I lead, what I think of, as a pretty regular life. So when something singular happens, it’s pretty exciting for me. As common in most communities and with groups of friends, when someone has a baby people start offering to make meals for that family (in this case, my family).
Last motzei Shabbos we got a call from our friend who was coordinating meals for us. It seems that a couple wanted to do a chessed and give us a meal. The problem was that we had no clue who they were. We didn’t recognize their names nor did our kids have anyone with the same list name in their classses. Later that night we found out the wife’s maiden name, and she claimed that we were her former NCSY advisors. I still wasn’t sure who it could be. For four days I was trying to figure out who these people were. I did know someone by the wife’s maiden name, but different first name. Last night, the mystery was solved. My wife opened the door when our guest came (I was still at work) and it was all revealed…
I try to be a friendly person, so as I walk to/from shul Shabbos morning I always say “Good Shabbos” to people I see. It makes no difference if I know them or not. As it happens, in Chicago, people say “Good Shabbos” back, too.
Apparently last Shabbos I said “Good Shabbos” to this “former NCSYer” and as she told my wife, when she got down the block she realized who I was. She figured that I was in town for a chassuna. Then she was speaking to a friend and our name came up also. Then she saw a birth announcement in one of the community emails. All of this happened over Shabbos.
It turns out that she was the NCSYer I was thinking of (it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve heard her name), but she’s going by a slightly different name these days. She and her husband moved here two years ago. What a way to reconnect with someone and all from saying, “Good Shabbos”. Try saying it, you, too, might end up with a great story of hashgacha pratis.
Thanks for sharing that, Neil!
Amen. Great story!
It pays to be polite.
When I walk down the street in my old neighborhood in Queens, and say “Good Shabbos” to people, they mostly just look at me like I’m a lunatic.
PT- I live in Queens and say Good Shabbos to people and most of the time they answer me back. The only time looks come to me is when i say it to sefardis and they smile and answer back Shabbat Shalom. I always say Good Shabbos to people and I try to go around after shul and say good shabbos to everyone starting with the new faces first to make sure they feel comfortable.
Well, then that must mean that I actually AM a lunatic.
Chicago is special in that sense. Does not happen like that in most places…
It’s funny. When I lived in KG no one answered good Shabbos to me. When I lived in KHG less people answered Good Shabbos. In Indianapolis, if you saw ANYONE you said good Shabbos. Here in Chicago almost everyone says it. Sometimes even kids beat me to it (which is great Midos Tovos). Everyone is pretty friendly regardless of where the daven, what they wear on their head (men or women). Thanks for the feedback.
Do we realy need a “reason” to say Good shabbos to our fellow Jews that pass us on the street?
Neil, great story. One of my closest friends is someone who I saw shlepping her baby stroller out of her apartment (after I had just shlepped mine down) and went over to help her out and introduce myself. We’ve gone on to become like sisters.
PT, maybe it’s a Hillcrest thing?