Good morning and happy Thursday to you!
Prayers were answered, praising God this morning, I asked him during my bedtime prayers to bless me with an uninterrupted sleep, to allow me more than two hours at a time and to subdue this cough of mine and allow me at least 6 hours...I got just exactly what I prayed for! Feeling more refreshed than I have in weeks and hopefully gave my body some down time to fight this lupus attack that seems to want to take over my body! I am sitting here now, my windows opened wide enjoying the chilly breeze of the morning, it is 45 degrees, the sun is just topping the mountain, the birds are singing praises for such a beautiful morning and my heart is full of warmth and love at the continued blessing of the new day! I shall let no situation take this joy from me today, I shall let no man bring me down and I shall let only positive energy flow from my being in prayer that it will attach itself to anyone that is in need of positive, positive, positive!
In prayer this morning I asked Go to bless each of you with what is needed in your lives, I asked him to take each situation that you are going through and make provision for you, to shine HIS light a little brighter on your heart so that you know HE is forever on the job, HE is forever making a way for you, and HE is forever...step by step...with you and just waiting for you to reach out and take HIS hand. If you are in a struggle, feeling as if you can't take another breath, if you have found yourselves slipping into the slippery slopes of hell without a way to find your footing, if you are teetering on the brink of disaster, if you are feeling lost and alone, if you just need validation that things will be okay, turn to GOD, allow him to pull you from the muck you have fallen in to, allow him to lift you up, wash you off, and set you on the path to goodness and mercy...if you are in need and don't know how to reach out to him, leave a comment here and allow us to help you! YOU are so very important to HIM and HE is looking to bring you to steady footing and on the right path...reach out and be prepared for him to pull you forward!
I have been posting little stories of kindness to others this month and would like to leave you with this one today!
The kindness that came back!
Don't think that the really great stories are the one's that are written by the world's greatest writers. The really great stories are the stories that really happened to real people and they are really and absolutely true. The following is one of the many really great stories. Great because it's really true!
America had finally entered World War I. Troops poured into Europe to put an end to the war. The war was in it's final stages. American troops were dispatched through out Germany. The year was 1917.
A lone Jewish soldier from Duluth, Minnesota, Alex Lurye, found himself in a small German town called Seldes. It was Friday night. Being far away from home was lonely. The young Jewish soldier had some time on his hands. Feeling out of place, he decided to see what the local Jewish population was like. Entering the local village synagogue must have created a stir. An American soldier in uniform!. The Americans fought the Germans in bitter combat. The lone soldier felt out of place. He was greeted by a kind German Jew by the name of Herr Rosenau who made him feel at home in the synagogue.
After the services, Herr Rosenau invited the serviceman to his house for kiddush and the traditional Friday night meal.
Seeing the beauty of a traditional Shabbat together with the warmth and kindness of this German-Jewish family made a deep impression on this young soldier. He was a stranger, a foreigner, even an enemy Yet because he was Jewish he was invited to another Jew's home, given a delicious warm kosher home cooked meal, complete with wine and the traditional Shabbat songs. Herr Rosenau's family, together with his teenage daughter, gave the soldier the feeling that he was not alone, certainly not an enemy, even in such a far and distant land.
The soldier was never able to come back again to see this kind family again. However, the warm impression that he had received, the experience of the Shabbat in a warm and caring Jewish home did not leave him. It meant so much to this young soldier that when he finally returned to Duluth, Minnesota, his home town, he took time out to sit down and write a letter to the German Jew who had touched his life with such kindness. This was is 1917. For some unknown reason, although Herr Rosenau received the letter it was never answered. It was placed in a desk drawer and there it rested for twenty one years.
Time moves on. Ruth, the teenage daughter of the German Jew, has grown up and married a German Jew by the name of Eugen Wienberg. She now has three small children. The oldest is a boy of eleven. The time is a bad time for the German Jews. The year is 1938. The dreaded Adolf Hitler has taken hold upon Germany and anti Jewish proclamations are being contrived and enforced on a continually regular basis. Herr Rosenau is now a grandfather. He is bothered about the dark and dismal future for himself and his fellow Jews in Germany. He doesn't pay attention to his eleven year old grandson, Sigbert, as he is rummaging through his desk looking for something of interest. Suddenly a foreign postage stamp catches his eye. He pulls out the envelope with the postage stamp from America. "Grandfather, can I have this?"
Twenty one years have past since he received the letter. "Yes, take it," the grandfather replies. After years of giving, an old forgotten envelope makes his grandson happy. He takes it home to his mother. "Look, look what grandfather has given me!"
The mother and her husband, Herr Wienberg eye the envelope with curiosity. The letter is still inside. They remove the letter and read it. It is the thank you letter from the American service man, from twenty-one years ago.
The mother remembers the young man. "Let's write to him! Maybe he will remember us and sponsor us, enabling us to immigrate to America" (It must be remembered that the U.S.A. did not let refugees come to it's shores freely. However if some one would sponsor you, then there was a chance.)
Looking on the envelope, they saw that there was no return address only the name, Alex Lurye, and the city and state, Duluth, Minnesota. "We have no future in Germany, we must get out before this mad man, Hitler, begins to do worse things to the Jews".
So they wrote a letter addressed only as follows:
What can you do? Can you send a letter to a person in a large city with out a street address and expect it to be delivered? Of course not. You would have to be foolish to think that it would get to it's destination. But some times it works out. In this case, Alex Luyre had become a wealthy businessman who was well known in Duluth, a town of over a hundred thousand people. The postmaster delivered the letter.
When Alex received it, after a lapse of twenty one years, he quickly sent a return letter acknowledging his receipt of their letter and pledging to help bring the Wienberg family to Duluth. Alex kept his promise. The entire Wienberg family was brought over in that year and arrived in May of 1938. Shortly there after, the Rosenau family came over to America.
In Duluth, the Wienberg family began working hard to make life bearable through the depression era. Sometimes two jobs were necessary for both the father and mother in order to make it through the week. Yet in Duluth as in Seldes, Germany, the family made sure that the Shabbat would be joyously honored.
The rest of the family was quickly brought over to the states. Unfortunately, the horrible World War II swiftly came. The rest of German Jewry was destroyed.
Yet the kindness that Herr Rosenau had given to a stranger twenty one years earlier had come full circle. Because of their kindness, with out any thought of personal gain, Herr Rosenau and his family were spared from the horrible fate of their fellow German Jews. The chessed that they had so warmly given to others with out desiring a payment in return had come back to them with dividends. The entire family was saved.
Today that family has sprouted and grown. A family blessed with many children and grandchildren and great-grand-children (Bli Iyin Hara). All have taken upon themselves always to honor the Shabbat.
Doing chessed (an act of loving kindness done without any expectation of remuneration) is the Jewish way. Helping another Jew, with out trying to receive a thing in return. Pure and unadulterated kindness. It's for you and for me.