OU to Present Bikur Cholim (Visiting the Sick) Symposium in Teaneck, May 3

09 Apr 2008


Calling special attention to the important mitzvah of bikur cholim (visiting the sick), which is an integral component of Torah Judaism, the Orthodox Union’s Department of Community Services, in conjunction with the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, presents a free communal symposium, Understanding the Meaning and Ramifications of Bikur Cholim for the Community, on Motzei Shabbat, Saturday night, May 3, 9:30 to 11:00 p.m. It will be held in Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, 641 West Englewood Avenue in Teaneck.

This presentation will provide insights into halachot (laws) of this mitzvah, the physical and spiritual benefits each person receives from performing this act, empowering your community to visit the sick, and quick and simple ways to work Bikur Cholim into your daily schedule. Bikur cholim may take place in the patient’s home or at an institution such as a hospital, nursing home or hospice.

According to Frank Buchweitz, OU National Director of the Department of Community Services, “Bikur cholim is a feel-good mitzvah, in which the one who gives, and the one who receives both benefit. It is important for everyone of all ages to fulfill this mitzvah in every community. This session will clarify the different nuances involved, the halachot of bikur cholim, explain how to do it well, and for those already performing it, how to strengthen it. It will also discuss who should do bikur cholim in any particular instance. If someone is hospitalized, do you want 50 people to visit or two or three representing the entire community? This question, among many others, will be discussed.”

Presentations will be made by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman, of Etz Chaim of Teaneck, and Maggid Shiur, Yeshiva University; and Rabbi Simon H. Feld, M.S.W., Chaplin, Jewish Home of Rockleigh (NJ), and Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves.

The following topics will be discussed:

• A Halachic Overview of Bikur Cholim;

• Bikur Cholim 101: Practical Advice and Vignettes;

• Differences and Parameters of Bikur Cholim: Visiting Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Shut-ins, Hospice; Providing Transportation to Doctors and Hospitals; Cooking and Delivering Meals; Donating Blood, etc.;

• Getting Involved and Strengthening Involvement;

• Question and Answer Session.

For more information contact vogelj@ou.org or 212-613-8225.