Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Christmas Spirit

I'm one of those Jews who loves Christmas.

By that I don't mean Christmas envy, or that I'm converting or anything like that.

OK, so I love Christmas music and have a little tree envy but that's really it.

I ike the spirit of Christmas, which I take to mean the goodness of mankind and by now you know I'm not one of those hopey-dopey-changey people who thinks all humans are basically good, because I don't. I think that most humans are pretty regular and often rotten.

HOWEVER, I am a people collector.

You know some people collect stamps and tea cups and all kinds of other useless crap that they can't take with 'em.

I collect people, and knowledge and anecdotes and stories and hopefully, some wisdom. And then I like to share.

I like to share my people. I like to put people together who need each other, who want to do good things for one another. Who are motivated by G-dliness, and by the love and respect that they have for the sanctity of human life.

So I want to tell you a true story.

A real human story. Pretty much in real time.

And if it inspires you, maybe you'll take that energy and do something good for someone else, because I gotta tell you-it's contagious. Goodness and good deeds are contagious. Aren't we so lucky?

So there are a bunch of people that hung out at a formerly conservative blog that nobody hangs out at anymore. The web site founder was from California.

Does the name matter? Not really.

A bunch of us became internet friends (I've met many of them in person in North America and Israel) and a bunch of us here in Toronto became real life friends. In fact, most of my closest friends today are people that I met through the internet-blogs and web sites, writers and others, etc..

Then that blog blew up and a bunch of refugees hung out at another blog-the founder of that blog is in rural Connecticut. Still a number of us kept in touch through the years. Beautiful G-d fearing people abounded.

During this time, I also became acquainted with parents and siblings all over the world who have the same rare, genetic syndrome as my son.

Well, one of these little guys from Ohio is really sick right now.

He has cancer, it's really terrifying. Thank G-d he is getting excellent care at an excellent children's hospital. He had a long surgery to remove a malignant mass, and he did really well. Bless the healers.

Mom doesn't want to leave the room, and for sure not the hospital. So, they have a guest assistance program where you can buy meals for parents who are staying with their kids. My Dad (waves-love you, Dad) bought a bunch of meals-at $6 a pop, in my view, they are the best most blessed and righteous meals he has purchased this year. 

Now this little guy has to have other treatments, among them radiation and chemotherapy and he's going to lose his beautiful, thick head of hair. So his mom was thinking out loud about hats on Facebook.

I put out a call on Facebook to see if any of my friends knit, to make a hat for him.

A friend from the blog world reminded me about another blog friend who is an expert sewer and knitter. It had been years, but I sent her an e-mail and she immediately said count me in. She's in Seattle.

So because of this beautiful internet, a Jewish grandfather from Toronto buys an Ohio mom a few meals to make her life easier while her child is in hospital. A blog friend from North Carolina who I have never met in person, reminds me that another blog friend in Seattle who I have never met knits and sews. And we, as friends were brought together by a G-d fearing, firebrand Jewish lady from Connecticut who I've never met in person either.

And the knitted hats for the boy with cancer are on their way to Ohio and I got to be the matchmaker, to share in these good deeds-and all I had to do was type away at my computer and put the right people together.

How lucky.

What a blessing.

I really don't have the words right now to express exactly how grateful I am to be a part of such goodness.

So I guess among the many lessons here are if you have to collect something, collect good people.

Ask for things that other people need.

Put people together.

Watch good things grow.

Be grateful, be blessed.

In the Christmas spirit (hat tip: Blazing Cat Fur) here's a little girl signing Christmas and Chanukah songs to her parents.

HEY, she would have made a much better sign language translator for the Mandela funeral.