The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 14 July 2012 / 23 Tammuz 5772

You Can Take It With You

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

In his wonderfully inspirational and entertaining new book "A Collectors Collection", Rabbi Chaim Orange tells the following heartwarming story:

Jake was desperately looking for a place to spend the night while traveling to New York from the Midwest. After unsuccessful attempts at a couple of gas stations to locate a motel in the remote area where he found himself, an attendant at a third gas station suggested he try an old-age home up the road.

He succeeded in persuading the staff on duty to let him spend the night there. The next morning he asked the manager if he knew of any Jewish synagogues in the area. The reply he received was negative with a surprising addition: "In fact, the only other Jew I have ever known was a resident here in our facility, and he died just this morning."

Realizing that he had been directed there by Providence to care for a meit mitzvah (a Jew who has no one to take care of burying him), Jake quickly arranged to have the body transferred to New York for burial. Upon arrival at the first cemetery he was asked to provide $3,000 for a burial plot. The same thing happened at a second cemetery but Jake kept on trying. At the third cemetery he was welcomed and informed that someone had once donated several thousand dollars to cover just such an emergency.

Out of curiosity they checked their records to see who that donor was. It turned out that the Jew who had made that foresighted contribution was the very one who was now awaiting burial.

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