Fighting Terror with Chesed

Chesed: Cubed

I was in class playing a game—not “tag” but similar—with my friends when I took out my 5x5x5 Rubik’s cube, and “Moshe” knocked it out of my hand and a piece cracked off! The Rebbe said that because we were playing a “tag” game he was not sure if “Moshe” was responsible to pay. I was really sad, as I had just gotten the cube from my grandmother for Chanukah. My other friends saw how sad I was, and the next day they collected money amongst themselves and gave it to me so that I could buy a new cube!Read More

There is Always Room for one More!

We invited a single Russian lady to our Shabbos table for lunch, but as I was singing “Shalom Aleichem” with the children, she knocked on the door. Apparently dinner versus lunch had got lost in the translation. We really wanted to spend a quieter Friday night with the kids, but in order not to embarrass her, I quickly added another place setting while my wife distracted her. B”H she never suspected that anything was amiss and had a wonderful meal with us.Read More

Little Things Mean A Lot

I was busy doing a bunch of intricate errands, and a small child came over to share some excitement in his day. My impulse was to ask him to come back later, but I saw how much he wanted to share his story with me, that I dropped what I was doing to give him my full attention.Read More

Checking My Change

I took my grandson to buy a pair of shoes at the mall on Erev Shabbos and then as a bonus, I bought him a drink at one of those "Everything For 5 shekel" take-away stores.  There was one girl taking the money (and being a bit pressured by the long queue) and a lad making the drinks as fast as he could.  I only had a 100 shekel note and she gave me a handful of change.  Something made me check it carefully and I found she had given me 25 shekels too much. Choshen Mishpat rushed through my mind clashing with the difficulty of gaining her attention in the face of the mass of young people wanting to buy a drink.  (If it’s always like that, it must be a good business!!) but I had no doubt I needed to return it to her.  After a few minutes I managed to get her attention and showed her what she had given me.  She was very grateful and thanked me profusely.  I had little doubt then that she was probably not paid so well for the job and possibly had to make good any shortages.   I’m sure she noticed we were wearing kippot.  Read More

A Guiding Light of Chesed

I went to a women's program in Ramat Beit Shemesh and was introduced to another woman, who poured out her heart to me about how she was struggling with her almost 30 year old son who still lived at home and made day to day life for her and her husband very difficult. I had a similar experience in my home several years ago, and immediately realized that this woman had no idea what the problem was or that there were several solutions available to her. I myself am working all day with two jobs, but when she poured out her heart, I also felt her pain and immediately set out to help her. I spent several hours talking with this woman and her husband, and directed them to experts in this field. They now realize that they are not the only ones with this type of problem, and that there are solutions that would enable them and their son to live happy lives. If you see a fellow Jew struggling, realize that Hashem has sent you to this person so that you can lend a hand and remind them that they are not alone.  Read More

Turning Shopping into Chesed

I heard of an elderly woman who needed to run some errands in the shopping center, but was unable to get there easily. I usually don't go there, but when I needed to go for an errand, I remembered her situation, called her up and offered to take her. She was surprised by my impromptu call, but accepted my offer. We did all her errands for which she was so grateful. I managed to drop her and her packages off, and still made it to Ahavas Shalom for Mincha! As I prayed, I hoped that my simple act of chesed would help combat the terror we are all feeling today.Read More

Shiva Or Not

I read that there was a mourner on our street, but I was very nervous about going there because I feared there would not be a minyon (there wasn’t one the day before). So at Mincha time I began walking towards Ahavas Shalom. Then I saw a fellow congregant heading the other way and I began to think—and a few second later I called out to him “Are you going to the shiva home?” He was. Even though he was just one person, that gave me the confidence to go. The mourner was very pleased to see me, and we soon had a minyon. I am glad I decided to go.Read More

Kallah in the Kitchen

Two hours before Shabbos I went to say Mazel Tov to my neighbor whose daughter just got married, but to my surprise I found the new Kallah in the kitchen struggling to prepare food for her own sheva brochos! Her mother was unavailable to cook due to a family emergency. I immediately asked her what was left to make and prepared a side dish and a dessert in my own kitchen, giving the Kallah an opportunity to enjoy her special day.Read More

Instant Delivery Man

There is a young woman I know of from Beit Shemesh who now lives in a remote part of Israel where her husband does kiruv work. One day my office told me to travel to this village for work, so I thought it would be nice to offer the couple a free delivery service. The husband contacted his in-laws, who gave me a trunk-load of Mehadrin food to deliver, as the couple has limited access to Mehdrin food or to produce which is not heter mechira. I am so glad that I thought of the idea before I began my trip!Read More

A Virtual Guest Becomes Reality

I was on the www.Shabbat.com website and saw a picture of a man and thought to myself "This man looks like he should get an invitation for Shabbos.! I sent him an invitation, which he graciously accepted. We discovered that he had been living in an institution in which he was the only one keeping Shabbos, so that this was the first Shabbos in quite some time that he spent in a warm, religious environment. He thoroughly enjoyed every moment of Shabbos and couldn't wait to come back again!Read More