Helping a stranger

841) Today I was on my way to Target to pick up a gift card. I wasn’t in a hurry and when I arrived I saw an older couple. The wife was in a wheelchair and the husband was trying to push her and balance a large box of items they had purchased. I offered to help carry the box to the car. They were so grateful. I am glad I wasn’t rushing and had the time to give them some assistance.

842) Suggested an article to a friend who I thought might benefit from it.

843) A friend was struggling for a quote for a meeting and I made a suggestion that helped her.

Received two mitzvahs today, never underestimate the power of a kind word. I received one from a trainer at the gym today and was smiling all morning. A friend shared her holiday gift card with me and treated me to a cup of coffee and a snack.


The help of strangers…

195) Got a guest, a stranger,  some water at a party.

196) Let two drivers merge in front of me before a traffic light.

Today, my daughter and I attempted to get some compost for our garden. We were planning on filling some yard debris bags full with the compost from a wholesale supplier and bringing them home. Before I realized it, we had filled our first two bags too full and I couldn’t lift them into my van by myself.  I needed some help. I hailed a family nearby and their high school age son came over to help me. Even together we struggled to get the very heavy bags into the car. I was totally grateful for the mitzvah a complete stranger did for me. I could not have finished the job without his help.

International Mitzvahs

Another long break since I have written let me explain why… In March my husband was asked to attend a conference in Spain as a guest speaker. He wanted me to join him since he thought we could turn it into a bit of a vacation that way. We just returned on Friday from our week to Madrid, Spain. Since I wasn’t able to write while we were away I have several international mitzvahs to report. I discovered that even if you don’t speak the same language as other people you can still do mitzvahs.

167) In order for us to go to Spain we needed to renew our passports. We sent them in immediately and the week before we were to go (12 weeks later) mine still hadn’t arrived. I was desperately calling the agency and getting very little information. Finally, they told me if I contacted my senator they would be able to help speed things along. I did call him and received the assistance of a wonderful women working for the senator who made sure things moved forward. Needless to say, my passport arrived two days later via Fedex. I sent a postcard thanking her from Spain.

In addition, in order to go on this trip we also needed to have help with our children and my inlaws offered to come to help watch the kids for the week. Also, other friends offered their help as well. Lots of mitzvahs offered so that we could go on this trip together.

While we were away, I noticed that travelers seem to do mitzvahs for each other. I don’t know what it is but I do somehow think people are nicer to each other while they are traveling. On our airplane rides, I saw people picking up things that had dropped, helping others put their luggage in the overhead bins and other kind things.

168) When we were in the airport I held the elevator for someone.

169) A noticed a mom traveling with two small children on our 10 hour flight. I talked with her a couple of times. At one point her kids were starting to lose it and I offered her a couple of granola bars to give to the kids. It lasted less than 5 minutes but I do think she appreciated the gesture. I know I would have.

170) Offered to take pictures for a tourist family at a restaurant.

171) Offered to take pictures for a family at a monument.

172) Gave the extra chair to someone looking to sit down at my table at a restaurant.

173) Picked up change that had fallen on the floor by an older gentleman.

174) Picked up some silverware that a waitress had dropped while cleaning up the table.

175) Gave up my seat on the Metro subway for a pregnant woman and her young daughter.

176) Offered to hold the umbrella for a gentleman trying to take a picture and struggling to hold everything at the same time.

177) Finally, this one my husband and I decided was worth including. Plus it’s kind of amusing. In a restaurant bathroom in Spain there was no toilet paper in my stall. Luckily, for me I had other supplies in my purse. However, when I was finished and came out of the bathroom I figured I should put some toilet paper in the stall so the next person would have some. Got an extra roll and put it in the stall. A small kindness for a stanger…

178) Gave tzedakah (charity) at a Spanish synagogue we visited.

179) When we landed in the US a women from Germany wasn’t sure where her luggage was to be picked up (she had been on a different flight than us) I walked with her to the board to help her figure it out and showed her where to pick up her luggage after we figured it out.

180) Aaron and I helped three women get their very heavy luggage off the baggage conveyor belt.

Language isn’t a deciding force. Mitzvahs can be done without speaking the same language.

Past and present mitzvahs

I had a couple of mitzvahs from before spring break that I had forgotten to record.

127) Every Friday night, we help our children give tzedakah (charity). As a summer project this year we decorated some used tea tins with special places they wanted to give their money to including the Oregon Humane Society and a a theatre camp they go to each summer. Each week they choose which tin to put their money in. In all these weeks of the blog, I have never counted this as a mitzvah, but realized that we are really helping out children do this each week and I should count it.  So this week I am.

128) Donated some more toys to Goodwill.

129) Held the elevator for a family so they could get in with us before the doors closed.

New mitzvahs for this week…Signaled a man with his large truck and Uhaul to go infront of me at a stop light. He was so grateful he waved for a half a block to me.

130) Gabrielle brought home little chocolate treats for the entire 3rd grade class at her school. There were some extra so she gave them to the office staff. Everyone loved them.

131) Donated to a man selling Street Roots newspaper in front of the grocery store. Gave him an extra dollar to keep.

132) Drove a friend home from synagogue.

133) Donated $5 for a bag of groceries at the supermarket for a food drive.

I received a mitzvah today. I was leaving synagogue and was planning on walking down an embankment (a quicker way to get down than the stairs a few steps away) a gentleman called to me to stop. He preceded to tell me a story about doing the same thing several years before. He had fallen and badly hurt himself and was hoping I would never try to take that short cut again. I was so grateful and thanked him and he told me he would be happy for me to share his mitzvah for the day. I don’t intend to use that short cut again either. By the way, tonight at dinner when I told my family about this they debated whether his act counted as a mitzvah. I thought it was do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.