It’s Thursday morning and the door opens. He walks slowly but with purpose. He knows he needed. Eliezer Cohen is eighty- nine years old. He may not be as young and spry as he had been fifty years ago but his fingers are skilled and his expertise is still needed.
Mr. Cohen had spent his working years in metal works, engraving, welding, soldering and the like. As an expert in the field, he taught the skill to many others. He and his wife survived the holocaust and, even though he is now retired, he understands that each day, each bit of energy is a gift to be used to benefit others.
And so each Thursday morning finds him at the Ezer Mizion Medical Equipment Loan Center.
The Center provides varied types of equipment ranging from a simple walker or wheelchair to hi-tech devices. Not as readily available in Eretz Yisroel as in the US, expensive equipment is needed by many. Items are loaned to post-hospital patients, the disabled, the ill and the elderly.
Located throughout Israel, the Loan Centers lend close to 80,000 pieces of specialized equipment every year. Technicians are available with professional advice on choice of item in addition to support during its use.
The following letter is typical of those received at the center:
Nine months ago, we experienced a tragedy. Our beloved toddler, Yair-Yonatan, fell into in the swimming pool. For long months, he was hospitalized at the Schneider hospital. Ezer Mizion volunteers appeared at our side from the first moment, offering good advice, support and a warm embrace.
When it was time to bring Yair-Yonatan home, Ezer Mizion took care of everything that was needed to care for such a child at home – a special bed, feeding equipment, nebulizer equipment, oxygen tanks, and more. Everything was delivered to our home quickly and thoughtfully. It isn’t easy to take a child who was a normal, healthy little boy, and adapt to the new reality of a child with brain damage. We didn’t have to ask Ezer Mizion for anything. They simply were there for us and helped us.
As each item is returned to the center, it is examined and repaired when necessary. That is where Eliezer Cohen comes in. Proper and safe repair requires skill and the younger employees prefer to wait till Thursday when they know the refurbishing will be done well.
Mr. Cohen and his wife have several children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. They stand at the helm of their family, so grateful for what had only been a dream during the early post-holocaust years. Throughout the years, they have tried to instill principles in their progeny. Life is a gift and to be used to produce. We are not here on this world to take but to give to others. One can only imagine the thoughts of a ten-year-old grandchild as he watches Zeidy make his way out the door each Thursday with his tool set, striding purposefully to help those less fortunate. A powerful lesson to a child…and to all of us.