Choref bari! (A healthy winter!)
That's what we say in Israel, acharei haChagim-after the chagim are over.
The hubbub of the High Holidays has just passed, yet we are already looking forward to the winter, waiting, hoping and praying that the rains will come soon and that there will be enough of them this year to replenish the water supply.
We also hope that we can make it through the season with its bitter cold, blustery winds and that rain, in health. After months of intense heat, I think it's safe to say that most people look forward to Israel's winter and low temperatures. Bundling up in heavy coats, colorful scarves and warm boots, drinking hot beverages and eating hearty soups are all part of the winter experience.
But I say "most" people because there are those who don't enjoy winter at all. It's not because it just happens to be their least favorite season of the four. It's because some of the same elements that make so many people happy-the cold, the rain-make so many others miserable.
Poor families living in unheated homes-frigid homes-feel the misery of winter. Parents who can't provide coats or boots for their children, and their children, too of course, feel the misery of winter. It is a season of suffering and pain and wishing for it to end.
That's why right acharei haChagim Yad Eliezer starts its Winter Warmth campaign. Knowing that the weather will soon change, making life extremely difficult for the thousands of Israelis living in poverty, we try to help make the season more bearable-more livable. We try to make lives as normal as possible.
A new winter coat makes a huge difference in the life of a child-he/she will be protected from the elements, but will also feel just like all the other kids. Warm blankets make going to bed at night something to look forward to, not something to dread. A heater that keeps temperatures in the home pleasant, changes the environment from one of suffering to one of comfort. And keeping people outfitted for the cold weather, keeping them warm, can help keep them healthy. Which we hope, will lead to a choref bari.