May 2, 2017
Eliezer Berg was driving on the New York State Thruway when he spotted a man wearing a kippah (traditional head covering) standing next to a car that had broken down, signalling for help. He immediately pulled over and got out of his car.
“Shalom aleichem!” Eliezer greeted the stranger.
“What was that?” the man replied.
“I said shalom aleichem. What seems to be the problem?”
“My battery’s gone dead.”
“No problem,” said Eliezer. “I’ll give you a boost.”
As Eliezer proceeded to connect the cables, he asked, “May I ask where you’re from?”
“Middletown,” was the response.
“Middletown? Is there a Jewish community there?”
“ Well, how should I know?”
“What do you mean?” asked Eliezer in surprise. “Don’t you ever go to shul?”
“Uh-h…um-m-m… I’m not Jewish,” the stranger mumbled.
“What? Then why are you wearing a kippah?” questioned Eliezer, now totally confused.
“I’ll tell you why,” answered the man. “I’ve been stuck on the freeway several times and I’ve waited hours for assistance, watching the cars speed by without stopping. But whenever a Jew breaks down, other Jews immediately stop to help him out, one car after another. So I decided to buy this little cap, and ever since then, I also get Jewish assistance right away…”
(Glimpses of Greatness p. 184)
As a nation we have a moral duty to extend a helping hand. When this behaviour is noticed even by strangers, we know we’re doing our job properly.