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?


When is a wrong number a mitzvah?

Sounds like a great joke doesn’t it? But today I received a voice mail on my cell phone from someone calling to set up transitional housing for a client. The message sounded important and I knew I had to call back and let the counselor know she had reached a wrong number. I left a message and told her to call me back if she had more questions. We did talk again and she was baffled that my number wasn’t correct because it was all over the client’s file. If I had chosen to do nothing the counselor would have thought her client was being irresponsible. Atleast now she knows she needs to get the correct information. Sometimes taking the extra time to pass on important information even for a wrong number is crucial.