At a time when our country feels so divided amid the political climate, COVID-19, protests, economic hardships and now fires, I crave and appreciate kindness. People and relationships that I may have taken for granted are now treasured more than ever. I was in this appreciative mindset when I was even more touched by the kind generosity of Rabbi Mendel and Esther Lifshitz of Chabad in Boise, Idaho. Yes, Idaho.
Being the perennial busy, but ”not too busy for my kids” Jewish mother, I awoke early on my daughter Ganit’s birthday to order her favorite cupcakes. I hadn’t calculated the fact that since she is training at a dressage horse facility in Idaho, there might not be a rapid cupcake delivery available in her area.
After an unsuccessful bakery search, I decided to call the local Chabad office. Chabad the world over is so welcoming to everyone, maybe they would have a bakery referral for a random Jewish mother calling from out of town. After all, they must get stranger requests than mine. After leaving a rambling voice mail, I wasn’t so sure of that. I figured my chances were about 50/50 that they would return my call.
Well, never underestimate the power of kindness of a young rebbetzin with 10 kids of her own. Esther Lifshitz called me back, and after sharing notes of mutual friends in Arizona, (the Levertov family being at the top of the list), her husband, Rabbi Mendel, drove out to the country to deliver a challah to my daughter.
This kind gesture reminded me that although there is often divisiveness in our Jewish community, like the country at large, in the end, we Jews do take care of each other. And that is a comforting thought, especially during these uncertain times.
Next week we will have a special Rosh Hashanah edition. We hope it will be fun, informative and even a bit inspirational. And of course, some contemporary twists on holiday recipes.
Be safe, be strong and stay well,
Cindy Saltzman, Publisher