Your Tough Assignment

Fulfill another person's needs without anyone ever knowing.


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Comments (34)

(34) Anonymous, August 4, 2008 2:33 PM

response to Mark Anonymous Chessed

Chessed doesn't have to involve money. I find that giving of my time is really worth while and fullfilling. Try something like visiting an old person in a nursing home. Just a smile and a hello can make a world of difference for them!

(33) rebecca, February 24, 2008 1:21 PM

Endless and loving Chesed

The biggest mitsvah is the one made in SILENCE! I deeply believe that the only thing in this world, that is going ot save all AM ISRAEL, is doing endless amount of Chesed, act of kindness, without expecting anything in return! JUST TO IT and you will witness alot of changes in your life! I know what I'm talking about!And Baroukh HASHEM I try my best to please HIM, in conducting myself this way for the rest of my life! I know this is the REAL TRUE HAPPINESS for each and everyone of us! May HASHEM GIVES YOU the opportunity to do LOTS OF CHESED AND KINDLESS AND AHAVAT ISRAEL! The true path that will surely bring you your real destination. with all my love!
PS Lori you are an amazing person. KOL AKAVOD for your wonderful and inspiring work! G-d Bless you!

(32) Anonymous, January 26, 2008 1:11 PM

did it!

I did it! This is anonymous so no one will know but you are right about not telling anyone.It is even fun having this kind of secret. All I will say is that it involves teaching English to refugees and I say this to give other people ideas as some people wrote to you looking for good ideas.Check out the UNHRC! It is hard to keep it a secret as I want everyone I know to get involved too!

(31) Mark, January 10, 2008 12:42 PM

Anonymous Chessed

My frum son sends me you videos every week. I always watch and find them very interesting. Thank you. But this weeks subject I found particularly interesting. I would like to try to fulfill this Mitzvah of Chessed but to be honest, I do not know what to do. Where do I find someone with a need? Just to donate money is not what I call really helping. Anything I can think of doing will never be anonymous. I am open for suggestions.

(30) Gary Katz, January 9, 2008 10:20 AM

But...

As wonderful an idea as this is (and I intend to follow up on it), human nature being what it is, even a chesed as pure as this can be construed to have the ulterior motive of heavenly brownie points. Still, it's better than not doing it, and may inspire the recipient to do a chesed for someone else. Anything like this counts as one's contribution toward repairing the world.

(29) Anonymous, January 1, 2008 11:06 PM

Just look out for it!

After I watched this clip last week, I did not think I would be able find an opportunity to do something for somebody and they would never find out about it. Well, not too soon after that I was presented with an opportunity. Without thinking of not doing it, I grabbed at the opportunity, Lori. I don't think I would have ever thought to do such chesed had you not presented the idea. But as soon as the opportunity arose, I thought of you. Tonight again, I was presented with the same situation and I grabbed the chance.
It feels so good to do something for someone when they will never know where it came from. As I'm doing the chesed I know that nobody sees me doing it. I almost feel like a robber in the middle of the night, but I know that Hashem sees my actions.
So while originally I thought it would be pretty impossible to find a secret chesed to do, when you look for them, you can find them.
Thank you Lori for this wonderful suggestion and for your weekly clips.

(28) Anonymous, January 1, 2008 3:38 PM

the anonymous chesed

so if i tell you even how i felt about the anonymous chesed, does that still make it anonymous enough? (smile) thanks for a valuable suggestion.

(27) Patrick McVay, December 31, 2007 10:44 PM

Feel Free as a bird.

I have always given easily.
Not realizing that I was keeping score.
Lori ,You nailed it Perfectly..
I was really seeking Approval,looking Good,and setting up a future account..

(26) Felice, December 31, 2007 6:18 AM

Chesed Emes

Thank you Lori!Your teaching so enriches my life. I was at the eventwhere you spoke, in Jacksonville Florida, read "Gossip,", also "Remember My Soul,"with great appreciation. I have given "Gossip" as a gift.

I LOVE the idea and will do this. Just a few weeks ago, a friend told me that he had heard a Rabbi teach that to be a true Jew, three things are required:

Actos of kindness

Compassion

and
modesty

I would value your coments on that! I think I already know what you will say.

