When Orit and her family first moved into this apartment, an 80-year-old neighbor knocked on the door.
"How many children do you have?" the elderly neighbor asked brusquely.
"Five," said Orit.
The neighbor then proceeded to warn Orit against allowing her family to make any kind of noise that might possibly bother this neighbor who lived in the apartment directly beneath theirs.
This woman lived alone and as time went on, she seemed to have nothing to do but harass the Dadons over the slightest noise.
Orit recalled, "It got so that if I dropped a cucumber on the floor at four in the morning, I immediately heard her banging her broomstick in rebuke."
(Yeah, some events — like an early morning bris — mean the caterer needs to be up at 4 in the morning to get the food ready on time.)
This ugly dynamic continued for a year, with Orit finding it progressively traumatic, even to the point of suffering nightmares from her neighbor's behavior.
She knew from the other neighbors this older woman had always been like this and nothing ever inspired her to show mercy upon her neighbors.
Finally, Orit decided to act.
She did not want her children to grow up feeling traumatized by living with a neighbor like this.
And Orit realized she could no longer go on like this herself.
That Erev Shabbat, Orit prepared extra challahs and more food, then told her children to bring them down to that neighbor.
"Because she's so difficult," Orit explained to them, "we must be even nicer!"
The children returned full of enthusiasm. "You should have seen how her eyes lit up when she saw what we brought her!" they said.
Orit decided to make this the Erev Shabbat family mission every week.
However, she emphasized that it took a VERY long time for this lonely, bitter neighbor to mellow out.
It's not clear whether this elderly neighbor was ever married or never-married, whether she had kids or not.
Regardless, she lived totally on her own with no visitors, no friends, and no apparent family.
But the situation made a completely turnaround.
"Now she eats with us every Shabbat!" said Orit.
It turned out that the elderly lady is a Holocaust survivor.
And the Shabbat meals with the Dadons managed to take her back to the innocent years BEFORE the horrific genocide.
If she's only in her Eighties now, that means she was a young child when the Nazis invaded.
Without ever realizing it, she needed a way to reach back beyond those years of terror and decades of terrible grief, bitterness, and loneliness that followed.
And the Dadons, without knowing what they were doing, provided that conduit for her.
It's amazing that Shabbat with a young Sephardi Israeli family provided the healing memories necessary for this elderly Ashkenazi woman originally from Eastern Europe.
But that's the unifying spirit of Shabbat.
And it also shows how breaking our middot — as Orit did by showering kindness on the source of her intense distress — can provide a necessary breakthrough that heals everyone involved.