It was one of those moments when you wish that you had the magical power to turn back the clock and change the situation. In one split second my toddler had climbed onto the counter and then jumped down, bringing the tea kettle with him. Hot tea fell onto his delicate baby face. He screamed hysterically and uncontrollably. How I would give anything to be able to relive that life-changing one minute.

I quickly snatched him in my arms and tried to soothe him as I put cold water onto his face. He continued to cry and sob in pain and I was helpless to comfort him. I had no idea what to do as I held him, rocked him, nursed him. I didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation until a few minutes passed and blisters began to appear on his forehead. My heart leapt out of my body and I grabbed my phone to call my husband and ran with him in my arms to my neighbor.

I didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation Within minutes one neighbor called an ambulance as another helped to try to bathe him with cold water. Their children ran to my side to distract my son’s attention. From the time I sought help with my neighbor until today, more than a week later, I have had one person after another trying to help me and my son.

There was the ambulance medic who blew balloons out of the sterile plastic gloves, the people who gave me advice at the hospital, the strangers who came up to me in every random location from the supermarket to the Western Wall asking me, “What happened?” “What’s the child’s name so that we can pray for him?”

We were told about an organization that refers people to experts in emergency situations. At 11 o’clock on a Saturday night we brought my son to a woman who not only received us at this hour into her home but welcomed us with a kind face and warm smile. One would think that a person who treats burns and wounds everyday would become desensitized, but that was clearly not the case as she kissed my son and offered him sweets and toys to play with.

There is a debate recorded in the Talmud between Rabbi Akiva and the Roman Nobleman. The Roman asked Rabbi Akiva, “If your G‑d is so powerful and mighty, why are there poor people in the world? Why can’t He provide for them?” Rabbi Akiva answered the Roman, “There are poor people in the world so that others have an opportunity to be able to give to them and perform acts of kindness for them.”

I have to be honest with you—I never understood this answer. Now I do.

Upon returning from the hospital one of my neighbors gave me a pamphlet for an organization that provides food to thousands of poor families. She suggested that I call them. I immediately did and gave a donation knowing that cures are not just found in medicine. People reached out to us and we had to use this horrible situation to reach out to others.

Living in Israel, in Jerusalem, is a blessing all of its own. But this incident revealed to me another side, and showed me that there is something very unique about Israel and about the Jewish people. I’ve done an extensive amount of traveling and I’ve come across a lot of incredible, interesting people, but nowhere I’ve traveled or been have I encountered people who actually care about me so deeply.

At first, I found it somewhat intrusive as I would sit on the bus with my baby and the person next to me, a complete stranger, would tell me to bundle him up because surely he’s cold, or to do this or that. If I were in my native California no one would dare tell me what to do. There just simply isn’t that comfort level that you would interject your personal opinion unless asked. But this is not the case among the nation of Israel for we are taught and raised to worry and care for the other. We are not strangers, we are family, whether or not we have formally met before.

I’ll never forget as I stood outside the market in Jerusalem and witnessed one beggar take money out of his cup to give it to another beggar. Can you imagine such a thing?

People reached out to us and we had to use this horrible situation to reach out to othersBut this is not something new; it’s inherent in Jewish values and an integral part of the Torah. And we learn these very lessons and qualities from Israel’s greatest leader.

The Jewish people had been enslaved for 210 years when Moses took them out of Egypt. There is a beautiful midrash describing why G‑d chose Moshe as Israel’s leader. Moshe was a shepherd who cared for his father-in-law’s sheep. One day a lamb wandered off and Moshe went after it. Moshe realized that the lamb was thirsty and tired and that’s why it wandered off. He took the lamb and carried it upon his shoulders. A voice from Heaven called out that this person, who was so kind and sensitive to an animal, would be the one to lead the Jewish people.

Moshe was born in the palace of the king and had the choice to be oblivious to anyone else’s problems. He could have lived his life in the most luxurious comfort and no one would have thought bad of him, or would have blamed him for minding his own business. But he didn’t; the Torah writes that Moshe “went out” to see the pain and suffering of his brethren. He shared in their agony and put himself in their position. This was the beginning of the redemption.

We live in a world of statistics and numbers where people are dehumanized and desensitized. This amount of people were killed, this amount live in poverty. They’re all numbers and we hear them so often that we forget to care. There was a psychological study about an incident that happened in New York where a woman was attacked and dozens of people witnessed the event. Not one helped her or even called the police.

My son, whose face was distorted by swelling, blisters, and burned skin, and who now is nearly completely healed and everyday getting better, is the proof that this isn’t always the case and it isn’t the way among the Jewish people. Passover is the time of redemption and the time when G‑d performed open miracles. It’s the time when Israel became a nation under a kind and caring leader. It’s also the time when we open our doors and cry out, “Whoever is hungry, come eat at my table.” This is the key to redemption.