Again, thank you for the wonderful video, Lori!
Warmly,

Felice

(25) Anonymous, December 30, 2007 4:22 PM

How true your words are about Chesed Shel Emes

I enjoyed listening to your comments. I must tell you how much I agree with your feelings. As a member of the Chevra Kadisha I perfomr Tahara's on a routine basis and even though the family may know I am involved, the Meis, has no idea. The spirituality that eminates in the Tahara room is one that cannot be described. After the Tahara, I feel as though I have been lifted closer to Hashem and have performed one of the most important mitzvot knowing I will never hear the words "Thank You". Thank you's are not appropriate or needed at this most difficult time of life, but being able to prepare the Meis for his journey to Shamayim - that feeling cannot be described unless you have partaken in the ritual.
Thank you for your words of wisdom, more people can benefit from these words especially in an affluent community where one is more apt "to pay for something" rather than go out and do that Chesed Shel Emes just for the sake of performing that mitzvah that no one will know about. What will be the reward? No one knows until he or she reaches the heavenly body above.

(24) Anonymous, December 30, 2007 11:19 AM

Totally Secret

I thought really hard about this and the only things i could come up with are things everybody can do - Tzedaka beseser and davening for people. Shouldn't stop doing chesed just because you can't remain anonymous but these are two things that can keep you totally anonymous - daven with real feelings for the person's plight - it is a real chesed as you know that Hashem will answer.

(23) Chaim, December 29, 2007 6:46 PM

Chesed,Chesed Tirdof

Dear Lori
Thank you for the warmth,love,light and wisdom you bring to us Aish readers.It is also wonderful to read the comments your readers post on your site.They too are unique individuals and may Hashem bless and give them chizuk in their challenges.I think that Hashem needs our chesed too.We show our dedication in public.In private without anyone knowing
we need to bless,praise and thank Hashem and strengthen our dveikut to HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

(22) Anonymous, December 29, 2007 11:25 AM

It's better to have no I's in Chasid--

Lori, Thank you for your great insights and your videos. I think I've read and watched all that are posted on Aish.com. Because of your work and the help from the Aish Rabbis, I've learned and grown in my Judiasm. Nice assignment you have given in the above video, to give Chasid totally in secret.

While reading the comments, it seems as though there are many I's in the responses. Does writing the comments about their feelings, diminish the 'totally in secret' feeling?
Once the good deed is posted here it's no longer anonymous. And it's no longer about the charity or the kindness of the gift to the receiver. It does seem that the comments are about the giver and "I feel good about myself" feelings.

Posters #14 and #17 are open and very honest in their comments. And I agree with them wholly.

As you stated in your video....Never mention it. Ever! to anyone. Other times you can give for recognition and praise, or can be identified as a giver of Chasid so that others might follow your lead. But for this assignment, telling about our feelings is just that.....telling.

(21) Anonymous, December 28, 2007 6:16 PM

doing a chessed she emes make me feel
closer to Hashem

(20) CJ, December 27, 2007 12:20 PM

On the burial point, I have been doing this "Chased" for over 30 years now in the Jewish community where I live. Unfortunately, until about 10 years ago, burial was only saved for "members" of synagogues. If the person who died was not a member, then no services were rendered to the family. I thought that was thoughtless and "unJewish" of any organization to turn their backs on a family in time of need.
That's when I took the bull by the horns and started performing burial and memorial services for these people (since you do not need to be a Rabbi to perform these services). I still do it when the occaision arises. That gives me a great feeling knowing that I helped a family when they needed it the most. To me, that is the utmost "Chased."

(19) Anonymous, December 26, 2007 4:06 PM

Tried it!

Laurie,
This morning an oportunity to do an anonymous Chesed crossed my way! I got to it and felt exhilirated. I went through my household chores with an extra dose of Simcha. Much to my dismay I got caught in the act and will have to try again!
Good luck to you all!!

(18) raphael.Okosun, December 26, 2007 9:53 AM

do a kindness........

I have been studying on this website for over three yrs and have been touched by some many clips and writings.Nothing in all my life has been so hard and yet so sweet and fulfilling to do as this.I promised myself to be present for someone when everyone seemed disappeared from the planet.
While thanking you forthe video,I wish you can explain more on the burial.

(17) Anonymous, December 26, 2007 8:17 AM

I do it without looking back.

But, in momments of truth, sickness; I have felt isolated and desperate....to see how selfish those called friends and family have reacted towards me. It would seem that immunity problems, neuralgia were contagious. Everybody
dissappeared from the planet.......
Yet, it won't stop me being who I am and what I do.

