By Lauren Srok
A beautiful thing happened to me yesterday, and I thought I would share it.
Yesterday, after my last class of the day ended at NYU, I stood outside chatting with one of my classmates on a corner. Another nursing student, a woman I know by sight but not by name, walked over to me.
“You…you’re a Jew, rigtht?” She said to me.
I said yes.
She asked me if I was from Israel, and I said no, though I had lived there for a short time.
“I just wanted to say to someone from Israel…to any Jew really…thank you, because Israel, they’re the only ones really helping my country.”
“Are you from Haiti?” I asked.
“Yes, and the Israelis are the only ones who brought X-Rays!” Here she began to cry. “America that is so great and big and powerful and only Israel brought X-Rays and are really helping…”
I asked her if her family was there, and she said they were all still there. I didn’t ask what had happened to them, and she didn’t say. I hugged her and gave her a tissue. She thanked me again. I told her she and her family would be in my prayers, along with all the people of Haiti.
Every morning we ask Hashem (G-d, literally “the name”) to “crown Israel with splendor.” I guess this is what that means.
No one has ever thanked me for being Jewish before! 🙂
I was so proud of the Jewish people and our capacity for chesed (kindness) in that moment, and proud of Israel. I am also grateful to the amazing people who made that Kiddush Hashem, from Zaka to Hatzolah to the decision makers in the Israeli government. I am especially grateful to Hashem for letting me share in it.