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Help For Orphans in Israel

“Give Us Half”

by Braha Bender

0 Comments | Sunday, September 05, 2010 under Food Boxes

It was only months from Mrs. Cohen’s* diagnosis until cancer triumphed over her weary body. The fierce battle was lost, and with it every shekel of Doron Cohen’s* meager resources. The children had lost their mother. Doron had lost his wife and his simcha. But one thing was not lost: the Cohen family’s compassion.

Two weeks ago, Yad Eliezer’s social services director knocked on the Cohen’s door to distribute vouchers for school supplies. The family, struggling back to its feet after a shiva that ended only about a month before, could barely afford basic food staples, let alone the pencils, notebooks, and other supplies that the children needed in order to begin the new school year.

“Thank you,” said Doron, opening the door wide. The children were delighted that they would be able to join their friends in a trip to a local store where colorful, shiny supplies sat waiting to be bought, brought home, and happily unwrapped in anticipation of a successful new school year.

“But wait,” said Doron suddenly. “Isn’t the Yad Eliezer budget limited?”

“Well, of course it is,” replied Milka confusedly.

“Doesn’t that mean that there are some children who need these vouchers and won’t be able to receive them because you simply don’t have enough?,” he continued persistently.

“Yes, that’s true, but “

“Well, in that case, we’ll share,” Doron smiled. The kids looked up with some confusion, but seeing the big smile spread across their father’s face, they began to smile, too.

“Really, it’s just fine,” Doron assured Milka, showing her to the door. “We’ll take half the vouchers you want to give us, and the other half can be given to another family that also need school supplies. That will mean that more children will be able to have what they need.”

Milka left the Cohen’s house shaking her head with amazement. To go through such loss and still be compassionate enough to think about the needs of other people? To insist that they will make do with less so that others can have as well?

Sometimes we who have plenty have a lot to learn from people like the Cohen family. Shana Tova.

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