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Dec 17, 2013

Email of the Day

We in Bet Shemesh (and Ramat Bet Shemesh) were not hit too badly by the recent storm. Torrential rains but not much more than that.. We were not shut down for days like some other places, roofs were not collapsing - mostly just rain and occasionally some electricity outages. Despite that, some people still found opportunities for great chessed..

The following email was sent to the local email list:
This is the kind of community that, at a local Thursday night Sheva Brachot,
the attendees realized that the kallah's Jerusalem-based family might not
make it home and started offering sleeping accomodations - for days, if
And this is the kind of community that, when I got the call that indeed the
family wouldn't make it to J'lem and they were turning back because of the
snow - within 10 minutes we had sleeping accomodations for all 10 of those
And this is the kind of community that on Friday morning, recognizing that
suddenly we'd be making Shabbat Sheva Brachot for our son, his kallah, much
of her now-stranded family, and our family (since we had all expected to be
THERE for Shabbat) OVERWHELMED us with so many offers (one of which we took
- which meant that they forfeited a quiet Friday night family Shabbat meal
to host 24 more people on a moment's notice) and so much food that by 11amFriday morning, my wife and I looked at each other and said we have no need
to prepare any more food.
This is the kind of community that is best reflected by the following story
involving one of my neighbors.  She was visibly saddened when we declined
her offer to do more for us, meaning that she had *only* hosted 2 of our
stranded 10 and cooked us a tray of rice.  Shortly thereafter I discovered
that she was simultaneously making Shabbat for ANOTHER neighbor who had
totally lost power.
Our little city is going to be in the news sooner or later, election-related
or otherwise, invariably painting our community with a very negative brush.
To those who are on this list but aren't familiar with our communities in
Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh, and to those who might discover
negative posts about our community while googling - I hope you see this
post.  You should know that the preceding 96 hours, as experienced by me, my
family, my newly married son, daughter-in-law and her family - demonstrate
(not for the first time) what a WONDERFUL community we live in.  Does this
sort of thing happen everywhere?  It probably should, but my mechutan said
point-blank that it would NEVER happen where he lives; that he doesn't even
know his neighbors (with whom he's lived for years); and that 3 of his
children, despite desperately and understandably wishing to be home, asked
if they could consider moving here to make THIS place their home.
And for the many, many of us here in R/BS reading this - take pride in the
communities that we - which means you - have built.  I know I wouldn't want
to call any other place home.
A very, very proud and thankful R/BS resident

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