The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 3 January 2009 / 7 Tevet 5769

The Power of Example

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

When the observant mother living in a very secular neighborhood in Ramat Gan approached the municipality with a request to register her child in an Orthodox nursery she was told that there was not enough of a demand in her neighborhood to justify opening such a nursery. Only if 20 parents registered for such a nursery, she was told, would the city agree to open one.

The next day this woman took her little boy to the local playground frequented by her non-observant neighbors. One of these neighbors watched with amazement as he instructed her little son to make a blessing before eating the candy she offered him. So impressed was she by the self-discipline of the child that she approached his mother and asked her to explain how she succeeded in training her son in this manner.

Another day, another incident. A second neighbor approached our heroine for an explanation of the tzitzit that her son was wearing and was intrigued by the explanation she received. The excitement generated among the mothers by these two incidents led to twenty-two of them registering their children in an Orthodox nursery, even more than the required number.

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