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Mar 19, 2008

and there was this guy approaching me...

I was in the makolet last night picking up a few things. As I am walking out, a teenager begins walking over to me.

Nowadays, in the days before Purim, when you see someone you do not know coming over to you, especially if it is a teenager/yeshiva boy, I assume it is someone collecting for some yeshiva or organization. So I subconsciously get into my hunker down stance and start rooting around in my pocket looking for loose change to give to the young man and try to get away as quickly as possible with as little damage as possible.

I know that does not sound nice, but so many yeshivas and organizations come around in the days before and during Purim that I cannot afford to give a reasonable donation to each of them. I prefer to give to the local tzedakas over the yeshivas, and I prefer to give to yeshivas I know and have what to do with over yeshivas I never heard of. But I also do not turn people away empty handed, so I give them a few shekels of my loose change and wait for my preferred tzedakas to come by for the more reasonable sums of tzedaka.

So this guy saunters over to me and i start rustling around for loose change. he approaches me and sticks out his hand and hands something to me! I was shocked, but thought it must be a notice about an organization that needs money or something, though I had not noticed him holding anything noticeable.

I look at what he handed me and it was a candy (a taffee) and a little piece of paper saying "The RBS branch of Bnei Akiva wishes you a Happy Purim"It did not matter that I am not part of Bnei Akiva. It did not matter that I was wearing my black kipa. It was a surprise, and a very nice gesture.

As I went to my car, I watched him and his friend helping him. They walked over to everyone who passed by and handed them a candy and a note. It did not matter how they were dressed and what they looked like.

Kol Hakavod!


  1. that's nice :)

    BA kids everywhere get into the spirit of Purim!

  2. Why does this surprise you?

    The mitzva of Purim is to give each other a little something which then increases the goodwill and love between Jews. ALL Jews count.

  3. it surprised me because I was expecting him to ask me for tzedaka, and not offering me something...

    also, it is uncommon. typically we give to our friends. not to people we don't know and have nothing to do with. So it was a surpise. and a nice one at that!

  4. If it had been me, I would have appreciated some help with my groceries. I'm just saying. . .

  5. moi - had it been you there, maybe he would have helped. don't know. I clearly did not need help with my bags. A young strong man carrying two shopping bags with a couple of jars of condiments inside - I clearly was not a candidate for that type of assistance...



    It must be purim..... :)

  7. Bnei Akiva is all about fascist nationalism.

    If R' Akiva were alive, he'd ban it.

  8. It's really hard to resist making comparisons between your descriptions of charedi petty tzedaka fights, the constant harnanguing for money (which you were expecting) with the simple unexpected pleasure of receiving a candy and a nice note.

    I think it says volumes about the states of both communities.


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