Purim a number of years ago, a group of a dozen Late Minyan members decided to do an act of kindness and went in search of some innocent victims. A spur of the moment Purim Spiel in Russian no less, was recreated for the residents of the old age home Bet Alicia and as much as we were hesitant about our visit to the home, we actually enjoyed ourselves as much as the residents.
From that day on, we have tried to never miss a Shabbat or Chag, in which to bring a few moments of the LLM Chevra experience, into their day to day routine.
I admit that we don’t know everyone’s names, but we recognise the old and the new. We visit the sick and we update the residents with all of our news and our latest smachot.
Many of us were hesitant with our first few steps into the home, but I can assure you that it is easy when you go along with the LLM regular crowd and often the idea is more daunting than the visit itself.
There are approximately 85 residents in Bet Alicia, many being non-Hebrew speakers (let alone English!) The language barrier is not even noticed during our weekly visits, since their smiling faces need no translation. Most of the elderly are in good health, but for one floor of wheelchair-bound residents.
Bet Alicia is a 1 minute walk from the LLM and we make kiddush for the 3 floors and sing some songs (we even take requests). Our visits are usually 20 minutes long and those needing to rush off to an early lunch, still find the time to sing along with at least one of the floors.
On most Shabbatot, we have a decent LLM turnout, but with the rapid growth of the Shul, we are aware that many of our LLM members may not know of these trips to visit the elderly residents and therefore ask you, (without making a weekly commitment to join us) to think about coming along on the occasional Shabbat and help us to create the appropriate Ruach.