By Rabbi Yechiel Spero
The story I am about to share with you Rav Shach said is a mitzva to publicize. There was a yid who lived in Bnei Brak. His name was R’ Velvel Adelman. In fact, the biography of his life was titled “The gentle person, gentle soul”. One time, R’ Velvel Adelman, a big Tzadik and Gaon, was on his way to a bris. He was running late, but R’ Shach stopped him on the street and he said, “R’ Velvel. I have to tell you a story. I know you are going to a bris and I know that you are late, but it’s a mitzva to publicize the story. So first of all, I am fulfilling that mitzvah by telling you the story right now. And second, of all, you will tell over the story IY”H and you will also have a mitzva, and you will hear why”.
There were two girls that were best friends growing up. They played with the same toys, went over to each others homes, and attended the same events. In the same class, they shared the same circle of friends, and they were really very, very close. But as they became teenagers, they began to drift from one another. As one took a golden path, where everything she touched turned to gold; she married a wonderful boy with stellar middos, a great talmid chacham and her children, one was better than the next. Her friend, nebach took a path where everything she touched turned sour, turned to vinegar. She never got married. She never found the right one. She became bitter and detached. She became lonely and very depressed. Decades passed and they completely fell out of touch with one another. One day, she comes home with a bag in her hand, and she sees that there is a letter in her mailbox. A personal handwritten letter. She never received handwritten letters from anybody. She had no family that she was in touch with. Who is the letter from? She opened the letter and she sat down, began to read and began to cry. It was a letter from her friend who decided to reach out to her. She said she was reminiscing with her children and they were discussing her childhood when she began to speak about her friend. She realized that she would have loved to be in touch with her friend after so many, so many years. And then, after so many years, she finally decided to reach out to her. She asked if somehow they’d be able to become friends again. The girl read, and read, and read, and she broke down crying. Because in that bag that she had on the table was a cocktail of drugs she intended to use that day to end her life, to commit suicide.
Rav Shach grabbed R’ Velvel by the lapel and said, “These two women just left my house. They became close friends again. She became their adopted aunt and sister-in-law. She became the one that shared in every one of their simchas. Over the last year, they have cemented and recemented the relationship, and she has a life again. A mitzva to publicize it! Tell it over to people”.
Today, pick up a pen and piece of paper, or an email, or a text, or a phone call and reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while that perhaps had a difficult journey along the way. A mitzvah to publicize! At worst, you will reconnect with a friend. At best, you will save her life. Have a great day and a great rest of your week.