Friday, September 12, 2014

A Tree Grows in...- Generosity and kindness win the day

וַיָּבֹאוּ כָּל־הַחֲכָמִים הָעֹשִׂים אֵת כָּל־מְלֶאכֶת הַקֹּדֶשׁ אִישׁ אִישׁ מִמְּלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר־הֵמָּה עֹשִׂים:  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר מַרְבִּים הָעָם לְהָבִיא מִדֵּי הָעֲבֹדָה לַמְּלָאכָה אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהוָֹה לַעֲשֹׂת אֹתָהּ: ו וַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה וַיַּעֲבִירוּ קוֹל בַּמַּחֲנֶה לֵאמֹר אִישׁ וְאִשָּׁה אַל־יַעֲשׂוּ־עוֹד מְלָאכָה לִתְרוּמַת הַקֹּדֶשׁ וַיִּכָּלֵא הָעָם מֵהָבִיא:   וְהַמְּלָאכָה הָיְתָה דַיָּם לְכָל־הַמְּלָאכָה לַעֲשׂוֹת אֹתָהּ וְהוֹתֵר

With some trepidation, I posted yesterday about a “friends” dilemma. Over the past few summers, I have given shiurim on various topics, to a group of former (as if that ever exists) talmidim. Although it was on an inconsistent basis, it was serious and enjoyable learning. I never asked for, or would have taken payment for it. It was something they wanted, and something I wanted at least as much. A true labor of love.

Recently, I was contacted by one of the boys (one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met) about giving a weekly shiur. I was, of course, very excited. The only issue was travel costs. HaShem has given me so much, but sufficient parnassa is not one of those things. Simply put, the weekly commute is more than I can currently afford. I was not willing to ask the boys to pay. I had no desire to scare anyone off. While some suggested that I ask them to pay, or at least give them an opportunity to do so, I was unwilling to consider that. I was hoping for some sort of creative solution.

What happened instead was better than miraculous. It was chessedulous,  heartwarmingulous, and fantabulous. A number of people offered to sponsor the commute and shiur. Three of them were generous friends, okay, maybe four, unless of course Tzedaka Smith is a real person. Another was a former student, and current friend, of my wife. One was a wonderful young man (geez, did I just say that?) who I met under truly unique circumstances and kept up with all these years. A kind young man with whom I worked in one school said he would send over a check. Yet another two donations came from Facebook friends whom I have never met. Within a few hours, the shiur was sponsored for the year.

I would say I’m speechless, but I’m never speechless. I am incredibly moved, touched and appreciative. God willing, starting next Tuesday, I will have another opportunity to do one of my favorite things, teaching Torah. Thank you to all who helped make this possible.

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