This afternoon, my seven year old son had the honour of accompanying our lovely neighbour on her annual pre-Pesach outing. Every year she delivers a box of shmurah matza and a personal, hand-written note to each of her unaffiliated acquaintances and friends around the city. At each house, my son jumped out of the car, rang the bell, and delivered the matzo. This little outing lasted FIVE hours!
I was, of course, happy for him to go and help our neighbour, that being a mitzvah in itself. But I didn’t really think much more of it. When he came home, my older children were so impressed that he was comfortable knocking on the doors of so many strangers’ houses. That was when I realized what a priceless gift our neighbour had given my son.
My neighbour’s grown grandchildren are role models for my own children when it comes to helping those in need. It is now clear to me how they developed this midda. What a beautiful example they have in their grandmother who not only does the mitzva, but takes the time to include her children (and mine), teaching them how to reach out and love their fellow Jew.
My son had a wonderful afternoon, delicious ice cream, and learned a lifelong lesson in chessed (loving kindness).