A Chabad shliach who was visiting Lakewood, New Jersey, with his family this week expected to have a nice vacation. But what ended up happening left him surprised, awed, and inspired.
By Anash.org reporter
An encounter between a “random” resident of Lakewood, New Jersey, and a visiting Chabad shliach left him so inspired that he felt the need to share the story.
The shliach, who wishes to remain anonymous, was visiting Lakewood this week with his family. On Sunday morning, he stopped by one of the many local shuls for mikvah, and then continued on his way to shacharis. While he was exiting the mikvah a local Litvishe mispalel came over and asked him if he needed anything. The shliach responded that he was just getting his tefillin and going to daven.
“I notice you don’t seem from the area,” the local said. “I could see you are a Lubavitcher. Are you a shliach?”
The shliach responded in the affirmative.
The local immediately began praising the work of the shluchim around the world and their round-the-clock dedication.
“The shluchim do unbelievable work. It’s unbelievable, you work tirelessly for klal Yisroel, 24 hours a day,” he said.
But he wasn’t satisfied with just praise.
“Breakfast today is on me,” he told the surprised shliach.
The shliach explained that he was there with his entire family, but the local wasn’t deterred, and almost begged him to accept his gift.
The shliach, who had all his needs taken care of, told the local that he appreciated the offer, but they already had their food needs taken care of. They continued conversing for a little more, with the local asking how many children the shliach had, where he was staying, and other small talk. And with that, the shliach moved on to daven, thinking that the story was over.
After finishing davening, the shliach returned to the home where he was staying, and a surprise was awaiting him.
His family excitedly met him at the door and showed him that boxes had arrived in his absence. Those boxes, which had been delivered by the same local yungerman, were filled to the brim with groceries, pastries, fancy loaves of bread, yogurts, different varieties of cheeses, and more, totaling a couple hundred dollars worth of items.
“I met a shliach in shul, and he told me his family is staying here,” the local said when he delivered the boxes. “I am bringing breakfast for the whole family to enjoy, in appreciation for the amazing work the shluchim do.”
The unexpected expression of ahavas Yisroel left the shliach and his whole family awed and inspired, and they wanted to publicize the act.
“The man has no idea who I am, I have no idea who he is, I don’t know his name, he doesn’t know my name, and he nevertheless went ahead and did this,” the shliach told Anash.org.
“It is so easy to fall back to the stereotypes and to divide Yidden into different categories based on where they live, their communities, and their style of life,” he said. “This beautiful act of chesed illustrated for us even clearer how we are really all one people, who care so deeply and appreciate each other.”