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Being the Good for Another

Monday, 23 March, 2020 - 11:27 am

 Have you ever seen a quote that really resonated with you? I recently came upon one such quote.

It went something like this: “Sometimes when it feels like nothing good is happening to you, remember that you just might be the good thing that is supposed to happen to someone else today”.

I remember getting a call recently from someone I know who is going through an excruciatingly difficult time in their life. One I do not wish upon anyone G-d forbid. I picked up the phone expecting to see how I could be of assistance to them. But no! This person had called to see how I was managing with my 9 year old son leaving home to live at his grandparents this year in order to attend a Jewish Day School (as we serve as Shluchim in a small town without a Jewish Day School).

I was speechless to say the least. My son is thank G-d doing well and though we miss him dearly, we are so happy that he is surrounded by loving family and friends in NJ and will be home to visit often. My missing him coupled with the joy of where he is was a simple bittersweet emotion that we parents experience in many ways throughout our parenting careers.

 

But nevertheless, this friend of ours took the time to reach out for one purpose: to check in and make sure I was OK; to let me know I had been on their mind constantly over the last few weeks. No words came to me at that moment. Just tears. How on earth they had found the mental and emotional space to make room for something so small, relative to the all consuming issues they were facing, confounded me and simply melted my heart.

The ability to see past our own troubles, challenges, and hard days and reach out to another in need is truly an exemplary “Middah”. Often, we are so enmeshed in our personal difficulties, that it seems impossible to make room for another.

The Torah tells us that by nature we are Gomlei Chasadim- those who do acts of kindness for another. We are wired to see past our own life and all that consumes us and into the soul of another, to what they may be needing or feeling.

To be a Jew means to live from a place of “Or”- light. As the Torah describes the plague of darkness (Exodus 10:23):“No person could see his fellow...,for three days; but for the children of Israel, there was light in all their dwellings" 

The ability to "see his fellow" is the way Torah defines darkness vs. light in this passage. Because true light is the ability to see, not just on a physical level, but on an emotional and spiritual one as well, into the soul of another. To live from a place of light is to radiate empathy, sensitivity, and genuine Ahavat Yisroel for another, despite the darkness that seems to engulf us at times.

And something miraculous happens in the process: We are uplifted too.

Because we are connected. Essentially bound to one another. And when I reach out to connect with you, soul to soul we are now bound, and together we uplift each other. 

Sister to soul sister we are intertwined. Through our symbiotic relationship, we bring healing and joy to the world. I lift myself out of the mud for a moment to reach out to you. And as my hand extends to you, pulling you higher and higher, I in turn feel myself carried by your love and care. Together we now soar. Higher and higher.

 

So dear friends: make today the day you reach out to another. Even if you’re not feeling it right now. And allow yourself to feel that tug from the other. That is you being lifted. Higher and higher. Together you will soar.

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