Dispelling Darkness with Kindness

By Helena Peiser, Memphis, TN
Essays 2017

MyLife Essay Contest 2017

“A Little Bit of Light Dispels a lot of Darkness”, (Rabbi Schneur Zalman Of Liadi)

A little bit of Torah can diffuse confusion and depression… A few years ago, I was looking for a way to find some learning to help overcome my obstacle of sadness and loneliness. I grew up in a southern community where I was exposed to Chassidus through my preschool teacher Rebbetzin Risya K. Posner which has continued to influence my life. I thought it would be so cool to have a group of women learning together to help bring our community closer together and where women could share in Torah learning. I shared my idea with my mother and a couple of close friends. In 2008, these women in my community decided to start a learning group to honor her memory. We named our group, Ginat Risya, to honor the memory of Risya K. Posner. Ginat Risya meets regularly to learn and study Chassidus.

In 2013, Rebbetzin Mimi Posner Liberov, started learning with us Via Skype. Today, there is a group of women interacting happily and learning Chassidus with each other through the daughter of my preschool teacher Rebbetzin Posner. There are so many ways we can spread the light of Torah, whether it’s through books or technology. Through connecting women on the phone we were able to make a huge impact through spreading the light of Torah and Mitzvos.

When you grow up in a small Jewish community, you would think it would be very boring. But it wasn’t, for there was a lot of happiness in my early childhood. I loved being around the exciting and lively Shul, it was like my second home. The Posner family greatly influenced my family in many areas. However, Rebbetzin Posner, of blessed memory, was a special friend and mentor to my family and myself. Rebbetzin Posner was firm, but always had a smile to her face and was very kind and considerate of other people. We built a special bond together with her. This beautiful bond lasted for years. I enjoyed and miss her warm personality.

I also showed my kindness towards Rebbetzin Posner, such as when I heard it was her birthday. My mom suggested that I should do something for her. At first, I wasn’t sure what to do for her. Whether I should make her a card, or make something from scratch. So, I decided to decorate a glass vase and case for her. I remember piling up all these gems and sticking them one by on the vase and case. Before I knew it, it was finished. Each gem was glued to the glass and not a spot was seen. A few weeks later when I visited her, she was so thrilled to see me. She was there with her daughter Mimi Liebrow, which was the first time I met her daughter. Mrs. Posner told me how much she loved the presents that I gave her and how they were really nice and how sweet it was to think of her. Little did I know, she actually put the piece of artwork I had made on her dresser. According to Mimi, “ My mother said, Helena, made it for me. My mother was so touched. The dresser wasn’t that big and my mother had many students and family over the years who made beautiful things and gave them as gifts to my mother. But the only one on the dresser was yours.” When I heard this, it fascinated me that a piece of artwork like this was on her dresser. It taught me how an act of kindness can go a long way.

As Hashem brings more souls into this world, He is assigning us, The Jewish People, to guide mankind’s spiritual growth. Through Torah’s Mitzvos of love and kindness, we help to to spread the light of peace and comfort in the coming of Moshiach.