Don’t Slip On The Ice !
When I was 15 I got an allowance but it wasn’t huge – my parents couldn’t afford a big allowance. I had friends who wanted to go to movies, dinners and I figured out quickly that if I wanted to join these activities I had to find a way to make extra money. So what did I do ? Cut grass at a local Jewish cemetery. Not glamorous I know but it “paid the bills”. It was enough coin to be able to participate in fun activities with my friends. Fast forward a few years – and I’m the CoolCantor who provides online Jewish education to bar and bat mitzvah students and Jewish education to kids 10 years old and up who want to learn about Judaism – the holidays, customs, traditions. And I teach students online from all over Canada and the United States. So I’m walk into to my “office” or rather a zoom meeting with a family in New York whose son wants to have a bar mitzvah and learn with me how to sing a Torah portion in front of family and friends. He had attended Hebrew school but because of social anxiety, he does not want in person anymore and wants what I am offering which is an online learning experience with me. We spoke about how bar mitzvah is not just learning to sing a Torah portion, but learning to be a good and kind person and be an example of this behavior to family and friends. To perform social action to make this world better. Many students at this point speak about a charity they want to support which is admirable and fantastic. This student, said that he feels terrible for seniors who live alone and can’t afford a snow removal service. And so this student of mine wants to start a not for profit business that sends people to shovel the driveways and walkways of vulnerable seniors so they don’t trip and fall and break their hip G-d forbid. My online student will find a donor to underwrite this project and try it out for one winter season. I was so moved by his kindness and thoughtfulness. In the Jewish prayers on the High Holidays we say – do not forsake the elderly. This student of mine is living this. He’s being intentional in respecting the elderly and will even prevent their falling, ending up in hospital and even passing away.