Imagine now, as a Jew you have lived through the most horrific time in human history when a people group (Nazis) set out to kill every Jew, including you and your entire family. In fact, the only one left is you. Your entire life is difficult as your daily life has been constantly filled with anti-Semitic attacks. You finally decide to move to the one country that IS Jewish: Israel. As a Jew among other Jewish citizens you are finally home. Home, but completely alone.
Your advancing age makes it more difficult to perform everyday tasks.
- Buying groceries and then getting them home; sometimes up several flights of stairs.
- Understanding the electric, gas, water and tax bills- that are in Hebrew. You came to Israel at an age where learning a new language is very difficult.
- Small things like changing a light bulb, sweeping up a broken glass, washing the floor or cleaning the toilet; Difficult when it is hard to bend over or your arthritic hands won’t hold the broom.
- Now you are sick and must go to the doctor. Taking a taxi, seeing the doctor alone, you arrive home and are not sure what to do. He said the word you dreaded: “cancer.” You have cancer and must go through treatments. But there is no one to go with you. So, you do it alone. Week after week of treatments, feeling tired and ill, and no one with whom you can share the fear and horror you are experiencing.
- After months of treatments and doctor appointments and medications, you are released, cancer free. But there is no one with whom to celebrate the result.
- Another year goes by, day after day, most time filled with loneliness. But not every day as sometimes volunteers from AHI, an organization in Israel, make contact and visit whenever possible. Even birthday cards each year and flowers on your birthday!
Now the doctor says it is time for another check-up. But a few days before, you are invited to a tea party at Beit Shalom. [tea party picture] AHI even picks you up and takes you home. You visit with other Holocaust Survivors there and the volunteer team. It is an amazing afternoon. Looking around the house, at the people and noticing the atmosphere, you suddenly comment “This is of God! I can see you are sent here by God!” With this understanding, you ask one of the volunteers, Elena, if AHI can help you; can give you a ride to a doctor appointment in Nahariya. The answer is “Of course!” You are filled with hope and peace when you return home.
A few days later you and Elena go to the doctor. You confide it is a check-up to determine if the cancer is still gone. It is so good to have someone with you! But the results show another test is needed. Something is wrong. Fear creeps in and AHI receives a phone call the next day. You ask for another ride to a different clinic. Again Elena goes along. Again the relief and peace on your face shows what a difference it makes to have someone with you.
Tomorrow you return to the doctor to hear the results. Tomorrow you may be facing difficult- no, heart wrenching news. But even so, it will not be the same. This morning in Beit Shalom there was prayer for you and the volunteers of AHI prayed for h
ealing, the touch of HaShem, and cell renewal within your body. Today the volunteers stood together for YOU.
And tomorrow, you will not go alone. You will have someone with you at the doctor appointment, and beyond. We will not leave you alone again.
Sima, we love you. We will be there for you, and so will HaShem.
Editor’s Note: Sima is one of many. As the Survivors age their health is compromised. Their spouse has died or is in a nursing home. They never had children or they were never married. Any family has either died or moved away. They are alone; completely alone. They need to know someone cares.
We need volunteers with compassion, who can come and stand with them, sit by their chair, hold their hand and simply BE THERE. Who will come to help? Is it you?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today.