Sep 7, 2010

Ruth: Horim She'li

A Guest Post by Tamar and Ira Weissman
(Feel Free to pass this on, to link to it, to copy it to your own blog or website)

A move to a new house in a new city involves so much tachlis – logistics of buses, boxes, beauracracy, and babysitters. I was on the prowl for the latter as I coasted through our neighborhood of Mitzpe Nevo. Stopping the car next to a group of girls chatting on the corner, I rolled down the window and asked if any of them would accommodate. Immediately Ruth offered, and she showed up at our door on Tuesday evening, August 31, at 6:15 PM.

We came home two hours later from parent orientation at the school to a house full of laughing kids, a living room of life, just as I like it. I asked Rut what grade she was in – she offered proudly that she was in her second year here as a bat sherut, doing extended national service, offering her steady and patient nature to her young charges at the kindergartens and schools in the neighborhood.

Where are you from, Ruth? Bet Hagai, she tells me, and that’s just south of Hebron, she adds automatically. Not many people have heard of her yishuv. Miraculously, she agrees to babysit if we call on her again, and she leaves at 8:15 PM.

9:45 PM: My nightly ritual of checking the news was delayed somewhat, as I agonized over the wording of a letter of comfort for a bereaved mother who had lost her teenage son, a beloved student of mine. I’m drained and exhausted. The news reports a pigua, a terrorist attack; 4 shot dead, all from Bet Hagai, at 7:30 PM.

I go upstairs to tell Ira, and I say, somewhat irrationally, that we should call Ruth. I don’t know anyone else from Bet Hagai, and she was in our house at the time of the attack, but I still think we should call her.

Ruth? I say. It’s Tamar, from tonight.

Ruth? (She’s in a car; I can tell from the background noise). I heard about a pigua, and that it was Bet Hagai, and I didn’t know if you knew. I (faltering)…can we do anything? Do you know who was…

Horim Sheli, she says, her voice very small, far away. My parents.

Oh my G-d, said Ira when he saw my face.

I pace, and then just cave in to sitting in shock. We clearly understand that G-d has a purpose for us here. We decided then that one of us would attend the funeral the following day and perhaps gain some clarity then.

Ruth, I keep thinking, ka’asher telchi, elech -- where you go, I shall go.

Wednesday, September 1st is a day I will never forget. Never in my life have I been so close to such much pain. Indescribable pain. The wailing of the six orphaned children following behind the lifeless bodies of their mother and father was a sound so horrific, I began to weep. Everyone did.

It was as if the waves carrying the sounds of their wailing were like knives, cutting into our hearts. There was nothing to do on that day but weep.

The levaya was impossibly difficult. Three families, four dead, one nation torn between the cemeteries of Ashdod, Petach Tikva and Har HaZeitim. We were with Ruth today, so I followed her as she buried her Abba and Ema. All of the blasts of the shofar, meant to wake us to din, were heard that day in the sobbing of Ruth, her brothers and sisters. They are steeped in the harshest din of all.


Ruth at Her Parents' Funeral

Learn to do the right thing: seek justice, relieve the oppressed, render justice to the orphaned and fight for the widow. -- Isaiah 1:17

Ruth – amech ami. Your people is my people. You who have done so much chessed for others will now be embraced by the kindess of your nation.

Let’s campaign together to rally EVERY SINGLE JEWISH FAMILY to give tzedakah to the Ames family. Let us honor the legacy of Yitzchak and Tali and the values of modesty and dignity they instilled in their home. Let us take the responsibility to ensure that these beautiful children will always be materially secure.

Please, let every one of us give to the Ames children during the Yamim Norai’im, and may “He who carries out the judgment of the orphan” seal us all in the Book of Life.

With profound respect and love for Am Yisrael,

Tamar and Ira Weissman

------

UPDATE: Regarding the donations to the family, the Almagor organization has published that there is no need for donations as the victims families are supported thoroughly by Bituach Leumi and Almagor. Those who asked for donations were not aware of the scope of the assistance provided and now that they are have retracted their calls for financial assistance.

