Fima G. – Kremenchug, Ukraine

KREMENCHUG, UKRAINE – August 9, 2006

Hello…

I received your 2 letters sent 7/19/2006 and also the $200, which I am very grateful for. I don’t even now how to thank you. If I personally met you I’d kneel and bow to you for your kindness and many warm words that you have said to me. I often myself where all that kindness comes from… May God protect you, peace to all of you, great health, well being, happiness, lots and lots of joyful days and as our people say “biz undert in tsvantsik” till 120 years of age! Amen.

… thanks to you, I now have many new friends who help me. Please thank them all for me and bow to them on my behalf. May God repay them for their help many-fold. I am certain it will happen. Please send them my personal greetings! The more they help, the more God will repay them.

The weather here was very inconsistent this spring, the temperature fluctuating significantly, for example, today it could be warm +15C and tomorrow it would be cold, -15C or vise versa today would be cold –15C and tomorrow warm +10C. There were many inconsistent days like that, people had a hard time adapting and many fell sick – mostly elderly people, but also young ones, but not many. Thanks to your help I was able to get well-I could afford necessary medications. It says in our constitution that medical services are free in our country, but that’s baloney. For example, if I’m in the hospital and a doctor checks me and prescribes medications, I pay for those and they are delivered to the hospital for me. After the doctor’s visit, a nurse comes asking for medications that are required for the procedure prescribed by a doctor-shots or IV, whatever. If you don’t have what she needs, she says nothing and just leaves. No one is interested if you have the means to pay for medications or not. If you are healthy and you can survive without medication-fine, if you don’t-you die. My doctor tells me that I survived because my condition was not very serious. This is not true-I improved with the help of medications that I bought.

A very close friend, he’s even a distant relative of mine, was hospitalized and was in the same room with me. When I was buying medications I always would get a little extra and share with him. I would tell him that it was thanks to your help that I was able to buy medications, I would tell him about you and about the merciful people in America. He wouldn’t believe me, he’d say that I was reciting teachings of Rebbe Ljubavicheski and Rebbe Menahem Mendle Shneeron. They were teaching people to be the way you are. I promised him that if it is G-d’s will for us to get well, as we leave the hospital we’ll go to my place and I’ll show him all of your letters. I keep them all-from the first one to the last. I show your letters to everybody, and even gelt that comes in the letter. You’ve become very dear to me; this connection is closer to me than the connection with my relatives. I have almost no relatives with such kind and warm words for me as you do. Please don’t take it as a complement. This is an absolute truth. A real friend!

… You asked if I celebrate Pesach. Of course we celebrate this joyful, famous holiday, Pesach! To be honest, we can’t keep completely kosher and remove all chumetz from our homes as in the old times, but we try to observe the laws as closely as we can. On Passover eve I buy 10 kg of matzoh, so that it’ll last till the last day of Passover week. We don’t have bread at home during the holiday. We make bread from matzoh and all dishes are made with matzoh. On the eve of the holiday we buy a live chicken, take it to Jewish butcher, then we pluck it at home to the last feather, and then as back on the old days, we light a piece of paper and smoke the chicken so it will taste better.

I recall that when I was a little boy, it was in 1930s, before the war began in 1941, we lived in multi-family apartment-a shack like you can hardly find nowadays, but it had an attic where we kept 2 wicker baskets with all our Passover kitchenware starting with small clay pots, bigger pots, dishes, spoons, forks, knives, etc. Before Passover I would get all the kitchenware from those baskets, and when the Pesach holiday came to an end mother would wash it, wrap it and give it to me to put away in baskets till next year. Now we don’t have anything like that. I recall the holiday to be very joyful, we didn’t have enough food, but everybody was merry and friendly, we shared with kids in the neighborhood.

I like to recall these things. I remember everything as if it was yesterday. People often ask me questions about Pesach, ask me to tell them about the holiday as it used to be.

I think I should wrap it up now. I wish you all to remain in good health. Please don’t hesitate to write and ask questions. I’ll try to answer to the best of my abilities.

God be with you. Amen!

I’m saying “Hi”. Fima

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