â€śI Take Careâ€ť â€” Mrs. Miriam Lubling, aâ€ťh
By: David Mandel
Published in Hamodia, March 26, 2014
â€śI take care.â€ť
With those three simple words, Mrs. Miriam Lubling enveloped the sick, rescheduled surgeries of worldfamous oncologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedists in a world-renowned hospital, all the while answering her phone to help yet another choleh.
Indefatigable. A giant of chessed.Â
Many have tried to describe Mrs. Lubling in a word or phrase. Moishe Hellman, President of OHEL, often introduced her as the â€śAngel of Mercy,â€ť as coined by Rabbi Moshe Sherer, zâ€ťl.
I once accompanied Mrs. Lubling on her legendary rounds at NYU Medical Center. In addition to visiting innumerable sick people with a smile and words of encouragement, she stopped by every secretary of every doctor she knew. The list was formidable, akin to a personal relationship with heads of state.
From her purse came out a small gift for every secretary â€” her secret for getting through when she needed to get an immediate appointment for some stranger. An important lesson in life: respecting people who are not famous opens doors to people who are. Her OHEL stories are storied. A young girl who had several complex facial reconstructive surgeries at NYU, all arranged by, cared for, loved and nurtured by Mrs. Lubling. A prominent philanthropist who said, â€śI donate wherever Mrs. Lubling tells me to, because she is Mrs. Lubling.â€ť
With 30 busy businessmen at a meeting discussing important communal issues, whose cellphone rings most often? Mrs. Lublingâ€™s!
A slight woman in total command of the space she occupied. So many thousands confronted by ill health, from New York to Yerushalayim, have, through Mrs. Lublingâ€™s intervention, lived another day, hugged their beloved families, and have been there to walk their children to the chuppah. They can all continue to do mitzvos and give tzedakah, thanks to Mrs. Miriam Lubling. How many among us can lay claim to that? Mrs. Lubling and I spoke to each other in Ivrit, Yiddish and English. Not every word was clearly understood but the meaning was always clear. â€śHow are the kinderlach at OHEL?â€ť she asked. â€śHow is the Dinner going?â€ť She was a consummate fundraiser. A warrior. A sprinter, never stopping to rest. I, too, was a beneficiary of Mrs. Lublingâ€™s largesse. â€śMrs. Lubling, can I please have an appointment with... I need a bed for...â€ť â€śDuvidâ€™l, I take care.â€ť Words of comfort in times of crisis. Indeed she took care.\
Mrs. Miriam Lublingâ€™s famous phone may be silent but the sound of her compassion and chassadim ring the world over. Mrs. Lubling has left this world a much better place. Hashem is surely very happy with her. OHEL and the tzibbur are truly impoverished by the passing of our angel of mercy, Mrs. Miriam Lubling. Yehi zichrah baruch.
Since 1969, OHEL Childrenâ€™s Home and Family Services has served as a dependable haven of individual and family support, helping people of all ages surmount everyday challenges, heal from trauma, and manage with strength and dignity during times of crises. Driven by service excellence, OHELâ€™s professional staff meet the myriad social service needs of the general community, while at the same time providing culturally-sensitive services to the Jewish community, including Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian speakers. Through highly-rated foster care, developmental disability, mental health, and other programs and services, OHEL provides supportive housing, treatment, care coordination, education, outreach and much more to elevate lives and strengthen individuals and communities in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Florida, California and worldwide on the web. David Mandel is the CEO of OHEL