Thursday, March 09, 2006
Random Acts of Kindness:

When my mother-in-law was here she gave me some jewelery. Pieces that my husband's father had given her, when they were married. They were diamonds, but the setting was old and I personally didn't care for them. I decided I was going to sell them - with Yaakov's permission - and use the money to help make Pesach.

I went to the jewelery exchange
today with my kids and wandered around, trying to figure out the best place to try and sell them. Finally, a man called to me from his counter and asked if he could help.

"Maybe," I said. "I'm trying to sell some jewelery, do you buy?" He said he did, and he looked at the pieces. "I can't use these personally, but I'll clean them for you." He cleaned them while he and his wife and I started talking. It turns out they were Jewish too - shomer shabbos, in fact - but the husband did not wear a beard, nor a yarmulke to work. The wife wore pants and her hair was uncovered. "We're modern," she said. I would have never known they were Yidden. Usually my Jew-antennae are pretty sharp, but this couple eluded me entirely.

He said, "You'll never get what these pieces are worth, you're better off keeping them." I told him I had no use for the jewelery, and I wanted to use the money towards Pesach. He told me how much I should ask for, and wished me luck. I walked away, but a moment later he called me back.

"I don't mean to offend you, but I'd like to give you a little something to help with Pesach." I told him I thought we would be fine. The extra money I made from the jewelery would be helpful, but even so, I thought we'd manage. "Please," he said, "I want to. You could use it for Purim if you wanted, buy some costumes for the kids." His wife piped in, "Today is his father's yahrzeit, he would be so happy to give it to you." What could I say? He handed me an envelope. I thanked him and told him that I wished we could make a l'chaim for his father. "You want to make a l'chaim? No problem!" Out came the vodka, a Russian brand (with only Cyrillic on the label). He asked me if I was driving. I assured him I was only having a teensy sip. "Besides," I grinned, "I'm a Lubavitcher. We know how to hold our liquor." They laughed and grabbed some cups. We made a toast to his father, Reb Yaakov Yehuda, and blessed each other.

I ended up selling the jewelery to someone else, and made a decent amount. Not as much as the pieces were worth, but something. And when I opened the envelope I was given? A hundred and fifty bucks.

I love Jews.


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