By Avrohom M. Alter
A number of years ago a frum couple traveled to Switzerland to vacation in a well known Kosher hotel. Upon arrival they crossed paths with a family in the lobby with packed suitcases ready to depart for home.
Approaching the family they never met before they gave them a warm smile and a “Shalom Aleichem,” wishing them a safe journey home.
A number of hours later, coming back down to the lobby, the new arrival noticed the family still sitting around in the lobby.
“Is your flight delayed?” he inquired. “No, we’re leaving the hotel at 5:00 am to catch a 7:00 am flight. We just did not want to pay for an extra full day when we didn’t really need it” they replied.
“What? So your going to sit in the lobby all night like vagabonds? Absolutely not. Please come upstairs to my room there’s plenty of room for your family,” he insisted.
They were happy to get out of the lobby and were treated to nosh and drink and their host stayed up all night conversing with them to keep them company.
A few years went by and this host received a wedding invitation from people he had no idea whom they were. He would have disregarded it as a mistake, except it was notated to “The Mechutan”!
When he arrived at the Chasuna to his surprise he discovered the Kallah’s family was the family he met at the Hotel years before. He never did ask them their name. The Kallah’s father ran up to him hugging and kissing “the Mechutan” as he called him and gushingly expressing his limitless gratitude to him!
It turns out, the father explained, among his children vacationing with his family at hotel in Switzerland was his daughter the Kallah, who had long before forsaken Torah and Mitzvos and in fact was engaged to marry a goy r”l.
On the plane trip home, he explained tearfully, she turned to him and his wife and said “when this stranger arrived at the hotel and we were sitting in the lobby, instead of directly checking in, as all other arrivals did he greeted us, people he never saw before, like we were his family! On top that last night he even brought us up to his room so that we not spend the night alone in the lobby! He fed us and stayed up all night to keep us company, never even asking our name’s! It was enough for him that we are yidden!”
“If this is the people I come from, I’m not ready to give them up!”
“My friend” the Kallah’s father said, “because of you our dear daughter broke up with the goy, was totally chozer b’teshuvah, and tonight is marrying a very fine frum young man! You my friend are the Mechutan in this wonderful Simcha! I can never thank you enough!
Olam Chessed Yibaneh!
Mi K’amcha Yisroel!