The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 2 February 2008 / 26 Shevat 5768

The Rabbi and the Cabbie

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Reuven is one of those Jerusalem taxi drivers who is always listening, while driving, to cassettes of lectures on Torah subjects. His favorite is the renowned Sephardic sage, Rabbi Benzion Mutzafi.

One day he got a call to pick up a passenger in the Sanhedria Murchevet neighborhood. When he asked his distinguished-looking passenger what his destination was, he was told to head for Mosayeff Synagogue in the Bucharim neighborhood. "That's where my favorite lecturer Rabbi Mutzafi speaks," said Revuen and he asked the passenger if he personally knew the rabbi.

When the surprising reply came that he himself was Rabbi Mutzafi, another surprise soon followed.

"You cost me many fares," Reuven jokingly told the rabbi. "Because I want to be able to listen to your talks I refuse to stop for any passenger who seems to be one who will object to my doing so."

The rabbi assured him that his reward will be greater than his loss.

Just before the High Holidays our cabbie called the rabbi for a blessing, identifying himself as just a cab driver that the rabbi probably doesn't remember. To his pleasant surprise the rabbi cried out:

"Reuven, is that you! How can I ever forget a cab driver who spends nine hours a day listening to Torah tapes, including mine!"

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