‘Dedicated’ –a word found in almost every dinner journal. It’s overused, almost trite. But since the English language hasn’t produced a better word, it will have to suffice to describe Yitzchok and his wife.
Yitzchok was a dedicated Ezer Mizion volunteer. He had been a part of the Ezer Mizion family for many years offering rides to cancer patients and their family members, picking up items vital to the well-being of the ill and the elderly. His ‘Sure. I can do it.’ was a pleasure to hear. It was the Friday morning before Purim, the week before the Corona craziness took over our lives. A request came in for a pickup of salads and side dishes to be delivered to a family who was battling serious illness. The delivery had to be made before Shabbos. Yitzchok was available and took the call. He picked up the food, beautifully packaged and neatly labeled, and began making his way to the recipient’s home.
But he wasn’t feeling too well. ‘There’s plenty of time before Shabbos. I’ll stop by the house to rest up a bit and then go,’ he said to himself. Carefully, he put the food in his refrigerator and lay down. An hour later, he suffered a massive heart attack. The delivery? He never completed it. His journey in this world was over. Accompanied by a myriad of mitzvos, his neshoma (soul) made its way to shomayim (heaven). Shabbos was nearing as the funeral came to a close.
His grieving widow entered her home. It was a different home. Her beloved husband would no longer come through the door. Ever. Too stunned to even cry, she wandered through the so very empty rooms. Her hand automatically touched the refrigerator handle. It opened, as if by itself. And that’s when the overwhelming grief of her darkest hour moved aside, leaving space for the needs of another.
“Oy vey! The family! They have so much trouble they have and now they won’t even have food for Shabbos. Fueled by a mission – her husband’s mission – she sent an emergency message to Ezer Mizion. “ The packages! My husband just died! They never got delivered! Please send someone over so the family will have them for Shabbos!” These are our Ezer Mizion volunteers!
After the shloshim (thirty-day period), his wife sent another message: “How can I become a volunteer like my husband”
It wasn’t long until she received her ID tag. “Now it’s me, driving my late husband’s car. Yitzchak’s connection with Ezer Mizion was very significant and precious to him, until the sudden end of his life. I am sure that my carrying on with his mission is bringing him joy. Thank you so much for the tag and for the opportunity to be part of your network!”