JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – The premature death of a spouse threatens the stability of a family and leaves a gaping emotional hole for the surviving wife or husband. An Israeli organization is reaching out to families, widows, and orphans using the Bible as their guide.
Chris Mitchell, CBN News:
Once a week this home is filled with kids playing, parents meeting and volunteers helping. It’s called Amitsim (a-mut-seem) which in Hebrew means the brave. The goal of Amitsim is to fulfill the biblical mandate found in the bible to embrace and strengthen the widows and orphans.
About 12,000 Families in Israel have suffered the death of a parent
Yehudah Glick, Amitsim Center:
“What we do here is what God says in Exodus 22. “Listen, hear the voice of the orphan and the widow.” And God says, “I hear their voice, you listen to their voice and it’s our obligation.”
Hadass Glick began this effort several years ago. Her husband died in 2001 from a stroke. Yehudah’s wife died in 2018 and later he and Hadass married. Now this former widow and widower reach out to these families in need.
Hadass Glick, Amitsim Center:
“We understand how strong of a power and effect a father means to his children. A mother means for her children and so we come to give a hand and the strengthen. But not to replace.”
Netanel has been a widower for three and a half years.
“I quickly understood that this was a place where they spoil us. They have, you know, good fruit and food cut out for us. We don’t have to work. Because we’re on 24/7 when you’re raising three children on your own. You don’t really get any time to rest. And I can sit down and my kids wouldn’t be on top of me as they are all the time. It was a place where I could rest. And then I found that it just wasn’t place where I could rest, it was a place where I could be amongst peers, amongst people who have had a similar experience to mine which provides a sort of safety.”
“My husband passed away two years ago. We have two daughters one 8 and one 6 years old. We got to know the Amitsim Club. It’s really good for us here. They take care of us. They provide for us. It’s really encouraging that there’s a group of widows and widowers here that together, once a week, help each other. I’m really happy that I met Yehudah and Hadass. They are for me simply amazing people. “
Trained volunteers serve hot meals and love.
“They open the heart. They come to open the heart. They come to get warm from us from all the volunteers here. We come every Wednesday. We meet the people. We know them. We know their names. We ask if they’re not coming. They surprised if you call. Why didn’t you come last week? Oh, this week I will come. I will come this week. They are very happy (with) this place.”
Thirteen year old Hila lost her mother two years ago to cancer. For her and her dog Louie it’s a safe place.
“It’s nice to be in the company of equals.”
“And what’s your favorite activity here?”
It helps the people here that Hadass and Yehudah clearly know the devastating loss of a spouse.
“When we see these orphans and widows, you sit around and talk to them, they’re alone. No one remembers them. Here’s somebody who’s caring for them and remembering them and it gives them strength, you can’t believe and then they go back home and they’re like a new person.”
“We realize when you don’t have a father or don’t have a mother, the home needs support. What we’re doing here is making a new concept rebuilding the Torah words into reality.”
They look to Isaiah the prophet who said, learn to do good, seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1 v. 17) Glick feels the goals of Amitsim go hand in hand with the Shalom Jerusalem Foundation that he founded. It seeks to build up Jerusalem and increase Jewish access to the temple mount.
“The Bible refers to an orphan but it always says the orphan and the widow. It says when you’re celebrating with Me, your holidays, at the temple include the orphan and the widow. When you’re bringing your harvest, don’t forget to include the orphan and the widow.”
Hadass and Yehudah hope to establish ten centers like this one throughout Israel.
Source: Global News Alliance, Israel: Caring for Orphans and Widows