We find ourselves in a difficult situation.
We find ourselves in a difficult situation. Running to a bomb shelter for us has become the norm. Being told to stay indoors during times of rocket attacks has also become the norm. The fear of a terrorist attack or going outside and away from our bomb shelters is always there as well. There is a certain feeling, an emotional awareness you always have and we have been made to live with it all.
Now we add Coronavirus to our plate. We are not experiencing any difference with this challenge then you are. We, too, are staying away from people, all enjoyable advents have been cancelled, restaurants closed, schools closed and this Shabbat we will not be sharing it with family and friends who normally join us around our dinner table.
There is a similarity between our lives with “Tseva Adom” and being in a lock down situation over the Coronavirus, but this time our bomb shelters won’t protect us.
The people we normally help make ends meet, the ones we help feed, the kids that need that sandwich in the morning at school (most of them living paycheck to paycheck), still need our help, now more than ever.
There are many people who will not see a paycheck at the end of this month and well into next month minimally.
But that’s not what puts us in the difficult situation.
Many people are wondering how the rent or mortgage will be paid next month when they have been out of work. How will utilities be paid or food purchased? To add to their concern and fear, they have no idea when they will be returning to work.
There are people over 67 that still have to work to make ends meet because they cannot live on just their retirement check. Unfortunately those over 67 ARE NOT eligible for unemployment insurance benefits during these mandatory work stoppages and business shut downs…… why? … because they are too old!
You pay into unemployment until you reach the age of 67 which is the retirement age here in Israel. Once you reach the age of 67 they stop taking unemployment insurance premiums out of your pay check, therefore you are not entitled to unemployment, even though you still have to work to make ends meet.
I don’t quite understand this law but it is what it is for now. This means that there is a whole sector of people who will fall between the cracks and will receive no compensation during this crisis. I expect more requests for help from the elderly in the near future as this outbreak continues.
Prime Minister Netanyahu announced last night that Israel will be under a mandatory 7-day lockdown to stem the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus while schools will remain closed to the end of Passover at a minimum.
We can only leave our homes to go to the doctor, the pharmacy, food shopping or your place of work if it is still open. If stopped by the police and you are not on your way to one of the four places, you will be fined up to seven thousand shekel’s. That is about $2000 USD!
We will be delivering food today to people’s front doors. We will call them to let them know we have dropped the food off. We will do our best to conform to all the restrictions that have been placed on us and will need to stop if directed to do so.
With all this being said… none of this is our difficult situation. Our “difficult situation” is… that at this difficult time we are all in, we are coming to you to ask for your help and support…….even though you are facing many of the same challenges we are now facing. We try not to ask for help and most of the time we just write a story and leave it up to you to respond or not, so this is quite out of the norm for us to do and I apologize if anyone is offended at this time, I understand your anxiety as well.
We pray G-D keeps you save and healthy through this and heals our land.