Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

When Life Explodes and Catapults You into the World of Hospitals

December 13, 2017

pr hospitalLife proceeds normally. Tuesday is similar to Monday and Wednesday follows in its wake. Then suddenly, without any warning, life explodes. A fifteen-year-old is crossing the street, something he has been doing since he was a youngster under the watchful eyes of his nervous mother. Now at fifteen, his mother no longer worried about his crossing. She knew he was careful and responsible. What she didn’t know about was the van that came hurtling down the street, against the light, hitting her son with full force causing his head to strike the asphalt until he lost consciousness. And life was no longer normal. The tiny hospital room becomes your world. Nothing else matters.

The worries were endless. Would he survive? Would he be permanently brain injured? Clutching a t’hillim (Psalm book) and begging Hashem(G-d) to have mercy, his parents didn’t leave his side.  One left. The other arrived. Day after endless day. Nothing else was real. Only teh beeping monitors at their son’s hospital bedside.  The eight children at home were hardly on their radar screen.  The parents were barely aware that Shimmy* had a test scheduled next week and needed help studying, that Mimi* was having a hard time taking Mommy’s place and her terrified younger siblings were acting wild and not listening to her. Her parents hardly knew but Ezer Mizion did. Volunteers were dispatched from many rosters- some to provide hot, nourishing meals for the parents at the hospital, some to provide those same meals for the rest of the family at home, some to handle those hectic evening hours, some to do homework with the kids. The parents did not own a car. Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life  division was contacted regarding rides to and from the hospital for them.

cell-phone
Ride to hospital needed for cancer patient. Who is available?

Who is Linked to Life? Just people. People like you and me. Mostly middle-class working people who have joined this famed WhatsApp group. Their phone beeps and they quickly check the request. Can they fit it into their day? In most cases, someone responds. It may be driving a patient or a family member to the hospital. Or delivering vital medical equipment or medication. Or perhaps providing something to lift the spirits of a family undergoing a crisis. Over 3,000 such trips are made every month. Each group, divided by areas, becomes a family. Lets take a peek at an pre-Shabbat posting:

  • A special thanks goes to our dedicated directors for navigating assignments right through summer vacation… It certainly is not something to be taken for granted!
  • A heartfelt mazel-tov to group member Dovi Baladi on the birth of his first grandson, and to Mrs. Shosh Shiloh on the birth of a granddaughter. Wishing everyone only nachas and simchost across the board, from our loving hearts (Hey ­– any chance of a shidduch?:)
  • This week, a huge fleet of buses and ambulances drove the humongous day camp for kids with special needs (a total of 900 people!) ­­. A giant thank-you to group members, directors Malkiel Beriga and Moshe Traube, who didn’t stop working for a minute…
  • Welcome to Daniel Malka, director of the group in Maalot in the North, and best wishes for much, much success.
  • Around the world: Special thanks to Menachem Bromer, our man in Strassbourg, France, for his quick and dedicated assistance to an Israeli tourist who fell in Nice.
  • A giant thank you to Shlomo Miller, Los Angeles, for coming forward wholeheartedly to help a disabled cancer patient who came on a visit from Israel. Notice the speed at which medical documents were transferred from Israel to the Ukraine.
  • Words cannot express our thanks to Yisrael Spritzer, director of the Jersualem branch, and to the entire Jerusalem staff, for dealing last week with getting a disk to Ben Gurion airport, in an impossible race against time. It couldn’t have happened without you!!!
  • How do you organize Shabbos for 10 people in 10 minutes? Only in Rechasim do they know the answer.
  • Good Shabbos to all!

 

It’s over now. The teenage boy, Baruch Hashem (thank G-d), has recovered with no long-term effects of the accident. No more rides to and from the hospital are needed. It is only now, when the terror has receded, that the parents are able to appreciate the fact that punching in a few buttons brought them a ride each time it was needed with strangers becoming like family and opening their hearts to another’s needs. Things are back to normal but the parents are amazed at how their home had functioned so well in their absence. With its vast range of divisions, Ezer Mizion made it all happen!

Live in US, Canada, SA, Europe…anywhere in the globe and like to join Linked to Life? SMS 011 972 52 580 8936.

