Hope you’re having a great day.
Today’s Torah Minute is about…
Joe the barber!
… Joe passed away recently.
He was not Jewish.
But he was a fixture in the Rogers Park Jewish community.
It was even mentioned in his obituary.
“Joseph Filecia, the son of Italian immigrants, maintained a close rapport with the Jewish community of Rogers Park over 40 years spent
cutting hair at the shop his father started.”
…Joe was a mentch.
His barber shop was the kind of place you found in the “old days’.
Warm. Friendly. Welcoming.
A place where “lonely souls” could just come in and sit around.
And Joe was a real schmoozer!
He asked about your family. Talked about world events.
The latest news in the community.
And even Jewish law.
There are times during the year that observant Jews don’t get haircuts.
And Joe would remind you to make an appointment before those times.
There are days that some people have a custom not to cut their hair.
And Joe knew it.
“Are you sure you want a haircut today? Some people don’t…
After the haircut, Joe would say…
“Thank you, Rabbi.
This should last you until Chanukah… Passover… Rosh Hashanah”.
… He felt honored to give haircuts to his “rabbi friends’.
And treasured his relationship with them.
He loved the cute little kids.
And proved it with his huge supply of kosher candy!
If a father would come for a haircut by himself?
“Rabbi. Take some candy for the kids”.
And the kids with special needs?
Joe treated them with a special sensitivity.
… And there was Steve.
An adult with developmental disabilities.
His biggest pleasure in life seemed to be playing his guitar.
And at “Joe’s” he had a chance.
He would sit on a little stool in the middle of the store and play.
…I don’t think Joe was a rich man.
But he left behind a good name.
A lot of people who will miss him.
And a guy like Steve, whose life he enhanced.
… We’re living in tough times.
But I know one thing.
The world would be a better place…
If there were more “Joes”!
All the best,