They 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 (gravesites) 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 (hand laving) , making the brocha (blessing) 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 (student), 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 (character) 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 Jew 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 www.ezermizion.org