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They Were My Legs

November 1, 2017

pr hospitalChanah wasn’t feeling well. Even though she had a busy schedule that day, she walked to her doctor to see if he would have any advice or medication that would enable her to function better as she went about her myriad of activities. That was the last walk she was to take for a very long time. The doctor wasn’t sure as to what was wrong and sent her to the Emergency Room. She was soon to learn that she was suffering from cancer which affected her abdomen and spine. The next day, she was unable to walk at all.

As difficult as her physical state was, her emotional state suffered greatly too. In no time, she had gone from an independent, active woman to someone dependent on others for every need. The hospital became her home for the next three months.  It was then that she realized the full extent of her illness and just how much a person’s legs can determine one’s quality of life. If she woke up from a nap and wanted to continue reading a magazine, she needed someone to bring it to her from the table a foot away from her bed. For decades, she had begun her day with a steaming cup of coffee. Preparing it was such a simple task but now as impossible as climbing Mt. Everest. Of course, a nurse could make it for her but in Israel, nurses are overworked and often have to limit their assistance to medical needs. Coffee, magazines? These were for family members who spend hours at the bedside to provide ‘ the little things’ … those little things that make all the difference in a patient’s mood and comfort.

And if there is no family member? If the patient does not have family in Israel? Is she then to remain alone, miserable and discouraged? Is she to do without the refreshing shower? Does she skip the morning pick-me-up that will lift her spirits? Does she just lie there depressed, helpless?

Chana was one of those who had no family in Israel. She could expect no assistance other than medical. So she thought until nine o’clock one morning when a smiling angel walked in, “Hi, my name is Penina. I’m here from Ezer Mizion. I’m going to be here all morning so tell me, what can I do for you?”  Penina was followed by Rivka and Daniella and Rochel Leah and Esther, by Linda and Lily and Vicky and Leah Miriam and so many more. For three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening, an Ezer Mizion volunteer sat at her bedside. Did I say ‘sat’?  They did very little sitting. In Chanah’s words: “They made me coffee, helped me in the shower, went to the fruit store to purchase the fruit I loved, helped me to the bathroom, went to Yad Sarah to pick up medical equipment, did my laundry, picked up this and that from here and there. Nothing was too much trouble. Those Ezer Mizion malachim were my legs! And we talked and talked. It was like having family. They got to know what I liked. One would bring me smoked salmon on Fridays so I would have for Shabbos. Another would bake a cake especially for me. Some would walk in with a bag of fruit. Not one of them every accepted payment for whatever they purchased for me. Of course not. Family members don’t charge each other.”

Many studies have shown that a patient’s spirit will greatly affect the body’s ability to do battle with the disease. A cheerful mood brought about by the feeling that someone cares can significantly affect the outcome. Chana’s newly found Ezer Mizion friends certainly did care. It was they who rejoiced with her when the day came for Chana to be released walking (!) from the hospital.  Now that she has regained most of her independence, they still continue to come…partly to help, partly to visit a new family member that they have come to love.

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

 

Ezer Mizion Linked to Life “Takes the Cake”

September 13, 2017

pr-whats-app-bas-mitzvah-cakeA father of young children becomes ill. It goes without saying that the main focus is on his receiving proper medical care. But then there’s the little things. The sadness that pervades a once cheerful home… the frustrations when normal needs cannot be met…the guilt of the mother at not being supermom…children trying to be grownups and failing…kids desperate for childish pleasures as a security blanket enabling them to feel that their world hasn’t completely fallen apart…so many needs…

Daughter turns twelve and nothing happens. No family celebration.  Not even a mention.  The cloud encompassing the home is too dark, too heavy to allow a smile to enter. Until a request from a neighbor to Ezer Mizion resulted in a  super fantastic celebratory cake which brought in its wake a bit of sunshine to this despondent family.

L2L takes the cakeAnd now her brother is turning nine. He begs for a cake. He begs and begs as only almost-nine-year-old boys can do.  His mother offers to make one for him even though she has no energy for even the most basic household tasks. But he wants, no needs (!), more. He wants a cake like his sister received when she turned twelve. Somewhat embarrassed but comfortable enough since she was calling “family”, Mommy contacted Ezer Mizion. “Is it…I mean could you…would it be at all possible…?”

