Son’s kindness is parent’s point of pride

Elizabeth Hersh is Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel (TE), and a blogger on the Jewish Light’s website (

By Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

While away for winter vacation, I had an outstanding “proud parent” moment. After a long and tiring day on the ski slopes, my family had settled in on a shuttle bus ride back to our lodging destination. We had entered the bus at the beginning of the loop and were fortunate to have seats on the ever-growing crowded shuttle.

Lost in my own reverie and exhaustion, I do not think I was even aware that a man and woman had entered the bus and started to reach for handles in the walkway as all seats were taken. They were occupied, that is, until my 10-year-old stood up and offered the woman his seat. She gladly accepted.

The couple was by no means “old” (whatever that connotes), but my son recognized the art of chivalry. Perhaps he had really learned the adage of showing deference to the elderly. (I am not sure they would have classified themselves as older, but we are looking through the vision of a 10-year-old!) 

Nevertheless, he was living Torah. He was acting upon the lessons of our teachings. His study was actualized through action. Isn’t that true wisdom? It was a simple gesture packed with enormous meaning. 

What acts of kindness have you performed recently? As the New Year begins, many individuals resolve to change their lives, habits and attitudes. How many of you have thought about bringing forth your teachings to reality? We can each be a living Torah, if only we resolve to live our teachings.