An overflow crowd of women from all parts of Queens and beyond gathered at Congregation Ner Mordechai in Kew Gardens on Monday evening, September 23, to show support for Bikur Cholim D’Satmar and to honor the worthy honorees of the annual Bikur Cholim D’Satmar Queens Chapter Tea.
The elegant tablecloths in shades of green were complimented by the beautiful cream-colored roses. Everyone commented on the exquisite tables and lovely gifts. The myriad of details necessary for this event were graciously executed by the Coordinator of the tea, Mrs. Nechama Biderman.
Rebbetzin Devorah Leifer, Chairlady, spoke about how the organization was founded by Rebbebtzin Alta Feiga Teitelbaum a”h. Rebbetzin Leifer imparted, “It’s not a job. It’s a privilege. We are sh’lichim of Hashem to aid our sisters and brothers.”
This past year alone, Bikur Cholim D’Satmar sent 175,000 meals to hospitals in New York, as well as 200,000 snacks. They also helped out with medical assistance and medical care. They provide food for homebound elderly and help with upkeep of bikur cholim rooms in various facilities.
Mrs. Shifra Witty led everyone in reciting T’hilim. This was followed by a short video presentation that explained the work of Bikur Cholim D’Satmar. The video shared an amazing story about a rosh ha’yeshivah from Israel who had to make a flight back to Israel before Shabbos. He was having a lot of difficulty until finally, unbelievably, a supervisor helped him get through the whole process, and he was able to make the flight. He asked her why she did this, and she responded that Bikur Cholim D’Satmar had helped her in her time of need when her mother was in the hospital. They paid for a babysitter so she could be with her mother and they helped her with everything she needed, even though she wasn’t religious. She wanted to pay them back in some way by helping a religious Jew.
Next, the guest speaker, Rebbetzin Yael Marcus, of the Young Israel of Queens Valley, shared that our main goal in life is to be servants of Hashem. When the sailors in Sefer Yonah ask Yonah what he does, he replies, “I am a G-d-fearing person.” Our purpose in this world is to honor the Name of G-d. We are just like angels who sanctify G-d’s name. On Rosh HaShanah, we rejoice in Hashem’s coronation. We don’t ask for forgiveness then. Instead we say that G-d is our strength. “Rejoicing with Hashem is our strength.” The Chasam Sofer taught that on Rosh HaShanah we daven so that the honor of Heaven should be revealed. Our needs are secondary. We want to reveal the Name of G-d in the world. “When Hashem sees that we use our energy in His service, He will fulfill our wishes.” She taught that, in M’silas Y’sharim, it says that a chasid does everything for the sake of Hashem. All he wants is to spread the idea of kevod Sheim Shamayim to others. This is what Bikur Cholim D’Satmar does.
Following this, Dr. Jessica R. Jacobs, obstetrician-gynecologist at Northwell University Hospital, graciously accepted the Physician of the Year Award. Rebbetzin Zlaty Weinberger spoke about Dr. Jacobs and how she conducts herself like the Rambam and does everything with a Torah view.
After this, the Guest of Honor, Rebbetzin Chaya Oelbaum, of Congregation Nachlas Yitzchok, thanked everyone for coming and graciously accepted the award.
At this point, Rebbetzin Esther Walkin spoke about Mrs. Pearl Hauben a”h, who was a tireless worker for Bikur Cholim D’Satmar for 40 years. Rebbetzin Walkin, a close friend of Mrs. Hauben, accepted a memorial on her behalf. She noted that Mrs. Hauben was also active in the mikvah in Forest Hills and in various yeshivos. She was a person who appreciated everything and never complained.
The Mindel and Hershel Tuchman Award was presented to Mrs. Rochel Leah Neuman, the daughter of Pearl’s good friend Mrs. Yurowitz.
The work of Bikur Cholim D’Satmar truly fits the dictum of emulating Hashem. Women from Williamsburg pile onto buses every morning, bringing packages of delicious home-made food to hospitals. Mi k’amcha Yisrael! These meals are cooked with care and love. Special diets and requests are accommodated. Everything is noted in a handwritten ledger. It is truly remarkable, and their work is truly done with love.
Hashem should take away all sicknesses in the merit of such a holy organization as Bikur Cholim D’Satmar.
By Susie Garber