On Friday, September 14, Orly Ohayon, 16, and Ester Ohayon, 57, were hit by a car while walking to Yom Kippur services. Ester died on the spot and Orly was rushed to the hospital. Ester was my 4-year old sister’s teacher. Orly has had 2 of the 4 surgeries that she will need to recover. Orly is now an orphan, her father dying when she was three. She is now still at UF Hospital. Since we are now in the holiday of Sukkos, we decided to send some students over to the hospital so Orly can have a sukkah. The kids were picked randomly out of a hat. I was upset that I didn’t get to go, because I really wanted to.
I think that the reason we did it, even though knowing that she probably wouldn’t be able to go in it, is because to show that we really care about her and hope for her speedy recovery. This will never become “old news” to us. It makes me feel great that we were able to do such a big mitzvah for her, not just the mitzvah of sukkah, but also the mitzvah of helping orphans and bikur cholim, visiting the sick. How lucky we were, that we were able to do three mitzvahs in one! This will have lots of meaning to her because it was built in memory of her mother. It was also built for her in symbolism, because she probably won’t be able to go in it. I’m sure that everybody’s Sukkos will be enlightened knowing that we were able to help a sick orphan do a big mitzvah. Good Moed!