“Letters became her way of connecting with the world” | Letter by Gideon Tsang cc: flickr
Government bureaucracy requires sending letters. But, for regular citizens, the process of writing letters to the establishment is not easy. Aisha Sizawi reveals the hope of the citizen for a solution to daily problems. But, beyond this, she reveals the hesitancy that overcomes her, the fear of her inability to cope if the letter is not written.
This week, A. entered the Rabbis for Human Rights centre in Hadera. She asked for help writing a letter. She believes that these letters to the bank manager, the army and the school, can save her. She has a beautiful smile and a heart-melting sentence : “I want you to help me, please .” I answer with a smile, and then comes the punch line: “I want you to write me a letter, they asked me to write like this.” I ask her: “Where is the letter they sent you?” and it turns out that there is no such letter.
In the Human Rights Centre we know A., she is a work weary and sick woman, who has difficulty coping with bureaucracy. Sometimes she forgets things and is confused. She is a regular visitor to the centre. Some time ago,Rabbi Idit Lev helped her collect her disability pension. Since then, letters have become a kind of communication between her and the world. She goes everywhere armed with our letters that explain and clarify her requests.
I look at her smile and it breaks my heart. I turn over in my mind how to tell her that I will not write her any more letters. My conscience pricks me and tells me: “What’s the problem?” Maybe help really will come, because you wrote a letter for her.” I give in and write, even though in my head I am thinking that I should send her to deal with the problem, without a letter. Maybe that way she would manage and we could bring her to a better place in her life, a place where she could adapt herself to this complex life.