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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 11, 2007 / 21 Teves, 5767

Taxi ride to Eternity?

By Linda Feinberg


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A master teaches his disciple about the value of small gestures


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The taxi that pulled up in front of Mesivta Chaim Berlin to pick up the famed sage, Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner, and a young disciple who was accompanying him, looked like all the others crawling by on the crowded Brooklyn street.


Upon entering the car, the rabbinical student politely told the cabbie their destination. But the taxi remained in place.


Instead of driving on, the cabbie took a few seconds to examine his "fares" via the rear view mirror. When finished, the driver was apparently convinced that his older passenger was no ordinary person. He reached over to his glove compartment and pulled out a cloth cap. Only when it was snugly covering his bare head, did he speed off.


The sage smiled and then turned to his charge. He whispered: "For this act of respect, who knows how much merit our driver will get in the World to Come."


"Such a small gesture merits a reward in Eternity?" asked the rabbi in training with no little astonishment.


"Yes, indeed," Rabbi Hutner replied.


The sage then proceeded to tell the lad a tale about a similar incident that had occurred almost a century earlier. As he spoke, the busy streets of Flatbush began to fade into the background and the student was transported to Gur, Poland during the era of Rebbe Yitzchak Mayer Alter, known as the Chidushei Harim.


It was the custom of the Chidushei Harim to purify himself in a mikvah ritualarium every day. Although there was a very quick way to traverse the distance between his study hall and the mikvah, the rebbe never took this route. Instead, he always took a roundabout way to reach his destination.


The Rebbe's assistant was understandably perplexed by the actions of the Chidushei Harim. When the weather was fine, only perhaps ten or twelve minutes were lost by taking this particular path — but even so, ten minutes of lost time was still ten minutes! And when the weather was bad, and the Rebbe had to carefully dodge the numerous icy patches and deep puddles that dotted the road, even more precious time was lost.


The assistant held his silence for a very long time. However, one day, when the bad weather forced the Rebbe to walk even more slowly than usual, the assistant had to speak out.


"Rebbe, if we had taken the shorter path, we would already be home by now," he said. "Why do you insist on always taking this longer route?"


Just as the assistant finished speaking, the two men turned a corner and arrived at the loading station for the town's porters. It was here that the porters — simple and unlearned Jews who made their living by carting the heavy loads of the travelers and merchants who had arrived at Gur — gathered as they waited for a job.


As usual, the scene at the porters' station was a boisterous one. Those lucky enough to have already found work were busily loading the heavy packages onto their carts. The others were impatiently looking down the road to spy out the next round of likely customers, and they energetically called out to the passersby who were approaching the station.


Then a cry was suddenly heard rising above the ruckus.


"The Rebbe is coming!" one of the porters called out. "Look sharp! The Rebbe is coming!"


The cries of the hoarse voices stopped in mid-sentence and bundles hoisted in mid-air were hastily put down. Silence now reigned over the station as the porters straightened their caps and jackets. Then all eyes turned toward the Chidushei Harim, who was now approaching the group.


As the Rebbe walked past the workers, the men slightly bent their heads downward to show respect. The porters remained standing silently in this position until the Rebbe had walked a small distance past them.


The Rebbe understood very well that respect shown to somebody of his stature was not directed at him as individual (which he detested), but was part of the community’s admiration to the Torah (Bible) he represented and the office he occupied.


Indeed, when they were safely out of earshot and the porters had returned to their work, the Chidushei Harim turned to his assistant. "That is the answer to your question," said the Rebbe.


"These porters are not observant. Some of them do not even pray every day. So how will they earn their reward in Eternity?


"All they have is the respect they show me — this display of affection for the Torah and tradition — when I walk by. So of course I am willing to go a little out of my way every day, if this will enable a fellow Jew to earn some merit in Eternity."


With those words, Rabbi Hutner had come to the conclusion of his story. For the the rabbi in training who was accompanying him, the New York taxi they were traveling in suddenly looked very different, now that he realized that even the smallest gesture could be a vehicle for earning one's the World to Come.

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Linda Feinberg's work appears weekly in Yated Neeman. Comment by clicking here.

© 2007, Yated Neeman