After these Arab plumbers learned their client was a Holocaust survivor, they gave her a ridiculous bill: nothing
Via Good Deeds Day / Facebook

It's estimated that only a few hundred thousand Holocaust survivors are still living. Sadly, in the coming years that number will eventually make its way to zero.

Nazi concentration caps were liberated 74 years ago, so a twenty year old who made it through the atrocity is now 94. Elihu Kover of Nazi Victim Services for Self-help Community Service spoke of the conditions many of these elderly survivors face as they advance in age at a Senate hearing in 2013.


"Holocaust survivors are growing older and frailer. … She may be coping with the loss of her spouse and have no family to speak of. In addition to the myriad problems associated with so-called 'normal aging,' many survivors have numerous physical and psychological problems directly attributable to their experiences during the Holocaust. … And many of these problems only surface in old age, having been hidden during their working years when the survivors struggled and made a new life for themselves as productive citizens of this country."

This sympathetic view of the tragedy isn't as popular in the Arab world where Holocaust denial is rampant and many cynically accuse the Jewish people of exploiting Western sympathy surrounding the tragedy to establish the State of Israel.

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However, two Arab men in Haifa, Israel made a beautiful show of respect this week to a Holocaust survivor who found their gesture "uplifting."

Simon and Salim Matari, who are brothers, were recently called to the home of Rosa Meir, 95, to fix a leak.

"When we got there, we saw there was a large blast of water and we started fixing it," Simon told the Times of Israel. "At some stage, while working, my brother Salim started to talk to Rosa about her life. She told us she's 95, a Holocaust survivor, and that she has a daughter."

"Her life story touched my heart," Simon continued. "At that moment, I decided I won't take a cent from her."

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

After the brothers finished their work, they gave Meir a bill that read: "Holocaust survivor, may you have health until 120, from Matari Simon and Matari Salim," adding that the cost of the service was "0 shekels."

"May you live until 120" is a Jewish blessing that carries the implication that the receiver live a happy and healthy life until the age of 120.

The gesture brought Meir to tears.

"The brothers really surprised me," she said. "It was so moving and uplifting, and I thanked them a lot."

The brothers also told the woman that if she needed anything else they would be by to fix it for free.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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All photos by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, used with permission.

She wanted to see "my favorite painting one last time."

This article originally appeared on 09.30.15


Before 54-year-old Mario passed away, he had one special goodbye he needed to say ... to his favorite giraffe.

Mario had worked as a maintenance man at the Rotterdam zoo in the Netherlands for over 25 years. After his shifts, he loved to visit and help care for the animals, including the giraffes.

As Mario's fight against terminal brain cancer came to an end, all he wanted to do was visit the zoo one last time. He wanted to say goodbye to his colleagues — and maybe share a final moment with some of his furry friends.

Thanks to one incredible organization, Mario got his wish.

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This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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