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Older Rabbi Remembers a Stronger Communal Life

In Mitch Albom's book Have a Little Faith, he recounts the following conversation with his elderly rabbi:

"When I was growing up in the Bronx," the Reb said, "everyone knew everyone. Our apartment building was like family. We watched out for one another. I remember once, as a boy, I was so hungry, and there was a fruit and a vegetable truck parked by our building. I tried to bump against it, so an apple would fall into my hands. That way it wouldn't feel like stealing. Suddenly, I heard a voice from above yelling at me in Yiddish, 'Albert, it is forbidden!' I jumped. I thought it was God."
Who was it? I asked. "A lady who lived upstairs." I laughed. Not quite God. "No. But, Mitch, we were part of each other's lives. If someone was about to slip, someone else could catch him."

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