A Visit That Proved To Be Vital

When the shluchim to Boulder, Colorado lost contact with a lonely Jew, they had a sense that something was amiss. A midnight visit and a spare key ended up saving his life.

By Chany Scheiner – Boulder, Colorado

Hi! My name is Chany Scheiner, some of you might know me. My husband and I have been on Shlichus in Boulder, Colorado for the past 32 years.

We have seen many eclectic, beautiful souls walk through our front door. We had a man with a Yeshivish upbringing debate with us for hours about how pork can be made kosher. Another couple asked us to watch over their “plants” for them while they went on vacation (marijuana).

One of the pillars of our community was a man by the name of Henry. Henry was someone dependable who could always be counted on to complete a minyan. Henry was an active seeker of exploring his Jewish identity. He got more involved in his Jewish roots once he moved to Boulder.

Henry had an interesting blend of an imaginative and scholarly mind, a unique sense of humor, and a warm and caring heart.

During Covid, he was extremely isolated and hibernated indoors. We tried to keep in touch on a frequent basis by speaking to him over the phone, arranging house visits, and sending over some delicious, fresh food.

On Friday, February 11, I sent over a volunteer to deliver some fresh challah and soup to enhance his Shabbos. The volunteer let me know that no one answered the door and his message machine was full. Something felt off. We knew Henry well and he hadn’t mentioned any other plans. I tried calling him, over and over again, to no avail.

Meanwhile, it was a hectic Friday afternoon, but my husband and I felt that something had to be done. We called the local JCC for assistance and they said they will call the police for a wellness check. The police went over and found nothing amiss and concluded that he must not be home.

Shabbos started and as we sat down to eat our meal, my husband began to get very worried. He decided that he had no choice, he was going to break into the house (with another community member) to make sure everything was ok.

Now, this was no simple feat because: 1. He could get arrested for breaking into a home. and 2. The community member accompanying him was a Jewish immigrant without proper documentation.

When they arrived, they knocked and knocked, but got no answer. My husband was about to break down the door but decided to ask the neighbor if she had a key. Luckily she did.

They opened the door to find him unconscious in his bed, hours away from death. They immediately sent him to the hospital via ambulance.

Thank G-d, Henry perservered and semi-recovered. He lived for another few months surrounded by his friends and loved ones.

Thanks to the persistence and care demonstrated during a single house visit, a precious life was saved.


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