web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



A World Of Kindness

Twenties-030113

I have to admit it. I was scared. And I don’t get scared. Or at least I don’t like to advertise when I do. But the wording of the e-mail from the U.S. State Department was so… harsh. Violent armed robberies are on the rise in Peru. These crimes…are common in Lima and other large cities. U.S. citizens traveling alone should be especially careful to avoid situations in which they are vulnerable due to impaired judgment or isolation.

In just three days I was going to be a U.S. citizen traveling alone to this apparent hotbed of crime called Peru, starting out in big, bad Lima. And if I wasn’t already freaked out enough by the State Department’s e-mail, I had a whole slew of pointers coming at me from other directions. Keep your camera strap wrapped tightly around your wrist, carry a decoy wallet, and never take your passport out of your hotel’s safe, were just some of the warnings I was given.Apparently Peru was a land devoid of morals, and I was beginning to wonder why I was going.

Of course I knew why I was going. I had several weeks off from grad school and was going to spend part of them volunteering at a wild animal sanctuary just outside Cusco. I couldn’t wait to get up close and personal with Andean condors, pumas, llamas and all sorts of other animals you don’t see every day in Brooklyn. That is, if I made it from my host family’s home to the sanctuary in one piece…

As it turns out, during the two-and-a-half weeks I spent in Peru I never once got the impression that someone wanted to harm me. But I did get the surprise of a lifetime.

The people on the street in Peru were supposed to be out to get me. They were supposed to be reaching into my knapsack with the malicious intention of pulling out my wallet/camera/phone. They were not supposed to be kind. They were not supposed to show respect for human beings. And they were certainly not supposed to be teaching me a lesson in how to properly do chesed.

There is a flip side to the menacing image of Peru, and it can easily be seen by hopping on a local bus in Cusco. But first we should probably be more specific about the word “bus.” Get that image of an MTA bus out of your head. Egged bus? Not even close. These types of buses do exist in certain areas of Peru, but they just cost too much for the average person in this poverty-stricken nation. Instead, combis, rickety vehicles caught in a gawky stage between van and bus, zip through the streets at mach speed, transporting passengers for around 25 cents.

And there is almost never enough space. The seats always seem to fill up immediately, and the driver- and his assistant who handles fares/announces stops/attracts potential passengers by screaming out the names of upcoming destinations- have no problem packing in people like sardines. Sometimes it seems worth walking the extra twenty minutes in the rain to save yourself the ordeal of riding a combi. But sometimes it’s worth being squished between someone’s armpit and the window of the combi just to have a refresher course in human kindness.

Those of us who are products of a yeshiva education have the words mipnei seiva takum ingrained in our minds. We rise from our seats when a rabbi ascends to the podium, we stand as a principal enters the classroom and we offer our seats to elderly people on the bus. Or at least we know we’re supposed to. Sometimes we look around the bus first, hoping someone else will give up their seat, because after having been on one’s feet all day who really wants to stand for another half hour?

But that doesn’t seem to be a problem in Peru. The moment an elderly woman boards the bus, her back hunched under the weight of a colorful blanket bulging with goods to sell, young people spring out of their seats. They don’t ask themselves, will someone get up first? They tell themselves, I am going to get up first.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A World Of Kindness”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Protest rally against Metropolitan Opera staging Death of Klinghoffer on 9/22 at 4:30 pm at the Met.
For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest 9/22, Jewish Establishment MIA
Latest Sections Stories
Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Astaire-092614-Sunrise

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

More Articles from Cheryl Geliebter
Twenties-030113

I have to admit it. I was scared. And I don’t get scared. Or at least I don’t like to advertise when I do. But the wording of the e-mail from the U.S. State Department was so… harsh. Violent armed robberies are on the rise in Peru. In just three days I was going to be a U.S. citizen traveling alone to this apparent hotbed of crime called Peru, starting out in big, bad Lima.

Teens-100512

I knew I wasn’t supposed to do it. They specifically warned us not to, and you don’t mess with the army. But how could I not? I peeked over my shoulder and saw the olive drab back of the supervisor. Good. I dropped the paper into the box along with the chocolate spread and watched it continue down the conveyer belt. A minute later the box was sealed. No sirens went off, no soldiers rappelled down the walls of the warehouse, fixing their guns on me. I exhaled. And then laughed. My note was just one of several that had snuck their way into the food packages that day. And the IDF had no clue…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/a-world-of-kindness/2013/03/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: