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What's the biggest chesed w/most mesiras nefesh you've done?
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lifecoach









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 1:37 am
What was the BIGGEST chesed you ever did (with great mesiras nefesh) & you knew it changed your life?

This one was told to me by a friend: (I will IY"H post my own anonymously)

"I was helping an elderly, sick man in the community for about a year. Raising money, helping him find a place to live, get healthcare, etc. It was one of those situations where everything seemed stacked against him. Everytime we thought we discovered an option to help him, it fell through. Not the proper I.D. Not the proper age. Doesn't have a Rav behind him. Or he'd say no to all options to help him. Many times I'd get calls for an emergency that he was running out of money. My heart would be in my throat, and once again I'd try to raise money.

One day, it seemed that everything, and every choice left us up against a wall. He had no place to live. Once again, no money. Nobody in the community seemed to care. I was SO alone in this chesed. I was single. And home in my room. And ready to give up. All the odds were stacked against this man.
I actually felt that through all my attempts to help, I was fighting Hashem. Hashem seemed to be telling me at every turn, that I can't win. Hashem kept 'putting down the gavel' and saying 'No, this will not work.'

That night, I stood in my room, and cried out, 'Ribbono Shel Olam. You taught us never to give up on another Jew. Even if I have to fight against You, I will not give up on this man.' There, I said it. I was scared. But it was a life-changing moment. Because I knew I was making a commitment to someone and not giving up. I felt very 'adult'. The next day, I called someone I knew AGAIN, and begged (nicely) that he help me find a home for this man. Conclusion: He helped me find a home for this man. P.P.S. I got married within that year."
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LeahW









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 4:21 am
Wow. Thank you for sharing that.
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Isramom8









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 4:37 am
How about the consistency of 21 years worth so far of raising my children? Starting with pregnancies and sleepless nights, and moving right on up to pre-wedding stress.
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amother






Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 4:45 am
Isramom8 wrote:
How about the consistency of 21 years worth so far of raising my children? Starting with pregnancies and sleepless nights, and moving right on up to pre-wedding stress.


I was going to say the same thing, except I've only been doing it for nine Embarassed

I don't think I am a naturally giving person, and I'm not naturally maternal either, so I feel like it took a lot of mesiras nefesh to be able to be raising my kids the way I do. I'm one of those people who "needs" intellectual stimulation and "needs" to be out of the house and yet I chose to stay home with my kids, and to be engaged with them, and to be calm and loving and supportive and respectful of each child based on his/her own needs and personality. And since it is an ongoing, never ending chesed, and requires mesiras nefesh on my part on a daily basis, I would have to say that's it for me.

Maybe when they are older I will be able to save the world.
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freidasima









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 4:54 am
Leaving my very young children and moving into my parents home for the weeks before my father was niftar (at home) in order to take care of him round the clock when my mother had to go to the states during that time.
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amother






Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 6:40 am
Unfortunately, I don't consider these life changing but there is the satisfaction gained from helping someone in need.
I don't work in the sheitel business and once out of the blue, a woman that I don't know very well called me and said that she doesn't have a decent wig to wear to a family wedding, and asked if she could borrow mine. I would have gladly lent her one ( I have two) but I am blonde and she is dark brown and I told her that I think she would look odd.(and I was not generous enough to give it to her and let her dye it) She was quite distraught and didn't know what to do. I have a friend who makes custom wigs and I called her and asked her if she had anything suitable in stock that she could lend this woman and she sent me a bag of wigs that for whatever reason she had not been able to sell. The woman found something that she could work with but needed to have it cut and styled, but somone was willing to do this for her for a nominal fee. She wore the wig and thanked me profusley for organizing it for her anonymously and asked me how much it was because she would like to buy it, obviously for a very nominal price. My friend let her have it for free.
Honestly, I think my friend had the bigger mitzvah, but I was happy to be the go between, so that this woman could have her dignity. The interesting thing in this story, is that to look at this woman, you would not believe that she would be the type to literally to call up an acquaintance and beg for a wig. Just goes to show...

Also in our community there is a family with many health and intellectual issues. They are physically , intellectually and mentally unable to function. My husband and I have often given them our last pennies for the week to enable them to make Shabbos in their own home as their physical limitations prevent them from going out. We also try to supplement what we give them from others that we know. This might not be the wisest fiancial decision for us, but at least we are gaining a mitzvah, and hopefully setting a good example for our kids.
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Isramom8









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 6:45 am
Tell me if this is a chessed. I accompanied a woman to the hospital, and it turned out that she had to stay overnight. She asked me to switch head coverings with her so that she could lie in her hospital bed with one. (I had a snood but she had a hat that she could not lie down with.)

The problem was that her hat didn't cover as much as I cover and I would not walk in the street that way.

I decided to switch with her, and take a taxi home so that as few people as possible would see me.

