Beit Raphael: An act of Chessed from Adina and R’ Shimon Allen

I sit next to Shimon Allen at Yeshivah Shule, in Melbourne Australia. I have done so for many years, as has my father. We’ve developed a rapport and he teases me about the fact that my wife doesn’t offer Griven (a heart attack causing, cholesterol laden morass of congealed and fried chicken fat, which happens to be delicious (think of it as real chicken bisli). I’ve mentioned it before. I point out that whilst he has herring on occasion, his isn’t the real McCoy because there aren’t copious lashings of Tzibelle (onion). We also share our “delight” that when invited to modernishe houses, they serve copious amounts of rabbit food, and one is expected to force a smile through the mountains of lettuce leaves, broccoli, pine nuts and every meshugass they find at the vegetable shop. Yes, they are “healthy for you” but when was the last time that you felt “full” one hour after such a meal? Why do our bodies require this gas-forming roughage. Is this Oneg Shabbos, let alone Kavod Shabbos? Sometimes I feel the right response is “Moo” while eating, as opposed to a hearty greps after a good choolent, washed down by some Bromfen, and followed by an antacid (pareve of course) and two cholesterol tablets.

Enough of the mirth.

Erev Shabbos, and my father took gravely ill due to a series of life threatening blood infections. I rushed from work to be at his bed side, as were my siblings and all our children. I was still in my work clothes, and asked many to say Tehillim, while I did so myself. We rang R’ Shimon and his wife, and immediately the key to their apartment across the road was made available to us. After davening Mincha and then Kabolas Shabbos, my stomache reminded me that I had not had anything all day other than a single cup of coffee. Baruch Hashem, I asked my incredible wife to organise 24 Vurst Sandwiches so that team Balbin, Leibler and Waller would not go hungry. Diana and Yirmi Loebenstein, for whom my parents are like a second set of parents (they live across the road and are very close) brought a stack of Schnitzels and some Challah etc. My own incredible wife even managed to buy little electric incandescent lights and relying on (at least) R’ Chaim Ozer, we made brachos over the licht.

Words cannot describe the effort that Adina and R’ Shimon have put into the unit directly across the road from Cabrini. Every last thing was available. The fridge was stocked a plenty. There was wurst, and drinks, and beer and nash, you name it, it was there. It was on the bottom floor. The key had already been made into a shabbos belt. There was a Shabbos light next to the beds. I can go on and on. None of us should ever need to use such a facility, but it gave us a dose of menuchas hanefesh and meant my father had more support than he could ever have dreamed about. It was also a rather hot day, and yet we didn’t feel any heat. We only felt true warmth.

Baruch Hashem, my father is slowly but surely improving, albeit slightly, each day.

Shaul Zelig HaCohen Ben Toba Frimet, may he have a Refuah Shelema B’Karov.

All the grandchildren brought sleeping bags, and were able to sleep in the lounge room. It was amazing, really. I’ll stop here because Shimon and Adina will be angry that I have written the above anyway and mentioned them explicitly.

That they are able to use their financial resources and care for the community in such a way is simply inspirational. I’m sure that in Gan Eden, their teacher and mentor, R’ Zalman Serbryansky is alerting HaKadosh Baruch Hu to their Mitzvah and is lobbying for appropriate Brachos to come their way.

Shimon and Adina Allen are pleased to advise of the opening of Malvern Beit Rafael Hospital Accommodation.

All members of the community are welcome to avail themselves of this fully furnished apartment which is situated close to Cabrini Hospital, whilst they have family members receiving treatment at the hospital.

A pantry stocked with kosher non-perishables and a fridge/ freezer containing kosher meals will be at your disposal.

Beit Rafael continues to offer accommodation at North Melbourne assisting families with loved ones receiving treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital,

Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Royal Women’s Hospital.

Please enter the contact numbers into your telephone:

0421 408 522 – Shabbat: 0421 327 859

Beit Raphael

Beit Rafael Bikur Cholim

R’ Shimon Allen and his wife Adina are to be commended for this incredible gesture of Gemilas Chesed on behalf of the community. Shimon sits near me at Shule, and I know of many examples of his generosity. He would not want me to highlight it, however, I am doing so as an expression of הכרת הטוב—acknowledging good deeds.

Of course, it would be far better if there were no sick children and this facility was not needed. Unfortunately, the reality is otherwise.

A bikur cholim home is now available in North Melbourne to assist Jewish parents who have children receiving treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Beit Rafael Bikur Cholim is a non profit organisation dedicated to easing the physical and emotional challenges endured by parents whilst their child is hospitalised.

Established in 2011, by Shimon and Adina Allen, Beit Rafael offers a quiet place where family members can relax and recover their emotions in a private setting, by providing accommodation, at no charge, directly across the road from the hospital.

A fully furnished and serviced, two bedroom apartment will be at your disposal to enable you to be close to your child, and will remove the need for you to commute back and forth to your home. A pantry stocked with kosher non perishables and a freezer containing kosher meals will be in the apartment.

The challenges of remaining with your hospitalised child during the week and over Shabbat and Yom Tov will be minimised.

Beit Rafael will be available to all members of the Jewish community, and parents will be welcome to stay at Beit Rafael for the duration of the child’s treatment, at any given day or time. When a child is hospitalised their greatest comfort is the presence of family.

It is suggested you enter the telephone number for Beit Rafael in to your telephone – emergencies do not give us warning.

Beit Rafael appreciates and respects your need for privacy and confidentiality is assured.

Please call the number below to verify availability and to arrange access to this apartment. You will be given the address and security code to enter the Beit Rafael apartment.

Telephone:  0421 408 522

On Shabbat  or Yom Tov please call:  0421 327 859