Or, in Hebrew, means light - and Or the man, is a light to many people, but he is especially lighting the life of many children in the emergency Shelter Institute for Children in Danger, (about 15 of them, ages starting from 3 to 14 years) where he works as a computer- and general-maintenance man.
I've known the man for quite a long time, as he is a photographer as well. Both of us are members of the Tel-Aviv Photography Club. Only lately have I learned what a special kind of human being he is.
On the left: a humorous photo of Or, wearing a tarbush to "show that he is from the Middle East"
I will start with the " ordinary": Once a week Or meets with his woman friend to keep her company (he is in his early 50s, she is over 80 years old). Another day of his week he meets with another friend of his, to keep him company and do all sorts of errands for him (the man is over 90 years old), another day of his week he is doing volunteer work in a in a Tel-aviv hospital - this is the 7th year that he has been doing hospital volunteer work.
But what has really captured my heart was what his creative imagination did for these children in the shelter. In beginning of a file, which is full with "testimonial" report cards, that he beautifully typed for them. He writes, referring to these children: "A child needs to be appraised, and complimented of the good deeds and behavior he is showing. He does not need something fancy, he needs the truth, and somebody that he likes to tell it to him: "you are special, you are gifted, and I appreciate the efforts you are doing".
That, according to Or, will build his self-esteem. The idea to prepare these "appreciation cards" came to Or's imagination from the children themselves. He observed how much the children wanted to know what he thinks of them, while they were helping him in his work, as he treated them as equal helpers. While I was reading the many "appreciation cards", I was smiling broadly, it was so fascinating and sweet.
To let you get the idea, I will translate, 2 or 3 of them that I liked the most. It will be a free translation. It is beautiful in Hebrew, I will do my best………
One of them was given to little Miryam, about 5 years old. She received the estimation card and was titled as: "The little signs finder". She received it as a token for her help in finding the sign of the air-conditioner in the tutors room…….. She was nominated to be: "The Chief Searcher for Signs in the Shelter" !
Another one was given to Victor, about 11 years old: For his good will and joy to help in every needed work. For his help in taking the chair to fixing. He was nominated to be "A Member of the Chairs' Keeping Group".
And the last and the sweetest is the one for Stephany, about 11 years. She was nominated as: The Professional "Putting to Sleep". The estimation was given to her as a token for her will and effort to help put little Miryam to sleep last Saturday night. She was nominated to be a member in the shelter's team of "Putting to Sleep"…………. All the cards are given to the children in front of all the others in the class, in a small "ceremony".
The man also writes poetry.
I hope you will enjoy it as I have.