Living among Christmas Celebrators for almost my entire life, I have picked up on a notion of the "Holiday Spirit" that ushers in the Holidays of Christmas and New Year's. Folks are generally more friendly and generous under the "guise" of Holiday Spirit.
Seeing as Rosh Hashana is a mere 9 days away, if we were Christian and the New Year was 9 days away, we would be knee-deep in the "Holiday Spirit". A congregant of mine told me an anecdote that would fit neatly in the "Holiday Spirit" if we had an equivalent. But alas, our Holiday Spirit is usually getting out of bed early for slichos and nothing more.
This fellow (happens to be a BT) was shopping at the local butcher (Western Kosher) and he noticed a frum woman had stacked her yogurt on top of her chicken. Now, most FFBs don't think twice about that kind of move, but I know MANY BTs who prefer to keep their milk and meat products separate in their shopping carts. (Yes, baseless, silly, superstitious, hyper-sensitive, call it what you want, let's move on to the point of the story.) So the fellow thinks about saying something to the nice lady but thought it was a silly thing to bring to her attention because he realized that there is nothing wrong with stacking cold yogurt in a package on top of cold chicken in a package.
By now, she had caught his attention and he noticed that she was holding a list with at least 8 or 9 items. Her overhears that woman say to the manager "Please put $1000 in the Schwartz* account. $1000 in the Goldberg account. $1000 in the Cohen account." and so she went for a few minutes, quite simply crediting at least 8 or 9 families with $1000 out of her own pocket. This fellow was witnessing a true act of charity. Charity given in the most respectful way with no begging, handouts or embarrassment. An estimated $10,000 went to the less fortunate of Los Angeles last week from this woman alone.
Mi K'amcha Yisrael.
May we merit a wonderfully sweet new year.
*names changed (duh)
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