The Chassidic leader, Reb Leib Sorkes traveled great distances to spend time with the Maggid of Mezritch. “To see him daven?” – he was asked. “No,” he replied. “To see the Maggid tie his shoelace.”
There have been so many unbelievable stories coming out about Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer zt”l who passed away last Friday, which reveal his incredible acts of chessed, including one my aunt told me. When my aunt was recently in the hospital with Covid-19, Rabbi Kelemer went to the cemetery to daven by her parent’s kevarim that she should have a refuah sheleima. He never said a word. She only found out because Rabbi Kelemer’s wife mentioned it recently to my mother. Incredible!
But when I saw the above quote, I thought of a time when I had visited my grandmother in a nursing home/rehab facility and of course Rabbi Kelemer came to visit her as well. As he was leaving, I noticed him approach all the residents sitting around the common area and with a big smile saying, “Hi, Yehuda Kelemer, what is your name… So nice to meet you…” After he walked away, they all smiled and looked at each other and said “what a nice man!” He never missed an opportunity to do a mitzvah and make each person he met feel special.
While most of us won’t travel to a cemetery to daven by the kevarim of the parents of those we are davening for, we can certainly take a lesson from how Rabbi Kelemer conducted himself as he was leaving the nursing home that time.