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Kindness in Nepal

Dear Friends,

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The past week was emotionally rocking with many events on the national and international level, but for me there is no doubt who are the heroes of the week.

Rabbi Chezki and his wife Chani Lifshitz have been leading Chabad in Nepal for 15 years.  Tens of thousands of Israeli backpackers came through their home, and were touched by their kindness and love.  They selflessly live in a nepal 2.jpgcountry that doesn't provide them with their basic necessities, let alone the proximity of extended family, for one and only one reason – to offer an open house for people whom they may see only once in their lifetime.

They showed their love and care for everyone who is created in the image of G-d, including picking up a child from the street and adopting him as part of their nine person family.

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This week, following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Rabbi and Mrs. Lifshitz unleashed an earthquake of increasing love, care, and devotion.  Their Chabad house instantly became a shelter for hundreds of people to whom they are serving hundreds of meals daily.  In less than a week they have served over 10,000 meals.  Rabbi Lifshitz took a helicopter and went out to rescue Israelis stuck in the mountains, while his wife Chani ran the Kathmandu operation, looking after hundreds of Israelis and many locals who were desperate for help.

I have been looking at these images, and the kindness and care that came from those individuals was indiscernible; they looked like kindness itself.  But a few images they shared made me cry.

You see, Chezki and Chani have young children who grew up in Katmandu nepal 3.jpgand as you can imagine are charged with the great attributes they received at home.  After the earthquake, when their parents realized that it wasn’t safe any longer in the city, they decided that they needed to send their children to a safe haven.  But Rabbi Chezki and Chani couldn't leave the country; they were now needed more than ever.

Chani and Chezki sent their children on the first flight to Israel with some Israeli friends.  I was thinking how difficult it is for parents who need to send their children at such a young age by themselves, and how trying it would be for the children to be without their parents.

But my second thought was that the absence of the Lifshitz parents made them even more present in the children’s lives.  By sending their children with 'strangers' – they taught them what goodness, kindness, selflessness, and generosity is.  Is there anything better you can do for your children?

 

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