The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 18 September 2004 / 3 Tishri 5765

The Engineer Makes a Stop

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Shabbat Shuva, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, when we read the Haftorah beginning with the Prophet Hosheas call for all of Israel to return to their G-d, is a time for reflecting on the miracle of return in our generation. The most amazing feature of this Teshuva Revolution is the fact that there are so many different catalysts for Jews of all ages making such a radical change in their lifestyle.

One such person was the engineer of a train in the Israel Railways. One day, as he was alighting from the engine he had driven to its destination, he saw a very religious-looking person running towards him. His first thought was that this relic of the past was coming to complain about the speed of the train. To his pleasant surprise the fellow told him he simply wanted to thank him for driving the train which brought him to where he wanted to be.

For so many years, the engineer said to himself, I have been driving trains and no one ever thought of saying thanks to me. If observance of Judaism teaches a person to have such sensitivity and appreciation of others, then I better take a look at what it can do for me.

It was this incident which led to the engineers joining those who heeded the Prophets call to a full return to G-d.

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