Photo Credit: Jewish Press

As before most chagim in Israel, chesed organizations were busy with sales that enabled thousands of large families to make yom tov without going into debt. Meat, fruit, vegetables, basic household goods, etc., were all offered at cost price. The orders were taken through an automated form on the telephone (many charedi families don’t have smartphones or internet) and the families are told when and where to collect their orders – home deliveries are not available.

This was how Shira and Motti had placed their order and the night arrived when they had to pick it up in the local community center. It always entailed a certain amount of waiting while the order is put together but it is well worth it for the amount of money saved.


But that day Shira was feeling really sick. In fact she was feeling so bad she didn’t even want her husband to leave her on her own to cope with the children as she could barely stand up . But how would they get their order.

During the previous year of corona whole families had to go into quarantine and neighbors had happily done each others’ shopping and left it outside the front door. Shira had done this several times for her neighbors when they needed it so she didn’t feel too bad calling her friend Dina and asking her if she would mind picking up their order and bringing it home.

Of course Dina happily agreed.

But as the time of the sale pick up drew near Dina looked out of the window at the rain pouring down in sheets without any sign of letting up.

They waited a while but eventually there didn’t seem any point in delaying collecting Shira’s order. There was no reason to think that the rain would stop any time in the near future. Her husband Yosef looked down at his shoes – the last pair of dry shoes after a day of unusually heavy rain. Well there was nothing he could do about it.

They stepped out into the puddles and sloshed their way over to the community center and waited in line. They picked up Shira’s order, placed it in their stroller, covered it as best as they could to protect the food from the rain and carefully made their way back to Shira’s home.

As they entered the building Yosef looked down at his totally saturated shoes. “I wonder what I’ll wear to kollel tomorrow – these were my last dry pair. ” But there was nothing to do and they pulled the full stroller carefully step by step up the stairs to Shira’s apartment.

As they were about to ring the bell, Dina noticed a box further along the corridor. She glanced inside and saw a notice ‘Hefker – please help yourselves.’ She opened the box and saw it was filled with men’s shoes. She couldn’t believe her eyes. “Yosef – quick come over here.”

After staring in amazement for a few seconds, Yosef took several pairs out and tried them on. Almost all of them fit him so he chose two sturdy pairs. But still they had difficulty believing their luck. When Shira answered the door and gratefully thanked them for bringing their order they asked if she knew anything about the box.

“Oh yes that’s another box from the Shlomovitzes. They often leave boxes of really good quality clothes for people to help themselves. I guess they must get them from some relative. Take whatever you want.”

Yosef smiled. “Looks like HaKadosh Baruch Hu has decided I won’t be going to kollel in slippers tomorrow after all.”


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Ann Goldberg and her family made aliyah from the UK over 30 years ago and live in Jerusalem. She is a web content writer and writing coach and runs writing workshops and e-mail courses. For more information visit