When Josh Gutman of Baltimore was niftar at the young age of 65, his levayah was attended by hundreds of people Countless Individuals Who mourned him never even knew that in Josh's lifetime he had helped them financially. Anonymity was exactly what Josh wanted. However, at his funeral, some of Josh's deep, dark secrets were revealed. For the first time speakers who were maspid disclosed that thousands of bills had been paid, hundreds of yeshivas and organizations had been helped, many cars had been donated to the needy and countless hachnasas kallah weddings had been financed by one generous donor. who was, in fact, Josh Gutman. When Josh wrote a check, he always did it in the quickest and quietest way possible.
Josh’s son-in-law, Manny Topper, can attest to his father-in-law’s unassuming yet extremely well-planned chessed. Manny remembers the Sunday morning that he received an unexpected phone call from Josh.
"How would you like to take a ride with me to Brooklyn today”? asked Josh.
"Why do you want me to go with you?" asked Manny
"My friend Chaim Welds* (not his real name) daughter just became engaged, and they are making a l’chaim this evening, I figured we would drop by" answered Josh.
Manny felt more than a little surprised. Josh never went to formal affairs, and certainly did not travel out of town just for a l’chaim.
Knowing his father-in-law as well as he did. Manny figured there was more to this story and agreed to go along for the ride and the and the adventure.
After traveling together for a while Manny turned to his father-in-law and asked. "Okay, let's hear it. Why exactly, are you traveling to this l'chaim? "You and I both know there is a reason you haven’t told me
"Can't a fellow just travel into Brooklyn for a friend's l'chaim? Does there have to be another reason?" asked Josh.
Yes, I believe you have something up your sleeve that you haven't told me,” countered Manny.
After a few moments of hesitation, Josh admitted the truth. "As you know. my friend Chaim is truly a poor man. There is no way he can pay for a wedding for his daughter. I am carrying a check with me to hand him so he will be able to pay for the entire wedding".
Manny was not surprised that his father-in-law would do such an amazing chessed He was astonished, however, that Josh had revealed the true purpose of the trip.
Manny had one last question for Josh: "Why didn't you just mail the check to your friend? The wedding will take place in two months. Surely you do not need to drive over three hours each way just to hand it to him tonight!"
A smile appeared on Josh's usually serious face. "If I mailed the check to Chaim, he would not receive it for another day or two.
Imagine how Chaim would feel, standing at his simchah tonight? The entire time he would be greeting guests at his daughter's l'chaim, his happiness would be overshadowed by worries of how he would be able to pay for her wedding. Once he has this check in hand, his Simchah will be complete.
Manny was about to tell Josh what a special person he was when Josh continued, “By the way, my name is not on the check. I will place my envelope between all the other checks, so Chaim will never know it is from me'".
There was nothing Manny could say. He knew that his father-in-law was simply one-of-a-kind.