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Acts of kindness help bridge the divide

  • 2b-Letter7
We often focus on the negative. Nevertheless, I would like to share two positive experiences that my mother, a white woman in her eighties, experienced over the past few months. Both happened while driving.
by Martin Zagnoev, Johannesburg | May 09, 2019

In the first, her car broke down on the highway. She was able to pull over onto the side of the road. There was a black man parked nearby in a bakkie. He brought out some tools, and was able to repair her car quickly. Fortunately he also had a bucket of water in the back which was needed to re-fill the radiator.

In the second, she got lost while driving in an unfamiliar place. Again, an unknown African man escorted her to where she needed to go.

Recently I had the opportunity to pay it forward when I escorted a lost delivery man to his destination. By doing things like this, we can reduce racial tension and introduce a better spirit into the world around us. Although I don’t wear a yarmulke, those who do can reduce negative stereotypes about Jews being stingy when they do similar kind acts. Doing these things would be a kiddush Hashem [sanctification of the name of G-d by being holy], which is the highest mitzvah possible.

Although there is much talk about racial tension, most black and white people work and interact with each other in a relaxed and friendly way.

There is a lot of goodwill in this great land. South Africans are known for their warmth and friendliness. Overseas visitors often comment favourably about this.

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