The Power of Gemilut Chasadim

by Rachel Berkowitz and Naomi Scheinerman
written 12/23/98
page 6 of 6

Just then, Father called everyone to dinner. As they tumbled into the kitchen and sat at the table, the children could see that Father was exhausted and exasperated. No sooner had they recited the Motzi and distributed bread to everyone than little Rebecca reached for her glass of milk and knocked it over, spilling the entire contents across the dining table. Father's face grew red and furious. He looked like he would explode.

"I've got a sponge already!" Michael shouted, and ran to the sink.

"No problem to clean up," Dinah chimed in and moved aside the plates and serving dishes.

"I'll pour more milk," offered Joshua.

In a few minutes the spill was wiped up and there was no sign it had ever happened. Father sat in amazement. "What happened here?" he asked in bewilderment.

"Gemilut chasadim happened here," Mother said quietly. "It cures many ills." She recounted to the family her conversation with the rabbi and how it affected her reaction to Joshua. Joshua told how Mother's kindness inspired him to pass it along to Dinah. Dinah spoke about the pleasure of helping Michael with his spelling words. Michael spoke about happily cleaning up the milk Rebecca spilled.

"Gemilut chasadim is amazingly powerful," Father observed.

"Yes," agreed Mother. "It sustains the world."