It was 1:45 AM at the Kotel; I was setting up for the minyan when a young friend came over. He is a fine young married man with a 1 ½ yr. old son. He is cheerful and helpful wherever he goes. I really like him. But this morning he seemed down. He was looking at things from a pained place as if he needed help. I felt sorry for him and saw that he needed someone to talk to, so I reached out.
Off the top of my head I said, "Why don't you come by once a week … we can make a l'chaim. (have a drink) And bring some sefer (a religious book) that you love to learn so we can learn a little, too." I never made such an offer to anyone before, but he is such a sweet guy…and I really wanted to help him.
He liked the idea.
A few days later, late in the afternoon he called; could he stop by in 45 minutes? I remembered my offer and thought, "Oh boy, this is not the time to stop and have a drink." I wondered why I made such an offer, but then I remembered that he was hurting, so I agreed.
We spoke for a while and then he said, "I gotta tell you a story. That morning when I saw you at the Kotel I was lost, really lost. I was so down, and just before I saw you I prayed that Hashem should send me a mentor, someone who knows more than I do, someone I can sit down with from time to time, make a l'chaim, and he can help guide me through these downs that I have been having. And just then I saw you… and within one or two minutes you invited me to stop by and make a l'chaim with you!"
My first thought was, "Surely Hashem could have picked someone more qualified than me for this job, but then I remembered that I like the boy and I quickly figured if Hashem picked me to do this job He would also help me to do it, so I poured him a small glass of vodka and we began to try to sort out what he saw to be his pressing problems.
From my side, there are many other things that I would rather do than to discuss someone's problems, but if this is what Hashem wants me to do, then this is exactly what I want to do. Hey, now that I think about it I have some good ideas to give him that will probably help him to get back up. Hum, I wonder if Hashem just gave me those ideas.