Out Of The Mailbag: Jewish Kindness

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  • #588060

    Y.W. Editor
    Keymaster

    The following letter was submitted to YWN via email:

    Dear YWN,

    I would like to share a personal story with you that highlights some of the best aspects of Klal Yisroel.

    This past Sunday, I was driving to Toronto from Brooklyn with my wife and four children. All was going well and we were making good time, until approx 10:30 pm. We were a few miles out of the Clarence Rest Stop on the NYS Thruway, not far from Exit 50 (near Buffalo), when a tar-like smell began to creep into my nostrils. I looked down at the RPM gauge of my minivan, and sure enough, the dial was gesticulating wildly, irrespective of whether I was accelerating or not. It was clearly a transmission problem (I had just had my transmission replaced about two months ago.) The mechanic had assured me that all was fine, however, clearly, all was not fine!

    For better or worse, I decided to try and make it to the next service area, which was some 2-3 miles away. My minivan groaned under the strain, and would not go more than 30 mph, but baruch hashem we did make it to the safety of the service area.

    As we were pulling in, I noticed another frum family sitting in a minivan. My wife quickly approached them and asked for some assistance. Here we were, hundreds of miles from home, and over 100 miles from our destination, in middle of the night (by this time it was after 11pm), with no way of getting to Toronto!

    This kind family, a couple with some teen aged daughters, gladly offered to take two of my children to Toronto where my in-laws would pick them up! We quickly prepared a document for the Canadian border, explaining our predicament and allowing this wonderful family to cross without any hassles.

    I know that the two wonderful Toronto families who assisted me would value their privacy, so I will not disclose their names. But I did want to give a public thanks on this forum to two selfless families who embody some of the best middos that Klal Yisrael has. I was so proud to be a frum Jew that night. I truly was.

    #620812

    Joseph
    Participant

    This is Klal Yisroel!

    Now this is a story that should be made permanently sticky.

    Now this is a story that happens every day, but we only hear about them once in a while.

    Who needs any of the other stories?

    #620813

    bored@work
    Participant

    Mi Kiamcha Yisroel,

    I know a family, on their way someone their car died, they had 10 kids, and each jewish car that passed by took 1 or 2 until they all arrived at their destination.

    Really so so nice

    #620814

    itsme
    Member

    This story makes you proud to be part of Klal Yisroel. As Joseph suggested, stories like this should be publicized. We salute the writer for taking the time to express Hakoras Hatov by telling the story. We are proud to be the parents of the writer.

    Have a safe trip home! Ta and Ma

    #620815

    Brainysis
    Participant

    Thanks for posting your inspiring story. Always an adventure! Have a great trip and let us know when you get back so we can schedule a barbecue….

    Regards.

    #620816

    oomis
    Participant

    I have a nice story to tell, with a middah k’neged middah ending, as well as a Kiddush Ha-Shem. My husband an I were coming home from Brooklyn to the Rockaway/Five Towns area, it was late that night and we were exhausted. We were driving through the Rockaways, and while in Arverne, we were honked by some black ladies who were lost. They were trying to get to Queens via the Van Wyck Espressway, and had gone totally out of their way and had no idea where they were. We tried to explain how to get there, but they were just befuddled, so tired as we were, we told them to follow us, and we drove all the way to the approach to the Van Wyck. The women could not have been more appreciative, and with my husband wearing a yarmulke, it was obvious we were religious Jews.

    Fast forward a few weeks – my husband took my son to a long-awaited ball game at Yankee Stadium. They got out rather late, and despite having been told how to get home, they took a wrong turn and ended up in Nowheresville. They had no idea where they were, no GPS, and it was late and a creepy neighborhood somewhere in the Bronx. Finally, someone from that neck of the woods drove by and my husband honked the driver and asked for directions back towards Kennedy Airport. The man started to explain, but it wasn’t clear exactly how to get onto the right road. So the man said, “OK, just follow me, and I’ll get you to the road you need.” He drove ahead of my husband and son for about 15 minutes or so, and then showed them the signs leading to the road they needed to be on.

    In both instances, neither party looked at color, or religion, or monetary reward. They each saw someone in trouble, and went a literal extras mile or miles in order to help them. the fact that my family was helped in the exact manner in which we had helped someone else, gives me great chizuk.

    #620817

    vdahan
    Member

    It’s times like these that make you appreciate what Am Yisroel is all about. Thank you.

