July 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

How often have we heard someone joke after a good home-cooked meal, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Certainly that applied this past Shabbat, when practically every synagogue in this and the surrounding neighborhoods was treated to the generosity of a kiddush donated by Grand and Essex to thank its customers for their support on the occasion of its sixth anniversary. Indeed it generated much discussion in the community. It reminded us of the opportunity we all have at various times to show our profound thanks to many, and somehow there are times when we all just miss the mark.

Granted there are other retail establishments that participate in many chesed events that most of us do not know about. Anyone who has participated in Shearit HaPlate knows how much caterers and local kosher restaurants donate on a daily basis to make sure that not one Jew in the neighborhood is hungry, and they also contribute to the non-Jewish world. There are clothing stores that reach out as silent partners in donating to organizations like Yad Leah. Lillian Lee, a local beauty emporium, has had Yachad members working in her store for years. Unless Lillian has recently converted to Judaism, she is not Jewish. Yet there are still some local Jewish storekeepers who seem to be reaping the benefit of their profits without giving back to the community. Perhaps we should think more carefully about where we shop.

Grandiosity is not a necessity for one to show gratitude. Very few can afford to do anything on such an enormous scale as Grand and Essex. However, it is not only retail establishments that should be reaching out to express their thanks. We as individuals have the opportunity to say or show thanks every day but are usually in too much of a rush to do so. How many have recovered in a hospital from a major or minor illness and gone back weeks, months or even a year later to express their gratitude? We remember well many years ago when our oldest son-in-law suffered cardiac arrest very suddenly. Every year, probably to this day, the family returns to the Rochester EMT headquarters to bring them a cake and remind them of what they did for them. We need and admire the hospital staff when they are using their skills to save lives. Why not return to remind them of the gratitude felt?

Recently, those of us who live on New Bridge Road and other streets in the Teaneck/Bergenfield area have had to drive through detours and street closings due to the enormous number of pipes and PSE&G construction that appears to be happening daily. We agree it is a major pain in the neck. Yet the other day, as we looked out of our windows at the workers who are purportedly breaking up our streets to better them (?), we wondered if the men and women were not frozen by the wind and recent arctic weather. True, it is their job and they do get paid for what they are doing, but how about going outside and offering them a coffee? Eventually we will be benefiting from whatever they are doing (we hope).

Many are friendly to the security guards who stand in front of and beside our shuls on Shabbat. There are those who scamper by without even a drop of recognition. Let’s remember that there wasn’t proper security in Pittsburgh nor at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Shouldn’t we at least acknowledge their presence? Yes, it is a job and they are getting paid, but how many have ever told them how much they appreciate them being there?

We are not planning on touching on the gratitude we need to extend and express every day to our partners. It will wait for another article at some time in the future.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles