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.