His firstborn’s Bar Mitzvah. What every father dreams of as he watches his child mature. Every detail is pre-planned, pre-colored, pre-lived. All in capital letters. Ordering the tefillin (phylacteries). Choosing the design for the tefillin bag. The speech. The Torah Reading. The reception.
Like all fathers, B. also dreamed. But, as of late, his dream consisted of only one factor: being there.
Not to be present as his firstborn received his first Calling Up to the Torah? Not to receive the mazel tov’s from all his friends? Not to be by his son’s side, beaming, as he presents a Torah speech to the hundreds of assembled guests.
The thought of missing his son’s Bar Mitzvah was more than he could bear. It crushed him. It drained his spirit of every fiber of vitality. The spirit that is so vital as a partner to the body in its battle against disease. The disease that had ‘incarcerated’ B. within the depressing walls of the hospital for eight months.
B.’s mind understood that it was impossible. But, oh, how his heart longed to be present…to share…to feel the nachas. Hearts are sometimes unreasonable creatures. They don’t listen to doctor’s explanations, to logistics. They just ache. And yearn. And unabashedly hope. Just a tiny bit.
And sometimes the pining is picked up by a sensitive friend who mentions it to a member of Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life, a #What’sApp networking group whose members often think out of the box. “True it’s impossible because of…but what if we…? How can we possibly obtain…? Perhaps we can …..instead? ‘
And so with networking and coordinating, a plan was proposed. They met with the physicians. Modified the plan. Re-networked. Re-coordinated. Suggested. Discarded. Tried another angle. Another meeting with the physicians. Gradually, a workable plan took shape. Linked to Life – turning over the world to do the impossible… just because they care.
Not all needs are as complex. Some are requests for meals. It can be a Thursday night need for Shabbat food for a Rechasim family of five whose mother is sick. The request came in at 6:09. By 6:49 it was ‘mission accomplished’. Chana, Estie, Leah – they all rallied and full meals were produced, bringing the sunshine of communal caring into a home permeated with sadness.
A family in Elad was sitting shiva with no relatives close by to help. Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life became the surrogate family and Shabbat food magically appeared. Shoshi, Racheili and Shaindy provided their specialties which were delivered by a volunteer who enveloped the grieving family in an embrace of compassion.
And then there were the parents of a tiny infant in the oncology ward. They were at the hospital 24/7 and, because of the mother’s health issues, were not able to partake of the standard meals sent by Ezer Mizion’s Food Distribution Division for family members sitting at the bedside of a patient. This time, it only took 16 minutes from the time a request went out for a fat-free, carb-free lunch to be put together. Nechami had the vegetable soup, Ruti was just putting fish in the oven. Salads materialized. A sympathetic volunteer soon appeared in the room of the distraught couple bearing a custom-made, attractive lunch.
The Linked to Life requests are as varied as the needs Jews everywhere. It may be meals or delivery of vital medication from across the ocean or organizing a birthday party for a child whose mother is ill. If you’d like to join Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life and live anywhere on the planet, SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936.