Wonderful!

“It was wonderful!”

A young girl was asked about her stay in a corona hotel over Yom Tov (holidays). Her answer shocked the questioner.

“Wonderful???! To be away from your family for Yom Tov? To spend Rosh Hashona, Yom Kippur and Sukos with strangers in a covid hotel?!”

“Yes, wonderful! At first we all felt lonely. No one knew each other and we missed our own families and friends. But it wasn’t long till we began to feel like this is our family. It was Ezer Mizion that did it. They were back and forth all day long. Another hotel resident would call out to me, “Malky, an Ezer Mizion volunteer is waiting for you downstairs…” At times, I would be the one to call another fellow covid sufferer, “ Yehudis,  come down quick. An Ezer Mizion volunteer brought you a package. It smells like cake. I hope you’ll share..”

Back and forth the Ezer Mizion volunteers went bringing goodies and encouraging messages from our families and friends back home.  Ezer Mizion tied us to home and they tied us to each other.  Miri, come down…Shiffy, there’s a big box…Esty, I got a chocolate cake. Bring your bottle of coke. We’re having a party…Brocha, chocolate chip cookies. Your favorite. I’ll trade you some for…Shana…Rivky…Devorah…

Chessed permeated the air. Who could be lonely surrounded by all that giving. And it was catchy. No, not the covid. The giving. Leah was there with her whole family and mentioned how bad they feel that the Bar Mitzvah celebration for their son cannot take place. Miri told Suri. Suri told Yocheved. Yocheved told Dassy and now it was their turn to turn to Ezer Mizion. “Do you think…would it be possible…”Calls were made and wheels began to turn. It was not long till the receivers joined the givers and another Ezer Mizion covid Bar Mitzvah was born. Food. Music. Speeches. Decorations. The works. it’s easy in an atmosphere of giving.

So how was it at the covid hotel over Yom Tov? Wonderful! Just wonderful!

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“Wonderful!” the husband shouted. “But how can it be?! Maybe it’s a mistake.” He had been checking his bank balance every day and watching his overdraft grow and grow. It never used to be like this. His salary had covered their needs even leaving over some for fun-purchases. But now they were the parents of a special needs child and the expenses were soaring. Much of these costs was supposed to be government funded but the powers-that-be didn’t seem to recognize that. Each application, appeal, letter to higher-ups came back with the glaring response: DENIED.  Withhold from their child what he needed? Unthinkable! And so he continued to watch the overdraft grow. Until today. Not only was the overdraft not higher but it was gone! And in its place was something they hadn’t seen in so long. A balance. A large one. “But, but how…?” They checked with the bank. It was true. Where did it come from? Some months ago, they had made one last effort after a lengthy, detailed meeting with Ezer Mizion’s Advocacy Unit who counselled them-cost free- on every step of the application process.  Guided by Ezer Mizion in-house experts, they reapplied after numerous rejected submissions, with little hope of success in their hearts. And now there it was. Retroactive payments with the assurance of continued ongoing support. “Wonderful,” they shouted together. “Just wonderfu!”

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