(16) Reuben, December 25, 2007 11:37 PM

The burial point still needs to be over stressed?

Before I present my comments, please, please, understand that I completely believe in Chesed and ultimate Chesed of truth (the one for burial).

In your video, you rightly stressed on the point of doing chesed with an unconscious feeling of being paid back (the car pool example). But unfortunately, today burial also is taken on the same note in lot of places. Instead of having a mindset of doing the ultimate chesed for the deceased, people are more concerned to show their faces at the burial ceremony to the family that is left behind, for a basket of reasons. I think this point needs to be stressed too. Ofcourse, there are people who are there for the right reason too.

Thanks for your video. I will definitely take up a anonymous chesed.








(15) Annette, December 25, 2007 11:16 PM

tougher than we think

but not impossible
this is so contrary to the secular world where the belief is 'Recognition: babies cry for it & men die for it' and it rubs off on to us too
great assignment, great exercise to walk the Jewish path, whether in Chesed or in Tzedakah

(14) R, December 25, 2007 5:24 PM

I LIVE this, and it feels wonderful

I'm very ill, and I have no funds. My daughter and I are living on the charity of our community. Still, I have looked back on the past year of illness, and I have managed to do good things, completely anonymously, albeit in a small way, a number of times. If I can do this, then anyone can. If you live with your eyes and heart open to doing chesed, you will given many opportunities to do good without being seen. People say to me that I am such a good person, for all that I say and offer publicly. But, in reality, all of that praise makes me feel somehow guilty, selfish. And, that is how I came to doing good for others anonymously, years ago. I wanted to do things that are truly good, with no ego involved. I yearn for that feeling of connecting to my inner light in this way! I admire you a great deal, for your articulate manner, and your full life. My life is not as full and accomplished as many other people's. I have struggled with illness and pain for a very long time. Still, I know that I am here for a reason, that G-d has a plan for me, and I do my best to fulfill my potential, too. That is the path that we are all on, and I want to live my gratefulness to G-d, for existence.

(13) Shoshana, December 25, 2007 4:38 PM

There is a reason sometimes to tell of one's good deeds

I often drop off clothes on the porch of a large family in my neighborhood.
That is an example of a type of chesed I don't talk about.
But it may be helpful sometimes to tell someone what you did so that another person may get an idea of chesed that he can do. This might be especially helpful in educating our children to do chesed. (The idea was actually expressed by Rabbi Pesach Krohn.)

(12) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 3:04 PM

I did something a few years ago to benefit a person without that person knowing. Actually, without anyone knowing. No one would believe me if I were to tell. I thought of perhaps confiding in my rabbi, but after listening to you I realize this only belongs to me and G-d. Tears of joy still come into my eyes when I think of it. I thank G-d for the opportunity and the strength to take advantage of it.
I enjoy your Almost Live series very much. It makes me think about the things I do in this life.

(11) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 2:57 PM

Levels

People should not think that by having their deeds known the deed is not recognised.There are different levels of mitzvot. A good deed will always receive its reward.

(10) Mark, December 25, 2007 12:39 PM

king solomon said this

we all know charity is great. but the greatest—highest form of charity, is when the giver and receiver never meet. the giver takes no pride, the taker feels no shame. he said something like: if you have 2 loaves of bread, float one down the river, and a hungry man will find it. or something like that. point being: we ALL take pride on some level when we give-even boasting as she says in the clip-as we tell another about how we gave 1000 dollars to the poor. it's as if we need that recognition. we can wait for g-d to reward us, just in case, we need it now. so her 'assignment' is nothing new..but no less easier today.

(9) berel schulman, December 25, 2007 10:48 AM

Rebitzen Feldman of Tamima H.S. in Atlanta did such a project with her girls entitled, "Seek and Hide", find a mitzva/chesed and do it without anyone knowing.

(8) Cindy Klasco, December 25, 2007 10:47 AM

I watched this blog and remembered how hard it was for me to do this. I did do it and as I sit hear watching it, it took me a minute to remember who I did it for and what I did and in fact it is a wonderful feeling -- years later and nobody knows who or what and I haven't even thought about it and when I sit here remembering, it truly is a wonderful feeling. Thank you.

(7) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 9:56 AM

Human Nature

G-d fashioned humans to be selfish. it is very hard and almost near impossible to find things that aren't selfish. You give Tzedakah because YOU feel good. You go out to coffee with a friend because YOU get something out of the friendship. This test you speak of is the ultimate. and I am up to the challenge.

