Most families have some brush with tragedy, but there are undeniably some among us who endure more suffering than seems possible. The Cohens of Bnei Brak are one such family.
Rabbi Yom Tov Cohen has a case of diabetes so severe, infections forced doctors to amputate both of his legs. He has also had open heart surgery, and must travel to the hospital three times a week for dialysis.
Rabbi Cohen’s Bnei Brak home has entrances which are too narrow for a wheelchair to pass through. This has put him into a horrific position: He lives in his living room, next to the shabbos table. He is unable to go into his own bedroom. He cannot even access the bathroom, and is forced to use a receptacle attached his wheelchair. It is, to put it simply, dehumanizing.
His caretaker and mother of his children, Mrs. Tova Cohen, is deaf and blind in one eye. “We don’t have a life,” she says in emotional video footage.
The couple are currently raising funds in hopes of moving into a home with passageways wide enough for Rabbi Cohen to access the bedroom and bathroom. Their daughter, one of 5, is also engaged to be married next month. It is clear that Rabbi Cohen is pained that he is no longer able to provide for his family. However they have been forced, as so many have, to beg. It is undeniable, at this point, that they have no other choice.