Tzvi Szajnbrum
To ease the immigration and absorption process for Olim

This Is Personal

This is rare among the type of articles I have written in the past and I suggest that you read it to the very end if you want to understand.

As many of you are aware, three years ago I had a very serious motorcycle accident in which I almost lost my life. In medical terms, it is referred to as multiple trauma.

During the last three years, that accident has caused me to have a few surgeries, suffer hearing loss in one ear, a damaged eye, and two injured legs, which after physical therapy I now have partial disability in my left leg — but I can still walk, and I am fully functional. Baruch Hashem.

Two months ago, after not feeling well for a while, I started a battery of tests and have recently learned the diagnosis — Lymphoma type 3 (cancer), for which I am starting chemotherapy in a few days.

This is personal, very personal, but might it be relevant to you?

For the past 10 years, I have been active as VOLEH’S CEO and despite all the “drama” in my life I never rejected any request for help. Yes, I was late answering people during my difficult times, but always aware of one very important fact – whoever came to us asking for help and guidance had a special need, a unique problem, and my disability would not stand in the way of helping to solve his/her issues. Therefore, I thought I had to try my best to help these people despite my own issues.

In the last few weeks, I have been involved in a few discussions in different blogs and let me be frank; it is very aggravating to read what some people, who claim they help new immigrants, are doing to discourage these new immigrants instead of cheering them up and being supportive.

Have you ever asked, “Who is that face looking at me in the mirror?” I think we all have had the same question at some point and each one of us may have responded differently. My answer is a very simple one, but I am sure it is a correct answer for all of us. The image, the person in the mirror, is whomever we choose to see there. If you look in the mirror every morning and all you see is a loser, then a loser you will have in front of you for the rest of your life – or until you change your attitude.

I look in the mirror now and all I can see is a winner – and not a whiner, an eternal complainer, or a grouchy person. I don’t see someone asking what I will receive today, I ask what I can give today and tomorrow.

When one decides to live in Israel, leaving everything behind, it must be a decision to look in the mirror and say aloud, “I can do it, and I will do it – it will be fine”.

The problem is that right in the beginning of the aliyah process, too many new immigrants look in that mirror asking: “who will help me today, what can I get from the State of Israel today, what can others do for me tomorrow?”.  This type of approach is the beginning of certain failure in one’s immigration and assimilation process.

In the last few years, some researchers have discovered what brings humans satisfaction. Can you guess – Money? Health? Freedom? No, none of these!

The researchers found that students (the subjects of their research) who performed five acts of kindness for one day experienced a significant increase in the happiness index.

Receiving, demanding, asking for favors, being a crybaby, and similar behaviors, are not included among “acts of kindness”.

The punch line is that very few people really cares that you are miserable, therefore be happy! Only you can make you be satisfied, happy, and filled with joy. The more expectations you have from others, more disappointments will torment you.

Yes, it is personal. I know that I want to be around for many years; therefore, I will ask only one person to overcome whatever is waiting for me, myself. Moreover, friends, believe me, I do let myself down sometimes but that is not going to stop me from continuing to strive to be content with the life that has been gifted to me – I cannot stop counting my blessings.

You can count on me for the next round.

About the Author
Passionate about helping new immigrants, Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law and Notary, founded the Voleh Organization, through which he and a team of volunteers provide “pro-bono” guidance to English speaking new immigrants, helping to ensure their successful integration into Israeli Society. As a former officer in the Israeli army, Tzvi is also able to help lead new immigrants in the right direction regarding the IDF. CEO of The Szajnbrum Group
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