Over the years I have had some bone mishaps, some planned and some very Unplanned. I had foot surgery and a few years ago I broke my wrist. It is not easy asking for help. I find it something that is hard to do and have seen other people having that same hard time asking for help when the community around them would be more than happy to help. When I broke my wrist the first thing I thought about was how was I going to put on my bra..with help I did it.
Today there are many websites and apps that can help a family keep loved ones and their community up to date. The two I have used and participated in include: Lotsa helping hands and Caring bridge. These sites have become more sophisticated with calendars and many other add ones which help keep people informed and also help those coordinating all the helping efforts. These calendars are very helpful and can make sure that no efforts are being duplicated for the family who needs help.
It is not easy to ask for help, if you are sick, healthy or just getting by. People like to help it makes them feel good. We teach our children that tikkun olam, repairing the world, means visiting the sick. Sometimes we feel funny making a sick call. It has taken me 30 years working in Jewish education and at synagogues to realize that you just need to visit someone sick...you don't really need to say much. When you make a shiva call and you should make a shiv call when someone in your community, not just your family dies, you can just sit with the family. You can ask if they need anything but usually your company is enough. I encourage everyone one to ask for help, answer the calls and be there for one another.
This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.