The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 6 January 2007 / 16 Tevet 5767

The Cabbie's Story

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
It is not surprising to meet Israeli cab drivers whose outward appearance belies their attitude to religion. One particular cabbie whose ponytail and earrings clashed with the tallit katan under his shirt told the story of how he got started on the road to return which would eventually lead him to removing those residues of secularism.

A rabbi had hired him to take him from Holon to Bnei Brak. Upon arriving at the rabbi's home he was invited to come in for a bite because he looked so hungry. "But I want you to keep the meter running," insisted the host who would not take no for an answer. After eating and drinking the totally secular cabbie was invited to put on tefillin and was again reminded that the meter would continue running so this would be at his host's expense.

When they went out to see the amount on the meter, the rabbi insisted on paying him more than the amount it registered because of the delay he had caused him.

"If there are Jews like that," explained the cabbie to his next fare, "I want to join them and make a complete return to Judaism."

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