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Ten Kavod Emek HaHula – The Story of Itamar Tiferet and an Elderly Man He Visits Weekly
Itamar Tiferet is a military boarding school student that started volunteering at the United Hatzalah Ten Kavod program, following in his mother’s footsteps. His mother, Vickey Tiferet, is the Ten Kavod Emek Hahola’s coordinator. Itamar recently found out about an elderly man in his area who had not been recently seen by his usual Ten Kavod volunteer. Since that volunteer was being kept too busy at school, Itamar decided it was his responsibility to step up and help the elderly man.
The previous volunteer introduced Itamar to the elderly man. After Itamar arrived at the man’s house, the elderly man told Itamar how lonely he was and that he financially supported his sick children. He explained that he lives modestly in order to pay for the medical care of his children. The old man explained to Itamar that he suffers from his own set of illnesses, but even more unfortunately, he also shared that he has no one to help him in his old age. He was alone in his suffering.
Itamar was shocked by what the elderly man told him. “It was so hard for me to hear his story. I saw how special and kind he was; the way he cared for people was so touching. He insisted that he didn’t want to disturb me or waste my time, but I always reminded him that I help because I want to and that I do it out of love. One experience that left a mark on me is when I saw him tell his caretaker to leave early so the caretaker could go back home to his family early. The elderly man is so pure of soul and so kind. It was so heartwarming, and it is something I’ll remember. He has inspired me to be thoughtful and kind,” stated Itamar.
Itamar continued, “Once I arrived at our meeting early and tried to help him with household chores. I was helping him with his shower, so he wouldn’t fall, since he is a fall risk. I try to be near him as much as possible so that he doesn’t feel alone. Even though I attend a military boarding school, every time I have leave and can return home on the weekend, I try to be with him to make him happy.’’
Itamar does more than just visit the elderly man occasionally. “One day I came to his house straight from my boarding school and I was shocked to see his fridge completely empty. He usually gets food from neighbors and through various aid organizations. But seeing the state of his food supply, I couldn’t let his fridge stay empty. I called my mom and asked her to buy certain groceries, then I proceeded to check his vital signs. The man and I hung out until my mom arrived with the groceries. When she arrived, I organized everything in the fridge and together my mom and I rechecked his vital signs. I was comforted to know that my elderly friend could eat whenever he needed to, without worrying about where his next meal was coming from. I believe that we should help our elders because without them the nation of Israel, and we as a people, simply wouldn’t exist,” said Itamar.