PURIM Unmasked

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By: Pnina S. Souid

A call came in to the Mitzvah Man hotline –


“Our 7-year-old son is hospitalized and is on a ventilator. We stay with him all day and all night. Our child is so precious to us we just can’t leave him, but the stress and strain that our around-the-clock watch at his bedside is beginning to have negative effects on us.

Would it be possible for the Mitzvah Man organization to send volunteers to relieve us from 8:00pm to 8:00am? This relief will help us tremendously.  Our son cannot be left alone in the hospital.”

A message went out immediately to the volunteers of The Mitzvah Man organization. There were many positive responses and a schedule was set up in order to accommodate the family.

Among the Mitzvah Man volunteers signed up for this hesed was a young man who happened to be in a specialty business. He is a licensed provider of children’s hospital gowns who had already tried in the past to get an account with the ‘Looney Tunes” company to produce and distribute children’s hospital gowns with the cartoon characters. He tried so hard for the past two years to get an appointment to present his proposal, but to no avail. He was ignored.

The first night that he went to sit at the boy’s bedside he noticed that the child was wearing a plain hospital gown; a smaller size version of the adult gowns.

He knew that he could do better for these children.

At 2:00am, with the young patient sleeping comfortably, the volunteer decided to try one more time to reach “Looney Tunes.” In an email to “Looney Tunes” he sent a photo of the child (without showing his face) in the regular hospital gown with the following message:

“Wouldn’t a livelier gown with cartoon characters give a little happiness to ill children? It is so difficult for these kids as it is. Special children’s gowns could bring a smile to their faces and happier thoughts.”

The response from the Looney Tunes company?

Immediate and positive! Looney Tunes offered him a product license to do business with them. They would distribute this item throughout the United States.

Hesedfor its own sake is always a win-win.




The mid-winter vacation season finds many Mitzvah Man volunteers away with their families. However, the organization still runs regardless, and always has volunteers available to do hesed.

One day in January a request came in for nine men to make up the rest of a minyan to meet at a local Beit HaHaim (cemetery) so that kaddish could be recited at 8:00am the following day.

The Mitzvah Man organization has a specific list of minyan volunteers, but how many volunteers would be available during this time?

The message was sent out and one person responded the following: “Call Mr. D. This is what he does.”

Mr. D. was contacted. Within 20 minutes Mr. D. was able to assure the person who had to say kaddish that he would have a minyan at the appointed time.

The next morning, with a full minyan, kaddish was said at the Beit HaHaim.

Mr. D. has a specialty in the realm of hesed. He organizes minyanim to go out to cemeteries. Many times these are last minute emergency calls. Mr. D. knows how to get it done. This is his gift from Hashem that he uses to help others.

We all have specialties, or rather, gifts from Hashem, to be used to help others. Each one of us has a unique ability within the realm of hesed.

All that Hashem asks is for us to use this precious gift. No one’s ability is insignificant. This is your specialty.