Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Why Do We Stop?

    by Reb Gutman Locks   

    

Why Do We Stop?

 

     Every once in a while you face an extremely important moment. Something happens, and if you are running too fast, and you do not pay attention, you can ruin your day or maybe even a good chuck of your life!

     I was at the Kotel and was I running fast. It was very crowded. I was rushing through the crowd to get to my minyan (quorum) to start maariv (evening prayers). A young charedi boy, maybe 10 years old, was walking toward me with tears streaming down both his cheeks. He was very frightened, even panicked. I ran past him, but then I stopped. Something was more important than my minyan.

     I looked back at the boy. I ran over to him saying, "Don't worry, your father is here. Don't worry, he's here, and he's looking for you."

     Some relief came over his face. I took his hand and started the immense task of walking through several hundred crowded men, all dressed alike, looking for a face that I had never seen before.

     Just then a charedi man with a small boy called over to us. He stretched out his arm and called to the boy, "Come here. Stay here. I saw your father, and I'll go find him and bring him to you."

     Total relief! The boy recognized the man, who must have been his neighbor. Thank G-d. I was relieved of the job and I could run to my minyan.

     I was a harried, being later than I wanted, but what would have happened if I ignored that boy's fear? G-d forbid! How would I have felt when I was davening, thinking about the lost boy wandering around crying? And even later that evening? Or maybe for the next few days? Thank G-d, I stopped.

     Why did I stop for the boy? You might want to say that I stopped because I was obligated to stop. After all, it is a mitzvah to return a lost object. But no, that never came to my mind.

     Or you could say that maybe I stopped because I know if I help someone who is lost and crying, the next time I'm lost and crying, G-d will send someone to help me. But no, I never had those thoughts, either.

     Maybe you could say that I stopped because I knew it was the right thing to do? But right or wrong never came to mind.

     Well then why do we stop at times like that?

     We stop, because we feel the little boy's pain, and we start to cry, too. 

 

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