A very serious yeshivah bochur shares a room with two others. He is an extremely light sleeper. He told us, over a Shabbos meal, about his frustration and anxiety he experiences from lack of sleep. One roommate davens neitz at dawn, the other Tikun Chatzos at midnight, and between the two of them, the light-sleeping bochur gets woken up several times a night and rolls around in agony, trying to fall back asleep.
Not even his eye patches or earplugs helped.
Until last week. The bochur came to us again and we noticed that he looked completely different. Refreshed and happy. “What happened?” we asked.
“I’ll tell you,” he said, face shining. “I went to Tzfas for a little break. There, I was invited to someone’s house for Shabbos. A regular, nice, good family. Somehow we got onto my sleeping problems, and the husband shared that he had the exact same problem in yeshivah, but overcame it. He pointed out how important it is to learn to sleep despite noise and that it’s good training for life, as one day, b’ezras Hashem, I will have a wife who might make noise, and children who cry during the night.
“He told me, ‘When you get woken up, don’t move. Stay relaxed and relax your muscles, and you will fall back asleep.’
“My entire life has changed.”
A young girl was having a little social problem, which was turning into a big isolation problem. The family had hit bottom on solutions when a close friend pointed them in the direction of an expert.
The girl’s mother called the expert within a few minutes of getting the number. She explained the problem over the phone. In three minutes the expert had diagnosed the problem and pointed the mother in a completely different direction.
“Your daughter needs to be needed. She needs to do chesed, give dinner to someone’s children after they give birth, be a counselor’s helper. Or all three. She needs people to need her.” The mother realized she’d been going in the totally wrong direction, always getting help for her daughter instead of getting her daughter to help others.
She says her daughter’s entire life has changed.
Hannah came to Israel on a secular Birthright tour during which she met a Jerusalem family which pointed her in the direction of a girls’ yeshivah. She learned there for less than a month. This is a letter she wrote:
I came to this country to discover what Judaism was, and whether it was worth my time. I have since answered both those questions. The amount of devotion in this little town is singing to my deepest places, and the constant attention to our connection with our Creator is healing my very bones. I suffered in college, because time and pressure found me slightly neglecting my relationship with the One who holds me in His hands. I came here in need of some perspective and repair, and the living Judaism I have found here is changing me, in a way my heart has been silently begging for.
I appreciate your generosity and insight in bringing me here, and want you to know that it has enhanced my life in a way that will last. I’m not sure how long I will be staying, but this has been a strong beginning to a journey of learning that I know will add to my sense of purpose and joy. Thank you once again for going to the trouble of bringing me here.
My life has totally changed.
A woman passed away and came to her sister from the Next World in a dream. She said, “You don’t know what an incredible effect kindness has up here. I saw myself pointing a driver in the right direction. You can not imagine the reward we get for just pointing.”