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Ripple Effect

Thursday, 4 December, 2014 - 4:52 pm

Dear Friends,

Last week, on my last day in New York,  I ran to the hardware store to get tape for the boxes I was packing.  While picking up my tape I overheard an argument between the store owner and a customer.

The customer from Israel had purchased an electronic device at the store, and he came back to pick up a converter for the plug.  The owner wanted him to pay $2 for it, but the customer claimed, "You told me that this will work in Israel - you should just give it to me.  I don't have two dollars to spare".

Sensing that this argument could escalate, I took $2 out of my pocket and gave it to the owner, who seemed surprised.  The customer thanked me and left the store.

One hour later, I was on my way to Newark Airport in New Jersey.  I was using my phone as a GPS with voice navigation to help direct me to the airport.  Stuck in heavy traffic, not even out of Brooklyn, the battery died and I didn't have a car charger for my phone.

At the next traffic light I opened my window and tried to get the attention of the neighbouring driver.  "Sorry, my phone just died, I'm trying to get to the Holland Tunnel, do I take a left after the bridge?"  The African-American lady in the car managed to say yes, and then the light changed.

At the next traffic light her car was ahead of my'n, and she opened the window to extend her hand.  I saw she was holding two car chargers for Apple and for standard smart phones.  "Take what you need!" she screamed.

I jumped out of my car and took the correct charger, thanked her from the bottom of my heart for her generosity, and jumped right back into the driver's seat, to the amazement and astonished eyes of my children.

"This was so out of character for New York," I thought to myself.  Then, my encounter a few hours earlier at the store appeared in my thoughts.  No question this was a more generous act than mine, but kindness has a ripple effect and the ripples have a way of getting bigger...

I went to the Chabad conference in New York to charge myself, but while trying to charge my phone, I experienced generosity and care, and that left a great lasting impression on me.

Comments on: Ripple Effect

Chaim Moishe wrote...

Awww that's a nice story!

Shoshana Litman wrote...

Thanks for sharing your inspiring NYC experiences. Good Shabbos. S

Ruth Stark wrote...

A nice thing to share - in this time of hightened conflict across America.

Obviously meant to be. Ruth Stark

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Shabbat Shalom dear Rabbi and family,
Such a deeply inspiring story!
'As a single drop of water disperses countless spirals,
imagine the power within a simple act of kindness
all within our grasp everyday'.


Morah Faiga wrote...

Wow! And b'sheret!

Since the ripples get bigger, I wonder what kindnesses are in store for the woman who helped you...and so on...and so on... :-)

I know that your kindnesses to all of us are rippling through our community and beyond.

Shabbat Shalom

Susan Ruth Date wrote...

Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story. I totally believe this is the way life is supposed to work when we just go with the good positive energy. I believe there is so much goodness in each of us that if all the lights were turned off, we would glow!