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3/29/2011 To hug and be hugged by a 97 year old

Paul Snyderman is a resident at the Epoch Senior Health Care of Sharon he is kayn ayin hora 97 years old with all of his faculties intact. I used to visit him regularly every week, on Friday. He would always greet me with warmth and enthusiasm; he never failed to amaze me! What an incredible individual!

At the age of 90 he taught himself how to read Hebrew and how to daven. Not withstanding his age, being wheelchair bound and hooked up to oxygen, he is full of energy and life! Everyone in the facility knows Paul; he is friendly, polite, talks to everyone and is really entertaining.

He is unofficially in charge of the Yidishkeit going on in the health care Center. When I would visit he would take me around in his wheelchair to all the other Jewish residence in the center. We would put on Teffilin with the men and then have a Shabbat party with songs for all the residents. It was a real rewarding weekly experience.

Somehow in the tumult of life I stopped going, I would still make sure that whenever there were visiting yeshiva students they should go and visit him, but I really missed the times we spent together.

That is until I read on the Jewish Sharon blog that there was a 97 year old man looking for a pair of Teffilin. I said this must be Paul! So on Sunday I went to visit him, I helped him put on the Teffilin, it was a reunion of some sort. I think both of us experienced a true sense of real joy and happiness.

In addition to Paul, His son Edward happened to be visiting and of course I took the opportunity to put on the Teffilin on Edward as well. And I made a bl”n commitment to resume my weekly visits with this remarkable person and to try not to miss his weekly hug which has the power to hold you through till the next weeks hug. You realize you are receiving much more in return then what you are giving.

If you are in the neighborhood stop bye and say hello to Paul he will most certainly leave a lasting impression on anyone he meets. Pictures