With Purim just days away, I really wanted to keep this week’s email light.
I really did.
But sadly, I can’t. Because this week has been one of the roughest weeks Amudim has ever had.
Every week you see the chart, and sadly, each number represents a person. But for every person represented in that pie chart, there are plenty of others affected as well: his/her family, friends, and hopefully, with healing, his/her untold future generations. But for us at Amudim, each number represents hours upon hours of heart wrenching work-painstaking, exhausting efforts whose benefits may not be apparent for weeks, months, and even years to come.
As you read this email and are preparing for Purim, I ask that you think of the hundreds and thousands of people we deal with who live a virtual Purim every waking moment of their lives. Every day, they wear masks and costumes to hide their pain, showing one face to the world while inside they are tormented, whether they are suffering from the after effects of sexual abuse, battling addiction, or waging war against mental illness. The idea of taking off their masks, showing their true faces to the world? Unthinkable. It will only lead to a world of shame and embarrassment and possibly being ostracized by family and friends.
What made this week so sad is that we were made painfully aware that there are so many people out there who need help, and no matter how hard we work,we just don’t have the resources to help them all.
For most of us,when we hear a sad story, we shed a tear and then go back to our regularly scheduled lives. For those who are suffering, the lives that they return to are endless seas of darkness. Even sleep offers no escape as they are tormented by nightmares, awakening to a reality that is filled with pain.
There are no stories this week. Only heartache and despair for those who masquerade not only on Purim but all year long. I ask you to stop and take a moment and imagine what their lives are like in the hopes that together, we can find a way to do more so that we can end the suffering of those who wear masks of happiness, but deep inside are living in pain.
Zvi Gluck is the director of Amudim Community Resources, an organization dedicated to helping abuse victims and those suffering with addiction within the Jewish community and has been heavily involved in crisis intervention and management for the past 15 years. For more information go to www.amudim.org.
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