“Super Storm Benny”

November 4,

Benny is resting comfortably after a difficult morning of not being able to keep anything down and spiking a fever. in spite of it all Benny still blows kisses, gives high fives and smiles.

I was hoping to rest now as well, but my mind is racing. All I can think about is, of course, Benny. My thoughts are equally pulled to those back east recovering and rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy.

I’ve been following the storm and its aftermath and have found many similarities. One article I read writes aout getting used to the “new normal.” I have to say I never liked that phrase. Fear, pain, anxiety, uncertainty, vulnerability, being on the receiving end are not things that one wants to get used too. Although, these experiences change our lives forever   it doesn’t have to be in a negative way.

We have been in our storm for over 7 months now.  The doctors’ consider this time, stem cell transplant, the most powerful part of the storm when the winds howl, the rains pelt and you just pray for it all to be over and for no major destruction to be left in its wake.

November 5,

Benny’s fever B”H has subsided. However, he continues to have difficulty in keeping his food down.  We are waiting for the chemo to quickly exit his body without causing any side effects.

Sixteen years ago today, Ari and I were standing under our Chupah (wedding canopy). I remember vividly Davening (praying) at the time for our happiness, good health and mazal for each other and our future offsprings.  I pray today that Hashem remembers our Tefillos on that very special and holy day and grants our delicious Binyomin Chaim the complete Refuah Shlema he needs.

Tomorrow, is the day IY”H (G-D Willing) that Benny’s stem cells will be infused into his body.  It is not painful B”H, rather similar to a blood transfusion, but he will be closely monitored to make sure his body reacts well.  It was the day after Shavuos (the holiday of the harvest) that his cells were harvested – 89 million – a record breaker here at CHLA.  That amazing collection was only possible with your Tefillos and Zechusim.    Fall  is the time that we must plant and seed and prepare for future growth. Tomorrow is when Benny enters into his new phase of rebirth. It is these cells IY”H that will give his body the strength and healing he needs to live a long, long healthy and productive life IY”H.

The month of Cheshvon does not have any holidays in it. It is the 8th month from the counting of Nison. The number 8 stands for L’Maila Min Ha Teva (super natural state). These super natural powers , the same that occur on the day of a Bris Milah (circumcision), the same that occurred last week with “super storm sandy”, we are hopeful that these powers will be the force that destroys any harmful cells (if any Chas Veshalom) and builds the healthy new ones.

One of the ways in cheering Benny up is having a cheerful room. I have hung several posters on the walls that represent happiness. Aside from Pin the Nose on Elmo, we have an Alef Beis (Hebrew Alphabet) poster, Perek Shira (Songs of the Universe) and the one that stands out the most is the Siyum Hashas poster- the gathering of 95+ thousand Yiden (Jews)  reciting Tehilllim, lead by Rabbi Yaakov Rechnitz. It was meaningful in that we were personally there to experience everyone united together, saying Tehillim for Binyomin Chaim Ben Faigie Sarah.

Three months later we are now gathering together again but for a different reason. Now it is during a time of need.  There are many ways to help out, physical help, financial help, and prayer are among a few ways. The key is to get involved in whatever way you can.

In the Zechus that Binyomin Chaim weather the storm he is currently in, we are setting up a campaign “Super Storm Benny.”  If you live in the Los Angeles area, we have arranged a 40 foot truck to drive across country to the areas hit hardest filled with essentials to help our brethren in time of need. We are working with Achiezer Org. in Far Rockaway to distribute the items once they arrive.  There will be an email going out with further details of various drop off locations and what items we are collecting. If you happen to be out shopping in the meantime we are collecting housewares; pots, pans, mixers etc., towels, linens, school supplies, and lots of toys (Chanukah is around the corner). All items must be new. If you have connections to new furniture items we will accept those as well.

Let us show Hashem that we can unify together not just in times of joy, but also in despair. In this Zechus let Hashem bring the Geulah Shlema and we will unite once again for the greatest celebration ever. AMEIN!



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