Charlie Serouya A”H – 10 Principles to live by…
Charles A. Serouya a”h His legacy: Believe in yourself and Believe in Others
He came from an orphanage. Charlie Serouya could have easily become a failure, and no one in the world would have anything against him. They would have said, “Hazeet, another victim of unfortunate situations.”But Charlie Serouya said, no, not only will I be successful, I will make it my business to make countless other people successful.
1) Take a genuine interest in others – reach out and touch their lives
Everyone is important
2) Don’t Be shy to tell your family I love you
3) Words are Powerful He could have written the book Positive Word Power – Everything was positive, can-do
You are Terrific, wonderful, a beautiful sunset – yishtabach shemo! , You are my heart, gorgeous,
4) Look for opportunities
- To smile… everyone got a smile at every opportunity – if someone did not return a smile with a smile – he would make it a point to get them to smile
- To encourage – a newcomer to shul was showered with praise for his efforts and Charlie made sure to make him feel welcome
- To appreciate – everything that you did was a reason to appreciate to say thank you with all my heart, to let you know how much he enjoyed your voice at selichot, how your smile lights up the room
- To give a Beracha Instead of good night he would say “B’Tov Taleenu B’Rachamim Takeetzu” (you should have a good sleep and wake up with HASHEM’S MERCY)”
- To remember Hashem as he would take the key and put it in the door to unlock his store, without fail, everyday he would say,”B’shem Hashem – Na-aseh V’Nasleach – in the Name of Hashem, we will do and succeed.
5) Never give up Not on yourself not on others
It was selihot time, 5am, on 67th street. There were almost 200 kids in YMD, praying and singing at the top of their lungs. The neighbors next door had called the police. Two officers came in and went straight to Charlie, “You’ll have to keep these kids quiet – the neighbors are complaining.”
Charlie called to one of the young boys, “Please get these two officers each a cup of coffee.”
He handed the officers the coffee and then explained, “We have two hundred children that we are keeping off the street and you want to stop them?” And then in a classic move that was so characteristic of him he told them, “For disturbing us, I want a five dollar donation from each of you officers.”
And of course, he got it.
6) Encourage Others
7) Get Everyone involved –
8) Make it fun
9) Life is about Habits
10) Letter writing – a lost art Charlie’s letters were in a class of their own. In the YMD days, he sent lettersthroughout the world to get donations. Years later, when he was no longer a young man, Charlie was still mailing tens of letters daily. Each filled with his beautiful handwriting and personalized, loving words,
he sent his letters and holiday postcards to family, friends and anyone lucky enough to meet him. He also sent letters to community members and others to raise money for k’nees Ades in Jerusalem.
an example of a post card written to Rabbi David Ozerie
“You are truly wonderful. Seeing you at my grandson’s Bar Mitzvah was great. You give me great pleasure-and I am very proud of you. May Boreh Olam fill your home with
happiness, health and long life for you and your family. And may we see HaMashiah, bimhera beyamenu, amen. Your true friend, Charlie.”
Dov Rabinowitz, Interviews Dr. Jacques Doueck about his father-in-law, Charlie Serouya A"H