Sukkos is an auspicious time, celebrated with friends and family. It is a period that conjures memories of joy and excitement. The Jewish residents of Forest View Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing were afforded the opportunity to bless the daled minim in the comfort of their living quarters.
Avi Cyperstein, Vice President of Chaverim of Queens, under the guidance of Jack Feldstein, Assistant Administrator, visited the Jewish residents on each floor of the Forest Hills facility during Chol HaMoed. Cyperstein first visited the facility with Simon Sebag, Jewish liaison to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and ahead of Shabbos Chol HaMoed, I joined Cyperstein on a subsequent visit to the center. These visits provided the residents a chance to make the brachah on the Sukkos staples.
“I was asked to help out the religious residents who do not have a lulav and esrog,” said Cyperstein. “I jumped at the opportunity to help them participate in the mitzvah. Some of the residents were tearful, others were joyful, and one woman even reminisced on celebrations of Sukkos during her time in Hebrew Day School.”
I witnessed the joy of the residents as they recalled Sukkos memories of their youth. Some celebrated with holiday melodies, while others were moved by the chance to hold the sacred species and wave them once again in accordance with tradition. Many residents did not recall the exact details of the holiday but knew of its significance in their lives and relished the prospect of again sharing the joy of the festivities. It was most memorable to hear the religious residents make the blessing of shehechiyanu with deep concentration and enjoyment. I hope this will be the first of many visits to Forest View Rehab.
“Helping out the residents of Forest View was a beautiful experience and addition to my Sukkos holiday,” concluded Cyperstein.
By Shabsie Saphirstein