For some tasks, financial compensation can never suffice. Verbal expressions of gratitude fall far short. Indeed, the recompense from mere mortals will never be sufficient. Only the Melech Malchei Hamelachim can repay the ones who perform these difficult missions in the most trying of times.
In the past few weeks, we have witnessed angels garbed as humans undertaking the most incredible endeavors imaginable. Night flows into day which flows back into night, as these heroes continue in the constant battle to save and improve the lives of those stricken by COVID-19 and its impact. They perform without hesitation, leaping into the flames of the struggle while ignoring the clear and present danger that it poses for their own safety. Yet it is all done behind the scenes, without fanfare, and with no expectations for accolades. The only reward they seek is the success of their mission.
The sounds of wailing sirens permeate the air as the cars and ambulances of Hatzolah converge on a patient in distress. In all neighborhoods, fatigued members of Hatzolah spring into action countless times, evaluating, consulting and often transporting patients to hospitals. Then, in their typical selfless manner, they follow up to report back to the families of those confined in the hospital about the condition of their loved ones. And when they return home, or sometimes even before they do, their next call will be answered with the same mesiras nefesh as the previous one.
Unfortunately, the virus has taken too many of our dear brothers and sisters, overwhelming the limited facilities of the community to deliver proper kavod acharon to the those who fell victim to this plague. Yet despite the trying circumstances, the dedicated members of the chevrah kadishah don their depleted supplies of PPE, and not only manage to perform the difficult task of carrying out the taharos of the niftarim, but at times even opening the graves when recalcitrant union workers would not.
Another group of valiant public servants are the organizations which tend to the special needs children and adults of our community. In less vexing times, they regularly go beyond the call of duty when supervising and caring for their charges. Yet the amazing dedication they have shown as they persevere during this crisis is quite remarkable.
The mother of a 2-year-old special-needs child needed emergency surgery 2 days before Pesach. Who would take care of him while his mother recuperates and his father prepares Pesach while tending to his wife? Why, of course, the child’s therapist, who has worked with him devotedly for months, jumps right in, despite having her own special needs child in her home.
Who would not cry along with the director of an organization who bemoans the loss of 7 of his charges, who could not have someone at their bedside in their time of greatest need? “Our only nechamah is that we merited caring for them from cradle to grave,” he cries in his grief.
The gallant and courageous dedication of these devoted oskim betzarchei tzibbur be’emunah, those who serve the public with such commitment, must be acknowledged by the public at large. But the reward they will receive is beyond what we can humanly bestow. Hakadosh Baruch Hu yeshaleim secharam, may the Almighty give them their deserved reward; veyasir meihem kol machalah… And may He remove from them any illness… veyishlach brachah vehatzlachah bechol maasei yedeihem…And may He send blessing and success in all their endeavors…Amein.