As with the Bas Mitzvah cake, Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life (a What’s App group) was contacted. Hundreds of screens lit up and in moments, a reply came in.  The super fantastic birthday goodies (see pictures for some of the yummies that accompanied the cake) were produced by Shaindy and her kids. Listen to her comments when it was done.

“The truth is that yesterday, on the fast day, in the heat wave, I wanted to help out but it just didn’t work out. I felt as if it was a lost opportunity.

“And then, this request popped up. You should know that I felt it was a real chessed – for me! I was fasting, and my girls, full of energy, wanted an active mother with them, as they have every day.

“Thanks to the cake posting, they and I had an especially enjoyable afternoon: One ran to the grocery, the other mixed the batter. When the first got back, she was busy passing over the ingredients and putting things away.

“We spent a few hours enjoying a positive learning experience, and when they asked whom the cake was for, I explained… and they were really, really touched, especially since my eldest is the same age as the birthday boy…

“So, baruch Hashem, I wanted to do my part and get an assignment – and I succeeded,  and had a wonderful family experience, to boot. Thank YOU for the privilege to be Linked to Life!”

 

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

Giving with Vitamin P

August 2, 2017

pr general hel;ioong hand in darkTheir mother has cancer and is in a very precarious condition. Her situation is shaky. The family is shaky. And terrified. And numb. And overwhelmed. And beaten. And disoriented. All at once.

 

A day of fun, of pampering can work wonders for the spirit. I ask them what they would want. Unable to think past their dire situation, they say, “A trip to Teverya, to pray at the gravesite of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes, to daaven for Ima to have a nes, a miracle…

Linked to Life is not staffed by mere people. It is staffed by angels. When there are angels along the way, things looks different… It starts with a phone call to Shmulik of Ezer Mizion’s Transport Division, who works on the logistics for the family trip to Teverya.

 

Family bonding. A vitamin called ‘Pleasure’ to strengthen the spirit. Vital ingredients for this Special Day. And so it gets better: First thing in the morning Yishai, the nicest volunteer driver in the world, reports at the door with a huge smile and takes them for a banana boat ride on the Kinneret, funding donated by SL from Teverya. Smiles are contagious and tentative replicas begin to appear on the faces of the family.

 

And even better: They continue on to a gourmet meal at the Caesar Hotel, funding donated by AAA from Caesarea. Long-forgotten feelings of happiness well up in them as they continue their day of pampering.

 

They reach the gravesites of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes in Teverya and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron and daven with every fiber of their being. Their arms around each other, they leave strengthened. They’re a family. They can cope.

 

More Vitamin P, shared together, empowering them for the difficult days ahead: a fantastic performance to suit their mood (funded by MH from Hadera) tops off the day.

 

Because that’s the way it is with Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, when there are people there who care about you, who are sensitive to your needs and want with all their heart to pamper you…

 

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

 

July 26, 2017

pr canc sup lego kids - sLove at first sight, that’s what Maor Cohen felt when he got his first Lego set at age five. “My Mom came home from a visit in Tel Aviv, the ‘big city,’ with a humongous Lego set that must have cost half her monthly salary. You have to understand that back then, in the beginning of the 1980’s, this was no trivial matter. I was so excited that I went to sleep at night hugging the box and the next day I couldn’t wait to come back from preschool and play with it.”

“From that moment, which remains vivid in my heart more than thirty years later, I never stopped developing my hobby. Every birthday present was Lego, and every bit of money I saved up as a child remained in my piggy bank until enough accumulated to buy a new set. I lived at the time in Yavneh and I would ride my bicycle all the way to Rechovot in order to buy Lego and save the cost of a bus ticket.”

Throughout his youth, Cohen never abandoned his hobby. But, of course, as he matured, his focus turned to adult occupations. He served in the army, completed an officers’ course, and today, after finishing his academic studies through the army, is serving as a Major in the Manpower Department.

