Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D.
Day after day, we learn about heroic episodes being accomplished by the few for so many. The doctors, nurses, hospital workers, custodians, delivery people, people who collect our refuse, the mail delivery people, all join together to complete our living experiences. There are the police, fire department, the clerks who serve us in the various areas of commerce—the lists are endless and probably incomplete—but, still, they carry on ensuring that our lives thrive in an atmosphere of severe difficulties.
We read and hear about “Our Heroes.” We see signs, we acknowledge these defenders of our sanity, and yet, we certainly do not do enough. Most often, they are invisible to us, as we take them for granted. And then we learn that some of them perish as they march into harm’s way to ensure that we are safe and secure. I am reminded about something Albert Einstein once wrote:
“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we know:
“That we’re here for the sake of others. Above all, for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.
“Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”
I could not help thinking as I read these words how much of an impact we have on the lives of those we come in contact with each and every day. We will probably never know to what extent we truly comfort those in need or help those looking for togetherness.
The men and women who march into the fray to relieve the pain and suffering, to offer comfort and solace, are the heroes to whom we owe so much. They take their obligations and oaths seriously without concern for themselves; they isolate themselves from family and friends to ensure that we are safe and secure with no concern for their own safety.
I have witnessed first-hand these messengers from God, these healers and soothers. I have seen the results of their efforts as I speak to those afflicted and comforted. Can we do enough, can we do more, to express our gratitude? Perhaps we will never sufficiently be able to thank them, but we must try. When this nightmare is over, we should join together in our respective houses of worship, and even collectively, to congratulate all who helped us through these difficult days and months. Now, however, when we see someone who is in the forefront of combating these tragedies, stop and thank them. It is a small gesture, but one that will give them pride in knowing they mean something to us and those we do not even know.
God bless all of them. Surely, God has blessed us by sending these angels of mercy.