Jewish Values: Mr. Tempkin Climbs a Tree

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32 p.
A young boy, Marky, and his elderly neighbor, Mr. Tempkin, develop a sweet friendship. Marky is on summer break, and eager to have something to do, so he helps Mr. Tempkin in his garden. Marky’s parents explain his actions are a mitzvah. The old man reveals the four things in life that keep him going: walking daily to synagogue, smelling his roses, listening to birds and having Marky as his friend. Mr. Tempkin is active and determined; when the squirrels attack his bird feeder he climbs a tree to hang the feeder higher. Losing his balance he falls and sprains his ankle. Wheelchair bound, he can no longer walk to morning service. Marky helps to push Mr. Tempkin back and forth every day in the wheelchair. Marky’s parents explain he is acting like a mensch; Mr. Tempkin calls it teamwork. As Mr. Tempkin heals, their friendship grows warmer; by summer’s end both young and old realize there is nothing like a friend and that good deeds lift the spirit of the giver as well as the recipient.
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