Apr 29, 2017

Choosing Well

In contrast to the sad story told two entries ago, here, here is a story where one positive remark changed a person's life:

The story is told (I read it in Let There be Rain) about the secular president of an Israeli university who recognized Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, the Ponovezher Rav in an airport. The president introduced himself by saying, "K'vod harav, we are in the same business. I am raising funds for my university and you are raising funds for your yeshiva."

R' Kahaneman responded by embracing the man and greeting him warmly.

The president said, "If the rav knew what a sinner I am, he would not give me such a warm greeting."

The rav said, "If only you knew what a holy spark lies in your neshama, you would talk differently about yourself."

In his memoirs, the man wrote that from that day on, "I began to feel like a Jew and act like a Jew. I refrained from certain sins forever, and I accepted upon myself to do certain mitzvos.  I was reborn because of how the Ponovezher Rav greeted me and spoke to me."

In this case, it was the yetzer tov and the neshama coming to the fore. In the previous examples, it was the yetzer hara triumphing.

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