do. And suddenly there it was. The Bar Mitzvah he was sure would never be.l2l-bar-mitzvah-10

That same week of Chanukah, a second Bar Mitzvah was born. This one was in answer to the timid, whispered request of the Bar Mitzvah boy whose medical condition was not very good. Cancer. As desperate as he was for what every boy dreams of, he felt hesitant to ask, what with everything else that Ezer Mizion was already doing for him. The faint whisper- no louder than the movement of a butterfly’s wings- reverberated throughout the Linked to Life membership producing a resplendent affair which brought a grin to the face that hadn’t smiled in weeks. Was he surprised? Lets listen in on a conversation between the mother and a Linked to Life volunteer:

My son asked me: “Maybe we should ask the people from Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life to daven for me to get better?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Very simple…”, he replied, “Because everything we ask of them ­­- comes true… So let’s ask them for this too, and maybe it will also come true and I will get better…”

 

The volunteer adds:

Dear friends!

I don’t know about you, but I’m writing this with tears in my eyes…

How many merits this sick child has given us …!

 

Let’s pray today at candle lighting for the well being of the child

Chai Yehuda ben Rachel

B’soch she’ar cholei Yisrael.

For further info: www.ezermizion.org 5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219 718 853 8400