Newsletter Article - 07/22 -- Posted by hazzanmenes

Being and Doing

Judaism is a religion of community. Here, on the Snider campus, we promote community as an essential part of spiritual care. Each person can draw strength from each other, from the knowledge that they are not alone, and from the importance that one has in helping their neighbor. Each person's life has meaning, if only because they are part of the community and their presence is needed. As I say in my Interfaith services, the difference they make is as much about being as it is about doing.

Our community includes residents, families, and staff. Sometimes it feels as if the residents and staff are in different worlds - but we're not. We can forget that we all go through the same things, suffer the same pain, experience the same joy. All it takes is a simple event to remind us that a wheelchair or a walker does not define who we are. I will be away from Louis Brier for most of July recovering from hip replacement surgery. I have not made it a secret, and my increasing difficulty walking has been obvious. But what inspires me and gives me meaning is the care and compassion that every resident has shown me. Many of our residents have worked in the health care industry - as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and care aides - and their advice and prayers are significant. Most of all, it reinforces my belief that the very presence of each person is powerful. They have touched me, and they might not realize how important they are.

The importance of each person, and how we relate to each other, is as true for staff and families as it is for residents. Sometimes when staff have a job to do, they may believe that they have little value other than as a person to do that task. However, their presence, a kind word, acknowledging their common humanity, may do more to prolong the life of any one person than their clinical task. That is spiritual care in its broadest terms. That is the meaning of community.

While I am recovering, I will continue to be available to residents, families and staff at the Snider Campus. We are part of the same community, and community goes beyond geography; it is located in each person, in their heart.