“Prepare a meal for a senior? No problem. Give me the address and I’ll deliver it, too.” Avigayil is one of Linked to Life’s indefatigable volunteers, who can always be counted on for a mission. Meal in hand, she entered the home of the senior. “Shall I put it in the fridge for you for later or would you like me to heat it up for you now?” He stood there unable to respond other than an “Ummm…”Continue reading A Linked to Life Volunteer
People care about each other. It’s part of being human. We’d love to help out when another person is need but so many times we are not aware of the need. Perhaps he needs a ride from here to there and I am going from the same ‘here’ to the same ‘there’ but I never find out about his need until it’s too late. That’s what Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life is all about – a What’s App group of thousands, both in Israel and around the world, who are anxious to help when another is in need. With extensive networking, a vital item may be passed from hand to hand until it reaches its destination halfway around the globe. Life-saving medication, vital medical equipment, MRI’s, blood samples for asap testing – they’ve all made their way via the L2L Train. Here is one of the many thank you letters received. Continue reading Of Meds to China and Preemies Going Home
It’s interesting. When I was in second grade, my math teacher told me that if we take away, the total amount is less. When I grew up, I found it wasn’t true. If giving my time, my energy, my expertise made me have less in the end, then why would I and 9,000 of my fellow Linked to Life members race to click on any request that comes in and do our best to respond whenever possible? Second grade math teachers notwithstanding, giving away plusses so much more to our lives. Continue reading Linked to Life: One Week
A father of young children becomes ill. It goes without saying that the main focus is on his receiving proper medical care. But then there’s the little things. The sadness that pervades a once cheerful home… the frustrations when normal needs cannot be met…the guilt of the mother at not being supermom…children trying to be grownups and failing…kids desperate for childish pleasures as a security blanket enabling them to feel that their world hasn’t completely fallen apart…so many needs…
Daughter turns twelve and nothing happens. No family celebration. Not even a mention. The cloud encompassing the home is too dark, too heavy to allow a smile to enter. Until a request from a neighbor to Ezer Mizion resulted in a super fantastic celebratory cake which brought in its wake a bit of sunshine to this despondent family.
And now her brother is turning nine. He begs for a cake. He begs and begs as only almost-nine-year-old boys can do. His mother offers to make one for him even though she has no energy for even the most basic household tasks. But he wants, no needs (!), more. He wants a cake like his sister received when she turned twelve. Somewhat embarrassed but comfortable enough since she was calling “family”, Mommy contacted Ezer Mizion. “Is it…I mean could you…would it be at all possible…?”
As with the Bas Mitzvah cake, Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life (a What’s App Group) was contacted. Hundreds of screens lit up and in moments, a reply came in. The super fantastic birthday goodies (see pictures for some of the yummies that accompanied the cake) were produced by Shaindy and her kids. Listen to her comments when it was done.
“The truth is that yesterday, on the fast day, in the heat wave, I wanted to help out but it just didn’t work out. I felt as if it was a lost opportunity.
“Thanks to the cake posting, they and I had an especially enjoyable afternoon: One ran to the grocery, the other mixed the batter. When the first got back, she was busy passing over the ingredients and putting things away.
“We spent a few hours enjoying a positive learning experience, and when they asked whom the cake was for, I explained… and they were really, really touched, especially since my eldest is the same age as the birthday boy…
“So, baruch Hashem, I wanted to do my part and get an assignment – and I succeeded, and had a wonderful family experience, to boot. Thank YOU for the privilege to be Linked to Life!”
Like to join? No matter what part of the globe you live in, SMS: 011 972 52 580 8936
Their mother has cancer and is in a very precarious condition. Her situation is shaky. The family is shaky. And terrified. And numb. And overwhelmed. And beaten. And disoriented. All at once.
it’s all about giving. A day of fun, of pampering can work wonders for the spirit. I ask them what they would want. Unable to think past their dire situation, they say, “A trip to Teverya, to pray at the gravesite of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes, to daaven for Ima to have a nes, a miracle…
Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life is not staffed by mere people. It is staffed by angels. When there are angels along the way, things looks different…
It starts with a phone call to Shmulik of Ezer Mizion’s Transport Division, who works on the logistics for the family trip to Teverya.
Family bonding. A vitamin called ‘Pleasure’ to strengthen the spirit. Vital ingredients for this Special Day. And so it gets better: First thing in the morning Yishai, the nicest volunteer driver in the world, reports at the door with a huge smile and takes them for a banana boat ride on the Kinneret, funding donated by SL from Teverya. Smiles are contagious and tentative replicas begin to appear on the faces of the family.
And even better: They continue on to a gourmet meal at the Caesar Hotel, funding donated by AAA from Caesarea. Long-forgotten feelings of happiness well up in them as they continue their day of pampering.
They reach the gravesites of Rabbi Meir Baal Hanes in Teverya and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron and daven with every fiber of their being. Their arms around each other, they leave strengthened. They’re a family. They can cope.
More Vitamin P, shared together, empowering them for the difficult days ahead: a fantastic performance to suit their mood (funded by MH from Hadera) tops off the day.
Because that’s the way it is with Ezer Mizion’s Linked to Life in Israel, when there are people there who care about you, who are sensitive to your needs and want with all their heart to pamper you…
Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 of Israel’s population annually in addition to its Bone Marrow Registry which saves the lives of Jewish cancer patients the world over.
I was trying. Friends and relatives were also helping. The situation was beyond hopeless and I was helpless to keep things together. I had three children in three separate hospitals, located in various parts of the country. One was in a mental hospital, two in medical hospitals. Can you imagine the anguish, the sights I witnessed daily? The despair when I had to leave one to visit another. The tiny bewildered faces at the window at home watching Mommy leave…again. The exhaustion- both physical and emotional. The frustration when twenty-four hours were far from enough in each day. The astronomical expenses incurred on top of less money coming in. Continue reading Hospital ‘Rounds’ via What’s App
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