When I was a newlywed, my husband accepted a position as a rebbi in a Hartford, Connecticut yeshiva. I had my first two employment opportunities there, one in an advertising concern and the second one in an insurance agency.
Sometime later, my husband became a commissioned officer in the Air Force, where he would serve as the Jewish Chaplain. Our orders were to report to the Lakenheath Air Force Base, located in the UK. We were excited, as well as nervous, as we didn’t know what to expect.
I duly gave in my notice at work and prepared for our move, but to our shock, shortly thereafter, my husband’s commission was put on hold. An investigation into his background was deemed necessary to rule out any Communist ties, due to his being born in Europe in 1946!
I went back to my former place of employment and asked for any sort of work that was available, but my boss, Mr. Rosen told me to: “give him a week,” and to get back to him. I didn’t know what he had in mind, but I didn’t question him about it. He had taught me during my employ: “Never assume anything,” a mantra that I have repeated often, so I waited out the week and then returned to his office.
Mr. Rosen informed me that we would be leaving for the military on time as Shai’s commission was in force.
I just looked at him in shock and could not speak!
He told me that he had contacted William Cotter, the Connecticut Congressman who had ordered a Senate investigation into my husband’s “case,” which was closed immediately as there were absolutely no grounds for Communist concerns.
I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say or how to thank Mr. Rosen.
He replied: “I ask only one thing from you. When you have the opportunity, to help another person, don’t hesitate to do it.”
We kept in touch. Mr. Rosen retired and eventually moved out of state.
Recently, my granddaughter, who lives with her husband in Hartford, wanted to take me on a “reunion tour” of my former workplaces, so she FaceTimed the buildings for me. It got me to reminiscing about Mr. Rosen so I Googled his name only to learn that he had recently passed away and that his funeral had been held in Hartford! I wondered if I had been confused about where he had been living. I Googled his family members and found a phone number for his son and duly called the number leaving a voice message expressing my condolences. I noted that I had wonderful memories to share with the family if they wished to return my call.
A week later, Mr. Rosen’s son called me. The miracle of his returning my call is the following. He no longer lived at the home, nor had the telephone number that had been listed for him online, but the new owners of his former residence had the same surname and were kind enough to forward my message to him!
I related what Mr. Rosen had taught me: “never to assume anything,” and most importantly how his assistance to my husband and to me, changed our lives! His son concurred that the life lessons imparted to me by his dear, departed father were the same lessons that Mr. Rosen had inculcated within his family. I was touched, yet again, beyond words!
It takes but a moment to do a kindness for another, but it can change worlds, it can move mountains.
Just one good deed can bring the Geulah Shleimah reuniting us all once again, so let’s do it!