When we hear each other’s cries, God hears us too

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The number of those who have died from the pandemic in Israel has passed 4,000 souls. What can we little people do in the face of such a reality? Here are some thoughts on the subject from Tamar Vizer of Tel Aviv:

“Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I know, it was difficult for everyone. But somehow when things are bad for you, the difficulties of others don’t matter. It’s difficult and painful for you and that’s it. In the midst of the usual chaos with my kids zooming and nerves fraying, I received a message from a friend: ‘My sister and her family are sick in Tel Aviv. Do you know of a good catering service?’ I immediately jumped into action; this was my salvation. I immediately enlisted my kids’ help. We went to the supermarket and, when we came home, started to chop vegetables and boil water to cook rice.

In the Torah portion we just read on Shabbat, G-d says to Moshe Rabbeinu: ‘And I, too, heard the groans of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians are holding in bondage, and I remembered My covenant.’ Wait a second: what’s the ‘I, too’? At the moment when we cooked and baked, I understood. Those who heard the groans first were the Children of Israel themselves. They heard each other’s painful cries and then God also heard them. Miriam stood beside the Nile River fretful about what would happen to her brother Moshe, the midwives saved the Jewish baby boys — and these are just two small examples from those too numerous to count both in those days and today during the pandemic. When we hear each other’s cries for help, God hears and remembers us too.

Our only path to redemption is to be worthy of redemption. To listen and to help. At the end of the day, I thanked my friend that she took me out of myself, that she reminded me of what I am supposed to do during these difficult days, how a shared mitzvah brought my children and me together.

May we be privileged to do kindness, that we should be worthy – so that Hashem will hear our cries, save us, and bring the final redemption.”

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