Learning about other's kindnesses often encourages us to improve our own attempts to perform good deeds. How can we possibly compare these acts, however, with those of individuals who exhibited almost superhuman dedication to saving lives? Many of us have read about such righteous people who put their own lives in danger to protect the lives of innocents in peril. Though we may not be able to match those feats ourselves, we will have done our part if we take steps to honor these individuals by remembering their accomplishments.
One project that aims to do just that is the Lowell Milken Center. The Center, founded by Jewish businessmanLowell Milken, facilitates an award program to identify and honor heroes -- people whose actions significantly impacted on the lives of others, on their community and on the world. One of the first people to be so honored isIrena Sendler, a Polish woman who succeeded in smuggling thousands of babies and children out of the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Sendler then placed the children in safe homes where they could survive the war. Not only did Irena ensure the children's safety but she safeguarded their heritage by preserving their real names, as well as the homes into which they had been placed, in a glass jar which she buried in her yard.
"Good grief," quoth the older woman standing in the subway with a cane slung over her elbow. A woman with a child in her arms was standing right in front of her. Why hadn't anyone given her a seat?
The older woman pulled the earbuds out of her ears, turned to the woman standing with an armful of child, and said, "You may be proud, but I ain't." Then she tapped the seated man in front of her on the shoulder and said, "Could you please give this woman a seat?" The man stood up immediately, and Ms. Cane-Enabled told the woman carrying the child to take the just-vacated seat.
People are so wrapped up in their electronic devices that they don't even notice when a person needs help anymore. :( But they do help once they realize that help is needed.
First, I'd like to start off by wishing all the readers of this blog, and the entire Jewish blogosphere, a late shavua tov. And now for the kindness.
Yesterday, (yes, I know yesterday was Shabbat, I'm still working on the observance), our county had its inaugural meeting for the just-re-established chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. The day before, I was on campus, and had a seizure, which caused me to fall down a flight of stairs. So I figured I wasn't going to be able to make the meeting. When the person I was supposed to walk with called to make sure I was still coming, I explained the situation to him and asked if he could post me on what happened afterwords. Instead of just agreeing to update me, he offered to put me on speaker phone for the meeting so that I could attend. I was very surprised. I'm generally not used to that kind of accommodation. And I was quite thankful for it.
I saw this on Twitter and FB. It's a movement that helps youth in diff communties, and tries to take caring preventive measures to insure that young individuals stay on the right track.
It is called B'derech. Here's the message on their page
"The movement dedicated to keeping our kids happy as they travel B'Derech HaTorah. It's about hearing the voice of the kids. It's about Kiruv Kerovim. It's about reintroducing the Derech HaBaal Shem. It's about making sure each kid knows he's unique and special."
NMF#7 has a great post about moving into another appartment. Eventhough it was difficult, it is made is easier with the help of friends in the neighborhood, baruch Hashem
Here's a beautiful post from clooJew "Random acts of Achdus"
May we all work towards having good middos and ahavas Yisrael
I keep telling people that I feel like my wedding is a community effort. The kindness of so many friends who are sharing in my happiness has really touched me. And the kindness from strangers through this process has been awesome as well. Here are just a few examples:
1) The jeweler that we got my engagement ring from gave us the wedding band for free.
2) The woman I got my sheitel (wig) from gave me a huge discount.
3) We are holding our wedding at a friend's house, who offered without any hesitation.
4) I've had tons of people offer to make food for my engagement party, wedding and sheva brachos (festive meals for a week after the wedding).
5) I had friends throw me a bridal shower and give me beautiful gifts.
6) I have friends who are donating their time and expertise to do my make-up, photography and wedding cake.
7) Friends have offered to take lots and lots of time out of their busy schedules to go with me to pick out my gown, sheitel, and take care of other wedding preparations.
In addition to all the wedding stuff, my fiance and I went and visited the community we are moving to and the outpouring of welcome was phenomenal. Not only were we invited for meals on the holiday and Shabbos, but we were also hosted during the week for lunches and dinners. It went such a long way towards making me feel comfortable about moving there.
Maybe it's my "out-of-towner" sensibility, but I don't usually expect to see unusually kind acts from random starngers in Brooklyn. I'm not trying to be stereotypical, and I realize that there are many many Chesed organizations, etc. Brooklyn can come off as being so impartial, so cold sometimes, which is one of the major disadvantages to such a large grouping of people in one place...
In any event, my wife and I took a trip down Bay Parkway to Babies R Us in Bensonhurst, to buy various and sundry products for our little boy.
We were trying to determine which brand of diapers and exactlt how many we should get one a random woman approached us. I couldn't tell if she was Jewish, but that's neither here nor there. She asked us if we had any coupons, and when we said no, she started riffling through her purse to give us a whole wad of coupons. She insisted we take them, and then continued to track us down through the store to offer us more coupons on other necessary things we had on our shopping list.
Isn't that nice?
- to the friend who made us several days' worth of full-meal-in-a-bowl vegan soup;
- to the friends who drove us to an out-of-town Chanukah party, door-to-door, because I couldn't get on the subway and meet them partway;
- to the friend who lent me a cape because I couldn't get my casts through my coat sleeves;
- to the friend who calls me several times a week to see how I'm doing;
- to the friend who cooked us two weeks' worth of kosher meals, asking only that we pay for the ingredients;
- and most of all, to my poor husband, who helped me through the worst of it, waiting on me practically hand and foot in the beginning, when I had over-the-elbow casts & was almost completely immobilized in the arms---it took a whole month of phone calls to get me a home health aide.
My boss told me the following story:
This past weekend there was a big snowstorm and the aftermath of it was tons of very slick spots of ice all over the roads. My boss was driving to a friend's house and, in order to avoid a car that was turning into her lane, she ended up skidding and getting stuck in a snow drift. She tried to get out of the drift, but her wheels just kept spinning without her car moving.
As she was despairing, a truck drove up and the driver, a total stranger, got out of his car. He pulled on boots and a big pair of gloves and got a shovel out of his car. He walked over and asked if he could help. My boss, of course, accepted. This man shoveled out her car and then helped her maneuver to get out of the snow drift she was in. Without asking for any kind of thanks, he then got into his truck and drove off. She was certainly thankful for his help!