A Moment to Care
by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
On Wednesday I returned from a quick trip to the Holy Land. On my last day there, I went to the Geula section of Jerusalem to buy Judaica items to bring home. My last stop was at a store called Gal Paz where I bought quite a few Cd's of Jewish music. From there I went to visit a friend at a Yeshiva called Mayanot, about a ten minute walk from the music store.
After stopping off to pray at the Kosel (Western Wall), I went home to pack and realised that I did not have my discs. I called my friend at Mayanot, wondering if I had left them there. He told me with some amazement that an hour before he had seen a ‘lost and found' notice hanging outside the Yeshiva. The sign read that someone found a significant amount of disks on the street in a Gal Paz bag. The finder explained that he had taken them back to the store who promised to return them if they would be properly identified. I went back to Geula and retrieved my discs.
I was of course very happy to have my discs back. But more than that, I was inspired by the small but significant act of concern and care that the finder had demonstrated. He could have ignored the bag and continued on with his own business. But he didn't - he stooped and made it his problem, which then cost him an extra twenty minutes to take them back to the store, strengthening the possibility of me finding them. I don't know him and he does not know me, and I can't even say thank you. It was a relatively small act but a gesture of true kindness and selflessness.
There are many forms of kindness. We read and hear of great acts of philanthropy and important projects of community work. Some of us do not have the capacity to engage in such activities. But we can all take a few minutes each day and do something small for someone else with true devotion and care. We can all invest a few minutes to make some else feel more comfortable. We can spend a few minutes helping someone carry their packages, or just listening to their story, making them feel better.
True kindness is making someone else's problem yours when you don't need to and no one else will know.