Tizku L'Mitzvos.

-----

Further Update

Ira checked with the One Family Fund and this is the updated information from Yehuda Poch, director of OFF.. comments after the info

"That piece is probably the most moving I have read about the situation. I would like permission to cross post it on our own website.

In terms of Almagor's comments, they are completely true. We are well aware of the situation regarding the financial support this family will receive.
Each of the kids will receive a monthly grant until the age of 37. They will each likely receive something close to NIS 200,000 for their weddings. They will receive funds to purchase a bullet-proof car once every five years for as long as they live in Yehuda Veshomron, and perhaps even if they move out. They will get more than most people are aware of. And for the younger kids (under age 18), their guardian will receive the funds on their behalf.

But that will all start in 4-6 months from now. The calls for financial support are meant to help the family NOW – with food for the chagim, money to cover immediate transportation costs, money to repair their home, other every day needs that they aren't even thinking about yet, etc.

On Sunday night (last week) our case worker got a phone call at 11:30 at night that the family's fridge had completely broken down – during shiva, with lots of food in it donated by people from the community. We had a fridge delivered the next morning – but someone had to pay for it.

These are the immediate needs.

In addition, these children will require emotional assistance far beyond what Bituach Leumi will provide through their psychologists. They will need to be part of a group with other people who have lost both their parents in terrorist attacks (there are about 35 such people) and to gain a tremendous amount of emotional and moral support from them. OneFamily is already providing that support. A group of such orphans went to the shiva house last week to "welcome" them to our family. But the programs we provide for them cost money too. That is also money used to benefit this family.

These needs are not being covered by a bureaucracy that has not kicked into action yet.

To explain: there are two funds involved - the friends who started a fund, and One Family Fund. The Almagor Press Release about the fund being unnecessary was refrring to the friends fund. That has been canceled. the OFF is for immediate needs and is necessary and acception donations.

To make your donation, go to: https://secure.onefamilyfund.org?RID=JYEUY

2 comments:

  1. Rafi: A followup might be worthwhile:

    http://rotter.net/forum/scoops1/25985.shtml

    Shana Tova.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rafi: I followed up with Yehuda Poch, director of communications of the One Family Fund. In light of his response, I would request that you place the link back on the article. Here are his words quoted:

    "That piece is probably the most moving I have read about the situation. I would like permission to cross post it on our own website.

    In terms of Almagor's comments, they are completely true. We are well aware of the situation regarding the financial support this family will receive.
    Each of the kids will receive a monthly grant until the age of 37. They will each likely receive something close to NIS 200,000 for their weddings. They will receive funds to purchase a bullet-proof car once every five years for as long as they live in Yehuda Veshomron, and perhaps even if they move out. They will get more than most people are aware of. And for the younger kids (under age 18), their guardian will receive the funds on their behalf.

    But that will all start in 4-6 months from now. The calls for financial support are meant to help the family NOW – with food for the chagim, money to cover immediate transportation costs, money to repair their home, other every day needs that they aren't even thinking about yet, etc.

    On Sunday night (last week) our case worker got a phone call at 11:30 at night that the family's fridge had completely broken down – during shiva, with lots of food in it donated by people from the community. We had a fridge delivered the next morning – but someone had to pay for it.

    These are the immediate needs.

    In addition, these children will require emotional assistance far beyond what Bituach Leumi will provide through their psychologists. They will need to be part of a group with other people who have lost both their parents in terrorist attacks (there are about 35 such people) and to gain a tremendous amount of emotional and moral support from them. OneFamily is already providing that support. A group of such orphans went to the shiva house last week to "welcome" them to our family. But the programs we provide for them cost money too. That is also money used to benefit this family.

    These needs are not being covered by a bureaucracy that has not kicked into action yet.

    As such, I would request either that you remove the Almagor bit at the end of your page, or that you put my paragraphs (or a paraphrase of them) following it to explain that there are still needs."

    ReplyDelete

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