A spontaneous action with a beautiful ending

Apr 21, 2020

On Friday afternoon, a few hours before the start of Shabbat, we received a telephone call from an elderly lady, one of our Holocaust survivors. She said that everything was fine with her and her husband, and luckily they had not caught the coronavirus. Unfortunately, their grandson and a good friend were sick with the virus and they were very concerned for them. Apart from that, everything was going well and, yes, they had enough food in the house … except for challah (special bread for Shabbat). It was clear that this was a serious matter for them, because they honor the Sabbath and reciting the blessings over the challah that evening would be impossible for them. Due to the coronavirus crisis and the risk of contamination, this couple had not ventured out to buy the special bread. The disappointment was very clear in the wife’s voice.

Considering the late hour and the upcoming store closure, it was almost an impossible task to buy challah, but we decided to try it. Would we find a supermarket still open with remaining challah? We succeeded in finding two challah loaves. Awesome! But now we had to drive halfway across the city to take the loaves to them, while avoiding the coronavirus quarantine roadblocks in operation around areas with high rates of virus infection. Police officers and soldiers were manning the roadblocks; other streets were cordoned off with red “do not enter” tape, but miraculously we were able to negotiate our way to the couple’s home. We rang the doorbell with gratitude that we had reached their front door. We hadn’t mentioned our quest to find the challah bread, so our arrival was quite a surprise. Tears filled their eyes and the joy was enormous when they saw what we were bringing. It was a heartwarming experience to see how a small gesture can be so meaningful! On the way back home we prayed that this Shabbat would bring them a double blessing.