A highly educated girl from Russia, an architect by
profession, earned her living by becoming a cleaner for a few
people. When she got engaged, one of her `ladies' offered her
some money for the wedding, but she refused. She claimed that
her mother was going to send her some and she didn't like
taking charity from people! (Not too many like that
The girl booked a caterer in a prestigious hall and made all
the other arrangements entirely on her own. When her mother
sent the money, two days before the wedding, the girl
realized that it would not even pay for the hall, let alone
the food, so she changed the venue to a cheaper place.
Someone asked her if she had bedding. "I sleep on a bed, now,
and so does my chosson. We will use that bedding when
we get married." Again, how many girls would do that?
She was asked if she had the bare essentials like cutlery or
basic dishes, and she replied that she was sure she would get
a few presents.
One young man decided to take matters into his own hands. He
raised some money and went into various shops to buy all that
a newly wedded couple needs to set up a Jewish home. He had
each item gift wrapped by the shops and took them
unobtrusively to the wedding hall. As each guest arrived, he
handed them a card and asked them to write a nice message and
slip it into one of the presents which they should then leave
in the box which features prominently in every wedding hall.
There was some money left which he put into envelopes and
gave to the male guests of the chosson as their
It was an amazingly happy wedding even though most of the men
were unknown to the chosson. The way they picked him
up and danced with him, kissing and hugging him, an onlooker
would have thought he was a dearly beloved younger
[Well, wasn't he?]
Berel and Yankel (pseudonyms) run the local grocery store
together. Berel is known for his constant acts of
chessed. In fact, when he does his accounts at night,
he occasionally marks down a large debt as `paid,' when he
feels it is a desperate case. His brother Yankel, on the
other hand, who usually runs the second checkout counter
efficiently, is often in a dream world. A world of his own.
When customers notice that it is one of his `spaced out'
days, and that he is oblivious to the world around him, they
usually queue up at Berel's checkout, although it might take
a little longer. A few other relations stock up the shelves
and then there is the Romanian worker.
Last week, it was one of Yankel's `off' days. Shimi, a man
known to us all as not quite like other people, came into the
shop in great distress. His mother had given him fifty shekel
to do the shopping, and he had lost the money. He was
distraught, and asked all and sundry if they had found his
note. I watched Yankel leave his till. There were no
customers waiting for him that day, as we were all queuing at
Berel's counter. He called the Romanian worker outside and
gave him something. I was not close enough to see what it
A few moments later, while we were still standing in line and
the poor fellow was still ranting about the lost money, the
worker came into the shop, holding up a fifty shekel note.
"I found this," he announced. "Did anybody lose some
"Oh, yes!" Yankel sang out. "Hey, Shimi! Did you lose some
Shimi hurried up to the Romanian and `recognized' his fifty
shekel note. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
Is Yankel really in a world of his own?