Parshas Terumah
  February 28, 2009 - 4 Adar 5769


Voices From the Ezras Nashim

There was not time this week to further explore the topic of kavanah in daily life although it is a topic that I do hope to have time to explore further in the next few weeks. This week the tasks that were so delayed by unplanned activities seem to be getting done. The Purim packages for the Bikur Cholim were delivered to the volunteers who will deliver them to those in hospitals and nursing homes. The Purim packages for the chesed group we are part of were also completed and are ready for delivery. The Purim packages for delivery to those living in my Mom’s assisted living facility are on their way to completion.

Assisted living is an interesting concept and to some extent is contrary to the views I was raised with in regard to the care of our parents. My mother’s mother lived with us until she passed away when I was six years old. My father’s parents lived one-half street away from us and ran a grocery store one block further away. My father opened and closed the store for his parents for most of my childhood. He would then leave for his job in downtown Manhattan as an attorney for the State of New York. Many afternoons I spent the time with my grandmother in the store and while I was probably more hindrance than help the time I spent with my grandmother was an amazing learning experience. When grandma died grandpa came to live with us. We had moved to Queens by then and my parents set my grandfather up in their bedroom and created a makeshift bedroom in the dining room for themselves. My upbringing says that we care for our parents by ourselves.

That having been said there is no way that I could provide my mother with the quality of life and care that she has in the assisted living facility. For the past thirteen and a half years Mom has been living in an independent living facility where she had a lovely apartment with outstanding views of a lake and much wildlife. Her bedroom window faced west and the sunsets were truly amazing. Over the last year, however, Mom’s macular degeneration worsened and she lost most of her hearing. It became dangerous for her to live alone. In January Mom elected to be moved into an assisted living facility located on the same property as the independent living facility. She still has her own apartment. This one is much smaller, but it has a really pretty view of the same lake and wildlife. The view now is toward the east and the sunrises are not nearly as spectacular as the sunsets.

At the current facility Mom is surrounded by young, strong and very caring women who help her to dress and who supervise her medication. These wonderful women quickly picked up that Mom’s medications were interacting with each other in a way that was not good. They took her to the doctor within an hour of their decision that something was wrong. I am grateful for the strength, skill and gentleness of the women who care for my mother. I recognize that I cannot lift her nor can I provide a knowledge base about her physical care and medications that those trained to care for the elderly can.

Some years ago I read “The Fifth Commandment” which in some part discussed the issue of home care versus facilities for the elderly. It would be nice to live in a quieter time when parents could live around the corner and be taken care of by their children and grandchildren. But the world has changed. Families do not generally live in such close proximity and the care required by parents may well exceed our abilities on a personal level. The author of “The Fifth Commandment” points out that we can meet the requirements of kibbud Av v’Em by having others provide the care for our parents that we are not able to provide personally. Somehow though this method does not provide a feeling of satisfaction.

Elk’s Menu
Parshas Terumah
February 28, 2009—4 Adar 5769
"Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B’Simcha"

Please note that the entire menu this week is Parve in order to accommodate our Baal Korei who is allergic to dairy products.

           Whole Wheat Challah 
Baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple. To participate in this mitzvah please call Yehudis Halberstam—718-972-4793 for this week's names.
Seasonal Fruit Cup
Parve Chicken Soup
Salmon en Croute with Sauteed Colored Peppers and Onions
Vegetarian Chili
Israeli Couscous
Broccoli Tofu Souffle
Carrot and Raisin Salad
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Blond Brownies
Chocolate Chip Coconut Brownies

February 28, 2009—4 Adar 5769

Egg Salad
Tuna Salad
Gefilte Fish
Matjes Herring
Chickpea Salad

Top of page