One of my daughters moved out of her Queens apartment to spend Shabbat with her in-laws while her apartment was being used by a family left without electricity, water, heat, or food. A second daughter who thankfully had a generator filled her refrigerators and freezers with food from neighbors and even had some of them stay in her house and join for meals.
I constantly receive e-mails about offers of help to clear flooded homes, food and clothing as well as a place to stay. Competitors in every area were helping out businesses that they normally do not communicate with. A Flatbush resident whose business is flooded and will not reopen for several weeks received an anonymous large box of fresh foods. A Queens businessman drove to the Five Towns with several new generators that he bought. At least one kosher supermarket distributed food to poor and hard hit families without any expectation of payment. And so it continues!
How heartwarming and encouraging is it that in the face of such enormous destruction and human hardship people behave at their best. How inspiring is it to see such selfless acts on behalf of neighbors, friends and even strangers. I know that many of you have stories of their own that perhaps match or even surpass the generosity and benevolence I described. But I am sure that all of us feel proud to be part of a nation and community whose lofty values made this tragedy so much more bearable!Photo courtesy of NOAA