Answering the phone can be a mitzvah

This morning, as I was rushing out the door to get my daughter to school on time, a phone call came in from a number I didn’t recognize. I picked up the phone. The women on the other end asked for someone specifically by name. I told her she must have the wrong number and asked her what number she was calling. She repeated my number and when I told her that was my phone number but there was no one here by that name she sounded somewhat frantic. I offered to look up the gentleman’s name in our local white pages. I took a couple of minutes and looked the gentleman up despite my daughter texting me that we needed to go. Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful finding the person she was looking for, but it felt good having at least tried to help a stranger get the information she needed.

A phone can offer myriads of ways to do mitzvahs. You can call to check in with someone who is ill, grieving, celebrating a birthday or in dozens of other situations. You can also use a phone to call and pass on information, let a manager know that an employee has done a great job. Finally, picking up a phone call when you know someone is calling to solicit you can also be a mitzvah assuming you are polite and kind. Imagine the person on the other end having a friendly person to speak with regardless of whether you decide to give or not to their solicitation. Being treated politely with kindness can mean a great deal to someone whose job is to talk with people all day long.

What other ways can you use your phone to perform a mitzvah?

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One thought on “Answering the phone can be a mitzvah”

  1. I have met a number of elderly women since last year. Some are friendly and some are shy; many are married caregivers and others are single. Quite a few swim at a local swimming pool and have difficult medical or family problems. I write their names in a waterproof book called “Pool Pals” and, where appropriate, I ask for their telephone numbers. When I call them — usually once a month — I listen intently and ask if I can do anything to help them. This simple activity has increased my feelings of usefulness and caring. CNN reported recently that 32 million people live alone in the United States. Most are women over 65 years of age.

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