In the Little Shtetl of Vaysechvoos: The Guardian Angel
Everyone in Vaysechvoos knew Malkah. It seemed that she was everywhere, all the time. There was never a wedding, a bar mitzvah, a funeral, a yom tov–any event that was celebrated–which Malkah failed to attend.
If you looked at her, you would notice nothing unusual; she appeared ordinary. Yet there was something extraordinary about her. And while people in Vaysechvoos lived to learn and tell their discoveries about other people, there didn’t seem to be the slightest bit of curiosity about Malkah. No one ever asked where she lived or if she was married or a widow. Chaike the Matchmaker never talked to Malkah about making a match. No one could recall Malkah buying clothes for herself or, for that matter, washing her own clothes. Everyone knew that Malkah was from Vaysechvoos, but no one seemed to recall her being born or meeting any of the members of her family. She just always seemed to be there. And things were always more pleasant when Malkah was there.
At weddings and celebrations, she was cheerful and giving. She always brought sweets. Older people especially felt comfortable around her. She seemed to have the wisdom of years without the difficulties of agedness. She was the very picture of health and was constantly helpful. If a mother was sick, she would come and cook the meals and wash the clothes and take care of the household.
While she had hands that were always ready to help, she also said a lot with a smile. She didn’t engage in the usual gossip–not Malkah. If someone would cite the misfortune of a neighbor, Malkah would nod a little bit and say, The Almighty knows all about it.” And then she would smile and that smile would spread through the group as others would nod with approval of her wisdom.
When someone was concerned or worried about the weather, the poor crops, the lame horse, the sick cow, Malkah would nod and say, “Heaven will provide,” and she would smile, and everyone else smiled knowing that was exactly true.
For the sick and the dying, Malkah had special care. She would go and sit by the sick bed of the ailing one and soothe their pains with songs that sounded like lullabies. Most of the people of Vaysechvoos died with smiles on their faces–at least those that Malkah was seen to attend.
The pious sage of Vaysechvoos knew more than the others about this curious woman. He would see Malkah and nod and give a small smile acknowledging her presence. For he was the only one in all of Vaysechvoos who truly recognized who she was. She was the Guardian Angel of Vaysechvoos–whom the Almighty sent as a comforter to the community.
Director of Communications, Missionary
Susan Perlman is one of the co-founders of Jews for Jesus. Susan is the associate executive director of Jews for Jesus and also director of communications for the organization. She also serves as the editor in chief of ISSUES, their evangelistic publication for Jewish seekers. She left a career track in New York City to help launch Jews for Jesus in San Francisco in the early 1970s. See more here.