Kindness Hacks from Parshat Nasso
Chana, a 23 year old spending some time in Israel, was asked by her friend for a picture of a particular view in the Old City. Despite not feeling great she decides to do the favour. Not thinking clearly, she doesn’t notice that she has mistakenly boarded an Arab bus heading into Eastern Jerusalem, a very unsafe area. She falls asleep, but once she wakes up and realises her mistake she is far from safety.
With no return buses heading her way, and her phone completely out of battery she heads down the dark streets towards a settlement.
She knocks on a house. Prepares a story in her head that may keep her safe.
‘Chana?!’ exclaims the girl who opened the door. The girl takes her in, hugs her and pulls a card of the shelf.
Chana is taken completely by surprise, but then suddenly realises who this is. A staff member in a hotel that she had stayed in 6 months earlier.
That trip she had made an effort to write down the names of the staff, from receptionists to waitress, and to discover their interests. She proactively made it a point to acknowledge and connect with every person that she could. Before she left she wrote thank you cards to them.
This was the card the house owner had pulled off the shelf, thinking that Chana had come to visit.
The girl and her Uncle give Chana a potentially life saving lift to home ground.
In this weeks Parsha the priests are told to bless the people with the following blessing ‘ May Hashem shine His face upon you’ (Bamidbar 6:25).
Bearing in mind that we are supposed to emulate G-d, what is the practical application of this verse?
‘Greet every person with a pleasant expression’ says Shamai in Pirkei Avot.
Show people that we notice and acknowledge their existence.
Chana’s story is an amazing story of Divine Providence, but we already know that Hashem can do anything.
Perhaps the more powerful message, is what we can learn from a girl who takes the time to pay attention to every person.
In a time that we may not be able to greet people in person, let's try and think of how we can show people that we acknowledge their existence virtually.
To specifically try and think of people who would appreciate our contact, perhaps the cleaner from our office, or hairdresser that we are not able to use at the moment, someone elderly, or isolated.
Let’s shine our light onto other people and make them feel valued.
(Story heard first hand by Rabbi Yoel Gold. Torah link from Love Your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)
H Jackson Brown Jr.