This message is for all ages,
For people at all stages,
For those from backgrounds that vary,
Or those with different burdens to carry,
For those who need a support-word here and there,
Someone to talk to, to feel sympathy, to care.
At this year's Shemiras Haloshon Rally, HaRav Y. Ganz
shlita presented a questionnaire designed to upgrade
our good-neighbor relations. We have decided to combine this
with a project which is part of the Tzefas Anglo-Saxon
community activities. Neighborliness is a day-to-day area
where we can put our good resolutions to quick practice:
DO YOU greet others first -- even passing
acquaintances in your neighborhood? Or do you reserve your
morning smile only for good friends -- or for those from whom
you need a particular favor? (Are your husband and children
included in the first category?)
DO YOU (intentionally or otherwise) shy away/ignore those
people of dissimilar background or do you include them in
your circle of acquaintances?
DO YOU show gratitude, in general, by a smile/voiced thanks/
a phone call/ or -- nothing?
DO YOU make an effort to introduce two people of chance
encounter, of whom you are the single common denominator, to
DO YOU inquire after someone whom you haven't seen for some
while? Call up?
HAVE YOU thought that she might not be feeling well or in the
need of something, if not just friendly interest in her
HAVE YOU, in such a situation, offered any REAL help, or
shown that you sympathize?
DOES THE PRESENCE of a woman who does not speak your language
fluently cause you discomfort -- and cause you to suggest to
switch languages for her sake?
DO YOU try to welcome a new neighbor who has come to your
building or neighborhood? Do you send her anything for her
first Shabbos? And if you're the newcomer, how did you accept
DO YOU show any interest in the welfare of an elderly/
lonely/ sickly neighbor? Or one who has recently married off
her last child and finds herself suddenly alone? Or someone
recently widowed or bereaved -- after the shiva is
over? More than once? Do you call her? Stop to talk to her,
at least, for more than a passing moment, when you meet her
on the street?
ARE YOU AWARE that showing an interest will "make a person's
DO YOU give a special greeting to a neighbor who has been
away or hospitalized?
DO YOU utilize a wait by the bus stop/ at the clinic/
dentist/ for friendly conversation with a person you know? Or
are you withdrawn and severe-looking?
WHEN YOU plan to leave home for several days, do you feel a
natural need to tell your neighbor, to say good-bye? If you
are moving away, do you say good- bye to your neighbors? Do
you plan to keep contact?
DO YOU ever think of your baal tshuva neighbors or
newlyweds, and try to be surrogate friends, if not family? To
give them moral support and let them know you are there if
they need you?
Divide your weak points (and conquer them), and multiply
by your strong points to get your Good Neighbor Quotient. And
keep working at it.
A SEQUEL TO THE GREEN BOOK [A Friendly Neighborhood
Raizel F. writes the following:
When we made aliya six years ago from Brooklyn directly to
Tzefas, we purposely picked a night flight so our four young
children would sleep. Ho, ho! They were awake, and
periodically throwing up, the whole trip, minus the last half
Anyway, after a very scenic, hours long ride from Ben Gurion
airport to Tzefas, paid for by the Jewish Agency, passing
orchards of orange trees, patchwork fields, groves of olive
trees and beginning to climb higher and higher up green and
purple mountains, we unloaded our family, 15 boxes and
various carry-ons, and began to settle into the first of our
One of our first visitors was Rifca [you know her, readers:
Rifca Goldberg], bearing a big smile and The List. The List
was a three page computer printout of important information
of what services were available in Tzefas and whom to call,
mostly in English.
A list of rabbonim, English shiurim, shopping,
libraries, gemachim -- strollers, medicines, medical
equipment etc., exerice classes, babysitting, natural
healing, car services, and who-sells-what-from-their-home is
incredible helpful for someone who's just moved into a
community. Aside from enabling us practically to make a
smooth adjustment to our new situation, we appreciated the
thought behind the list, that we were being welcomed
with open arms and hearts by people who were happy we
The Tzefas List is not relevant to all communities, as it
stands. But for some enterprising Baalas Chessed in any small
community, this is a small challenge to compile and update,
and worth gold.
IDEAS FOR YOUR OWN LOCAL L*I*S*T
Libraries, books and/or tapes.
Which stores deliver, which charge for delivery, store hours
and when they are closed.
Gemachs: clothing, medicines, dishes, cribs and strollers,
for women after birth -- which usually includes food and
Shiurim, religious ulpan lessons, kollelim,
women's morning classes. Shemiras Haloshon. EMETT.
Poskim, including those who speak English. Doctors.
Emergency care. Dental clinics. Apartments available for
Shabbos guests/ placement for guests etc.
Car service. Any other services available in your area.
Things sold from homes. People who can give good advice in
Every neighborhood should have its own index and welcoming