Today, I received a message from one of our devoted readers in Hadera. He forwarded to me a news article about a 9-year-old American boy dying of cancer with only a few weeks to live. Young Jacob Thompson’s last wish was to receive Christmas cards from Israel, the Holy Land.
It was a heart-breaking story and I could not control my tears as I read it. He wanted me to make our readers aware of this hopeless situation and to try to fulfill the wish…the very last wish…of a dying child.
In my reply to him, I reminded him that mail sent from Israel to North America often takes between 10-14 days to arrive and there is no guarantee that Jacob would live long enough to receive the cards sent by Israeli well-wishers.
The man from Hadera acted as only one with a Jewish heart could do. He created a Christmas card and sent it by Fed-Ex which guaranteed a 3 day delivery.
For this mitzvah, God will surely reward him.
He questioned whether it was proper for a Jew to send a Christmas greeting to a non-Jew. He wondered if God would agree.
Yes, I replied to him. God would certainly agree to this wonderful act of human kindness. Christmas is not our holiday but regardless, we acknowledge it as a sacred day for Christians.
Our Torah and rabbinical teachings demand of us that we show kindness to strangers and to remember the non-Jew who lives among us. The concerned reader in Hadera remembered !
How painful it must be for parents knowing that in a matter of days their beautiful nine year old son will die. They need courage and strength to face this horrible ordeal and to survive. There is nothing worse than a parent burying a child. And burying a very young child is beyond our understanding.
One can only pray that God, in His infinite love and mercy, will be kind to the dying Jacob, that he will not suffer, and that God’s kiss, like the final kiss He gave to Moses our Teacher, will help Jacob’s soul to ascend peacefully into the heavens.
Perhaps because I am a pragmatist I do not always believe in miracles. But in the hope that Jacob Thompson in the American state of Maine will survive for a few more weeks, it would be an act of tzedakah, righteousness, to send a card or a message to him by fulfilling his last wish….to receive Christmas greetings from the Holy Land of Israel.
They may be posted to him at:
Jacob Thompson, Maine Medical Center, 22 Bramhall Street, Portland, ME 04102 USA.
God bless the wonderful reader from Hadera for his Jewish heart. May other Jewish hearts respond as he did..
With sincere thanks, (Esor Ben-Sorek)