June 12, 2024
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June 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Micah Kaufman Visits TCA

In honor of Purim Katan, Tenafly Chabad Academy students in grades five through eight had the honor and privilege of welcoming Micah Kaufman as their guest speaker.

Micah was critically injured three days before Chanukah, 2019, when he was struck while crossing the street outside a Teaneck synagogue on his way to visit kidney recipients at NYU Hospital. Micah himself became a kidney donor to an 85-year old woman just a few months prior to the accident.

Before captivating the students with his own presentation, the students watched a video montage of Micah’s miraculous journey to recovery since the accident and following his state of a coma for two and a half months. Tova Gerson, a personal friend of Micah from before the accident, and a veteran preschool teacher at TCA/LPS, introduced Micah to the students, sharing some memories and anecdotes from their old friendship, and describing how Micah has always been a source of inspiration to her.

Micah had several powerful messages to share with students:

1. Make davening (and tefillin for boys) part of your day every day.

After waking up from his coma, Micah was not able to remember simple facts such as his own name. And yet, he asked to daven and put on his tefillin every day. His connection to Hashem surpassed his physical distress.

2. Olam Chesed Yibaneh, the world is founded on acts of chesed.

Find what it is that you love and what you are good at, and use it to help others. It can be small things such as shoveling snow, unloading bags or shopping or cooking for an older person. It can be calling your grandparents and great grandparents to let them know you were thinking of them before Shabbos. Anything that you do to help others will enhance not just the world, but you as well.

3. You don’t have to be a good student or a good public speaker to do chesed.

Chesed opportunities are all around us. We just have to seize the moment and make it happen. Everyone has something to offer.

4. Now I’m on the receiving end of chesed, which is much harder than being on the giving end of chesed.

Micah explained that since the accident, he cannot do as much chesed as he used to. Therefore he asked the children to be “my agents of chesed,” and do as much chesed as you can to elevate the world.

At the end of his presentation, Micah asked the students to think of new ways to make a difference in other people’s lives, and to write them down on the index cards that were given to them. “This is not about me,” said Micah, “it is about you—about what a difference you can make.”

It was humbling and impactful to watch and listen to Micah—a miraculous individual whose power lies not just in his incredible recovery, but in the life that he has led since before and in spite of that fateful day, and his unwavering dedication and commitment to Hashem and to chesed. May Micah’s words and lessons inspire us forever.

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