Rav Mordichai Machlis Taught me "the Mitzvaot that you remember, Hashem forgets. And the ones that you forget Hashem Remembers."

Meaning...

If i go somewhere for Shabbat and decided to stay acouple of hours later to clean the dishes, and I then tell my friends "Yeah sorry im late i was cleaning dishes for 3 HOURS!. right there! right then! that mitzvah was bought down a level. dont get me wrong you still did the mitzvah. but the meaning and the care behind it. well its not the same... but if i go, and come and say "sorry im late". "well, why were you late" and you say "uh...you know it just took awhile to leave" that is the mission! With Hashems Will.

(6) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 9:16 AM

thanks

Lori
every time you give a sheer or your books are read or your video is viewed you are accomplishing just what you are speaking about in "Tough Assignment" Over the years that we have known each other you have knowingly and UNKNOWINGLY had a profound positive effect on both N. and Myself. Thank you for all that you do even though you hardly ever know who you are affecting. You are of course quite correct in what you say. Just being able to be invisible and to walk ones path touching others without their knowing and most of the time never knowing the results is being in heaven on earth.
Thanks for being you
m

(5) Anonymous, December 25, 2007 9:07 AM

I am a member of our community's Chevra Kadisha and feel honored and privileged that Hashem has given me the ability to do this chesed. Although it is a chesed shel emes for the deceased, I find the family members (they often know who was on duty that night) are extremely grateful, especialy since I feel it is important, whenever possible, to give them the comfort that only we can give them, that we gave their loved one extreme Kavod and dignity and that their final expression was peaceful.

I find another way to do chesed is in our morning prayers. There are so many places in the shemoneh esrei that we can insert names of people in need of Hashen's help, not just for healing but also for a livelihood, or finding a shidduch, or having a child. It is the most amazing feeling when you learn that someone you have prayed for is now engaged, or someone else you have prayed for is now pregnant... and it is a real challenge not to tell that person, "Hey, I prayed for you."

(4) anonymous, December 24, 2007 10:18 AM

This is a tough one

It is very difficult, if we are to be honest with ourselves to be totaly altruistic and do something for another person 'for free', that is; without receiving at least an acknowledgement for our tova. I know that with me, I seem to need the respect and admiration that I garner when I 'share' all the good that I do. Perhaps its a failing of mine, but I do good for others for very selfish reasons. Yes, I do help, I do contribute, I do donate my money and my time, but it is never a secret. People think I am so nice and generous, but really, I make myself feel good. I will try your assignment and see if I can keep my chesed to myself. This is very hard...

(3) Jeanne, December 24, 2007 9:32 AM

Chasid of Truth

Hi Lori!

Great Blog this week!

I am going to obey the rules you set forth and not tell you what I did, even though I want to. I want to because if I told what I did, it would serve as a perfect example of what you were speaking about, today: Chasid of Truth.

How did it feel? It was probably the most important thing I have ever done in my life. I can not describe the way I feel about it as it would make no sense to the readers without explaining the details of the Chasid. It was 12 years ago and it is probably the kindest, most selfless thing I have ever done for anyone. It still feels good because I was able to act as the instrument of G-d. I think more important than the way I feel about it is the mark that it left on my life and the understanding that I gained about G-d. I think sometimes we expect "great G-d to come from heaven" and make everything better. I learned that, in reality, G-d works through the people that love him and that is what makes all things possible on this earth.

Shalom

(2) Rosen, December 23, 2007 8:49 AM

Giving tzedekah and discreteness

I understand that when one gives tzedekah, it must be around 10% of what one makes, or at least whatever money one can spare. In the mail, I get charities, both Jewish and Secular, where if I don't have enough money, I have been keeping them in an inbox on my desk, so that when I do have enough money by my next paycheck, I can pitch in to contribute.

As for funerals, I try to remain silent, except for reciting mourner's Kaddish, so that the deceased is respected for his/her final moment, followed by the memories left behind by heart and reminiscing on that loved one.

(1) Chana Zelasko, December 23, 2007 7:43 AM

27 years ago some neighbors of mine made a Bris. I made a beautiful "Mazel Tov" sign and put it on their front door on the day of the Bris. Eventually that baby grew up, got married and is now my neighbor, in a different city. His wife is a friend of mine. Unfortuantely his mother is no longer living. I feel very special every time I see him with his family.

 

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