Posted on January 27, 2017
Yesterday I flew back from vacation. At the airport I saw a colleague who had helped me in the spring with a project. I knew he had recently lost his mother, was in his year of mourning and saying kaddish. A minyan drives kaddish. This means that a mourner only needs to say kaddish in the presence of a minyan. Since I saw that there were enough people on our return flight to Newark to make a minyan, I started asking them if they would be willing to participate.
It is important to point out that we were all on the same flight and that while boarding was to start shortly, the flight was not scheduled to depart for another 45 minutes. I was surprised and disappointed when several people said no. I explained to them the situation, that someone needed to say kaddish and that by the time we land it will be too late for mincha.
For me this was a teachable moment. It was an opportunity to show my children that you need to live your values. You simply can’t talk about the importance of helping others, you need to actually help them.
I was happy that I made the effort and dejected that several who are committed and who in other instances says as sending their children to school “put their money where their mouth is” could not see what I saw. We had an opportunity. We had the ability to unite together as community and to help someone while teaching our children what matters.
We did not have a minyan for mincha yesterday. I will not say kaddish for flight 1173 and will try again to convene people and create a sense of community every time I have a similar opportunity.
Please note: we don’t help people because it is fun or convenient. We do whatever we can to help others, contribute to and serve community because it’s important and that in my opinion is what life is all about.