by M. Alexander
David Wein, a long-time resident of Beit T’Shuvah, was waiting for a bus Saturday evening when he had a Parkinson’s episode. He battles the disease on a daily basis, never knowing whether the next moment he will be overcome by a crippling paralysis. When he had this particular episode, he had to lean against a pole, five feet from a bench and five feet from where the bus would soon be pulling up.
In the past, under these circumstances, he would pull out his phone and call a friend for assistance. But when he looked at his phone, it was dead. He was stuck. Though uncomfortable, nervous, and weak, he asked a passerby for help. The stranger, miraculously replied, “How can I help?”
He got David’s medicine out of his backpack, helped him onto the bus, stayed with him during the trip, and got off at David’s stop. He then walked to Beit T’Shuvah, explained the situation at the front desk and soon returned with a wheelchair to bring David back to his home.
At Beit T’Shuvah, we learn to ask for help when we need it—from our counselors, our roommates, our therapists, and our friends. We practice. We make ourselves vulnerable. But Beit T’Shuvah is not always at our side when we need it. Sometimes, we need to ask for help from complete strangers. When we put out our hand, hopefully they will help pick us up. In the city of Los Angeles, a request for help is usually followed by a request for spare change. We often ignore or walk by pleas for assistance. Sometimes, you may be surprised. Sometimes, you may want to listen to what that stranger needs. David needed help. And a stranger went above and beyond to give it to him.