9 Cheshvan 5781 / Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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The Beautiful Window    

The Beautiful Window

Lefkowitz was confined to a wheel-chair, but that didn't take away from his constantly happy spirit. On the other hand, his roommate Friedman was blind and disgruntled…


We can all do acts of kindness if we only use our imagination.  Here is a beautiful true story about a person who did just that…


“Lefky, (that’s the nickname fondly given to Mr. Lefkowitz), I would like to introduce you to your new roommate.  His name is Mr. Friedman”, said the nurse at the old age home where Mr. Lefkowitz resided.  Mr. Lefkowitz was always happy, and always tried to make others happy as well regardless of the fact that he had lost both of his legs.  However, his new roommate, Mr. Friedman, seemed to be a grumpy old man who refused to join in on any conversation and simply sat there pouting. 


On his first night, Mr. Lefkowitz heard Mr. Friedman crying in his bed.  He wheeled himself over and asked “Friedman, what’s wrong?  Why are you crying?” 


“Leave me alone!” hollered Mr. Friedman, “Didn’t you notice?! I’m blind!  I became blind five years ago, and I can no longer see my children and beautiful new grandchildren.  My whole world is dark, and I would like to be left alone in my darkness!” 


“Ok” said Mr. Lefkowitz sympathetically as he wheeled himself back to his bed.

When he got to his bed, however, Mr. Lefkowitz decided that he will not give up on his new friend so easily.  He stayed up half the night thinking about how he could cheer up his new roommate, when he thought of an incredible plan.  Early the next morning, Mr. Lefkowitz called out, “Friedman, Friedman wake up, you’re missing it!”


“What? What?  What time is it?”


“It’s 6:15 and it’s the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen… the sky is the deepest orange red hue and the sun is just coming up over on the horizon.  There are a few scattered clouds adding their flavor to the stunning scenery.  Friedman do you hear?  It’s a beautiful sunrise!” 


“Humph!” muttered Mr. Friedman angrily, “I’m tired Lefkowitz, don’t wake me up again!” as he rolled over in his bed.


Yet, the next morning Mr. Lefkowitz was at it again, “Friedman, Friedman you’re missing it!  The sun is coming up and there’s a woman walking her little poodle in the park, and the beautiful green leaves are swaying in the light breeze.  And look, there’s a guy on roller blades with his hat on backwards doing all kind of fancy moves.  Friedman do you hear?  It’s another beautiful day outside…”


This continued morning after morning with Mr. Lefkowitz describing the most vibrant, most beautiful scenes from his window.  And it worked.  Little by little Mr. Friedman warmed up to Mr. Lefkowitz, and amazingly even became a more cheerful fellow.  The two buddies helped each other get to the lunch room as one had legs but no eyes and the other eyes but no legs.  And even in the lunchroom, they didn’t keep their joy to themselves but made all kinds of jokes entertaining and cheering up all the other seniors.


The fall came, and so did the daily animated descriptions of the leaves and the striking color change and the woman with her funny poodle who she now adorned with a little sweater and the beautiful sunrise and the birds and the clouds…. The winter came and with it the description of the different shaped snowflakes and the snowman that was being built in the park by the kids in their hats and mittens throwing snow balls at each other and laughing…


Then, one late spring morning, Mr. Friedman was woken up by an eerie silence.  “Lefky, Lefky, where are you?  What time is it?” called out Mr. Friedman anxiously.  No answer came from the other side of the room.  “Nurse, nurse” cried out Mr. Friedman.  “Where is my friend Lefkowitz?” 


“Um, well, you were sound asleep when Mr. Lefkowitz called us in to say that he wasn’t feeling well.” Said the nurse ever so gently. “We saw that the situation was critical so we rushed him to the hospital. And, um, well, I am so sorry to have to be the one to tell you, but Mr. Lefkowitz had a heart attack and passed away last night.”


Mr. Friedman could not believe his ears.  He was dumbfounded.  “What?!  When’s the funeral?” he asked shakily. 


“In about two hours” said the nurse.  “Quickly! Please nurse, please help me get dressed, I must make it to the funeral.  But first, can you please look out the window and describe the park and the sky?” 


“Excuse me?” asked the nurse. “You know just look out the window, and tell me what you see, that was my custom with my beloved friend.”


“Um, I don’t know how to tell you this Mr. Friedman, but there is no window in this room.” 


“What?!?!  What do you mean?”  “See for yourself” said the nurse.  Mr. Friedman carefully made his way over to the opposite side of the room and started feeling the wall up and down.  “No window?!  You mean there was no window in this room this whole time? Quickly nurse.  I must make it to the funeral…”


At the funeral as family and friends sadly gathered round, Mr. Friedman asked to be allowed to speak.  “Dear friends” he said.  “Let me tell you who this wonderful man is.  A man that helped me see the world for the very first time in my life.  I have been blind for the past five years, but never in my entire life did I really see a sunrise, or leaves on a tree or beautiful snowflakes.  My dear friend Lefky helped me see this beautiful world for the first time in my life and in turn he gave me a joy that I had never had…”


May we all endeavor to help others see the beautiful window in their lives and bring them joy.

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