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When antisemitism is a good thing

Rabbi Zamir Cohen told a story which happened to a friend of his from New York who we’ll call Yosef. As a young boy, Yosef decided after 8th grade he wanted to leave yeshiva and go to public school instead. His father had passed away many years before and his mother usually consulted with his uncle, who was a rabbi, before making any big decisions. His uncle tried to persuade Yosef out of it but was unsuccessful. When high school began, Yosef refused to go to school. He stayed home instead. After a few weeks, they agreed to let him go to public school. He made new friends there and was enjoying it. One day during a break, he went to go meet up with his friends and he saw three of them standing there waiting for him to come. When he got there, one of them pushed him, the other one knocked him down and the third kicked him. He couldn’t understand what was happening. He kept it to himself in hope that it was a one-time incident. But the next day, the same thing happened again, and again the next day after. After a week of this, he told his mother he wanted to go back to yeshiva. He eventually got hooked into learning and became a rabbi. When his uncle got old, he gave him his position as the head rabbi of a shul in New York. Years later, towards the end of his uncle’s life, the uncle called Yosef over to speak to him. He told him how proud he was of the job he’s doing leading the congregation and then reminisced a little about the past. He said, “Remember, you went to public school for a short time?”

Yosef said, “Yeah, I feel terrible I did that.” His uncle asked him why he left. Embarrassed, he told him about those three boys.

His uncle then said, “I have to tell you, I paid those boys to do that. I couldn’t bear to see you throw your life away and get mixed up in their culture.” Yosef was so appreciative, he kissed his uncle and thanked him for saving his life.

Rabbi Cohen concluded, this is similar to what Hashem does when we get too close to the nations of the world. He loves us and wants us to become the kings and princes that we’re meant to be.

This story is brought by Rabbi Ashear of ITorah. com

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