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Jan 28, 2010

great story of inspiring dedication to a mitzva

I was at an event last night in which Rabbi Paysach Krohn was the guest speaker. I have not heard Rabbi Krohn speak in many years, so his stories were new to me. He told a lot of great stories tonight.

"I've got a great story to tell you" is how he introduces every story, and every story is really great. He is a spectacular storyteller, and has even gotten funny over the years.

This guy (I don't remember the name) had a streak of 30 years that he did not miss a minyan. Wherever he was, he always made sure to find a minyan to daven with.

It happened that he found himself one night in Yerushalayim at a wedding, and after he left at 3 AM (I assume it was a relatives wedding for him to be there so late) he realized he had not davened maariv yet. Where is the only chance in Yerushalayim to get a minyan at 3 AM? Zichron Moshe. So he heads out to Zichron Moshe and finds 1 guy there.

He says to the guy "did you daven?" the guy says no. He then asks if he thinks they will be able to get a minyan.
"Get a minyan? They will start coming for shacharis vasikin in an hour or so!"

The guy says that in 30 years he has not missed a minyan and he does not want to break that streak. They brainstorm for a few minutes and he figured out a plan. He called a taxi company and asked them to send 8 taxis with only Jewish drivers.

Taxi company said they don't have 8 taxis at 3 AM. They agree to send 5, while he calls another company and orders 3 more taxis with Jewish drivers.

the taxis pull up and wonder what is going on that so many taxis are needed at 3 AM. He comes out to the taxis and tells them to start their meters, get out of the car and come help him make the minyan. he would pay them to stand there while he davens.

At the end of the minyan he goes to pay the drivers. The first driver he approached was religious. The driver refused to accept the money. The driver says I have davened my whole life but have never seen such dedication and kavana as I saw tonight in this minyan. I will not take money for it.

The next driver he approached was not religious. He asks how much the meter came to. The driver says he is not taking any money - he says he is not religious and has not even gone to shul in 7 years - not even on Yom Kippur! But you got me into a shul and I was impressed - I should be paying you!"
In the end all the drivers refused to take money for it, because his dedication to his mitzva impressed them so much.

13 comments:

  1. O wow wow wow. Beautiful story. Typical "only in Israel".

    Love it!

    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Inspiring dedication is the key :)

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  3. Zichron Moshe is the last place you can get a minyan at night in J-m? Are you sure it's not Kiryat Moshe? That would make more sense.

    Zichron Moshe is mostly wealthy pple (mixed frum and no) who are probably very happy to finish davening earlier in the evening.

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  4. so thats why there was no RC at the shiur last night

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  5. Tzvi - I sent the RC with someone. if it didnt get there it is his fault...

    Abbi - not sure what you are referring to. Zichron Moshe is a famous shteible in the Geula neighborhood (it is also a sub-neighborhood in Geula called Zichron Moshe and that is the reason the shteible is called Zichron Moshe).

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  6. I think that not missing a minyan in 30 years is much more a dedication than a one time operation to get 8 cab drivers out in the middle of the night.
    in any case, i can't understand why someone who is so dedicated to davening with a minyan (30 years you said) would wait till the end of a wedding (where there are many jewish men) till 3am before he realized that he didn't yet daven??

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  7. that is why I suggested he might have been part f the wedding ceremony - maybe when they davened maariv in the hall he was busy with the photographer or paying the caterer or something similar...

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  8. I heard it already - either it was the way he told it or there was another part which made the whole thing more convincing. I don't remember a wedding - maybe it was wedding plus travel, maybe he just arrived from an airline flight? I don't remember, but it is a great story.

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  9. I am curious as to what part of the story each of you finds uplifting:

    1. the fact that he thought of calling for jewish taxi drivers
    2. the fact that 10 taxis showed up on time
    3. the fact that they didn't charge him

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  10. in no particular order:
    1. the fact that they didnt charge him because they were inspired and impressed with his dedication
    2. His dedication to make it 30 years without missing a single minyan
    3. his dedication to not give up even when it looks hopeless at 3 am and think of innovative way to accomplish the task...

    I would have simply davened in my living room, if I even would have remembered at all before going to sleep/

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  11. Krohn has an interesting brother-in-law, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks, presently associated with the Queens, NY Vaad, as well as his father-in-law.

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  12. I like the story. He should have gone to the Shtieblach in old Katamon, I used to live *right* next to it, and my bedroom window overlooked it, and there were minyanim at all hours of the day, even at 3am.

    I used to joke that I didn't even have to get out of bed to daven shacharit, all I needed to do was to open my bedroom window :-)

    Mark

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