My name is Jodi Brody and I am writing to you to tell you of the incredible act of chessed shown toward me and my mother this Rosh Hashanah, by the son of our Chabad rabbi, Shlomie Greene.
Just for a bit of background, my husband and I were never terribly observant, till a few years ago when we were both feeling like our lives were “lacking direction”. We decided to look into maybe getting involved with one of the local synagogues. We had two to choose from, a reformed synagogue or Chabad’s Shul. After making an initial contact with both, we decided we would accept the offer to come to Shabbos supper from the rabbi’s wife from Chabad. We felt so welcome and at home there, that we decided to come back the next morning for Shacharit. That was almost 4 years ago . . .
This Rosh Hashanah my mother, whom I just recently moved here to live in a local assisted living facility, is over 90 years old and has Alzheimer’s Disease, and failing physical abilities, was unable to attend the High Holiday services. There was no way she could have possibly walked to Shul as it is over 6 miles away. The Chabad House is on top of a hill and she wouldn’t have been capable of climbing the stairs. When Chanie Greene asked me if my mother was going to come, I told her I didn’t think there was anyway she could. I was very sad that she was going to miss what could be her last chance to hear the Shofar, since I knew she had not been to Shul in a very very long time, and had not heard the Shofar since she was in Israel over the High Holidays (approx. 1987).
Chanie, who does not take “no” for an answer easily, asked her husband Rabbi Greene, if there was someone they could get to blow Shofar for my mother? Their oldest son, Shlomie volunteered. He and one of his friends who was visiting the Chabad house over the holidays walked over 6 miles each way, to see her and blow the Shofar for her at her Assisted living facility.
When he greeted her with “Gut Yontif Chaya Mindel” it took her a few moments to process it, but all of a sudden, she looked up at him and a huge smile lit up her entire face, and she said “I know what he said, I remember ‘gut yontif’” It was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed, to see her neshamah come alive, to see that G-dly spark in her, that had lay dormant for so many decades! It was an unforgettable gift to her, and to me!
I will be eternally grateful to Shlomie for caring so much for one Jewish soul, to his parents, our rabbi and friends, and for the Rebbe and Chabad Lubavitch, who sent them to my town for Jews like us.
Thank you, Chabad, our life is full of chessed, and simcha because of you!