A moment of excitement to a sick child would now convey an eternal legacy of selflessness, contentment, and love
Chai Lifeline Canada, an organization dedicated to providing essential support to families with kids or parents facing life-threatening illnesses, offers patients the chance to choose an extraordinary item on their wish list, called a “Wow Gift,” designed to bring joy and comfort to those dealing with life-altering diagnoses.
In the bustling city of Montreal, a courageous 12-year-old girl named Miriam was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness two summers ago. Along with the doctors and nurses who became a regular part of Miriam’s life, she got to know Chai Lifeline’s caring staff, who offered Miriam the opportunity to choose a Wow Gift.
Yet every time her case manager broached the subject, Miriam, who displayed immense humility and gratitude throughout her illness, demurred. “I really don’t know,” or “I have everything I need,” she would insist. Despite her ordeal, she was content with the simple pleasures of life, displaying a courage and maturity beyond her years.
One year ago this Thursday, Miriam tragically succumbed to her illness. After her passing, her grieving mother shared a text message written by Miriam just before the onset of Chanukah — a testament to her profound gratitude, insight, and giving spirit.
“Mom, for my Wow! Gift, I want to get an iPad for Emma, but don’t tell Emma yet. Before you say no, it’s okay because I have another gift. I can’t remember what the program’s called, but I do. She only has a tablet, and Chanukah is coming up, and she really is such a nice sister. Plus, I don’t need anything.
Emma, Miriam’s bereaved sister, would receive the iPad, courtesy of Chai Lifeline, and a gift that was originally intended to provide a moment of excitement to a sick child would now convey an eternal legacy of selflessness, contentment, and love.
Happening in Mir, Yerushalayim
AN annual highlight for alumni of the Mir is the weeklong Yarchei Kallah, when talmidim head back to the yeshivah, taking their seats once again in their beloved batei medrashim. A building or two may have gotten a facelift, and a new generation of bochurim occupies the seats within the hallowed walls. But when the Gemaras are opened, the external differences fade, and participants once again plow through a sugya, sitting in the very same places they did years ago — and for some, decades ago. This year, the ravages of war had brought Israeli tourism to a virtual halt — but the Yarchei Kallah went on as usual. Here, hundreds of talmidim converge in Beis Yisrael for a week of uninterrupted learning.
These photos capture the spirit sweeping through our magnificent nation. As Jews from Brooklyn cry for their brothers in Eretz Yisrael and innocent third-graders reach deep into their pockets to give what they can, the ahavas Yisrael we’ve been awaiting for 2,000 years has become a beautiful reality.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 988)
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