It’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 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 by all volunteers: Yaakov sent malachim…” – Some explain this to mean literally “angels”; others interpret it as “shlichim,” emissaries.
The Tzemach Tzaddik asks: According to those who maintain that these were actual angels, why would Yaakov employ divine angels for a mission to his brother Esav??
He answers that these were mortal emissaries. But since the mission was so difficult, by agreeing to do it, they were elevated to the level of divine angels… because one who makes a great effort for another person and bears difficulties for his sake, is considered “literally an angel.”
…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!
The 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 (pray) 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.
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:
I don’t know about you, but I’m writing this with tears in my eyes…
How many zechusim (merits) this sick child has given us …!
Let’s pray today at candle lighting for the refu’ah (well-being) of the child
Chai Yehuda ben Rachel
B’soch she’ar cholei Yisrael (among all those afflicted with illness) .