One day, he recalls, after realizing that he had accumulated in his home an unimaginable amount of Lego, worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, he decided that it was time to pass the pieces on to somebody else who would enjoy them. “I wanted to do something good with the Lego. I turned to my friend, Rabbi Eitan Eckstein, who suggested that I donate the collection to Oranit, Ezer Mizion’s Donald Berman Rehab Center for Support of Cancer Patients and their Families.pr canc sup lego

When I arrived at Oranit, my plans changed. Drastically. “I came there intending to simply donate the Lego and go my merry way. Oranit staff had a different idea. “Suppose you keep the Lego and use it for a club, showing the kids how to use it. You’ve got the skills. You’ve got the know-how. You could accomplish so much. You could put life into those kids (and maybe even adults). Dealing with cancer is frightening. It’s depressing. Having a project like Lego to look forward to would work wonders.”

“They were so convincing that I tried giving the workshop that very day. I recall hesitantly entering the playroom with a few pieces of Lego and three children and we started building. Well, it worked. The kids loved it. Every week, the number of kids increased, and today there are almost thirty children participating.

From that moment five years ago, Maor Cohen has been running the Lego Club in Oranit on a volunteer basis. With time, the project expanded. Others volunteered to assist him. Nir Solomon, who served as Cohen’s brigade commander in the past and is now retired uses his free time help Maor run the club. Four other volunteers also come regularly. Even Maor’s immense collection has its limits but many have been fascinated by the project and offered to help finance new Lego sets. Maor’s brother is one of these. “He was very excited by the idea and asked to donate money so that I could buy the kids Lego as a gift. That would enable them to have Lego not only during the club time but also at home and with them during their treatments.”

Neither sun, nor rain, nor the security situation can deter the energetic Lego man. “The club is now in its fifth year, and it takes place once a week, no matter what. At most, I push it off a day, because I know that the child and his family are waiting for me. In addition to the club, I also make the rounds in the Oncology wards of the hospitals 3-4 times a week and build with the hospitalized children.”pr canc sup lego s-f

Why Lego? “First of all, Lego is great fun. I also think that it is especially important for these kids, because with Lego, there is a feeling of continuity. All that planning gives them a sense of a future.

Dr. Bracha Zisser, Director of Oranit, explains that Oranit was founded in order to relieve patients and their families during the difficult period of treatments. “We operate as a guest house that enables families to sleep over in the Center of the country near treatment centers to avoid the long, grueling hours of traveling. We also organize trips and social activities. In addition, we provide many forms of therapy for both patient and his family. We are constantly expanding our activities in order to enable every person, the patient or his family member, to connect with activities that speak to him.

Maor has got to know Oranit and its staff over the years. “Oranit is an amazing place. They provide support in the most difficult moments, both to children who are sick and to children with a sick parent, and actually to the entire family, in the knowledge that the family is the circle surrounding the child.”

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

Hospital Rounds

April 19, 2017

helping handssI was trying. Friends and relatives were also helping. The situation was beyond hopeless and I was helpless to keep things together.   I had three children in three separate hospitals, located in various parts of the country. One was in a mental hospital, two in medical hospitals. Can you imagine the anguish, the sights I witnessed daily? The despair when I had to leave one to visit another. The tiny bewildered faces at the window at home watching Mommy leave…again. The exhaustion- both physical and emotional. The frustration when twenty-four hours were far from enough in each day. The astronomical expenses incurred on top of less money coming in.

A friend gave me a number to call. “Perhaps these people would be able to get you a ride once in awhile,” she suggested. I was skeptical. “Why would anyone outside of my immediate circle want to help?” I wondered. But I was desperate and thought I would give it a try. Even one ride would be something. Well, that number enabled me to enter a world I never realized existed. A world where complete strangers really cared and gave up their time and energy to help. It was the number to Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, a What’s App program connecting people in Israel and even around the world.

A friendly, sensitive operator answered and said she would pass on the message. I thought that would be the end of it and was surprised to be contacted almost immediately. It was a short Friday and I needed to visit all three children. “Perhaps he could drive me to the first one,” I timidly asked. Well, Yossie drove me to the first one, came back to pick me up and drive me to the second, returned to drive me to the third where I would be staying for Shabbos, delivered a car-full of delicious Shabbos food to my home, food that my family had not seen in weeks, plus Shabbos food for me at the hospital. Yossie and his family continued to help. It was only later that I found out that he had made a bris for his grandson during that period and his help was certainly needed at home. Yet he and his family rallied to help me, a person they had just met.

