Ordinary kids doing extraordinary things
There’s a song that goes something like this;”It’s going to be the little Kinderlach the little little Kinderlach that make Moshich come.”
This week has been a hard week in Melbourne. Heavy lockdown, 9 pm curfew, no parks, masks must be worn even if you exercise, no school. It’s been really rough to say the least. I’ve been looking for the silver lining; something to boost myself and my friends’ morale. Something that will strengthen my faith in humanity.
In short something to cheer me up.
The Midrasha explains that when Hashem wanted to give the Jewish people the Torah, He asked for a guarantor. “Our fathers?”, we suggested thinking that in old age Torah will be studied once life has been lived.
When this wasn’t accepted we suggested our prophets, relegating Torah to the sages and rabbis. When this too was not accepted we said, “Our children will be our guarantors.” And Hashem agreed. Because when our children are taught and absorb the beauty of Torah from a young age we are guaranteed that not only will the Torah be everlastingly kept but that the children will affect their peers and parents as well. And this is the silver lining that is glowing for me.
My friend told me about her friend who has a job in the retail industry. Now since lockdown, all retail shops have been closed. No work = no money. No money = no food to put on the table.
Another friend tries to drop food whenever she could. One day her daughter asked if she could help her mother drop off the food and slipped a $10 note under the soup container. Every week without fail this girl slips $10 of her hard earned money in the food packages. The friend receiving thinks it’s from the mother but we know who is giving it.
In Melbourne, if someone tests positive to Corona and you were at a place that they were within their infectious period, you and your whole household would need to quarantine for 14 days to ascertain that you do not have Corona and are out in the community.
Last week there were lots of people doing last-minute errands for Shabbos. And many of those stores became ‘hot spots’ therefore this week there are quite a few families in quarantine. My neighbour’s cousins are one of those families.
I noticed my neighbour’s sweet child cutting some flowers from her garden and wrapping them up in a piece of paper decorated with hearts and a beautiful ribbon.
When I asked her what she was doing she replied: ”My cousin is in quarantine and must be feeling very lonely, so I’m bringing her flowers with my favourite game to enjoy. She needs it more than me!”
Another friend told me today that her daughter got into a fight with her friend. They were both selling the same type of necklaces online, with many of the same contacts to sell to.
After a week of arguing, my friend told me her daughter felt very sad. She didn’t want to be in a fight with her friend and told her mother that she’d rather not sell this product then be in a fight with her friend. She sent a letter of apology with some treats to her friend and they’ve made up.
The best story I heard is from my friend overseas. She is a single mother struggling with four children. Her father died this year, leaving a huge gaping hole for both her and her children. Her older son has ADHD and has been through a few schools. It has been quite the rollercoaster ride for him and his mother.
Thank G-d things have finally been settling down and this summer instead of going to camp he decided to get a job. His mother found him a part-time job in a butcher store.
He thrived. He loved the responsibility the feeling of being an adult and finally feeling accomplished. My friend received a call from her friend how mature and thoughtful her son was noticing that she had put a packet of meat with the next day expiry and getting a fresh pack for her.
This boy had received a lavish bar mitzvah compliments of her father, his Zayda. Unfortunately this year there was no one to pay for the bar mitzvah of her next son and combined with Corona restrictions they decided to have his brother’s bar mitzvah in a restaurant. Small, simple and sweet.
This young man, the older brother, got up and made a speech and said the following:
“As you know Zayda always gave each grandchild $500 for his or her bar or bat mitzvah. Zayda is no longer here with us but his tradition lives on.” And he presented his younger brother, the bar mitzvah boy with $500 from “Zayda”.
“He would want you to feel as special as I felt at my bar mitzvah and therefore I am giving you this on his behalf. Mazel Tov”
My friend couldn’t stop crying tears of nachas and joy.
This indeed is the silver lining in COVID this past week. It provides me with strength and happiness that the future will be bright and shining because our children are making the world a better place.