Some of the obligations for Purim (besides getting drunk or listening to the megilla reading) is to give charity to the poor, and food baskets to friends. Some people in Tel Aviv even have a tradition to go to hospitals and raise the spirits of those less fortunate; and while this is all very nice, it made me wonder about the day AFTER Purim. Does anyone still think about the needy? A rabbi once joked that since there was no concluding havdala service, perhaps it never ends.
Over Purim I met many great people who enjoy doing acts of kinds for others. One woman in particular stood out in my mind as a person who really understands that people need a little help a lot of the time, not just for one day. I sat down with Noa Cacharel, a volunteer for a non-profit organisation called Nefesh Ruach Neshema, to hear more about about how people could increase their inner peace by helping out others.
What attracted you to the non-profit organization “Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama”?
I was inspired by the fact that “Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama” is operated by volunteers who dedicate their time, energy and talents to help others without expecting anything in return. The donations we raise reach those who need it the most. “Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama” was established approximately 15 years ago. It is a registered non-profit organization and tax deductible according to Israeli laws. So everything is transparent, and this is very important for me: the donators and the volunteers know where their efforts and resources are going to.
What is the mission of “Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama”?
Our mission is help as many people as possible in varied ways and follow v’ahavtá l’re’akhá kamókha and to strengthen unity in Israel. We feed underprivileged families on a weekly basis and also before the Jewish holidays of Passover and Rosh Hashana. We go to hospitals, elderly people homes, Holocaust survivors, women’s shelters and schools struggling to help children-at-risk against all odds. We make 1,000 kids and teenagers happy all over Israel throughout many activities in Purim and Hanukah. After Passover we will hold a special celebration for 100 boys who haven’t been circumstanced yet. We will give each boy Tefillin and Tallit. In addition, we renovate homes of poor people living in horrifying conditions. We work with the social and welfare services to reach families in very challenging circumstances. We rely on donors and volunteers to fulfill our mission and noteworthy activities.
Have you ever met any of the families that you’ve helped? What was that like?
Yes, I’m met varied families who really thanked us with tears of happiness in their eyes. It really felt good to help others. Once I was in charge of the weekly food delivery and unfortunately I’ve forgotten to bring eggs to two families before Shabbat. They have called our manager in distress and told him that they don’t have eggs! For Shabbat! They couldn’t even afford to buy eggs! I felt so ashamed and guilty! But on the up-side it made me appreciate more the abundance I have in my life which I sometimes take for granted.
How can people become involved?
People can donate through all the payment methods. All the details are on “Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama” website http://www.naran.org.il/about-us and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Amuta.Nrn/?ref=br_rs . People are welcomed email and call: firstname.lastname@example.org +972-52-3-603-660.
People can volunteer and deliver food baskets on a weekly or monthly basis, come with us to the hospitals, rehabilitation centers and homes we visit. I sincerely believe that every volunteer can make a difference. Every person can use means in his or her deposal to help other in need.
I’m in! What’s next, Noa?
You are warmly welcomed to join our special donation event in Habima National Theatre in Tel Aviv on March 20th. All the revenues are dedicated to buying food baskets for underprivileged families for Passover. You can also help us pack the food baskets on April 4th & 5th, and deliver it to families all over Israel on April 6th. You can also help us renovate a decaying and crumbling house and transform it to a warm home! Many good activities are planned ahead, thank God; we sincerely hope to grow with the help of more volunteers and donators. You are warmly welcomed to join us and help people happy – starting today!
Link to the food baskets video:
Link to the renovation of the home of an elderly person video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=Flg5YRQhfmk
Link to food baskets and Activities in Hospitals video: