The “mitzvah” of being a clown

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | 
The life of a rabbi’s wife can be busy preparing girls for marriage and teaching classes at the local synagogue. But for Frieda Kaplan, the wife of Caesarea’s chief rabbi, doing one more thing is not a problem. Kaplan spends Tuesday nights at the Laniado Hospital in Netanya cheering up sick children. This is her way of doing a great mitzvah, a good deed. Frieda dresses up as a clown from head to toe, topping off the outfit with her rainbow-colored wig and red nose. She sits by the beds of sick boys and girls hoping to brighten their days. Parents sigh with relief knowing that this woman can bring a smile to their child’s face amid the distress. “A clown's entry into a room is unlike anyone else's entry," said Frieda. "You walk in, and immediately everyone smiles.” Frieda got her idea from the movie Patch Adams.

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