By Rabbi Leonard Oberstein of the Randallstown Synagogue in Maryland
My daughter told me the following story.
Last week there was a terrible tragedy. A mother and her 13 old son were driving back from taking their daughter to Dulles Airport to go to Israel to visit her siblings in school there.
There was a terrible accident and the 13 year old boy was killed and the mother is in very serious condition.
Family members tried without any success to get (someone later told me it was Lufthansa) United Airlines to notify the girl when she changed planes in Frankfurt, Germany so she could fly back for the funeral and shiva. No matter how hard they tried and every connection they tried to use, the airline was unresponsive.
Finally they turned to the one source they knew would help; They called the Chabad Shaliach in Frankfurt. He went to the airport and bought a ticket to anywhere so he could enter the terminal.
He met the girl as she got off the plane and gently told her that there was a serious accident and she should turn around and fly back. He then bought her a ticket with his own money.
When the family contacted him to repay him, he said ,”no, you cannot take away my mitzvah.”