Editor’s note: The following letter from Lesley Lipsitz was sent to us for publication by Elchanan Dulitz, who reported that the funding required by the family for Josh Lipsitz’s out-of-pocket medical care was received.
Regarding “Lipsitz Family Seeks Urgent Assistance” (June 8, 2017), I could not possibly express how it is to feel the love and support coming from all over the globe—from dear old friends, neighbors, acquaintances, colleagues and “strangers.” I put that in quotes because I have come to believe that none of us are really strangers. We all play Jewish geography when we meet someone new, and more often than not it only takes a few tries to find people we know in common.
This nation of ours, the Jewish people, were chosen by God to be a light unto the other nations. And when need calls from within our (far and widely) extended family, we rise to this Godly mission. מי כעמך ישראל. There is no other community like ours. We are a nation of connected people even if they have never met face to face.
It is difficult to be on the receiving end, but I have learned to graciously accept and “allow” everyone to take part in these most important mitzvot of tefillah, tzedakah and literally saving a life. It takes a village, indeed.
כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה: a seemingly banal phrase I learned in elementary school, which has such a personal and powerful meaning now. It is literally putting your money forward as a guarantee (ערבון) to help a brother in dire straits.
What a lesson this has been to me and to my children. It has opened my eyes to the generosity of people, and has changed my approach to giving, as well. My kids have seen that although it is our own personal crisis, we are part of a bigger community, and it will encourage them to give back for others. It is also a beautiful tribute to their father (may he have a refuah shleima and continue to be a role model for them until 120). Josh has touched so many people, has been important to so many and is loved by so many. Furthermore, Josh has always been generous and charitable; “what goes around, comes around” is not something we always see as clearly as we have been privileged to witness here.
Josh is continuing with many different treatments to attempt to attack this vicious cancer from every possible angle. Our lives have become a struggle and challenge, but we remain optimistic. And one thing we do not have to worry about now is a financial burden from all of the expensive medications and treatments Josh needs.
We feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such generous and caring people. This is not the way I would have wanted to find out how wonderful you all are, but it is heartwarming and encouraging. Each of you gives us strength, and your constant tefillot and good wishes boost our spirits and keep us hopeful for positive outcomes.
We are grateful we decided to follow our lifelong dream and make aliyah, but while living in Teaneck, we saw that the Bergen County kehilla is Torah Judaism at its best.
Again, may we all merit to hear the answers to our prayers and besorot tovot for Yehoshua Dan ben Naomi and all cholei Yisrael. Amen.