Reader-submitted: From the unreported stories

As Jews, we are constantly under the greatest scrutiny by the secular world. As the lyrics of Yaakov Shwekey’s “We Are a Miracle” so poignantly state, “every day we fight a battle, in the news we are the stars”, the world’s lens focuses squarely upon us. And in a world dominated by fake news, the story told is often one that we find hard to reconcile with reality. That so, I deemed it important to share the following incident, one that perhaps you may roll your eyes at and consider less than newsworthy, but for that reason alone it deserves some publicity.

A couple of weeks ago I was on typical trip to the Howell Target. With my items in my cart, I approached the registers, and got onto the end of a longish line waiting to pay. I suddenly noticed a commotion at the head of the line. A frum woman had a cart full of merchandise, and after getting rung up at a total of $458 there was an issue with her credit card. Numerous attempts failed, and she subsequently got on the phone, first with the credit card company, and then attempting to get through to her husband, at a loss as to how to proceed. After a moment or two of frenzied attempts at sorting it out, the cashier asked the woman to please step to the side and allow the waiting customers to check out, as the line has been increasingly growing. At that point, the next person in line, a Lakewood Yungerman, spoke up. He turned to the woman and offered to lay out the money for her. She acquiesced, and he proceeded to swipe his card for her purchases. The cashier looked at him and asked, “You know her?” He looked up and said, “Well, now I do.” She gaped at him perplexed, “You mean you never met her before?! And you’re willing to pay her bill?” He answered nonchalantly, “What’s the big deal? She’s going to pay me back.”

By the time I got up to the register, the cashier was rehashing the incident over with three other Target employees. I overheard one of them saying, “I wish I had as much money as that guy that I could just throw it around like that.” I interjected, telling them that the guy was far from rich. He was simply a religious Jew, and to a religious Jew, a word is a word, and the very thought of theft was unconceivable. I ventured to state what I think is obvious, “I don’t think that there’s even one religious Jew in this store now that wouldn’t have done the exact same thing.” Their astonishment was clear from the looks on their faces. One of them blurted out, in pure sincerity, “How I wish I could be part of a community like that!”

There you have it. The unreported stories.

And to all the haters out there… I rest my case.

A proud member of the community.

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  1. Nice story. Should a religious Jew be shopping at Target, though? Non-Jews have organized a successful boycott of Target after their immoral men-in-the-ladies’-room policy was announced. If non-Jews have marshalled forces to protect the little morality and Godliness left in our society, it may be a chillul Hashem to be seen walking into the store in the first place, showing that Jews don’t care.

  2. I’ll share another little story – this was during winter holiday season and we were in line behind an African-american man and his young daughter who were paying. It seemed he ran out of money to pay for some items and had to leave one of the shopping bags behind. When we realized what happened, my husband paid for our things as well as this man’s items and we rushed out into the parking lot to find him, hoping he didn’t pull out yet. We found him in the nick of time and gave him the missing bag. I think he was in total shock that we paid for it for him.

    Another little story: I was in the parking lot at Shoprite of Lakewood and a young Latino woman with a child appeared to be locked out of their car. It seemed like a frum Jewish guy noticed because he stopped out of nowhere and helped her get back into her car. The fellow was likely part of Chaverim, the neighborhood assistance volunteer group that helps people who are stranded with a flat tire, etc. This fellow didn’t differentiate between Jewish, religious or non-Jewish. He did it on his own because it was the right thing to do.

  3. Sorry to put a damper on the situation, but the first comment made about this incident was about how much money the guy had to throw around like that. Just saying…

  4. Although not so uncommon I love the story & thanks for sharing! While we are on the subject. I met long time resident of Jackson a few days ago and she admitted to me that although she was so nervous about someone from the Lakewood community moving next door to her she had become very close with her new neighbor and really loves them. In her words she couldn’t ask for a better neighbor….

  5. After all look who pulled over to the side of the road to help none other than Donald Trump with a flat tire. During an interview in Trump Tower one reporter asked him about the authenticity of the story. He verified the part about paying off the mortgage of the person that helped him. I’m sure now that he is president he very well remembers what religion the individual belonged to. Mi kiamcha yisroel

  6. As a side note, not to take away from this nice story, in my humble opinion, ‘on the news we are the stars’ is not the way Yidden should be talking about themselves.

  7. Thank you for the beautiful story that happened in Target. I would like to add two stories .
    I was in Howell Court and a yungerman got a few hundred dollar fine for whatever it might have been. He realized he didn’t have the money and he got nervous & tried making phone calls. A different yungerman gave the full amount that was owed. I don’t remember the reactions but if I recall correctly it was one of shock & disbelief among the court officials\police.
    A different time I was on a line by a Chol Hamoed outing and a lady with a big family bla”h had to pay more than a hundred dollars & they were only taking cash. A yungerman on the line payed for the family in cash & of course they were amazed.

  8. Very amazing stories lets let the world know who we are, and how we react, Glad to see nice stories for a change instead of complaints, Good Shabbos our caring wonderful Lakewood,

  9. Beautiful story. Mi keamcha Yisroel. I work with secular and non Jewish employees. One of my co workers husband was in kimball hospital in the emergency room. A Bkur Choli volunteer helped them out. He was in total shock, my colleague said “this is the way religious Jews do things, “

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