Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rami Levy commits to 16 years of kindness

Today’s ‘Positive and Optimistic Sunday’. On 11 March the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. The same day Udi Fogel, 36, Ruth Fogel, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months, were brutally stabbed to death [1] – in Itamar [2], an Israeli settlement in the Samarian Hills. Two other Fogel sons, aged 8 and 2, survived unharmed. As did the Fogels’ 12-year-old daughter. As I wrote last Friday [3], in Japan the official toll of dead and missing’s over 13,000 – and still climbing. Exemplifying the media adage: ‘If it bleeds, it leads’ [4], Japan’s catastrophe grabbed much more media attention than the Fogel murders. And some of it’s positive, e.g. the heroism of those risking their lives trying to avert a nuclear cataclysm [5]. It’s hard to imagine anything good coming from the Itamar carnage. But imaginations can deceive: In 1976 Rami Levy (pictured) opened his first food store. Today Rami Levy Chain Stores is the fourth-largest food retailer in Israel [6]. Every day, the same Rami Levy comes by the house where the Fogel family sit shiva [7], and fills the cupboards and refrigerator himself with food for the family and guests. When thanked for his kindness, he answered ‘You will get used to my face. I have committed myself that every week I will deliver food and stock your home until the youngest orphan turns 18 years old’ [8]. What Rami Levy has done is commit to 16 years of kindness. How positive and optimistic is that.


Kate said...

A wonderful story indeed.

Re your POTW; are you getting a bit crafty on us Farmdoc??

farmdoc said...

Yes, Kate, I'm a crafty old bugger. But I just photograph it - not make it like you do. And even so, my pics aren't a patch on yours.