Wednesday, September 07, 2022

All They Want is to Live Out Their Final Years with Dignity


That morning, I was sitting there by my window, just gazing outside.

Just like I’d sat the day before, and the day before and the day before that.

Just like I’ve done every day now for years.

Gazing outside into a bright, sunny world.

A world abounding with light and joy and life.

I see children playing, running, laughing. 

I watch mothers pushing baby strollers, fathers hurrying off to work.

Everyone is going about their busy, happy lives.

And only I am alone.

I’ve been alone for so long already. From morning to night, I’m my own company.

No one calls, no one ever visits.

I chose to immigrate to Israel after the War, because I remained alone.

My family’s souls had ascended in the fires of Auschwitz. My town had been razed to the earth.


I came here determined to rebuild, to start life anew.

Little did I dream that I’d be alone here in Israel too.

My husband passed away many years ago, and we were never blessed with children.

The tortures I endured during those cursed years robbed me of my capacity to bear a child.

Long ago, I made peace with the fact that I would end my life like this.

Alone. Lonely. 

Childless. Anonymous. 

By now, I also know that my end is no longer so far off, and I’m at peace with that too.

Perhaps, my suffering and loneliness will finally reach their blessed end. 

But that morning, something in my life changed.

There was a knock at the door.

My heart leaped in time to the knock. 

I struggled to my feet, even as I knew that whoever was at the door had come my mistake,

And that he’d soon be gone.

Another person in and out of my life, fleeting as the wind.

Because no one ever visits.

But I was wrong.

Wrong about the visitor, and wrong about their mistake.

And it wasn’t just one person; it was two.

Two beautiful young ladies from Beit Chabad La’Noar.

Two smiling young women who exuded joy, effervescence, warmth and compassion.

One of them asked me, “Are you Mrs. Rosen? Can we come in?”

I invited them inside, and was surprised by the delicious smell of fresh food that entered together with them.

I haven’t smelled such delicious food in years.

I have no one to cook for, so I eat mostly canned goods, and an occasional meal that the neighbor kindly sends.


But these two young women—two angels—smiled at me and promised me:

“Mrs. Rosen, you’re not alone anymore.

“From now on, we’ll come visit. We’ll bring you food and anything you need.” 

They asked me if I’m missing anything. Is there anything I need?

Am I missing anything? Is there something I need?

There is so much missing in my life that I didn’t know where to start.

I’m missing friends and company. I’m missing someone to help me go shopping. I’m missing someone to take me to the doctor.


Tears rose to my eyes, but these beautiful young women comforted me and promised me that, from now on, things would be different.

I smiled, and realized that it was the first time I’d smiled in years.

The next few months were the happiest ones I’ve known in years. 

Every day, I wait eagerly for the weekly visit from “my Beit Chabad LaNoar” girls.

Instead of praying to reunite with my husband in heaven, I’ve begun praying again to live to see another day, just so I can enjoy their company...

The above is an excerpt from a letter sent by the elderly Mrs. Rosen to Beit Chabad LaNoar, a letter expressing her joy, gratitude and renewed will to live…

Yet what poor Mrs. Rosen and dozens of other elderly and lonely senior citizens are unaware of is that the joy, relief and highlight of their latter years is on the verge of collapse…

All the gifts and generosity that they’ve enjoyed throughout the past months might end suddenly due to lack of funding.

Until today, Beit Chabad LaNoar, which supports and gives strength to hundreds of senior citizens and Holocaust survivors in Israel, has been funded privately by private donors. We’re inundated with calls from senior citizens and their acquaintances who are aware of their needs, and we can’t bear to turn a single one away. Yet as our activities continually expand, our coffers empty and the deficit balloons…

Still, we can’t bring ourselves to halt our sacred activities! We must continue supporting and assisting our seniors!

We’ve reached the point that we’ve borrowed more than we can repay, and we can’t continue funding our monthly activities. Without an urgent influx of funds to cover our debts and regular donations to finance our daily, weekly and monthly activities, Beit Chabad LaNoar will be forced to close its doors…

You have the power to change all that!

With your gift, you can help cover the costs of food, medication, clothing and heating for elderly Jews in Israel.

These remarkable men and women are abounding with so much wisdom. They each have a unique story to share. And they all have one wish:

To live out the rest of their lives with dignity, peace of mind and happiness.

Join us in giving them this gift of life and happiness, and may you always be among the givers!

Please click here to Donate

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