This past week was filled with many types of “new beginnings.” First being, back to school for Benny’s older brothers. Second, the marriage of his first cousin Yosef Kessler to Shira Andruiser. Third, the engagement of his cousin Riki Smilow to Avi Wertheimer. Fourth, the first day of high school for older sister, Rifka Basya. Finally, the first day of school for Benny!!!
All these Simchos come at the end of a very long year, but definitely give us a feeling of hope and happiness that carry us into this coming year ,IY”H, less than two days away.
As we come to the close of this most emotional year of our lives, I feel a proper Hakaros Hatov is in order. I apologize in advance if I leave out an act of Chesed (kindness) that was done and not mentioned. There are B”H so many, ones that I knew about and I am sure 100’s of others that I still don’t know about. No action, no Tefillah was too little. These Tefillos and Chasodim (good deeds) were performed by people from all walks of life.
(There is no special order)
Meals- Whether in the hospital or at home, we did not go hungry. Bikur Cholim and Chai Life with their endless choices of meals. Weekly, homemade hot potato Kugel (which still is going on), chop liver and coleslaw (brought to me by a special woman O”H, that I miss so much, along with flowers from her garden, and carried on by those that continue her legacy). My sister in law who coordinated the homemade meals at home.
Desserts- Endless cookies and cakes, even customized graduation hats made out of chocolate. Creative Rosh Hashana Cookies and Shaloach Manos cupcakes.
Tzedekah (Charity)- “Penny for Benny”, slogan came from a two year old boy. Los Angeles’s “Super Storm Benny” relief program for Hurricane Sandy victims. Chai Life Line runners for Team Benny. 100’s of charities that received funds as a Zechus for Benny’s Refuah.
Asher Yatzor – This Bracha and tens of thousands of other’s that were said with the proper Kavanah as a Zechus. Asher Yatzor laminated cards printed and distributed as a Zechus
Hafrashos Challah – 40 plus women getting together weekly to bake Challah and say the special Tefilla (prayer) as a Zechus . The laminated cards of Hafrashos Challah distributed around the globe.
Tehillim and Shiurim – Daily, weekly and monthly gatherings. 10th grade yeshiva boys in Baltimore learning on their own time (outside of yeshiva) as a Zechus for Benny. People taking on to complete all of Tanach, Mishna and Shas Bavli as a zechus for Benny. 100,00 plus Yidden saying Tehillim together at the Siyum Hashas for Benny and all Cholim. A neighbor spent three hours a day for over a week saying the entire Sefer Tehillim every day. The Tehillim HaChida was said 40 days by dozens of women.
Cocoa Club- free hot cocoa for students in Dallas, TX who came 15 minutes before school to say tehilim for Benny
Volunteers – Young men and young ladies thru Chai Life Line, Bikur Cholim, other organizations or just their own initiative attending to the needs of my other children. Playing ball with them, doing homework, or taking them shopping. Special mention to the two special girls (whom we consider our daughter’s) who made this period so much easier for our entire family. Equal shoutout to the “Avigdors” for their special brand of caring!
Family, Friends, Neighbors – Taking our boys to a baseball game, bowling, Scooter Jungle, taking our kids to NY (in style) to attend a family Bar Mitzvah while we were in CHOP (Children’s of Phili) with Benny. Flying in from all over the world to be M’vaker Choleh and give a helping hand with the other children. Friends that came to the hospital to play with Benny which gave me the opportunity to rest.
Toys – too many to list. Benny and siblings were showered with gifts. Each were well thought out and greatly enjoyed. Chai Life Line Chanukah gift program (truly amazing). A special Shabbos “mentchy set” among other toys from an incredible woman O”H who bought and delivered these toys while living with her own magefeh (plague).
Gifts – Books to give us Chizuk – “As Long as I Live” (one of my favorites), plus we were privileged to have Rabbi Margolit visit our home. Chumashim and Siddurim donated to schools and shuls as a Zechus for Benny.
Music – Private performances of local and visiting artists in the hospital and in our home or at the Wilshire Ebell Theater
K’varim – Endless visits to our ancestors, our Zaida Ben O”H & Bubbie Jean O”H, Zaida Shmilu O”H and Bubbie Chayala O”H , Zaide Yehoshua Elyokim O”H, great Gedolim
Tzadikim -Family and Friends visits to Holy Righteous men and women to receive Brochos at a moments notice for Benny’s Refuah
Exercise – those friends who took time out of their day to walk with me, so I could get some fresh air outside of the hospital.
Segulos – Different prayers or symbolic items that were given to us. Lighting candles as Benny went thru any procedures and tests.
Midnight calls – Emotional and medical advice given to us at all hours, day and night, in moments dark and light.
Pictures – to a special photographer for photographing our family the week before Benny’s hair fell out and making an album. Making collages and laminating them for the hospital room during transplant.
Gifts – comfortable clothes. robes and shoes for us while staying in the hospital .
Parnasah – to those that helped throughout this difficult period and especially helped restore life to this area of our lives as well.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles – to those that provided Benny’s safety on the way to receive treatment, or who picked Benny up in their “Ben”tly just for a joy ride around town.
Simchas Hachaim – to those that smiled, hugged, took our hand, looked into our eyes with sincerity and made us laugh.
Water Stands – Shabbos afternoon drinks given to passerby’s in the hot son. “bracha for Benny”
Dogs – to all those dogs and their owners who came to visit Benny in the hospital and at home . It was definitely a favorite!!!
Tzinius and Shmiros Haloshon Classes – steps to enhance our inner and outer beauty as a Zechus for Benny
Phone calls, letters, emails, text, cards- each one is saved and cherished for life
Chocolate, flowers, balloons – Delicious! Magnificent! Cheerful!
Doctors, Nurses, Child Life Specialist, Social Workers, therapist; we stand humble before you.
In two more days, I will be sharing this list with The Ribono Shel Olam and thanking Him for His wonderful creations and asking Him to reward you tenfold. (I am sure I will have 100’s of more examples from now until then, but for now, the hour is late and I must call it a day!).
to be continued…