More volunteers came after Shabbos- some to do homework with the kids, some to help with housework, some to take the kids out to buy much needed school supplies (with ice cream afterwards for a treat). The food continued to come daily, delivered by people who really understood. For rides, all I needed to do was dial the number and a driver would materialize at my doorstep, always a person whose caring could only be matched by that of the next one.

Ezer Mizion was my family’s savior. We never could have made it through that period without them.

Linked to Life…We’re all connected!

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 Beeps Keep Coming

March 22, 2017

helping-handsWe all remember what Purim was like. That special electricity in the air as we rush from house to house sharing shalach monos and Purim joy. A gorilla dancing with a rabbit to a lively Shoshanos Yaakov right there on Avenue J. Nearby a miniature Mordechai is gleefully riding a pony while “Haman” leads it, shouting “Thus shall be done…”

But for some, especially those who are members of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life Group, Purim had an added dimension this year with the special Purim joy multiplied a hundredfold. It was almost a beep a minute at Linked to Life and each request was answered, some within seconds. Come take a peek at what was behind each beep.

  • A little boy wants to be a fireman but his mother has cancer and has no strength to buy him a costume. Who can help?
  • We have 150 special kids who learned about shalach manos but won’t be receiving any? Can someone donate them?
  • A small boy with leukemia is dreaming of a special costume. No one can find it anywhere. Any volunteer to custom sew it for him?
  • There’s a patient at the oncology ward who is so depressed that she is missing Purim. We need lots of volunteers to bring shalach manos and smiles.
  • We’re on duty here at the firehouse all day. Can someone come to read the megillah for us?
  • There’s a large group of patients at Shaar Menashe Hospital with not a sign of Purim. Can anyone arrange a lebedike party? Who can provide food? Music? Costumed dancers?
  • A cancer patient has no family. I have a list of all her favorites but I’m out of town. Can someone put together a ‘personalized’ shalach monos?

Purim is over. The beeps are less frequent but still coming in.

  • To New York branch of Linked to Life:Baruch is a 5-year – old cancer patient who is arriving from Israel and landing in Newark at 6:00 PM. He is able to eat only cooked white rice and, what with all the paraphernalia needed for this medical trip, his parents forgot his container of white rice. Can someone meet them at Newark airport with a meal for this child who will have had nothing to eat for so many hours?
  • Urgent! Urgent! Urgent! Looking for a volunteer to bring a prosthetic hand from London to Israel today! The prosthesis can be brought to any location in London and picked up from any place in Israel…If you know of someone flying today from London to Israel, please call Zevulun ASAP

Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life…where no Jew is ever alone.

Like to join Linked to Life from any country around the world? SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936

For further info: www.ezermizion.org              5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219             718 853 8500

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

Did You Ever Feel Frozen in Terror and So Very, Very Alone?

December 21, 2016

shabbosEvery Friday night, in every Jewish home, a platter of roast chicken appears on the table and the cholent can be heard bubbling in the crockpot. We take it for granted. It always was and it always will be. Until one week when it isn’t. No mouth-watering aromas emanating from the kitchen. No frantic calls of, “Put away the game right now and set the table. Shabbos is in eight minutes!” No Mommy standing quietly by the flickering candles, praying for those she loves. Where is Mommy? The mainstay of the home? The creator of the Shabbos atmosphere? Mommy is in the hospital, undergoing chemo. And even though the clock reads past the time for sunset, Shabbos, as the family knows it, had not yet entered their home. Grandma lives miles away in California and Abba, utterly devastated by recent events, is hardly functioning. Ten-year-old Chavi spreads peanut butter on bread to feed herself and her siblings.

Shabbos food would provide so much more than nutrition. Its aromas would enable the home to, once again, be pervaded with hope. The family would be enveloped by an all-encompassing feeling of belonging to the Jewish people, of being loved by their Creator. Smiles would appear on faces that hadn’t smiled in days. When Shabbos would depart, it would leave its gifts of Courage and Faith.

But there was no Shabbos food. And the home was filled with Melancholy and Despair.

There are too many homes like this—those that haven’t yet been put on the Ezer Mizion list. Sometimes, it‘s Mommy who is ill. Sometimes Mommy is spending Shabbos at the hospital with a tiny child or perhaps with her husband, whispering t’hillim for hours and praying that her children should have a father.

