Amidst the tragic destruction of Ukraine; the terror, the fear and the frightful loss of life, there are rays of light that illuminate the darkness.
Am Yisrael Chai! With unbelievable spirit and courage, Jews are helping each other to flee from the inferno. From all over the world, funds are being donated to fund the rescue efforts and to sustain and support the refugees. Performing chessed, extending a helping hand to a fellow Jew – even if he is a total stranger – is a pillar of Jewish values.
In this spirit, I share with you the transcript of a recording that I received that relates one “chessed” – an act of loving kindness that brought life to a Jewish family.
It was sent to me by a friend of a friend of a Chabad shliach. These emissaries are outstanding individuals who leave their homes and families and travel to outposts all over the world. There, they revive Jewish communities and set up new ones. Where there is Chabad, there is Jewish life. With endless love and care, they set up a world of chessed – loving kindness.
This shliach (let us call her Sarah) related that some six months ago an Israeli couple, Avi and Ronit, (not their real name) came to live in her community. She became very friendly with them and in a short time, they too shared her involvement with the social welfare activities that are part of the life of a Chabad shliach.
In the words of Sarah…
I am following closely the developments in Ukraine and my heart is with my fellow shlichim. Each one is a hero, staying at his post until the last moment. Deeply involved in rescue efforts, they do not think of their own welfare. Now, as the situation becomes even more desperate, they too are fleeing. Many are coming to Israel to rebuild their lives. But a lot of them have nowhere to go. They have large families and it is not possible to move in with friends or relatives.
I was talking to Ronit, sharing with her my deep concern for their welfare. Her response was immediate, “What is the problem? I have a huge home outside Jerusalem. There are many rooms and a wide garden – perfect for a large family. Right now, I will call my parents and siblings to organize it and make it suitable for living.” The following day, she contacted me with great excitement to tell me that her family had rallied together immediately. They were preparing her home with linens on the beds and plenty of stocked Kosher food.
As if that was not enough, they insisted on travelling to the airport to personally accept the shliach who would be living in our home. They spared no effort in their preparations and I know they will continue to accompany them as long as their assistance is needed.
With such Jews, we know that AM YISRAEL CHAI!