The Jewish holidays are finally over. They were wonderful! So much time with family, time to rejoice in prayer in synagogue, surrounded by neighbors and friends. I thank G-d that He has blessed me with so many wonderful people who make up my community and my world.
As I looked around me on Rosh HaShanah, I noticed that something had changed. We had all become older. More and more of the women who surround me in the synagogue have either become older and more feeble themselves or they were hosting mothers who were older and more feeble. My parents have been joining us for the holidays for many years now but they are definitely older today. My father comes to the synagogue in a wheel-chair and my mother is walking a lot slower than before.
At the end of my row was a woman my age and her mother. Both are members of our synagogue for a long time but today her mother suddenly seemed so much older. She is a Holocaust survivor and she asked to be seated in the front row this year – something she had never done before. It seemed she had wanted to sit there for some time but had only now voiced that preference. Of course, we were all eager to accommodate her. She was helped to her seat by her grand-daughter and was not able to stay for the entire service. But she came.
As I looked down into the men’s section, I remembered a wonderful man who passed away a few months ago. He was in his 90’s and was a Holocaust survivor as well. He was always particularly loud at a certain part of the prayers on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. We missed him this year.
It was a blessing to see so many women and their mothers and grandmothers in synagogue. But it was also sad to see how many of these wonderful women were weaker, less aware of their surroundings, more dependent than they had ever been before. Ours is a society that treasures our elderly. We are eager to hear their stories and learn from their courage and the often difficult journeys that brought them to Israel. But we also owe them a huge debt. They are the generation that established modern Israel. They are the generation that survived Hitler.
From now through the end of the year, we will be giving you the opportunity to help the men and women who have reached the final years of their lives. In addition to this month’s Har Gilo security project, will you donate a little extra this month to help the senior citizens of Judea and Samaria? Thank you so much for caring for our beloved elderly citizens.
Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office
P.S. I hope you enjoy reading the enclosed Heartland Stories. Because of generous donors like you Argaman was able to revitalize the entrance to their community and bless their Senior Citizens. Thank you for connecting with the pioneering spirit in Argaman and making their dreams become reality. I am asking you to join me this month and help Senior Citizens in Judea and Samaria, live out their final years in comfort, with the assistance and the stimulation they need so much. Thank you for supporting the Seniors of Judea and Samaria.