Friday, January 04, 2008

A Good Samaritan With A Yarmulke

(Picture courtesy of spanishfork.org)

I first noticed him sitting on a bench by the parking lot curb staring out with a bizarre look in his eyes. Returning from the bakery, we placed the bags in the trunk and then buckled the kids in the minivan.

"That guy just collapsed. Do a mitzvah and go over and help him.", my wife said pointing across the parking lot .

Cars drove around him and other shoppers at the plaza walked by ignoring this man with a cane who was now sprawled out in the middle of the parking lot thoroughfare.

"Can I help you over to the curb?," I asked him.

"Yes. I can't walk.", he replied with somewhat slurred speech.

I put my hand under his armpits, lifted him up, and struggled to carry the full weight of his body until I reached the curb where I sat him down.

"What happened?", I asked.

"I think I had a stroke man.", he replied.

"What do you want me to do know? Should I call an ambulance?", I asked.

When he replied in the affirmative, I went into a nearby store and told the shop keeper what had happened. Without the knowledge of whether this guy was mentally disturbed, strung out on drugs, or really had a stroke, another Jewish man who had witnessed me carrying this man and overheard our conversation came in, picked up the phone, and called an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

When I finally returned to the minivan my kids asked me question after question about what had just transpired. First, I told them that we should ask Hashem to send a refuah shleima to this man who was now on his way to the hospital. I then explained that it is very important for us to help people of all colors and not turn away from an opportunity to do an act of chesed for another human being. I told them that when other people witness a person with a yarmulke stopping to help another person in need it is a tremendous kiddush Hashem; that this was really the whole purpose of why we had come to this plaza on that day.

10 Comments:

At January 4, 2008 at 8:50:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Wow! I hop he's OK and you guys did a good thing.

 
At January 4, 2008 at 10:25:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yasher koach!
plenty of people would have just walked right by (as indeed they did like you said).

 
At January 4, 2008 at 10:53:00 AM EST, Anonymous snag said...

Bittul Torah!

 
At January 4, 2008 at 2:12:00 PM EST, Anonymous #37 said...

Blessings for your wife, may her eyes always be sharp, her heart loving and her instincts correct.

 
At January 4, 2008 at 2:18:00 PM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

You never know when a seemingly small difference you make in someone's day makes all the difference in the world to and for them.
Yasher Koach.

 
At January 5, 2008 at 6:13:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

asj
i was very touched by this

 
At January 5, 2008 at 9:35:00 PM EST, Blogger Joshua said...

It's ironic considering the meaning and origin of the "good Samaritan" parable. (The parable is supposed to represent the loss of the chosen status of the Jewish people and their corruption, etc.)

 
At January 5, 2008 at 11:08:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I told them that when other people witness a person with a yarmulke stopping to help another person in need it is a tremendous kiddush Hashem; that this was really the whole purpose of why we had come to this plaza on that day."

Yes, there's the kiddush Hashem aspect of people seeing you do what you did. But also, maybe the real "whole purpose" was that the guy just needed to be helped, regardless of who saw you help him?

But by the way, I don't mean to seem critical. What you did was tremendous. Hazak.

 
At January 6, 2008 at 11:07:00 AM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

What an important act!! The lesson you taught your children is something that they might never see in the walls of a classroom.
Beautiful!!
Wives see everything!

 
At January 8, 2008 at 7:43:00 AM EST, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Kol HaKavod!

When our kids do something good, my wife wife compliments them saying they are "Good Samarians"...as we are residents of Samaria, the Shomron.

 

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