Years ago, having your own telephone in Israel was considered a luxury. Many people shared telephones and in addition, others used public telephones as well.
Since the public telephones there did not accept money, people in the 1990s would have to purchase a token, known as an Asimon to make a phone call.
There is a very popular story of a gardener in Israel that I would like to share with you. Once a month this gardener would purchase twenty asimons from a local convenience store. He would then walk right over to the store’s only pay phone and use it for an hour or so.
One time, when it happened to have been slow in the store, the owner overheard the phone calls.
All the calls were identical, “Hello, I would like to know if you need a gardener? Are you sure you don’t need one? I am a great gardener and I am positive I can do a much better job than the one you have now. So, are you are completely satisfied with your gardener and is there any way I can convince you to try someone new? Ok, thanks anyway. I understand. Have a good day.”
The store owner felt so badly for the gardener that he immediately came out from behind the counter, approached the young man, and asked him if he could please do some gardening work around the store owner’s house.
The gardener replied, “I wish I could and I thank you for the offer, however, I do not have any time in my busy work schedule to take on even one more client.”
The confused store owner confessed to listening in on the calls and asked the gardener for an explanation.
The gardener replied, “My clients are all good people who are very busy. I never see them and when I do they are always in a hurry. I don’t get any feedback if they are happy with my work or not. Once a month, I call them in this way to make sure they are satisfied and when they praise my work it gives me the drive and incentive to keep going on.”
Recently, we completed the last Parsha of the Torah, and this week we began anew.
The common denominator between the end and the start is kindness.
HaShem protected us in the desert and brought us into the land of Israel. This week we read and rejoice how he created all the living creatures and continually infused his supreme, positive energy into everything.
Many times in life, we feel that we can only give if we can give in a big way. In our story this week it is imperative to realize that even a small act of kindness; a compliment to a gardener, a smile to a neighbor, or any other act of goodness or benevolence is the spirit of the Divine traveling through us and into the world.
Have a wonderful Shabbos