Fifteen years ago when we first moved to Passaic NJ , we spent our first Shabbos davening at Tiferes Israel. I’ll never forget walking into Shul holding Yocheved (5 months old) in my arms and standing in the ladies section. I probably stood no less than a minute before a woman around the age of 75 got up from the bench to make room for me to sit next to her. From that moment on we became life long friends. This special woman, who many of you know as Millie celebrated her 90th birthday today! Happy Birthday Millie!!! Over the years Millie has knitted baby blankets for each of my babies. One of our favorite outings my kids enjoyed in Passaic was bringing Challah and visiting Millie almost every Erev Shabbos. Millie always had a bowl full of assorted candies for the kids and she would say, “fill up your pockets kids!” They were good listeners too! Today, we had to celebrate Millie’s birthday over the phone, but Millie was so appreciative of the call. We got to talking and all Millie could say is how grateful she is for our friendship and marveled at the fact that it came from a simple, uncomplicated act of kindness. Although, Millie never had children of her own, she always says how G-D blessed her with children, ours and dozens of other’s from the community. There is so much to learn from this great lady, so for all those who live in her neighborhood, it’s worth making the connection. For those of you who don’t live nearby, IY”H she is planning on attending Yosef Tzvi’s (Joey’s) Bar Mitzvah next year, so you’ll have an opportunity then.
This morning Benny had back to back lessons of speech therapy. B”H he understands everything and has now added a new word to his vocabulary “zaida,” among other words. In the afternoon we went on a walk, first to the school to sign up for PTA (yay, can hardly wait!). While at the school we met the crossing guard who recognized Benny from across the street and called out Benny’s name. It was so cute. He doesn’t even go to school and yet the guard treated him like he was an important dignitary.
On the way home we made a detour to the ice cream store. After Benny enjoyed a few bites of soft vanilla ice cream, he decided he wanted a cone. He pointed to the one in the refrigerator section. The only problem was that these mini ice cream cones were sold by the dozen. When I asked if I could buy one, the man behind the counter said “no” (this was the same man who said “no” to me last month when I asked him for an additional cup, so I can split the milkshake I got for Benny). However, seconds after he said “no,” he said Benny can have it for free for being a loyal customer. Right then and there, I learned a valuable lesson, never to give up on human nature. After last months episode, I was so turned off and never wanted to walk into the store again, but I did. Today, this man made a complete turn around and displayed excellent customer service. Could it have been because it was on the eve of New Year’s? It doesn’t matter. What does matter is, he made a change for the better. Through this one small act of kindness, I no longer will hesitate to go in and buy ice cream. One never knows what one small act of kindness towards other’s will bring in return – but what you can be sure of is, the investment will have a good return.
Tonight, brings in the beginning of a new calendar year 2013. Although, this is not our High Holiday, it is never too early or too late to make a change and a difference in the world. May the year of 2013 be filled with good health, good Mazal, Bracha, and happiness for all.
The next 7 weeks is referred to as Shovvim, it is the time period in the Torah, Parshas Shmos through Mishpatim, when we become the Jewish nation. It signifies a time of togetherness. Let us try to do what we can during this special time to make a difference in one another’s lives.