Photo: Rabbi Yossie Shemtov delivers food boxes.
Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin of Chabad Tucson shares a story of a middle-aged Jewish woman who reached out when she was in need of kosher food for Pesach and how we never realize how our actions impact others.
From Rabbi Ceitlin:
She had been in touch with Rabbi Ephraim Zimmerman while living in Oro Valley, and was learning Torah on the phone on a weekly basis through Chabad’s Jewish Learning Network (Jnet). But otherwise, she didn’t have a single known relative, and was living alone in a one-bedroom studio on E 5th Street in Tucson.
When we got the call that she was not able to shop for food, we prepared a box of food for her. It was one of the hundreds of meals our volunteers distributed this Pesach thanks to the generosity of Boaz and Erin Salik, and local donors.
Rabbi Yossie Shemtov decided to deliver the food himself. It turned out to be a poignant decision.
When Rabbi Shemtov went to her home, he found an apartment in disarray and the woman somewhat disoriented. She was so weak she couldn’t open the food packages. But she was thrilled to see a rabbi at her doorpost and was honored that he took the time to visit her.
This week we learned that she has tragically passed away. In fact, Rabbi Shemtov was the last person to see her…
Thanks to their brief interaction and connection, Chabad is now taking care of her funeral arrangements.
When we set out to do a mitzvah, we may not immediately (or ever) know its full purpose and impact, but every mitzvah has the potential to bring more beauty and caring to this world.