As you probably know, “pay it forward” refers to repaying a good deed by doing one for someone else. Aunt Sadie’s Couch is a reference to our pews which are described in this post titled The Shul on Shabbos – Weekday Beis Medrash Solution.
Here’s a brief recap. When we moved into our new Shul building in 1998, we had not come to a final decision on whether to have pew style seating or tables. At that time a Shul in Jackson Heights was downsizing and they offered us about 25 heavy wood pews ranging in size from 8′ to 16′. A board member warned it would be like “Aunt Sadie’s hand me down couch” and we would never get rid of them.
Fast forward to 2009 when we purchased a combination of tables and Lavi pews for our men’s section and we were ready to get rid of part of Aunt Sadie’s couch. A new Bucharian Shul in the neighborhood was opening and somehow we connected and they took about 15 pews with the remaining 10 being used in the women’s section.
Fast forward to 2014 when new chairs for the women’s section were purchased. We were finally ready to remove the remainder of Aunt Sadie’s couch. As it turned out the Bucharian Shul was having their own seating discussions and they could not come to a definitive decision to take the remaining pews. Two weeks ago they finally decided to take them and we moved them out of our Shul.
In reality, Aunt Sadie’s couch (the pews) served us well and saved us money at a time when we didn’t have that much. On top of that we were able to pay it forward by giving the pews to the new Bucharian Shul. All those involved felt good that the couch would be getting some more use and was not destined for the dump.