Sunday, November 22, 2009

Open Letter To A Fellow Yid

To my fellow yid,

I am writing this letter to you with a big smile on my face. I feel that I have to tell you what happened, what an amazing event your actions orchestrated.

You probably didn't notice me. We were both in a local non-jewish store on erev shabbos, close to shabbos. Because we live in a predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, people like us are surely a common sight in that store. I assume you were there for the same reason as me; it was close to shabbos and you needed a few quick things before shabbos. I was behind you in line. I watched as you payed for your groceries, and then I watched you take your bags from the bagger. I don't think you expected anyone to notice what you did next, but I did. I saw how, just as you took the bags from the young man, you handed him a dollar. I don't either think that you expected the following scene to take place.

You picked up your bags and left, but I was still there, watching the scene unfold. The happy man looked at that dollar, then looked back at your retreating figure, exiting the store, and a huge smile lit up his face. He called out to the cashier, "Hey, dude! Look what I got! That man just gave me a dollar!" The cashier wanted to know which man it was, so the bagger clarified. "That Jew who just left the store, he gave me a dollar! Isn't that nice of him?"

It was so nice to watch, but the bagger wasn't even finished. He called over to his friend one register over, and proudly showed him the dollar. Soon the cashiers and baggers were all discussing the nice Jewish man that gave his bagger a dollar.

I was so impressed by the newfound respect these non-Jewish men had for myself, as well as the other Jews in line. It started to hit me that the actions of one man can influence many. Because of you, Reb Yid, a bunch of non-Jews will go home with a better perspective on Jews. And who knows what the future will bring? Who knows what decisions these men might make, and how one simple dollar might have affected those decisions. And it's your zechus, and I thank you.

With respect,
a proud Yid,
SD

12 comments:

tesyaa said...

Wow. Is this a common occurence where you live?

itsagift said...

Wow! That is really beautiful!
Many times we do not realize the full impact of our actions and how they can affect other people. The person who gave the dollar may not have thought much of what he did, but you were lucky enough to see how much joy one simple dollar can bring and what a huge kiddush Hashem he created. Thank you for sharing this story!!

nmf #7 said...

Really awesome- great Kiddush Hashem! Thanks for sharing.

G6 said...

Very nice (and inspirational).
Thanks for sharing.

tembow said...

(goosebumps)

Freeda said...

Wow! In addition to the wonderful story itself, the fact that you're using this medium to share/reflect on the positive among klal yisroel is something wonderful too. May we continue seeing good, sharing good and being good....

Mikeinmidwood said...

I suppose this kind of behavior comes from a new york attitude.

thinking out loud said...

Wow! If that guy only knew what an impact his action had... we gotta think that way all the time... thanx for sharing!

Staying Afloat said...

This truly scares me. We have to be so aware, and there are so many little things we could do that we don't. It's like that story about the sick man who got a letter from the a gadol (don't remember which one). It made such a difference to him, and the gadol chastised himself because he could write these letters more often.

harry-er than them all said...

Its a nice thing in general to tip. they provide a service for you, so why not thank them? whether its bagging your groceries, serving your table, or pumping your gas?

Ive been doing it, and surprising people for years. Sometimes its the person receiving it, sometimes its the one who is sitting next to me, but sadly hakaras hatov is lacking.
On that note, the Ramban says that a prerequisite for teshuva is the middah of hakaras hatov, not really sure why he says that, but i can speculate that if we can't thank and recognize hashem, we can't have the feeling needed to ask forgiveness

itsagift said...

SA - I think that letter was written about R' Pam zt"l because he was a kohen and couldn't come visit the man in the hospital personally (so he should not become tomay l'meis). The sick man treasured the letter and showed it to every person who came to visit him...
When R' Pam zt"l heard about it, he thought about all the other opportunities that he could have made people so happy but didn't!

We should learn from this story and SD's letter to grab opportunities while we have them and that we never know what impact a small action can have to brighten someone else's day! May we always be on the giving end of kindness and be able to spread joy and happiness to all those around us!

Something Different said...

Tasyaa- I don't know. I don't think people usually tip, tho it could be they do and I don't notice...

IAG- yeah, it was a really powerful lesson!

NMF- Glad you enojoyed!

G6- My pleasure. :-)

Tembow- yeah...

SA- So true...

TOL- You are reminding me of a great story I heard on a shiur, I'll try to write it up and post it when I get a chance. :-)

MIM- Does it?

Freeda- Awww, thanks! And amein!

HTTA- I'm gonna ask my father to look into it. You have me curious now...