The Minyan, the Old Man, and the Fellow Who Offered a Lift


Pnina Souid 


Recently, the Mitzvah Man was looking to pray Minha with a minyan. In the Brooklyn community, everyone knows the place to find a minyan is at the Bnai Yosef Synagogue, fondly known as a minyan factory. 

When the Mitzvah Man entered the shul, he noticed an elderly man sitting in the lobby, collecting tzedakah. During the tefillot, from 3:30 to 4:10, the man asked over and over, “Can anyone drive me home?” No one offered. 

The Mitzvah Man decided that he would volunteer to drive the man home after he finished praying. He approached the man who told him, “I live in Boro Park, my knees are not good. It is painful to walk, and it is cold outside.” 

The Mitzvah Man thought, Boro Park is not exactly around the corner, but he did not want to pass up this opportunity to do a hesed. It was well worth the inconvenience.  

In the car this elderly man told him that even when he finds a ride home, often it is not door-to-door, so he must find two other connecting rides. It usually takes him two hours to get home. 

“So, why do you come here?” the Mitzvah Man asked. 

“Because many men come here to pray and there is a man who gives me a lot of money!” 

In a respectful manner the Mitzvah Man asked him, “How much money?” 

“Ten dollars.” 

The Mitzvah Man handed the man a $20 bill. He was ecstatic! 

“You drove me straight home and you gave me the largest donation that I ever received!” 

He is a nice man, just poor, with knees that don’t work the way they used to. 

Why are we sharing this story? 

Because, if you pray in Bnai Yosef and you see this man asking for a ride home, please consider doing so. Certainly, it is not easy and is time-consuming to drive all the way to Boro Park. If you can’t drive him home a great option is to send him home in an Uber.  

Your act of hesed will give him a greater quality of life and will also be a Kiddush Hashem. 

In addition, if you want to give him a $20 bill, it will probably be the largest donation he received that day. Of course, any amount is acceptable. 

If you pray at Bnai Yosef, please look out for this man. He is sweet, humble, and appreciative. 

Let’s always keep our eyes and ears open for hesed opportunities