By Rabbi Yitzy Horowitz
Diagnosed with bulbar onset ALS otherwise known as Lou Gherig’s disease. I am not able to speak, eat or drink. Barely able to walk with help. Left hand is useless and my right can do little. I sit most of the day in a power wheel chair which I’m grateful for. Thank GD I can see, hear, smell, taste and feel. It’s just some muscles that stopped working. Most things are done for me as I am no longer able to do the do even the simplest of things on my own.
Many of you have taken the time to visit me. I want to describe how much your visits mean to me.
A person in my situation could have been left, given basic necessities and go through life feeling alone. Thank GD my family loves me, they would never let me feel that way.
When you visit, I am filled with the feeling of importance, kinship, love and joy, I feel like I matter to you and to the world. I am honored that you visited. The great feeling inside is one of elation and joy. It is one of the things that gives me life and strengthens my will to go on.
All this and more just by coming a sitting with me. You don’t have to worry about what to say, It’s unimportant. Of course some conversations will be more interesting then others. In some I might even hear words of Torah. The most important thing is that you came.
In the past I would be the visitor but now being the visited I have gained a whole new perspective. When the chachamim tell us that visiting the sick takes away one sixtieth of the illness, it is not that you just removed illness, but even more, you added life.
With this in mind, consider making it a part of your schedule to visit the sick in your community.
Thank you for your visit.