You never know what one mitzvah can do

 
 
 

We live in an area that has recently been subject to race riots, the Jewish minority is almost non existant, the nearest synagogue is 25 miles away. Our secular neighbour is the head of nursing for the local Health Authority and her husband also works at the local hospital. They have two children, one of whom was studying Judaism at school. He asked us about Shabbat and the kippah that I wear on my head, he even borrowed several items to take to school and watched, transfixed, a slide show presentation I had prepared for Purim.  We were invited to their house one Shabbat evening, and I suggested that we performed Havdalah at their house.

Six months later one Saturday evening, the mother received a telephone call from one of the nursing staff, saying they had an elderly Jewish gentleman who was not expected to live more that two days, was requesting to light six candles, but as he was on oxygen the nurses felt they could not allow it, as they thought it may blow up the hospital.  He was getting distressed and very upset, the nurses were requesting advice as they did not think it could be allowed.  The mother replied
"don’t panic, he does not have to hold the candles, it is just one candle with six wicks, one of you can do that well away from the oxygen, he will say some prayers, bless and drink some wine, sniff some spices, the candle is extinguished and he will sing and wish you ‘shavoa tov’ and its all over.  Contact the head of geriatrics he is Jewish he will help"
The elderly gentleman witnessed his last Havdalah with a happy smile on his face.
 

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