SZ Connect: Helping Community Singles Split the Sea

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By: Pnina Souid

Mitzvah Man volunteers can be found doing hesed in all kinds of ways. For example, some do handyman work, others help with driving people to the hospital or to doctor appointments, and others visit individuals who benefit from friendly comradery. One of our Mitzvah Man volunteers (who shall remain anonymous) took on the hesed of visiting an elderly Russian woman (we’ll call her “Sasha”) who lived alone. It was a win-win, as both the volunteer and Sasha enjoyed the visits. The volunteer stood by his weekly commitment to visit each week for four years. He also brought Sasha the weekly Mitzvah Man Shabbat flowers as well. These visits were the highlight of Sasha’s week.

Sasha’s children wanted to meet this volunteer whose visits meant so much to their mother. The volunteer began to speak about his own grandmother, who used to work at a flea market many years ago. She would take the merchandise home with her each weekend on the subway. It was so hard for her to schlep on the train each week with the merchandise – both going and coming. Selling her wares was one thing, but the stress and strain of transporting them was quite another.

It so happened “by chance” that there was a young man also working at the flea market. He noticed our volunteer’s grandmother carrying her bundles and asked how she was getting home. When she responded, “the subway,” he told her that he takes his car each week and would be happy to drive her so that she would not have to carry all those packages.

Who was that young man who offered the lift? It was Sasha’s son!

Both Sasha and our volunteer were astounded to find out that hesed between their families had started many years before. They felt real hashgacha pratit, divine intervention, in bringing them together. Olam hesed yibaneh! The world is built on acts of loving kindness.