    #620820

    illini07
    Member

    It’s stories like these that make you forget your differences with others and be proud to stand together.

    #620821

    mi keamcha yisroel

    #620822

    Bentzy18
    Participant

    B”H what a beautifull story. I also agree that we need to share more stories like this. We hear about every negative detail in lightning speed and it is easy to loose sight of how wonderful it is to be part of such a special nation.

    We also see that sometimes it is such an easy thing to do to help out another, and sometimes we hear of stories of people who went above and beyond what we would ever expect a person would or could do. May there be many more people like that in Klal Yisroel, and we may surprise ourselves one day and rise up to the challenge when the time comes.

    #620823

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL !!!! THE STORY ABOUT THE TORONTO- BOUND FAMILY RESTORED MY FAITH IN OUR HOLY PEOPLE , REGARDLESS OF THE MACHANEH !! INDEED, IF WE WOULD ALL HAVE THE SAME ATTITUDE, MOSHIACH WOULD ALREADY BE IN YERUSHALAIM !! LET US TRY TO EMULATE THE ABOVE EXAMPLES! gut shabbos

    #620824

    flash
    Member

    An incredible story, but certainly no surprise to any of us who live in Toronto. Toronto is a city of Chesed. But don’t publicize it. We don’t want the New Yorkers, to find out and move up here, and ruin our city!!!!

    #620825

    Absolutely wonderful story… brought tears of pride to my eyes.

    #620826

    pinnygold
    Member

    Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!

    #620829

    this story makes me want to cry

    #620830

    Matisyohu28
    Member

    oomis – that was a nice story, but i feel i must point out that the difference between a jew and a goy is not merely one of religion, or beliefs.

    we are created vastly different from goyim, spiritualy, and somewhat different (acording to the chasam sofer) physically. Unless there is an element of kiddush hashem, giving presents to goyim bechinam, or going to great lengths to do chessed is, at best, not advisable, and at times, assur. For example, by hashovas aveidah there is merely a Heter to do hashova if there is a kiddush hashem – if there is no kiddush hashem, it is assur to return items to a goy. It is however, a chiyuv if there will be a chillul hashem resulting from not returning it.

    I coudnt help but feel as if you were equating goyim with jews. Note that you listed together religion, color, etc.. – when torah makes absolutely no difernetiation between people of color or any other color. In religion, too there is no difference(except avodah zara). However, a jew can be a practicing buddhist/christian/muslim, etc…and still be 100% jewish. Not so with goyim – a goy believes in whatver he wants, and is classified as a goy whether he is a sun worshipper or a ben noach, however there are some differences in halacha between an oved avodah zara and a ben noach who is a yoreh shomayim.

    also, the torah does not say that you do chessed blindly(chazal say, he who is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful)

    as anything else, chessed must be channeled, primarily to yidden. For eample, there is no mitzvah to love goyim, at all. There is no mitzvah to give them tzedaka, only a heter. there is no mitzvah to return their aveidos, only a heter in certain cirumstances. there is no mitzvah to not say lashon hora on a goy, only it is not done since it makes one accustoed to saying it; these are only a few examples.

    #620831

    oomis
    Participant

    Matisyohu28, you have totally missed the point of my entire post. I wrote an entire reply to you, but then thought better of it and deleted it.I cannot undo that type of thinking, especially when you find pesukim and divrei chazal to (in your mind) back you up. There are some very decent non-Jews in this world, and Boruch Ha-Shem many of them saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust, at great risk to themselves. Some of them did so (as per their own explanations) because their Jewish neighbor had always been so nice to them.

    #620832

    Will Hill
    Participant

    oomis1105, and for every one goy like you mention, assuming they are even telling the truth, there are over 100 other goyim that stabbed their Jewish neighbor in the back during the holocaust, after years and years of “friendship”.

    #620833

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    to will hill, HUH???? “ma inyian shemittah eitzel har sinai” ?

    What does the fact that there are/were very evil gentiles have to do with the fact that there are/were very good gentiles? And you truly show your despicable nature when you say “assuming they are even telling the truth”. In other words, all those Jews who survived the war thanks to being hidden by gentiles never existed? They must have been the fruits of our fertile imagination! What garbage you spout!

    Go out and learn your tenach, your gemoro and your Jewish history and you will see that there are “zaddikei umos huolom”. Maybe not enough, but they exist!

    ( I am not even going to try to comment on matisjohu’s comments. He lives in his own warped world)

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