To My Dear Sons:

Family and community are everything.

All of your other accomplishments in life, save for those that improve the lives of other human beings, will be meaningless at the End of Days.

We have been very fortunate in finding friends and communities that have embraced us, and made us feel like family, for our twenty-some years in the greater Jewish family.  We may not have money to bequeath to you — but we have friends, who love you as their own.  And with that great privilege comes responsibility.  I have been proud that you have always understood that.

Our friends, Stella and Yarden Frankl, need our help.  In case you’ve been busy (with little things like raising your family, going to yeshiva and helping your football team to prepare to win the next game, defending your country’s borders, preparing for a wedding — little things like that) and haven’t kept up with the local news, Stella’s fight with “the big C” is back on.  Yes, I know.  Things were looking really good, not so long ago. Well — they’re going to look good again.  Stella and her family are going in swinging.  And, as part of “Stella’s Army,” we are going to help.

Yarden is planning the ride of his life, in her honor, and to raise money for Shaare Zedek hospital, where Stella is receiving her treatment.  (I wrote about his ride last year, here, with details about what was going on with our dear Stella, and our community.)

Wherever you are, mark your calendar for Friday, November 9, beginning at 2:00 AM Israel time.  As our Scottish friend David Shire bills the event:  “A wee 260 kilometre cycle ride from Mount Hermon to the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and Neve Daniel.”

Yarden assumes his ride will take about 12 hours, as he rides his bike from Israel’s highest point (Mt. Hermon, at 2814 meters above sea level) to Israel’s lowest point (the Dead Sea, at 423 meters below sea level).  To illustrate his family’s “roller coaster ride” through this disease, he won’t stop there: he will continue his ride to Jerusalem, and then to our very elevated village of Neve Daniel.

You (and any of our friends, family, supportive readers) who wish to can click here to Donate (securely) towards Yarden’s Riding for the Dawn in Support of Shaare Zedek (Please note “Yarden” in the comments field of the form).  Anyone donating $10 or more will receive a Stella’s Army bracelet — and I suspect it will become one of your most treasured pieces of jewelry.

May we all celebrate being part of this wonderful Jewish family with Yarden and Stella (Tzuriya Kochevet bat Sara) for many long, happy, healthy years.

To read more about courageous Stella, feisty Yarden, the amazing Jewish community, and this worthy project, please see the links below.

Cancer Roller Coaster and It’s Not about the Bike, It’s about Stella, both in Yarden’s words

Riding for the Dawn 2012: From the Depths

Riding for the Dawn, by David Bogner (the guy who’ll be pacing Yarden, on the shiny red Vespa)

The Dawning of a New Ride, by Romi Sussman

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