Newest Letter From Kiryat Bialik

Motzaei Shabat, August 12th 9:30 p.m. – Day 32nd of War

Letter Number 11

Dear friends,

As rabbi I daily ask myself how I can help to my community in these so difficult times. After meditating about it and revising what I’ve already done, I decided to change the way of approaching and treating the families of the community: I formed a team of six people; I wrote a questionnaire and began to communicate with each of the families of the community and new immigrants, phoning them (we talk about a population of 500 families). We also make contact with each of the soldiers that are in the army now and who belong to the community (about 60 soldiers and other 25 youths that enter the army next month). The phone calls have as a purpose to reach all the families and check what the real difficulties are. They use the following questionnaire:

*Personal introduction
*We’d like to know: How are you? / How are you feeling?
Where are you by now?
Do you need anything?
In which way could we help you?
Do you have any relatives in the army?
Do you know about anybody that is undergoing a difficult situation?

*Checking data: telephone, address, cellular phone, if gets information from the Kehila

With this information we try to reach all the immigrant families, and find possible solutions to the problems generated by this situation.

There are two aspects that worry me: the situation today, and on the other hand, the day after the war.

The picture we get today is not at all encouraging. Single-parent immigrant families have very serious economical problems. The day before yesterday I met three of them (the three have a son in the army), the three mothers work cleaning private houses, but the families they work for are not in Bialik thus, they don’t have a job now. As they work cleaning privately, their incomes are not declared, so when the government gives the compensation, they won’t get anything, Thanks to the generosity of our donators I could give them a first but humble help.

I already have in my hands the list of 15 families that have no incomes at all in this moment. We still have to call a 60% of the families and there 60 families that are still being lodged at families’ in the centre or South of the country, (where the expenses are much bigger than what they are usually at home). The issue is complicate and needs are great.

The excursions we have done to Jerusalem have helped people a lot to take a break and leave aside the daily tension and relax themselves a bit. We hope to go on organizing them.

The day after the war: A programme was designed thinking about the situations that would generate after the war. We need to hire a psychologist, a social worker and a coordinator to help with the task which will be intense and large.

What is even more difficult is to sit with the soldiers’ parents and listen to their fears for their children. They understand this is a “survival war”, but how can you content a mother that tells you that it has been three days since she has had news from his son who is in Lebanon? Or another case, whose son is not exactly in Lebanon but he delivers supplies in Tzfat, Carmiel and Kiriat Shmona under the missiles?

It’s true we have the support of the faith that is big and strong now and helps a lot. In many of the interviews it is only left to me to accompany the families, to pray with them, and to cry with them out of worry. What a strength they have, what understanding of the situation!

We are a strange people. For all that, nevertheless, our strength is intact, our moral is straight high. We love life so it is that we are ready to fight for it.

Adon-i oz le amo iten, Adon-i ibarej et amo bashalom. Adon-i will give strength to his people. Adon-i will bless his people with peace.

The spiritual strength we have. G’d’s willing to bless us with peace in the coming days. Bekarov biamenu. Amen.

Baruj Hashem shlomenu tov, and we go on ahead.
Here we are on our land and we have the right to live on it in peace and normality.
Ose Shalom bimromaiv hu iaase shalom aleinu ve al kol Israel ve al Kol ioshbei Tevel, veimru amen.

My regards,
, Shavua tov

Rabbi Mauricio Balter
Kiriat Bialik, Israel

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