If anyone saw me I wonder what they thought..
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amother






Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 7:01 am
I think that anything that helps another person is chesed. Obviously there are very large acts of chesed and then at the other end of the scale there are the small, seemingly innocuous things, that at that time helped the recipient in they way they needed to be helped. I think the another important aspect of chesed is how difficult it was to perform it. If you were uncomfortable with that head covering, that was mesiras nefesh, and certainly in my book would be counted as chesed. This does not take away from the value of chasodim performed by people with ease, think large donations form wealthy people, because even in these cases people in need are helped, regardless of the true motives of their benefactors.
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amother






Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 7:55 am
I have a neighbor next door who lives alone. She used to live with her parents, but they have since passed away. She manages well on her own; however, when she runs into any type of problem, she's at my door or on the phone asking for help. I used to get annoyed with her, but then one day I stopped to think: Maybe this is the reason that Hashem put her next door, so she would always have someone to help her in her times of need. Now, whenever there's a major snow storm, she calls me for a sandwich, and many times at 3 a.m. she'll call and ask for Motrin or Advil if she's not feeling well. In the z'chus of what I do for her, I pray that Hashem will send my mother who lives alone out of town, good neighbors to help her when she's lonely or needs a small favor or errand.
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amother






Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 8:02 am
"Adopted" an new immigrant Ethiopian family at age 18.
One year of Shirut Leumi.
Took a child as a foster Shabbos parent on Shanah Rishonah.
Took care of an old lady.
Volunteered in an organization of Chessed to new mothers, cooked meals and cakes.
Volunteered for domestic violence hotline.
Invit strangers for Shabbos.
Host Meshulachim.
Penpal with a prisonier.
Invite our 93 yo neighboor every single Friday night.
Partners in Torah.

For the time being...
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amother






Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 8:28 am
Let my new olah friend live with me and DH during our first year of marriage (5 months)
Let my new olah friend live with me and DH during out second year of marriage (5 months).

Two different friends, both of whom didnt have so much money (the first was supposed to live with us for 2 weeks and then the pushed off the starting of her job (by 4.5 months) so she couldn't move out because she had no way to pay the rent. the second had her rent money in dollars and paid rent in shekel and the dollar tanked and she didnt have enough money, so she stayed by us til she started sherut leumi in september.)

It was an interesting start to our marriage. But we made it work.
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Raizle









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 8:35 am
Isramom8 wrote:
Tell me if this is a chessed. I accompanied a woman to the hospital, and it turned out that she had to stay overnight. She asked me to switch head coverings with her so that she could lie in her hospital bed with one. (I had a snood but she had a hat that she could not lie down with.)

The problem was that her hat didn't cover as much as I cover and I would not walk in the street that way.

I decided to switch with her, and take a taxi home so that as few people as possible would see me.

If anyone saw me I wonder what they thought..
what a great lesson in being dan l'kaf zchus
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amother






Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 9:38 am
I organize meals for people who need them in the community - situations where someone in the family is suddenly in the hospital, or a mother is put on strict bedrest and the father works long hours, or things like that. I don't make the meals, I just call other people and make up schedules, but it can still take a LONG time. And it's often pretty last minute. There was one time recently where I was absolutely exhausted, it was Thursday night, and I got a call that someone needed meals for the upcoming week. I almost said, "I'm sorry, I really can't." But I didn't. I answered happily that I'd love to, no it was no problem at all...and so instead of cleaning my house for Shabbos, I spent half an hour on the phone (and I can't do chores at the same time - I've tried) organizing meals. And then I went and got ready for Shabbos as much as I could before I fell into bed.

My house wasn't perfect for Shabbos. In fact, I'm glad no one came over that week. But I finished cooking the food, and the table was set. I honestly ignored the fact that the kitchen floor wasn't washed, the carpet wasn't vacuumed, and there was stuff all over the kitchen counters. There were also toys all over the house.

There. It was only half an hour, and it may not have even made a difference in the long run. But it was my little bit of mesiras nefesh.
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saw50st8









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 9:41 am
Isramom8 wrote:
Tell me if this is a chessed. I accompanied a woman to the hospital, and it turned out that she had to stay overnight. She asked me to switch head coverings with her so that she could lie in her hospital bed with one. (I had a snood but she had a hat that she could not lie down with.)

The problem was that her hat didn't cover as much as I cover and I would not walk in the street that way.

I decided to switch with her, and take a taxi home so that as few people as possible would see me.

If anyone saw me I wonder what they thought..


I vote big chesed.

It took sacrifice on your part - religiously too, although within bounds of halacha. To me its like when my brother in law davened at my MO shul in Brooklyn and helped carry a stretcher with a sick person on it outside. He joked "Look what happens when I daven here - I'm already carrying!" (we hold by the eruv and he doesn't)
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freidasima









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 2:39 pm
Isramom it was definitely mesirus nefesh...as are all the other wonderful stories here. A very inspiring thread. Thank you for starting it.
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Isramom8









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 2:44 pm
freidasima wrote:
Isramom it was definitely mesirus nefesh...as are all the other wonderful stories here. A very inspiring thread. Thank you for starting it.


Thanks Lifecoach for starting it!
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Mystery Woman









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 3:59 pm
I do taharas.
It makes me appreciate every minute, and helps me keep things in perspective.
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chocolate moose









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 4:04 pm
I don't like this thread. You do chessed because the Aibisher expects us to do ahavas yisroel. How do you know that results in a windfall or pregnancy or whatever ?
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Raizle









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 5:50 pm
chocolate moose wrote:
I don't like this thread. You do chessed because the Aibisher expects us to do ahavas yisroel. How do you know that results in a windfall or pregnancy or whatever ?


I like this thread as I find it inspiring.
I can't think of anything I've done as great as some of the things mentioned here and it makes me want to try and do more.

I don't think that attributing something good coming out of it means that they did it for that reason. I'm sure their reasons were ultruistic at the start and even if it wasn't, who cares? that's between them and Hashem so long as the job was done.
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chocolate moose









  


Post  Tue, Feb 22 2011, 8:21 pm
I have done plenty of chessed for people who have Defriended me on FB & talked badly about me behind my back, just to get started.

How is that inspiring? That I keep on giving, regardless ?
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