Nothing brings to mind the concept of renewal quite so much as trees. We are witness to their yearly cycle, from death to bloom. For those who are fighting serious illnesses, this act of nature is inspirational. It illustrates the return to health as the primary inclination of living things. It gives hope.
Last week Israel buried a good man. Ron Nachman was the dedicated mayor of the city of Ariel as well as one of its founders. He lost a long, rather public battle against bladder cancer, and prior to his death he spoke about the comfort he found in a nearby hothouse full of plants.
“This hothouse is always blossoming and renewing. It gives you hope for life, for the battle you are waging,”
The Lemonade Fund was founded to keep hope alive in a segment of the Israeli population that is especially weak. Impoverished Israelis, newly diagnosed with breast cancer, are eligible for one-time grants to assist them with the ancillary costs of being ill.
Having a serious illness is expensive. In 6 months a health crises can force a family into bankruptcy or homelessness. Our grants help all citizens of Israel, Jew, Arab and Christian, of any age or nationality, to pay their rent, bills, childcare, travel costs, etc. By quickly and compassionately delivering direct financial assistance, the Lemonade Fund, can ease some of the financial burdens that accompany breast cancer so that patients can concentrate on the more important challenge of getting well.
Coincidentally, the Torah portion that will be read in synagogues tomorrow, Tu B’Shvat, is Parshat B’shalach, and it alludes to the restorative power of trees. As the children of Israel are suddenly terrified by a lack of drinking water in the wilderness, God shows Moses a tree. Moses throws the tree into the water and miraculously, the brackish water turns sweet. God uses the tree, as an appropriate symbol of rejuvenation, to introduce his role as healer
May God be a healer to all those who are sick, and bless his people Israel, and our land, for a sweet, healthy, peaceful New Year of the Trees.
Chag Ilanot Sameach, Shari
IBCERF (Lemonade Fund):
1. To volunteer or if you know someone who needs to apply for assistance: Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. To donate: (To ensure proper credit, please note on the internet or via regular mail, that your donation is for the IBCERF.) Many thanks to those of you who have already donated.
Tax Exempt Donations in Israel: Mail checks to ESRA, POB 3132, Herzliya 46104 or telephone the office and make your donation by credit card (09-950-8371).
Tax Exempt Donations from the U.S.A.: Donations can be made through the PEF Israel Endowment Fund, 317 Madison Ave., Room 607, New York, N.Y.10017, Tel: (212) 599-1260. Checks should be made payable to “P.E.F. Israel Endowment Funds.” Designate check to IBCERF.
Tax Exempt donation from the United Kingdom: Donations can be made through the New Israel Fund, 26 Enford Str., LondonW1H 2DD, England, Tel: 44-20-7724-2266, Fax: 44-20-7724-2299. Checks should be made payable to “New Israel Fund.” Designate check to IBCERF.