This last weekend I attended a kiddush in honor of the mother of one of the members of the synagogue I attend regularly and the sponsor of the kiddush stood up at one point and made a speech about his late mother which moved me to write this.
He said that she had nary an idle moment — I thought back to stories that my mother told me about my late grandmother who would run around the city doing kindness after kindness for people — bringing food to people who were in need, etc. He told us about how the synagogue she attended was lacking in many ways, and when she made note of it she decided to actually do something about it rather than just complain. One particular need she saw was for a coat-rack that would be usable during the winter. I did not ask why the spring and fall coat-rack was not sufficient, but I suppose in that time people didn’t need an exterior coat and just wore what they had on them.
She took it upon herself to raise the money necessary to buy the coat-rack, and then went to the store to purchase it herself. They informed her that they could not deliver the coat-rack to the synagogue and she unhesitatingly took it right outside and walked it over by herself — a distance of half a mile. She did similarly for other needs of the synagogue.
When something is important to you in your life, make it happen. All too often we hear friends and family talk about how “Some day” they are going to start working out, or eating better, or taking a course to improve their job — I almost always reply the same way. I say to them, “hat’s weird — I just checked my calendar and SOME DAY is NOT on there! Is it really important to you? Make it happen!” They invariably reply the same thing — that they will! These are the people with whom I regularly follow up, and when they eventually tell me that they are doing it (yay!) or that they wish I would quit bugging them, I know exactly how important the thing is to them.
Thank you, Izzy — for reminding me of this important lesson. May your mother’s neshama have an aliyah .
1.This word has a few meanings but in this case I refer to the serving of an assortment of food in honor of the anniversary of a person’s passing, usually sponsored by that person’s children or other family.
2.May your mother’s soul be elevated.