Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 8, 2007 / 20 Shevat, 5767

Life cycle

By Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article


The rabbi and a non-Jewish woman met by "chance" on a snowy Brooklyn street, each amidst an act of kindness. A decade and a half later, their lives would intersect again, this time in an effort to perform the ultimate kindness


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The phone rang at 3 a.m. The sudden piercing ring in the stillness of the night frightened Rabbi Moshe Faskowitz, spiritual leader of the Torah Center Synagogue in Hillcrest, New York, as he leapt from bed to answer the phone. His heart raced as he wondered what emergency could have warranted a call at this hour.


"Is this Rabbi Faskowitz?" an elderly woman asked apologetically.


"Yes," he replied, "and who are you? Is everything all right?"


"Rabbi, I am so sorry to call in the middle of the night, but I have been searching for you for the last three hours. I don't know if you remember me. My name is Mrs. Worthington (pseudonym) from Canarsie."


Rabbi Faskowitz tried to think as quickly as one could at 3 o'clock in the morning. He had lived in Canarsie years ago and so he strained to recall the name. Surprising himself, he suddenly flashed back to an incident he hadn't thought about in years. "Are you the woman that I gave the ride to about fifteen years ago?"


"Yes, that's me," she said, sounding relieved but exhausted.


How could he forget it? One afternoon in the winter of 1986, he was driving on Ralph Ave. in Brooklyn as windswept sleet and rain sliced the air. Huddled under the awning in front of a kosher supermarket was a middle-aged woman laden with bags of groceries, hesitant to walk out in the rainstorm without an umbrella. He pulled alongside the curb and called out to the woman, "Hello, I am Rabbi Faskowitz of the Young Israel. Can I offer you a ride home?"


"That would be nice," said the woman, "but I am not Jewish so maybe you don't want to take me."


"I am a rabbi and I'm glad to help anyone," Rabbi Faskowitz replied with a smile. "Please get in the car. I'll help you with your packages."


The woman settled into the back seat of the car with her groceries, introduced herself by name and thanked the rabbi profusely. A conversation ensued and Rabbi Faskowitz asked, "Tell me, if you are not Jewish why do you shop in this kosher food market?"


"The food is not for me," she replied. "I live in an apartment house, and there is an elderly Jewish couple on my floor. Both of them are invalids. They can't get out to buy their own food, so once a week, I go out and buy what they need. I know they eat only kosher food so I shop at the store where I know everything is kosher."


Hearing this, Rabbi Faskowitz was doubly delighted to have helped this considerate woman. He drove her home, helped her with the groceries and complimented her generosity.


Now in the middle of the night, Mrs. Worthington was on the verge of tears. "Rabbi," she said, "the man I brought food to all these years died yesterday. There is no one to bury him. He has no children and his wife died a few years ago. I remembered that you were from a synagogue in Canarsie and I have spent a few hours trying to find you. It took a while till I got your name and then finally someone told me you had moved to Queens. I just got your number from the operator so please forgive me for calling so late. You are the only rabbi I know. If you don't help, the man will be buried by city authorities in Potters Field (a cemetery for the destitute and for unclaimed bodies). I know he would want to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Do you think you could help?"


Rabbi Faskowitz was astounded at the kindness, consideration and perseverance of this woman. He quickly called Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, where the police had taken the body and where it was being temporarily held in the morgue until someone would claim it. After numerous calls to authorities later that morning, Rabbi Faskowitz was able to get the body released for a Jewish funeral service and burial.


ENJOYED THIS STORY?

Click HERE to purchase the book at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

No one attended the funeral at the Hebrew Free Burial cemetery in Staten Island except Rabbi Faskowitz. It was sad, simple, and solitary. Tears welled in Rabbi Faskowitz's eyes as he eulogized the gentleman softly to himself, and said, "You must have been an adam kahsher (worthy — lit., kosher) man, because by the virtue of kosher food, you merited Jewish burial." Then in silent dignity the man was laid to eternal rest.


The Sages (Avos 4:2) teach: "One mitzvah leads to another mitzvah. Isn't it remarkable that this dictum holds true even after a lapse of fifteen years? Perhaps it was because, "Benefit is imparted through one who is meritorious" (Talmud, Shabbos 32a) that Rabbi Faskowitz's kind gesture many years before on that stormy day in Brooklyn made him praiseworthy. Additionally it undoubtedly encouraged Mrs. Worthington to continue her kindness. Hence, Rabbi Faskowitz became "deserving" — and thus merited to perform the ultimate Chesed shel emes (genuine charitable deed) — burying a meis mitzvah (an abandoned corpse).

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring articles. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.


Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn is a world famous inspirational lecturer and author of, among others, Reflections of the Maggid: Inspirational stories from around the globe and around the corner, from where this story was adapted. (Sales of the book help fund JWR.)

Comment by clicking here.

© 2005, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.