Posted on | August 6, 2008 | By Mark Frankel | 22 Comments
I’ve taken a number of Kiruv Training Classes the past few years and one major benefit is the resulting awareness of all the kindness opportunities around us.
Kiruv can be many things, teaching Torah, serving Hashem, saving souls, but I think at its root that Kiruv is kindness. In Pirkei Avos it’s taught “Hillel said, be of the students of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people and bringing them closer to Torah.” From the Mishnah it’s clear that the kiruv of Aharon was the kiruv of kindness.
We believe strongly in the great importance and benefit of coming closer to Hashem and His Torah, and when we bring any person just a little bit closer, BT, FFB or not observant, it’s a great kindness.
So there I was on a Friday afternoon and the following email arrives:
First, let me thank you for taking time out of your schedule today to have a conversation with me. As we move forward, I hope that you will view our relationship as a significant investment in your career.
I look forward to working with you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me….and good luck with the running this weekend!
The only problem was that I had never spoken to Emily. This happened to be the second time that day that I had gotten an email to the wrong Mark Frankel. So I sent the following reply to Emily:
You have the wrong Mark Frankel.
Emily quickly acknowledged:
Thanks so much for sending this back – I realized it as soon as I hit send! (Thinking about it, should have sent a note telling you that…)
Have a good weekend –
That could have been the end of it. A small kindness, followed by a gracious expression of thanks. But I did a little research and took a chance that Emily was Jewish. I thought this could be an opportunity for a small act of kindness. I sent back the following email:
or a good Shabbos.
I’ve gotten 2 wrong emails for this Mark Frankel today, is his email so close to mine?
I thought that the email might elicit a reply and sure enough in about a minute the following came streaming into my inbox:
That obvious, huh? But our four and a half year old daughter informed me in a very excited voice that Shabbat is tonight…and Havdalah is tomorrow night.
So – good Shabbos to you as well.
Wow! Talk about Divine providence. I did one final web-based kindness, the emailing of a link:
My children also motivated me to learn more about Shabbos.
If you’re interested, this is a great site.
Funny how that works with kids – I’ve never celebrated Havdalah before (my husband hadn’t done much of anything growing up), either.
Thanks for the link to the aish site – it’s a good one.
I don’t know what the next steps are or if there will be any next steps. I just thought this was a small opportunity to make a person a little more conscious of their Judaism.
Kiruv is all about kindness and kindness is what Hashem wants of us – the more the better.