Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I can’t tell you how the column of the blind man who sent his story to you posthumously touched so many people. I run a group for disabled people in Iowa and, after reading this letter to my group which includes people with a multitude of different disabilities, there was such a major change in the mood and outlook of these people. The follow-up letter from the paralyzed women the next week only served to enforce a change in some of my clients who had given up on life. these were the hard-core, depressed and helpless people who had systemically shut out words of comfort and hope from all of us who had, in our program to reinstate some modicum of lust for life. These two letters took on a life of their own, awakening a sense of hope and encouragement that we were unable and unsuccessful to instill in them.
One gentleman who had stopped speaking and did nothing but stare ahead in group, leading us all to believe that he was catatonic and unable to communicate, suddenly wept. Two nurses ran to get the doctor to witness this phenomenon and almost collided with each other in their excitement and disbelief. I will spare you the medical debates as to his return to quasi-normalcy outside of saying that that letter touched almost every patient as well as their caregivers and changed many lives. I would have never believed that such was possible, but this is a truly magical letter that imparts such a powerful message of what is possible if one only believes.
Sometimes the magic is in the words and through your hand you have caused the magic to spread. I am sure there are many others who, after having read those letters, have gained a new and hopeful perspective of their lives and their place in the world. Perhaps, they will pay it forward and, in this way, the magic will grow and envelope others who have given up hope. Thank you for being the conduit and the support of such beautiful life-stories that have and will continue to have a miraculous affect on all who need it.
I am beyond thankful for the amazing event the letters have brought about in your institution. I have received quite a few letters espousing the same sentiments from others, as well as some beautiful offers to write to and/or visit the lady who was left a paraplegic due to texting while driving and who was herself moved by the blind man’s letter.
Over the forty-odd years I have been fortunate and blessed to helm this column and its predecessor The Agunah Chronicles, I have been blessed with the knowledge that there are so very many good, loving, caring and selfless people amongst us. I have witnessed the outreach to those unfortunate, abused, suffering, lonely and destitute folk who would have disappeared or perished were it not for the generosity and ahavas Yisrael that dwells in the hearts of all my wonderful, beautiful and selfless readers who reached out to help when I was able to match them up with those in need who wrote in and also included contact information. Sadly, and most often, this information is not forthcoming and I agonized over the fact that help was available but the writer chose to remain secret.
Mah Tovu Ohalecha Yaakov, Mishkenosecha Yisrael!! We are all brothers and sisters and should always embrace the opportunity to help wherever and whenever possible. I thank all my readers and wish all of you and Klal Yisrael a K’sivh v’Chasima Tova. May your good deeds merit the coming of Mashiach bimhayra beyomainu, Amen
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We wish to thank Rachel Bluth for her many years of dedication to this column starting way back when it was The Agunah Chronicles.
May she be blessed with a year of good health for her and her family. And hatzlacha in everything she chooses. We will miss her.
Naomi and The Jewish Press Management and Staff