My boss used to say, if you need someone to do something, ask someone who's busy. I never doubted the wisdom of that statement, but lately I've begun to realize how truly accurate those words really are.
Last week my neighbor passed away. Tikva was a doer. She was brash and loud and could be a complete nudnik, but when someone needed help she did everything that she could to get herself moving or, at the very least, to shake up the neighborhood so that they'd get moving. There were hundreds of people at Tikva's funeral....people from every strata of Tzfat society from the ultra-Haredim to non-religious people. She got along with everyone equally well. Obviously she couldn't help everyone -- everyone has to zero in on the things that they can do and the things that they can't. But Tikva did more than most for more people than most.
When Tikva got sick the whole community suddenly realized how much she was valued. People said tehillim, went to the kvrarim of tzdikkim, took on extra mitzvot.....the whole shebang. And when she passed away, from the speeches at her funeral and the subsequent posts on social media it was clear that everyone realized that a special person had passed away - and that she was special because of the chessed that she did.
In Tikva's memory, I assumed that some of the pontificating about her soul ascending to the heights of Heavenly reward etc. etc. etc. and how we could perpetuate her memory with good deeds etc. etc.etc. would translate into a bit of action.
So I reminded everyone about a gentleman who's just come back to Tzfat, paralyzed from the waist down after a horrible accident. He just needs visitors. Half an hour here and there. That's all.
Then, after I went to visit this guy today, I reposted to remind the community of the situation. The guy just needs visitors. And to no one's great surprise, the only person to respond was someone who's super-busy himself, yet he could make the time to go and see this guy. A family that lives nearby (who are also crazy-busy) told me that they'd be in touch as well. I got a few "likes" on my post but no one else committed to a visit.
Do I sound a bit cynical about all of the lofty speeches and posts that were made about Tikva's passing? What BS. All I ask is, if I ever need help, please keep the "spiritual" souls away and bring me a few non-spiritual types who will actually DO something.