Monday, August 11, 2014

My friend, the Lamed Vovnik

The term LAMED VOVNIK is a Hebrew term referring to thirty-six righteous men in every generation whose merit saves humanity. But through the stories that have come to us through scripture, "men" are not the only righteous ones.  The thirty-six are hidden among us and are not known to anyone, even themselves.  They are humble, work tirelessly to do for others, have compassion and lift up those around them.

Aha, but I know of one lamed vovnik personally.  She is not only my very dearest friend, she is a most amazing woman.  For as long as I've known her, she has done everything for others.  She has taken care of numerous elderly people in her neighborhood: shopping for them, driving them to doctors, repairing things in their houses, gardening, collecting their mail, watching over their homes when they've been in the hospital, bringing them meals, shoveling snow paths to their doors.  

She is an expert in "conchology", the study of seashells, specifically seashells of the Eastern Seaboard and has done free educational programs in schools.   

She interviewed several veterans, asking them what the American flag meant to them.  She then compiled their answers and paired them with different photos of the American flag that she took.  She then had all this made into a book which she self published.

Currently, she is working to get a ramp installed on the house of a veteran.  He has tried to get the ramp built for five years and has run into a stone wall with the VA, the American Legion and several other groups.  She managed to save her own money for the lumber and she is now scraping and painting the veteran's porch.  She is looking for volunteers who will actually help to build this ramp.

She has cared for her mother and step-father for years even when they lived over 62 miles away.  

When you look up the word compassion, you'll see her face.  When you talk about love for your fellow human being, she will be the one you talk about.  When there are thoughts about the goodness of humanity, she is the one in those thoughts.  When there are tears to be brushed away, she will brush them.  She comforts, she teaches, she protects, she helps.  She gives of her time, her energy, her compassion and her love.  And by doing so makes the world a better place.

She is, indeed, a Lamed Vovnik and I love her because she gives me hope that the world has not gone completely crazy.  She is wise. She is humble.  She is beautiful, both inside and out. She is kindness personified.  She is, indeed, my Lamed Vovnik.

© 2014. Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. Very touching, Reisa. Thank you for opening our eyes to those who go beyond.