Dear Stranger – A Surprise Shabbos Gift

Sometimes it is just the small acts of kindness that can make someone’s day – or weekend.

A Lakewood resident tells TLS he was loading his car trunk Friday afternoon in the Gourmet Glatt parking lot when he was approached by a stranger who proceeded to place a large Cookie Corner package alongside his groceries.

Asked what this was all about, the man, who refused to give his name, simply said that “this is for you L’Kavod Shabbos.

He explained that during COVID he heard from Ira Zlotowitz that if you want to buy something L’kovod Shabbos, then you should buy it for someone else, which shows that it’s really L’shma.

The package, which contained about $50 worth of assorted pastries, had a note which said “Dear stranger, Have a wonderful Shabbos.”


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  1. Dear Stranger,

    Wow! I’m honestly blown away!

    Please reply letting me know where and when to shop next week so that you can find me next.

    Thank you and good Shabbos to you too!

  2. Honestly I would not eat it. Given to me by stranger ?? How do you know it wasn’t tampered with, especially in this day and age. Similarly, I don’t eat food if I don’t know where it’s from like a at a kiddush.

    • The giver wisely gave it in a box from a Kosher place. If you think a Frum Jew “Tampered” with it and either switched it for Treif or added a dangerous ingredient I feel sad for you. Living a life of paranoia is no way to live.

  3. Nice thought, but read on….
    Next time give it to an oni really needs the money. You can sign up with Tomchei Shabbos & help feed a family each week. Ahavas Tzedakah by Dr. Shanik also does wonderful tzedakah in our town. Your mitzvah will be unimaginably greater by giving to someone in need. There are many local families who don’t have the money to buy basic food for Shabbos.

  4. I would love to the same as this thoughtful person but I have a lot of federal taxes to pay this year as such I’ll have to wait till I’m done with taxes. It’s a little hard for me to accommodate both IRA and the IRS!!

  5. I personally know the guy. He has a heart of gold and has done this routine many times before. He doesn’t need any reminders about giving Tzedakah (charity) B”H. This is called Gemilus Chasadim (acts of kindness) which is different than Tzedakah as it can be given to the rich or to the poor, with time or with money, and to the living or the dead. I too was the recipient of the same Cookie Corner box this week. We enjoyed it thoroughly l’Kavod Shabbos and are perfectly healthy for those who wondered. May we all be inspired to do little acts of kindness just to make someone else’s day (Ahavas Chinam), and the world will be a happier place with the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash.

  6. Hello! I am the ‘giver’ who has been doing this. Did not expect to make the tabloid!

    (I have received so many smiles/joy from doing this, I am the receiver at this point)

    Since this is an anonymous forum, I will give some background!

    – This idea stemmed from a newsletter from Ira Zlotowitz (Bechukosai) during COVID, which in short explained that buying fine things for Shabbat with the ‘belief’ of being ‘reimbursed’ is all fine so as long as we make sure that others also have nice things to honor ‘their’ shabbat.

    If we only honor ‘our’ Shabbat with these fine cakes/meats/wines etc , are we doing this for the honor of the holy day? Or is it personal satisfaction?

    Although the main idea is obviously to ensure every Jew has proper food for Shabbat, I was very inspired and decided to do something:

    While I was at a bakery on Friday that following Shabbat, I was could not make up my mind between (2) cakes, and thought “Both look amazing for Shabbat, but I do not need both. Here is an idea: I will buy both, and give one to someone else. This way both are Likvod Shabbat. One for my Shabbat, one for theirs”.

    … And so it has been since 2020, in the US, while traveling, I try to not miss it.

    → To the reader who asked “Why not Tomchei Shabbos”:

    I support financially Tomchei Shabbos and other organizations of the sort and I am in awe at what they do on a weekly basis.

    This is not about Tzedaka. This is about giving to another Jew who I (most of the time) do not know, for NO other purpose than adding a little extra joy to their already magnificient Shabbat. It feels different to me.

    No maaser money used, only good vibes.

    → To the reader who mentioned giving it to a “Jew who does not look like him”:

    I definitely do not discriminate there, the goal is to add a touch of joy to ANYONES Shabbat, whether they are shomrei shabbos or not.

    I have given to all kind of people, in many locations (I am not from Lakewood, just happened to be there this week), from religious to non practicing jews.
    I really let Hashem decide who should be the recipient and hand it to the next Jew I bump into.

    → To the commenter about food safety: It is usually sealed food from a known place, or closed bottle of wine and the likes.

    While I never thought I would write about this, as it is my little secret and something I really enjoy doing anonymously, it would be selfish to not admit that it is consistently one of the best part of my week.

    And if I am lucky enough to realize that Hashem was extra good to me that week? Well, then I add a couple more cakes to the order 🙂

    Wishing you all many wonderful Shabbosim!

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