|Photo from here|
We often read about “acts of chessed (kindness)” and the importance of think of others and what their needs are. Last Shabbos, while speaking with the best friend of my father a”h, I discovered something amazing. My father would always pay for his haircuts a year in advance. He did this because he knew that there would be times when people would cancel their appointments with his barber and because times were tough. My father did many things like this, always trying to think of how he could help someone else. He wasn’t “yeshiva educated” or well versed in books regarding Jewish ethics. He was simply a person who tried to think of others.
(Originally written and posted on my blog at madrega.com)
In clearing out a million papers today I came across a teaching from Reb Chaim Volozhin that I really like and fits nicely with your post.
“Our forefather Avraham was tested with ten trials. Why does this mishna refer to Avraham as our forefather whereas the previous mishna did not use this title? ‘A righteous man goes with perfection, fortunate are his children after him.’ (Mishle 20:7). The righteous man will make an intensive effort to perfect a character trait. Once he succeeds, he bequeaths this trait to his children. For them it is a latent talent which needs but minor effort to blossom. The purpose of Avraham’s ten trials was to pave the road for his children’s Divine service.
Your Father clearly paved the road for you with beautiful, if small acts. May his neshama have an aliya and may you be blessed to follow in his footsteps.
That teaching from R Chaim Volzhin is great.