Wendy Kalman
There are many ways to see and understand

Helping others

When someone brings you soup, you're already on the mend (photo by MaxStraeten courtesy of morguefile.com)

Last week, I came down with a humdinger of a cold. For a few days, I was so wiped out, I was taking a nap in the morning and another in the afternoon. It’s since moved from its first sore throat and tired phase to the next one, a non-stop runny nose. Given fears of Coronavirus, I’m not looking forward to phase three, the cough.

Lucky for me, I work from home most of the time. So I don’t have to make anyone nervous. And can keep my germs to myself.

Yes, I’ve been taking zinc to shorten the lifespan and yes, I’ve been taking other over the counter stuff. And thankfully, we have a supply of tissues on hand. But the best part of suffering from a cold is knowing that I’m not home alone having to take care of myself. I’ve been washing hands religiously and wiping down surfaces, so my husband’s stayed healthy and as my provider of bowls and bowls of soup and toast, I am forever indebted.

But this is not the first time I am thanking him publicly. Last summer, I wrote about my rotator cuff surgery. Coming home from that was no easy task. Six weeks in a special sling, needing to ice for days on end, limitation of movement (I still go for physical therapy once a week), and my husband helped me through all of it. I am beyond grateful, especially when I remember what it was like when I was a single parent and got sick.

Then, as now, I can’t help but think of those who live alone, especially older folks who may feel more challenged navigating everyday life to begin with. This also makes me think of matanot l’evyonim, one of Purim’s four mitzvot give to the needy. Not everyone has someone who can help.

Locally, I belong to a few Facebook groups which are dedicated to helping individuals. Moderated by good souls doing all the legwork, they are wonderful ways to make an immediate impact.

I’ve also found a few charitable organizations that have dedicated programs for matanot l’evyonim, in case you want to help mark this holiday with a mitzvah. If it’s too late to give to these specific programs for this year, I am sure they’d welcome aid in other ways.

No matter what you do or where you do it, even in this time of Coronavirus and fear or contagion, there are always ways to help others. Feel free to list your favorite ways in the comments.

About the Author
Wendy Kalman, MPA, MA, serves as Director of Education and Advocacy Resources for Hadassah The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. Previous roles include senior academic researcher for an Israel education nonprofit, knowledge manager at a large multinational as well as roles in marketing and publishing in the US and in Israel. She has presented papers at political science and communications conferences and has participated as a scholar-in-residence at an academic workshop on antisemitism. Wendy lived in Israel for over a decade and is a dual citizen, fluent in Hebrew.
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