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Wednesday, May 07, 2003

A Story from Reb Shlomo Carlebach ztz'l

"In 1965-66 a sweet little yidele from Tel Aviv came and says to me 'can you get through to my son, he is a high officer in the army and he really hates yidishkeit but now he has a new kind of craziness. In the dining room in my house there is a big picture of my grandfather, a yid with a long beard and a shtreimel. My son told me that unless I take out the picture he refuses to come to my house. He says that it's nauseating to be the grandson of such an idiot. What should I do with him?'

In 1967 after the six-day way, one day the door opens and the yid from Tel Aviv walks in with his son the officer. He has a little beard and peyis, tzitzis, he looks like a new person. I said to him 'what happened to you?' and this is what he said. 'I'm a tankist and during the war I was driving a tank. Suddenly I noticed an Egyptian tank on my tail and I have to get as close to the other tanks as possible because I cannot fight an Egyptian tank all by myself. I was driving as fast as I can and suddenly in the middle of the road I see a yid with a tallis and tefilin praying. And you know what I think of religious people, they are crazy. I knew they were crazy but that crazy, in the middle of a war? In the middle of the dessert, standing here praying? My first reaction was that I should really run him over but how can you run over another Jew, so I made a detour. The Egyptian tank didn't make a detour and drove right over the place where the Jew was standing and was blown up by a mine. I came back to my father's house, looked at the picture of my grandfather, it was him, my holy grandfather came down from heaven to protect me. What an honor to have such a grandfather'.