David Nissim was born in 1952 in the immigrant absorption camp of Tsrifin to a family of Iranian olim (immigrants). He served in the IDF in the Sinai Peninsula during the Yom Kippur war and worked his whole life as a washing machine technician. He now lives in the small southern town of Bnei Ayish after having lived in Or Yehuda and Lod for significant parts of his life.
David Nissim lives a very isolated life and suffers greatly from the lack of social interaction. ”I was once married and had two daughters but unfortunately I got divorced and my daughters haven’t spoken to me in 17 years,“ he says. “I also have brothers and sisters but they don’t speak to me either. This is why David Cohen’s visits are so important to me.”
“When he calls to update me about his upcoming visit I start eagerly awaiting his arrival. We usually begin the meeting by exchanging thoughts on the parasha (weekly Torah portion). I learn it before he comes and David quizzes me. He is always pleased to see that I know the answer to most of the questions. We have really meaningful discussions about the parasha, it brings me a great amount of joy.”
They continue with a medical check-up, which is especially important as David Nissim suffers from a heart condition. “He always asks me if I need help with anything and gives me recommendations to have a healthier lifestyle, advising me not to stay at home all day and to go for a walk once in a while. He is truly a good person who cares about me.”
“On TV, or in the newspaper, they often publicize various financial or material benefits for the elderly. Even though I live a simple life, materially I do not feel like I lack anything, what I am lacking in life is good company. David’s visits are my opportunity to spend quality time with a nice person.”
David Cohen has been a volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah for the past five years and joined the Ten Kavod project last year. He lives in Gan Yavne with his wife, is a father of 5 and a grandfather of 3.
“I saw promotion material for the Ten Kavod project and I immediately knew that I would want to participate,” David explained. “The issue of the loneliness of senior citizens is something that I am very sensitive to.”
“When I visit David Nissim, we drink coffee together while sharing words of Torah. I learn a lot from him, he often comes up with new chiddushim (new ideas) about different parts of Tanach, whether on the Book of Psalms, the Prophets, or the parasha. ”
“Beyond the weekly visit, I often stop by his house because I know how important it is to him. We also make sure to call each other every Friday to wish each other Shabbat Shalom. We have really built a relationship and I personally gain a lot from these visits.”
David concluded, saying: “Seeing the spark in his eyes when he speaks to me is heartwarming, I feel like I’m really making a difference in his life.”