A home-cooked Shabbos meal, attractively presented for the family. A warm, sympathetic arm around the thin shoulders of the too-young teenager, trying to hold the home together. A smaller package delivered to a terrified family member spending Shabbos at a hospital bedside. The comforting feeling that someone understands and cares. The supportive crutch of knowing that the angel delivering the meal will return next week. All this is available to those on the List. But because so many are not yet on the List, Ezer Mizion has issued a call for more volunteers in Israel, especially in Bnai Brak. Volunteers are matched to families based on preferred kashrus certification, cuisine and location. Each volunteer prepares one meal per month for one family which is picked up by Ezer Mizion and delivered to the families by other trained volunteers.

We Jews are characterized by our desire to give. The call has gone out throughout Israel. A good response is certain. New homes will soon be added to Ezer Mizion’s list. The meals cannot cure the cancer but they will help to encourage the family in its battle for life.

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: 718 853 8400         5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219                             718 853 8400

Behind the Wheel with Yisroel

November 16, 2016

car-driving-man-city-46591018They always say thank you but, in truth, I am the one who feels privileged, as an Ezer Mizion driver, to transport so many very special people who have been battling illness and often have gained a clear insight of Hashem’s loving hand. A family   had requested a ride to the kvarim to give thanks to Hashem upon their young son completing a set of treatments.

At 7:45 I met six-year-old Noam Chai and his parents, exuberant after a 5-month long hospital stay. Their story is amazing, a story of blazing faith, of pure love of Hashem.

They came to these shores not for happy reasons, but rather because of the disease that ravaged their son’s lean body. From their very first words, I could tell what a special family they were, their faith engraved in stone, resistant even to gale-force winds, and the mitzvah of loving their Creator above all, guiding their steps at every moment. I was jealous. Their tribulations did not deter them. On the contrary, they just empowered the parents and their sweet child to accept the heavenly judgment with love.

The first stop was at the gravesite of Shmuel Hanavi, where we poured out our prayers for the complete recovery of Noam Chai. Our next stop was breakfast. I derived special pleasure seeing the 6-year-old boy being careful in the laws of netilat yadayim, making the brocha on a whole roll, eating politely, like a grown boy. And so, we continued traveling, while hearing words of Torah and inspiration, until we reached the grave of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes. In awe, the family poured out their prayers at the holy site.

From there we went on to the gravesite of Rachel, the wife of Rabbi Akiva, and then to the kvarim of the great Rambam and of the Shelah Hakadosh. Rivers of tears flowed. Near them, with the intensity characteristic of a grown yeshiva bachur, the young Noam Chai prayed tearfully and slowly, saying word after word as if he was counting golden coins. I am certain that the heavens shed tears and cleared the way for the prayer of this young child, fighting a cruel and terrible illness.

From there, we continued to a lighter experience – a boat ride. The boat owners had donated their time as a gift for the child who captured the heart of all who met him.

Tzefas was our next stop. We visited the special candle factory, and saw scribes at their work writing a miniature sefer Torah, and then resumed our travels to the gravesite of Rashbi in Meron, stopping first for a meal.

The child, who was now able to put real food in his mouth after being nourished for long, hard months by IV, was visibly thankful. When we went to wash netilat yadayim, he stood politely, his hands clasped behind refusing to wash before his elders would do so. You could see the marvelous middos cultivated by the upbringing of his mother, who is meticulous about everything, big and small.

I dropped off this special family, now recharged with holy energy, anxious to thank Ezer Mizion and the devoted volunteers who are at their side day and night, ready to meet all their needs. From rides like this to transportation to and from the clinic, from daily hot meals to detailed advocacy and medical advice. Whatever their needs, Ezer Mizion was there for them. Praised is your nation, Hashem where a Yid is never alone!

All that remains is to give our blessing to Noam Chai ben Chami, for a complete recovery among all the ill of Israel, and that his dear parents should enjoy much nachas from him, in good health and happiness, and merit to be oleh laregel with all the Jewish people in the holy land very soon.

And to you, the amazing Ezer Mizion family, who teaches us what real chessed is, I thank you for enabling me to be a small agent in this holy organization.

With the blessing of a Kohen,

Yisrael ben Reitcha Raitzel

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: 718 853 8400    5225 New Utrecht Ave Bk NY 11219       http://www.ezermizion.org