Everyday Kindness – March 2023

In this column, we highlight small and not-so-small acts of kindness that happen each and every single day.  


Making Pesach for an Avel

By JA Staff

One Tuesday afternoon in the spring, Shira’s mother—who had been suffering from dementia in Arizona—quietly passed away. Shira, who lives in New York, immediately made plans to fly to Arizona for the funeral, which was scheduled for early the next morning. The next morning also happened to be erev Pesach. Shira had already shopped for yom tov and had planned to spend erev yom tov cooking. Under the circumstances, there would be no time to prepare food for the yom tov ahead.

At 9:00 am that erev Pesach Shira was in Phoenix, tearfully bidding her mother farewell; she then sat shivah for an hour, as per her rabbi’s instructions. Her husband insisted she take a 11:00 am flight back home—how would she make Pesach in Arizona? None of her relatives there were observant! At 5:00 pm she landed at JFK and her husband whisked her home to Woodmere, New York, a twenty-minute drive. Pesach was to start at 6:00 pm.

Drained emotionally and physically from the harrowing day, Shira walked into her home and to her surprise, was greeted with the delicious aromas of freshly cooked chicken, chicken soup, potato kugel, yom tov cakes and pastries—an array of Pesach delights! Shira’s neighbors had heard about the funeral. Knowing that Shira’s Chassidic husband would not eat food that was not cooked in his own kitchen, the women came over in the early morning, aprons in hand, and spent their erev Pesach cooking up delicacies for their neighbor.


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