Celebrating SUKKOT 5780

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By: Pnina Souid

How the Bore Olam assists His creations in need and gives Siyatta d’Shmaya (Heavenly assistance) to those who dedicate themselves to help others is the theme that runs through the Mitzvah Man Organization’s hesed stories.

Lives can be unexpectedly turned upside down. This month’s story is about one such occurrence. The following touching story unfolded as a result of just one of the many requests called into the Mitzvah Man hotline.

A religious woman called. She was living with her two children, aged five and seven, in a homeless shelter. She was the victim of an abusive spouse and had no family to turn to. Her only option was to live with her children in a public homeless shelter.

She told the Mitzvah Man of the horrific living conditions, which included sharing a bathroom and shower with all the other residents of the shelter on their floor.  The good news was that she finally found an apartment, but she was given only one week to leave the shelter.

What was the purpose of her call?

“I need a truck to pick up our belongings to move us to the new apartment.”

The Mitzvah Man asked her, “Do you have any furniture to move?”

“No,” she replied, “we have no furniture, not even beds. I was planning on spreading out blankets and sleeping on the floor in the meantime. Perhaps you have someone to donate a couch and a dresser with drawers for us to put our clothes in? However, our main priority is to have a mover. Since I cannot pay him, you would also have to find someone to cover the expenses of the move.”

This happened to be peak moving season, and the Mitzvah Man wasn’t sure if his mover would be available. When he called the mover, he answered, “I’m available.”

Then the Mitzvah Man proceeded to arrange for beds, dressers, and a couch to be donated and picked up by the mover so that the family would have furniture. 

Monday was moving day. The mover was scheduled to pick up the family from the shelter, then make the various stops to pick up the furniture and move everything and everyone into the new apartment.

The Mitzvah Man had a backup mover just in case, but thought to himself: what could possibly go wrong?

At 12:00 noon on Monday the mover called the Mitzvah Man with bad news. “My truck broke down.”

Plan B did not work out so well either – as the backup mover repeatedly did not answer his phone.

At 1pm the woman and her children, along with their belongings, would be out on the street.

And exactly at 1pm the woman called hysterically, “I am on the street!”

Just then a Jewish man driving a van noticed her and the children and stopped his vehicle. “Miss, why are you and your children crying? What happened?” he asked her.

She explained everything that had happened: how she was forced to go with her children to the homeless shelter because their lives were endangered by the abusive spouse and father. There was no family to stay with, and the woman was finally able to find an apartment. The Mitzvah Man had arranged for a mover and even some furniture for this apartment. However, his mover’s truck broke down, and the other mover is not answering his phone, and they were out on the street. “I am overwhelmed even more than I ever was at this point!” she cried.

The man said to her, “Don’t worry, I am a mover. I will be happy to move you and will not charge for the move.”

Within three hours the family was off the street and settled in their new apartment with the furniture collected by the good hearted mover.

It was as if the mover was sent from Shamayim.

The mother and her children will be eternally grateful to the angel (the mover) who helped them and to Mitzvah Man for supplying them with desperately needed furniture, and for arranging their move. Although in the end, the Mitzvah Man movers did not complete the job, without the Mitzvah Man’s preparations, the woman and her children would not have been out of the shelter when they were. This is truly a Mitzvah Man story of hashgacha pratit – true Divine intervention!