HomeActivities of Mishan L'CholehBikur Cholim ("Visiting the Sick")

Bikur Cholim ("Visiting the Sick")

 

Mishan LaCholeh's Bikur Cholim volunteers visit the various wards in Jerusalem hospitals every single day. They bring joy to the patients with their smiles, kind words, and gift and sweets packages. They do not forget the exhausted family members sitting at the patients' side, and bring food and drink to revive them. 

 

Once again, the nurse cannot find a good vein. His shouts shake the entire ward. His mother escapes to the hallway, not even attempting to wipe her streaming tears. "I don't want to stay here anymore!" a six year old girl cries in one of the rooms. "Do you know that I forgot what our house looks like already?!" "Tomorrow we'll be leaving the hospital, right?" another child says, his eyes filled with hopeful innocence. "I even heard the doctors say!" His mother caresses his hand silently. What can she say? That tomorrow he will only be transferred to a different ward, in which he will undergo even more difficult and painful treatments?!



Hospitals. So much pain compressed within those white-washed walls. So much suffering, so many tears, and so much loneliness and helplessness.

 

Every day, Mishan LaCholeh's volunteers visit all the wards, distributing heartwarming gift packages to the patients and their families.

 

Suddenly, into this abyss of sadness, a smiling beam of light enters from the world outside. "Hello," say the Mishan LaCholeh volunteers with smiles on their faces, "how are you doing today? We brought you something nice. Feel good!" The veteran patients can recognize the sound of the cart's wheels by now. They are familiar with the Mishan LaCholeh cart that slowly advances toward their rooms, laden with a delicious supply of goodies and surprises that someone had lovingly packaged today again, just for them. Today, and yesterday, and last week and the next. As long as there is a suffering Jew left in the city – Mishan LaCholeh is there to ease his pain.

 

Every day, Mishan LaCholeh's volunteers visit the various hospitals in Jerusalem. They go to Shaarei Tzedek, to Bikur Cholim, and to Hadassah Ein Karem, and distribute heartwarming gift packages to the patients. They do not shy away from the more difficult places such as ALYN and Herzog, and once in a while they visit these places and bring joy to those who have already forgotten what "joy" means. A new light shines in the dimmed eyes. A happier, more confident light.

 

Something also lights up in the tired eyes of the parents sitting by their child's bed. The Mishan LaCholeh volunteers do not forget them, either. They, who left their homes before they had a chance to grab something for breakfast and are spending hours upon hours in the hospital. They, who run around between the various treatment centers, rush from examination to examination, and bite their nails in stress and worry. Suddenly, someone is here to visit them too; someone who had thought of them and came especially for them, with a cartful of heart-filled goodies. "A breakfast cake, perhaps? Chocolate-filled? Or maybe cinnamon? Would you like some Coke? Orange Juice?" Sometimes, they find they cannot even respond. This display of sincere caring chokes their throats with emotion. It isn't just the cake or the drinks. It is the caring, the warm and concerned words, the encouragement and the hope offered. The hospital walls close in on those inside it in walls of loneliness and pain, and there is nothing like a kind word and a warm, compassionate and truly caring smile to immediately brighten the mood of both the patient and his accompanying family. 

 

Mishan LaCholeh distributes approximately 500 packages daily. That is approximately 150,000 packages per year. These packages are filled with goodies which help ease a number of other sorts of 'packages' – of pain, of difficulty, of loneliness and of anguish – from suffering hearts.