All of Israel are guarantors for each other
Years ago she left the village with her children. She came to our emergency apartment. I remember her sweet kids. They didn’t even speak Hebrew at that time. Slowly but surely, they started learning the language and integrating into society. Slowly but surely, she got rehabilitated, until she went on to independent living and moved into an apartment of her own. The kids grew up as Jews; they barely remember what once was, and we were left a sort of distant family.
Her family is not in touch with her. They don’t forgive her for what she did when she was a girl. Even when she left the village, they didn’t want to speak to her. They don’t trust her, they claimed. “She made her bed, let her lie in it. We don’t forgive her or pardon her” – that’s what a relative told me.
“I’m all alone in the world, I have no family. I only have you”, she says. We, who were there years ago and helped her, are still with her even ten years later. We are there for her, for good and bad. And truly, there were several years that she managed to cope and build her life.
Lately, she has not managed to cope from a financial point of view, and the distress at home is great. She cannot support her children, and they live in great poverty, and she shouts out for help. “Anat, help me. I have nothing to eat, I don’t know how to get organized with a school for the children. I’m helpless. What do I do?” It hurts to see how the distress moves from generation to generation. How is it that families in Israel live in abject poverty, and have no recourse…
To my sorrow, we have lately been getting a lot of calls from families collapsing under the burden, who can’t even manage to supply their children even with basic needs. While most of us are thinking about how to spend the vacation – there are people fearful for what tomorrow will bring. There is almost no food, and every penny has to be accounted for. We’ve become an address for them, and there’s no way to help all of them. We have tried helping as much as we can, and I found another chesed organization in the area she lives in that will help her; who can sleep in peace when he/she knows she’s got a hungry Jewish child… And I hope that, just as she succeeded in coping with her difficulties in the past, she will get through the crisis this time, too, thanks to faith, her mental resilience – and the mutual responsibility that Am Israel feel for each other.