Giving…the High Road Variety

Most of us will help another person when needed. It’s called chessed. Something we were taught when we were tiny tots. But chessed comes in two very distinct packages. One is doing as much as was requested. “Ok, I’m done? Great! Now I can get back to my regular life.” And then there’s the other kind. The person who looks around when the job is done, thinking, “What else can I do for him?” Two varieties. So very different. 

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pr gen R' Chollak IMG_9149The strains of ketzad m’rakdim (a wedding song) still reverberated in the air as they began to the drive home after a family wedding. Feet were still tapping to the joyous rhythms as the family regaled each other with the highlights of the evening. And then came the crash. Unexpected. Without warning. And suddenly their lives were changed forever.

How could it be??? Just a moment ago, they had been so happy. Continue reading Shock!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Volunteering: What the Kids Have Discovered

Volunteering offers so much more satisfaction!

Some say that the new generation is steeped in materialism and can’t see past their ipod screens. Is it true? A recent event in Israel honoring junior volunteers yielded some surprises.

Last summer, M, a sixth grader, noticed something strange going on in her neighbor’s home. Continue reading Volunteering: What the Kids Have DiscoveredFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Dignity: The Ultimate in Chessed (Good Deeds)

It happens with the best intentions. A regular, normative family finds itself turning into the object of a “chessed project,” and they hardly know how it happened! The family’s dignity is compromised and their privacy intruded upon* The way to misguided chessed is paved with good intentions…

A class had a project to “collect acts of chessed.”Get our blog posts sent directly to your inbox by subscribing here .

“What chessed did you do?” the teacher asked Brocha.

“I helped an old lady with heavy bags cross the street,” Brocha replied.

The teacher nodded and gave her a point.

“And you, what chessed did you do?” she asked Rachel.

“I helped an old lady with heavy bags cross the street,” answered Rachel.

The teacher murmured something, gave Rachel a point and called on Gila: “And you?”

“I helped an old lady with heavy bags cross a dangerous street,” Gila reported.

The teacher was about to mark a point for Gila, too, when she stopped short.

“I don’t understand,” she wondered. “So many old ladies with heavy bags crossed the street yesterday?”

“No,” the children laughed. ‘There was only one old lady. But she didn’t want to cross the street and it took all three of us to drag her across together…”

Sound familiar? The reason it is humorous is that it is an exaggerated form of what often happens in real life.

When a similar, but all too real incident took place, it wasn’t the least bit funny. Continue reading Dignity: The Ultimate in Chessed (Good Deeds)Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail