When I Found My Brother in A Midnight Mob
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
After the Shabbos meal on Friday night, something beyond me was telling me to walk Dr. Shore home, back to his Hotel. I didn't know why, but I followed my instinct despite being very, VERY tired.
Usually we escort all of our guests some of the way, in keeping with this great Mitzvah, which I learned from my parents (should live and be well).
Being that Dr. Shore was a guest to the city and was here alone, I didn't want him to walk back by himself at such a late hour.
After all it's a great Mitzvah to make sure that no one ever walks alone.
The 50 minute walk to the Delta Grand was filled with meaningful conversation and concluded with an unexpected Mitzvah commitment related to Shabbat from the amazing Dr. Stephen Mark Shore, which left me inspired! It was worth it just for that!
It's about 12:15am now, and I gotta get back home myself.
I've never been in the bustling (looking somewhat drunk to me) downtown Kelowna on a summer Friday night before, let alone passed midnight.
So I used the opportunity to cleanse the air with some sacred words of Torah.
As I recited the holy words in an undertone to myself, minding my own business, suddenly I see a big group of loud young men walking towards me. Clearly some of them are under some sort of influence.
Prepared for the best, I stood upright and walked right passed them with a friendly smile on my face.
Sure enough..... One of them shouted some silly comment...
"OY VEY!! Here we go", I thought.
Wasn't a big deal though...Thank G-d, that's all it was.
But then, as they all flooded past me, at the back of the mob, was a young student still standing.
"Excuse me, are you Jewish?" he asked me, in a sincere tone.
At first I was stunned and almost kept walking. But he remained standing as the rest of the group advanced forward, so I decided to stop as well.
"Yes, I'm Jewish", I replied.
"I'm also Jewish" he continued.
"I just arrived from Poland. I had a Bar Mitzvah. I'm an only child and have no one here. I came to Kelowna a few weeks ago, in preparation for school next year, and I'm here tonight just trying to fit into the Canadian culture with some new friends...."
WOW! I thought.
I can feel myself being called upon from heaven, right now!!!, to heed the inner sob of a lonely child of G-d.
I was awestruck for a moment.
Dressed in my Shabbos Kapote (long coat) and hat, I looked him in the eyes and excitedly said with a huge smile:
"Look at me ---, do I look like I fit in?!
I D-O-N-T F-I-T I-N!!!
And that's ok!!!
You don't have to fit in everywhere. Let's get together next week, and you'll become part of our family. Your immediate Jewish family, in which you naturally fit in".
When we each recognize our unique gifts to humanity, and celebrate our specific role and individual task in making the world a peaceful and bright home for all, then we are content with who WE each are, as nations and as individuals.
We are then in a healthy mental and emotional space, in which we can share and learn from others, with humility, acceptance and admiration for all.
We made plans to meet up the next week.
So, here you have it again. That great Mitzvah I mentioned, was multiplied.
One Mitzvah of ensuring that a Yid* doesn't need to walk home alone, in a foreign city....
... Leads to another Mitzvah of ensuring that a Yid, in a foreign city, doesn't have to walk through life alone.
HaShem has His ways.
How thankful we are when He chooses us, and allows us, to be part of it.
I got home just before 1:00am, and recited the bedtime Shema that night with great holistic joy.
This Shabbat marks the 2nd year anniversary from this amazing story which happened on June 10th 2018. See my FB page from the next day, for the original story.
*A Person of the Jewish faith