I have realized in the last few months that the friends and acquaintances in our lives are there for a very special reason. It is clear that we are in relationships to help each other at different times in our lives.
If you hear that your friend has a simcha, or God forbid, sad news, Hashem wants you to act on it. Make a phone call to wish someone a happy birthday or a mazal tov. Pay a shivah call, send flowers to someone who is ill, and visit an elderly person at her retirement home.
Here is my story of doing a good deed that trickled down to helping my own child to purchase luggage!
My mother-in-law wanted to volunteer her time at a retirement home, but it just never worked out. When she found out that Madame Cohen was admitted to a retirement home, she realized that Hashem had opened a door of opportunity for doing something good. You see, Madame Cohen never had children, and all her siblings had passed on. When she developed signs of Alzheimer’s and could no longer take care of herself, her niece and nephew had no choice but to place her in a nursing facility.
My mother-in-law visited her frequently. The two women conversed, laughed, listened to music, and went for walks. Madame Cohen’s family appreciated these visits, especially since they knew that most of the time, Madame Cohen did not recognize my mother-in-law.
My husband was getting ready to go to Australia for a few weeks. He needed to purchase a carry-on bag. He had his heart set on a particular suitcase that was a bit pricey. One day, before heading back to the office, he decided to walk into a luggage store and there was the suitcase he wanted. The price was still very high.
The owner of the store asked him if he needed help, and in the same breath told him that he looked very familiar. After exchanging names, the store owner said, “I believe that your mother visits my aunt in the nursing home!” My husband confirmed this, and the owner told him that he would give him the luggage for a fraction of what it cost him.
So there it is! Hashem gives us the opportunity every day to bless one another by smiling and wishing each other a great day, a good recovery, and good news.
The next time someone thanks you for doing something wonderful, thank them for giving you the opportunity to do a mitzvah. I am told that mitzvos are the only form of currency we take with us to the Next World.
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy New Year.
May you seize the opportunities throughout the coming year to do mitzvos and kindnesses to everyone with whom you are connected. After all, that is the reason we are connected in the first place.Odette Fellus