At Lev LaLev, we’re surrounded by miracles that stretch from our office here in Monsey, New York, all the way across the Atlantic and onto the shores of Netanya, where our Children’s Home nurtures our girls.
Astute readers of this blog will recall an entry from almost one year ago when I shared my own Lev LaLev miracle. Out of the blue, one of our good friends and supporters from Washington State sent battery-operated scented candles – with batteries! I love such candles, truly, so it was a perfect gift for me.
And then the miracle occurred.
Just days after I opened this wonderful package, a freak October snowstorm plummeted my neighborhood into an almost week-long power outage. Once more, my life was lit up by this kind gesture of friendship.
Last Sunday, as Hurricane Sandy loomed off our Eastern Seaboard, and we tuned in to forecasts for the ‘worst storm ever’, I gathered those treasured candles – another opportunity to consider our dear friend in Washington State.
In further preparation for the storm, we arranged flashlights, batteries and stocked up on comfort foods (of course). We secured our outside belongings to ensure they would not be projectiles in the impending winds. We filled the cars with gas and retrieved cash from the ATM. In reaction to the feeling of control that was slipping away with each weather forecast, I went into an organizing frenzy – laundry, kitchen, bedrooms, everything.
Our children were eager to help, especially considering that we were heading into days off from school. Life would soon stand still. Were we ready? In the middle of everything, I decided that I had put off my 8 year old’s haircut long enough. It simply could not wait anymore. He didn’t want one at first, but then I told him,
“Look. When the world ends and we survive and the news teams come from New York City and interview us to find out about all the miracles that happened, you are NOT going to want to be on TV looking like you need a haircut.”
To which he replied,
“But if the world ends, who’s going to come?”
Good point. But a part of him agreed because soon we were heading to the barber.
For the moment, I’d like to digress to San Francisco’s 1989 earthquake which my husband and I experienced while sitting in a car at a traffic light. The car bounced up and down for seconds then life went on – without electricity. In those moments, we had no idea of the utter devastation and loss of human life that had just occurred.
When the first phase of the storm hit last Sunday afternoon and the power went out, I felt a different sensation. Outside, the world thundered as if our house was a cruising Maid of the Mist under Niagara Falls. The wind found the smallest gaps in our home and, even in our basement level, we felt the structure stand up to its impact. And Hurricane Sandy wasn’t even on shore.
Unlike the earthquake that came and went, the monster storm hovered in the ocean and then inland. That evening I lay awake, not only anxious for our safety but knowing full well that other areas were being devastated and lives were being destroyed forever. I don’t think I slept well for a good few nights, considering others without power, without their loved ones or without their lives.
Today, one week after Sandy’s impact, our power has been restored, school is re-opened, but life here in Monsey is not progressing as usual. Not in full knowledge that some of our most beloved communities have been wiped off the map forever.
Our thoughts and hearts are with those survivors of Sandy who must rebuild their lives from scratch. At this time, when the devastating wounds from Hurricane Sandy are still fresh, it doesn’t seem to be enough of a reaction to tell someone an inspiring story or to simply have faith. At this time, each one of us who emerged from Sandy relatively unscathed must let the survivors know we are in touch with their pain and find ways to contribute to their plight, whether monetarily or with goods and services. Right now, they are in need of so much.
Watch famed singer Mordechai Ben David tour the devastation of Hurricane Sandy:
Our donor base consists of some of the most generous individuals on the planet who are committed to healing the chaos which our vulnerable girls experienced before entering the nurturing environment of the Home. We are certain that providing them with basic care, even toothbrushes and the simplest necessities, will send the divine message that their survival is a priority in the heavens.
It is my hope that, when the survivors of Sandy who lost everything receive similar caring in the form of clothing and warm meals, they will feel comfort in this same message as well.
You are in our prayers.
Director of Development