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Seeds of Kindness

Mishpacha Readers

It was a small gesture. Yet it took root, sprouted, flourished. And became a towering tree. Twenty readers share acts of giving

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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he Carpenters of Tzfat

“Everything? They stole everything?”

My husband’s voice shook as he answered. “Everything. Right down to the last drill bit.”

The previous evening my husband had, as always, left his carpentry tools on the job site in Rosh Pina when he went home to Tzfat. This morning, he returned to find the toolshed lock forced and everything gone. He reported the theft at the local police station, and then, for want of anything better to do, had come home again.

It was a disaster for us, and not only because he couldn’t continue work on that particular job.


Professional carpentry tools are expensive, and it had taken my husband years to acquire his set. With no tools, he had no way of earning a living. But without him working, there was no way we could afford to replace the tools.

As we sat staring at each other, wondering what to do next, the phone began to ring… and ring… and ring….

News travels fast in small communities. By now, all the carpenters of Tzfat had heard what had happened. One by one, every single one of them called my husband to offer condolences — and to ask what tools he could loan him. By the end of the day, he had enough tools to go back to work.

Several months later, the police notified us that all the tools had been found, in the storeroom of a thief from a nearby village. All the loaned tools were returned to their owners and my grateful husband resumed work with his own equipment. We will never forget the kindness of the carpenters of Tzfat.

— Ann Bar-Dov, Eshhar, Israel

I’m Here for You

There’s nothing like that moment when a newborn lets out his first cry. Like any first-time mother, I was ecstatic when I heard that sound. But there’s nothing worse than noting the doctors’ grim expressions and being told that your baby needs to be sent for further examination.

Ultimately it was nothing serious, but we still spent the week visiting the NICU and seeing our little prince attached to numerous horrible wires. It was a trying time for me in my postpartum emotional state. By night number four, I was extra tense. I called my husband Sruly, hysterical, and told him I needed him to stay for the night.

When he arrived and settled in the hospital armchair, I finally relaxed and slumbered peacefully. Sruly assured me he was comfortable and stayed for the following two nights as well, until we were finally discharged.

Weeks later, I discovered that those nights in the hospital had not been simple. Each time Sruly closed his eyes, a different nurse roused him with a reminder that it was a fire hazard for him to sleep there, lest they’d have to wake him in an emergency. So he paced the bikur cholim room and tried to lay his head on the table, in the end resorting to drinking endless cups of coffee to keep awake. Later he told me, “I never worried about the baby, but I was terribly worried about your state.”

When I see my one-year-old babbling incoherently, I barely remember those tumultuous days in the hospital. But there was one thing I gained — a newfound appreciation for my caring husband.

—Tova Schorr, Israel (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 577)

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