MemberOctober 29, 2020 at 11:53 am
One Tiny Spark
“Miss Kohn said to light at the window.” Ten year old Jacob stamped his feet.
“But we’ve always done it at the dining room table,” Rose sighed. She sensed the beginnings of a tantrum. She turned to her son. “Y’know when I was a girl, I remember riding the bus one day right after world war 2…There were two old ladies there, sitting and knitting. ‘Did ya hear what they did in Europe? …killed them Jews, millions of ‘em.’ ‘Yeah, too bad he didn’t get over here to finish the job.’ It might be a free country, Jacob, but you don’t want to rub your religion in their faces.”
“But maybe, we gotta stand up for our rights, not just run and hide. Y’know, like my friend Jason. He’s always talking about Black Pride, like ‘Black is beautiful, man'”.
“Yeah, and you’re too young to remember the protests. You were only a baby when Martin Luther King was killed. It all comes at a price.”
“Well, we got pride too. Miss Kohn told me about the Jewish Maccabees. They fought for their rights to be Jews.”
“Rose, he just wants to light by the window,“ Hymie interceded “those candles don’t last more than half an hour. What could happen already?”
Jacob gave his father a thumbs up. Rose hovered nearby as Jacob dragged the coffee table to the window and eased the colored candles into the shiny tin menorah.
Hymie and Jacob found the silk yarmulkes they kept in the china cabinet, unfolded them carefully and placed them gingerly on their heads. Rose pinned on the doily she used when she lit candles on Friday nights.
The three of them stood together by the window as Jacob lit the candles. He carefully read the words on the card his Hebrew school teacher provided. ‘Our son the scholar,’ Jacob’s parents grinned.
Baruch grabbed his coat and his keys and headed for the door. “Baruch, you’re going out? Now? Aren’t you giving a class in half an hour?”
“Yeah, but now is when people get home, and they light…”
“But what could you possibly accomplish in just a half hour?”
“Hey you never know…that pintele yid…”
Baruch fastened his coat tightly and headed out into the cold night. The young Rabbi cruised slowly through the quiet suburban streets. A few blocks away from his home, he stuck gold or, rather, bright yellow.
Candles. in the window.
The dog barked. “Sounds like someone’s at the door.”
Rose grimaced. “I told you this wasn’t a good idea!”
“Want me to get it?” Jacob piped in, hopefully.
At the door was a young man, dressed in a black trench coat, clean-shaven and sporting a large black yarmulka. Baruch smiled at the ten year old with the dimpled smile, and the long hair.
“I saw your menorah,” the Rabbi spoke quickly, “and my wife put together this gift box for Hannukah. Are your parents at home?”
“Yeah, sure.” Jacob opened the door wide. The dog barked again and the Rabbi flinched.
“Ah, don’t worry, he’s an old man…couldn’t hurt you if he tried.”
Hymie came to the door. “Bark is worse than his bite…if ya know what I mean…”
Baruch didn’t know much about dogs, but he did know a thing or two about people.
He reached out and shook Hymie’s hand “I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m the new Rabbi over at Beth Jacob and my wife, she wanted me to bring you this Hannukah box.
Rose came to the door. “Wow! Thank you. I’m so…touched. None of the rabbis did that back in Brooklyn. Would you like to come in, have cup of tea?”
Just 30 minutes. A relationship was born. It took a while, but the young Rabbi helped switch Jacob to a day-school–helped to pay for it too. After high school, a year in Israel before college, that stretched to two, and then four years.
Today the little boy has 3 sons in BMG. And the Rabbi, no longer clean-shaven–older now–still makes his rounds through the quiet, suburban streets each Chanukah night.
“You never know, Rivka,” he tells his wife. “Which pintele yid is just waiting for that spark.”
In tribute to Rav Chaim Mintz, Shlita and all those who follow in his footsteps.
Based on a true story.
MemberOctober 29, 2020 at 3:50 pm
Wow! Wow! Wow! What a beautiful touching story. Written so well — light and flowing.
MemberOctober 29, 2020 at 7:09 pm
Amazing! So inspiring and soul stirring….Thanks for taking the time to share! Keep them coming!🙂
AdministratorOctober 29, 2020 at 10:20 pm
Wow! This is such a beautiful story, Arty10k, and the best part is that it’s TRUE! Thank you for sharing this. I hope you’ll be submitting it for Chanukah somewhere–hint, hint! 😍
MemberOctober 30, 2020 at 7:03 pm
Wow I love how this is based on a true story! Incredible! Submit, submit, submit!!
MemberOctober 30, 2020 at 8:39 pm
Wow… absolutely stunning and heartwarming. Wow. I definitely felt the warmth – what a delicious feeling and experience!
MemberNovember 2, 2020 at 9:48 pm
Beautiful and Vivid!!
(Maybe mention Baruch’s wife’s name, Rivkah, in the first paragraph. I went back to read who was asking Baruch if he’s leaving…)
Thank you for sharing!
Log in to reply.