Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Jew "Confronts" a Skinhead

A Jew who recently became religious lives in Germany. In his new-found enthusiasm, seeking to learn more, the better to steer his new course in life, he packed his bags for a trip to New York, to visit the Lubavitch headquarters in Brooklyn, where he could fully "charge up his motivational batteries" for future challenges. I met him in shul ("770") two hours after he arrived. He was still worn to a frazzle from an experience he told me about, which occurred to him at the Munich airport.

While in the airport, he looked down, saw a wallet on the floor and picked it up. He decided to take it to the airport police and let them handle the lost item. He opened the wallet and saw it held a large wad of cash. He began to count the money as he made his way to the police. He already counted $3,000 and still there was about another $2,000 left uncounted.

Suddenly he realized how foolish it would be to bring this lost item to German police, who would simply help themselves to the cash. So he pocketed the item and turned back.

He made his way to his boarding gate and waited in line. He looked around and noticed a young man frantically looking about the airport's floor, running here and there, searching around pillars and under benches. This young German had all the signs of being a "Skinhead", in dress and shaven head. The Jew kept watching until finally the fellow went towards his gate. The Skinhead's line was moving forward and soon he would be inaccessible inside the gate.

The thought recurred to him he should hold on to the money. After all, Skinheads hate Jews. German ones how much more so. He also made quick calculations he was going to 770 where plenty of opportunity exists to distribute charity. Finally the Jew decided he was going to run and reach the Skinhead before he disappears beyond the gate.

"Is this what you were looking for?" said the Jew. The Skinhead's eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped. "Yes", he practically shouted, "Thank you! Why are you doing this?" The Jew pointed his finger upwards and said, "Because there is a God and He sees all!" Asked the Gentile, "What can I ever do to thank you?" The Jew told him he should believe in God. The Skinhead promised he would. The Jew pulled out a card with the "Seven Noahide Laws" printed on it, which he always carries for "reach-out opportunities", handed it over, and quickly told the Gentile about these obligations. "I'll keep this card to the last day of my life," said the Skinhead out of sheer relief and emotion.

The Jew went back to his gate and swelled with Jewish pride, thinking he did the right thing, because he committed a great act of "kiddush hashem", sanctifying Hashem's name.

He told me, it took a lot out of him, but in the end he was happy he did it.
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UPDATE: The total amount, my friend wrote to correct me, was about $10,000! The Skinhead was from Lithuania Russia. Once the Jew gave him the money and left him, he ran after the Jew to tell him that, in effect, the Jew saved his life because this money constituted his entire earnings and savings. He repeated he will always remember what a religious Jew did for him. He also said he never in his life met a religious Jew!

The other corrections: He did, in fact, take the wallet to the police station, keeping the money in his pocket. The wallet was on a bench when he found it.

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