Reader-submitted: My sister, who is a Belzer from Bnei Brak, was on her way last week to Yerushalayim to attend the chasunah of the Belzer Rebbe’s granddaughter.
As she sat in the middle of the packed bus with her 11 year old son, a soldier (chayal) boarded, and seeing that there was no empty seat, he sat on the floor. My sister whispered to her son, “Yankele, would you like to do a mitzvah and honor this chayal who is putting his life on the line now, and every day to help protect us from the terrorist arabs? Why don’t you offer him your seat and you can stand in the front of the bus with some of the boys.” Her son replied, “yes, but if he takes my seat next to you, where will you sit?” She answered, “I will go to the back of the bus with some ladies, and stand there.”
However, the chayal politely declined the offer, he said that us chayalim are accustomed to sit on the floor of buses. My sister persisted; she told him “for the sake of the proper chinuch of my young son, to learn to show respect and hakaras hatov, would you please allow him to honor you?” He said, “If that is your intention, I will accept the seat.”
At the end of the ride, the chayal approached my sister and handed her a note which read:
To a dear Mother,
I wish to tell you, that I was deeply moved by your and your son’s gesture on my behalf. The only reason that I agreed to take your spot, was because you had said it was for the sake of your sons’s chinuch. You are praiseworthy, that you have merited to raise your child on the principles of Hakaras Hatov, and love for those who sacrifice themselves for Am Yisroel and Eretz Yisroel.
It should be Hashem’s will that you should merit to bring up your children in the way of Torah, Midos Tovos and Ahavas Chinum.
From the Chayal
(View the letter below.)
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