Trying to Take Something Positive out of Thursday’s Events: The Power of A Kiddush Hashem

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deal yeshiva smallBy S. Friedman, Matzav.com

When I drove to the nursing home where I work this past Friday morning, I had a pit in my stomach in anticipation of the inevitable comments I was sure to receive from my coworkers.  The comments came, and it was embarrassing; I didn’t have any good excuse or response to what they were asking about the hypocritical acts of the Rabbis in the Frum community.  I was particular wary of a certain coworker, the Italian Catholic lady who is the administrator.  She is also from West Long Branch, and all too familiar with the Deal community.

At a quiet moment after a meeting, she pulled me aside, and genuinely expressed that she felt so bad for me and the Frum community as a whole.  She understood that we have lofty standards, and have impeccable values, but that the massive Chillul Hash-m that transpired would make people view ALL Frum Yidden with scorn.  Growing up she remembers how anytime an Italian Mafioso was caught doing something illegal, her mother would cringe and remark how everyone is going to say that all of the Italians are involved with the Mafia.

She was convinced of the goodness of the Frum community due to her personal experiences with them.  She said that when her husband was sick with his final illness, every night when she returned from the hospital, she found supper waiting for her (“in disposable tins, because they couldn’t leave their dishes with me”).  When her husband ultimately succumbed to the illness, she said that her priests were of no help to her in trying to cope with her loss.  She said comfort came from a local Rabbi’s wife, and then the Rabbi who called and left her a message offering his council whenever she needed it.

She knows some people did things wrong, and who knows what pressure they were under to do what they did, but she concluded that the kindness showed to her, an Italian Catholic, by the Deal community convinced her long ago that the religious Jews are very good decent people.  One story was not going to change that.

Who was the couple that made the Kiddush Hash-m that left such lasting impression on her?  Rabbi and Mrs. Dwek from Deal, Hash-m should give them strength.

There will unfortunately always be individuals who will commit acts that can potentially drag down Frum Yidden as a whole.  The more solidly we cement our reputation as honest upstanding individuals during everyday life, the more likely we will be to protect ourselves from such perceptions in the future.  As a whole, we are in galus, and have to suffer through the time tested “Eisav soineh es Yaakov,” but as individuals, we can make tremendous Kiddush Hash-ms in our daily lives that earn us the respect and admiration of those around us.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

14 COMMENTS

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR POST,I COULDN’T AGREE MORE WITH YOUR COMMENTS OF BEING ASHAMED AND EMBARASSED, I HAD EXACTLY THE SAME FEELINGS. BUT BEING THAT I DO TRY AT ALL TIMES TO PRESENT ORTHODOX JEWRY TO MY COWORKERS AND EMPLOYEES AS A PEOPLE WHO DO ANSWER TO A HIGHER CALLING, I QUICKLY REALIZED THAT THEY DID NOT CONNECT ME OR MY FAITH TO THE EVENTS THAT OCCURRED. MY POINT IS WE MUST CONTINUE TO LIVE A TORAH HASHKOFAH LIFE AND NOT BE DEFLATED

  2. The point is not so much to give us chizuk. This article is throwing down the flag and challenging each of us to step up.

    We can all live in our little corner and ignore the little people around us. After all, the little guy isn’t going to give us a plaque or get your picture up on a web album, or Yated middle pages. Nor will it get us the coveted title of Askan. Only helping out name brand or exclusive causes gets us the clapping we yearn for.

    This article urges us to work behind the scenes and reach out to make people feel good. The small guy is not AS important as the major institution, it’s more important. May we all rise to this challenge.

  3. I also had and have the embarresment where i work and even though I believe that the goyim truly believe that I am not like that and they only are making jokes, never the less it is embarresing and it does hurt. the true feelings of “eisav sonei es yaakov” are there.
    Having said that I do have reservations on something in the article that I am curious as to others feelings about it. the rabbi that seeked to help this Italian women was non other then rabbi dwek. In the writers words “She said comfort came from a local Rabbi’s wife, and then the Rabbi who called and left her a message offering his council whenever she needed it”
    I am not chas veshalom trying to pass judgment on harav dwek. The rebono shel olam should give him the Koach to get thru this pain that none of us can really fathom or understand, but is that really what a rov should do? Should a rov go so far as to offer “council” to a goyta in her time of loss? there is a concept of darchei shalom but I dont think we are supposed to be going that far.
    I hope EVERYONE understands that I am NOT trying to put Rav dwek in a bad frame especially at this time.
    A feelow yid feeling the pain

  4. Thanks so much for the chizuk. We all need it!!
    I think we can each in our own little way, counteract what has happened. Each time we are polite to a shopkeeper and are emesdik in our business dealings, we can slowly repair the kiddush Hashem that was lost.
    It’s the job of Hashem to pass judgment, but we can just do our best to bring kovod Shamayim back into the world, rather than focusing on the harm that was done.

  5. Thank you for this very poignant message. A friend once told me: “It’s nice to be important, but IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO BE NICE!” Your reputation is like a tail; it will follow wherever you go, GOOD OR BAD! What a Kiddush Hashem that Rabbi and Mrs. Dwek made such an indelible impression on the Italian co-worker!

  6. “A Fellow yid”, your “reservations” about the elder Dweks’ kind gestures are shocking, especially given the positive outcome it generated, how can you even question the Rabbi’s actions after reading this piece??? May we all be guilty of such sins as extending a hand “too far” to offer assistance to a human being…

  7. A fellow Yid,

    Did you completely forgot about the Halchos of Mevakrim Cholyehem & Menchmoim Avleyhem etc. or did you never know?

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