Thursday, January 20, 2011

Helping a Jew, One Way or Another

A Letter to Gutman Locks

Something that may make you proud. On a snowy Wednesday on Long Island, my brother, who gets your emails, was driving down a main road and saw a man, distraught, waiting on the sidewalk. Thinking this man might be Jewish, my brother pulled over to give him a ride. He accepted and while driving, they had a conversation. My brother asked him if he was Jewish. He said no and that he works for the church. When leaving, he offered my brother money for the ride. My brother refused the money but said, “Listen to me -- if a Jew ever walks into your church, don't let him come inside, send him away.” The man laughed, but he agreed to it.

His response

Good for your brother! He made my day, and a few more days after this one, too. Tell your brother he is doing great. First off, he looked for a Jew to help. This is the toughest thing for many people. Then, when it turned out he was helping a non-Jew, he didn’t give up. He went on to figure out how to try to help a Jew, anyway!

I bet, someday a Jew is going to walk into that church, and this man whom your brother helped on that cold, snowy day is going to remember your brother’s kindness and his promise. He is going to tell that Jew he has to leave. The Jew is going to take the refusal to heart, and he is going to go to a Jewish house of worship, instead.

And your brother will have accomplished what he set out to do in the first place. He tried to help a Jew he didn’t even know, and in the end, he will. He is going to receive a great blessing for this. The truth is, your brother has already received a great blessing in that he has learned to try to help his fellow Jew. There is no better way to help yourself spiritually than to help another Jew come closer to Torah. I hope someday he hears about how his kindness actually helped a Jew.

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