Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Helping Others

Last week I wrote a post trying to convey the message that it isn’t always only about us. When good people suffer – we ought to be there for them and help relieve their suffering.

To that extent I praised what the great work the Satmar community and many others were doing to help their Jewish brothers who were (and still are in many cases) in dire straits because of the East Coast mega storm a couple of weeks ago. But I had higher praise for those who did not discriminate and helped all people in need – Jewish or not. Especially those among our own people who would do that.

I’m happy to see that I am not the only Orthodox Jew who feels that way. Apparently so too does Samuel Klein, a student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. (No - I don't think that's him in the picture I took from the Forward article.) Mr. Klein volunteers for the Red Cross and is working with them right now to relieve those suffering the after effects of the storm.

I may have talked the talk. But he walks the walk. He is doing the difficult work to help his fellow man survive. And as a Jew and a rabbinical student who proudly wears a Kipa on his head he makes a huge Kiddush HaShem in the process. His story is in today’s Forward.

One sometimes hears the charge that when it comes to helping people in need we Jews only care about ourselves. This is reflected in the reaction one victim had when he saw the Kipa on Mr. Klein’s head:

“We didn’t know you lot cared about us,

I guess he now knows that we do.

My hat is off to Samuel Klein and a fellow student (not mentioned by name in the article) for volunteering for this grueling task.

I have in the past been critical of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah for some of their Hashkafos which I feel crosses Hashkafic lines that Rav Soloveitchik said should not be crossed. But this is certainly not one of them. For motivating their students to do things like this YCT deserves much praise.