Dear Readers,

I spent the past week in Toronto, visiting my father, Rabbi Dovid Schochet, who is in the hospital. It is excruciatingly painful to see the person who was always so strong, active, and brilliant, the person who is my mentor and the rock and foundation of our family, not being well.

At the same time, our moments together in his hospital room were some of the sweetest and most precious, as we bonded while I cared for him at this stage of his life.

On the last night of my visit, after a long day in the hospital, I returned with my mother to my parents’ home. The phone was ringing and I answered to a woman who was desperate to speak to my father. I informed her that he was unwell and it was difficult to know when she would be able to talk to him.

She told me she was calling because she really needed to thank him. About 6 weeks ago, right before my father was admitted to the hospital, she had spoken with him. Although he was already unwell and weak at the time, he patiently gave her his time.

She didn’t elaborate on the details of that call with me, but she told me that the advice he gave her had completely changed her. It improved the decisions she made and altered the trajectory of her life. She wanted to let him know that and to personally thank him, even though she lived in another city, far away.

She told me her name was Esty and asked me to relay the message to my father, which I did the following day. It was one of many messages that I have given, from people whose lives he impacted so strongly and so positively. Many of these people were strangers he didn’t know and who lived far away, who simply sought his guidance.

I learned three lessons from this late-night call.

  1. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice. A wise individual may give you a fresh perspective that can completely change your life choices.
  2. You never know the magnitude or far-reaching effect of the help you extend to another.
  3. Don’t wait to thank someone who has helped you. None of us ever knows what the future will bring, so reach out today.

With heartfelt prayers for the recovery of my father, Harav Dovid ben Sara Sasha, with prayers for the safety of all our brothers and sisters the world over, and with prayers for the return of our hostages,

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW