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I walked aimlessly around the block, until I came across a police blockade which forced me to turn back the way I had come. I kept to the left this time, preparing myself to see the suffering sparrow – afraid to see it, but also afraid not to go back and look. As I slowly approached the window, a woman got up from a nearby bench and came over to me. “The sparrow flew away,” she said. I thanked her very much for telling me that, and I wished her a good day.

I said a silent thanks to G-d for the message He just sent me, one that I could not understand intellectually but felt in my heart. I thanked Him for allowing me to feel my own compassion for the suffering and helpless, and for the message of hope the sparrow provided by reorienting herself after injury or sickness enough to fly away to a better place, away from the danger of being trampled and ignored by the endless stream of passers-by.

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It was a message I badly needed, and I was grateful for the beautiful way in which G-d provided it.

Then, I too walked off.

And I was comforted.

In memory of Rebbetzin Shayndel Feuerstein, Shayndel Gittel bas Eliezer Chaim, a dearly beloved woman who touched thousands of people around the worlds with her kindness and inspired everyone who knew her with her courage even in the darkest of times.

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