Friday, my phone rang. At the other end of the line a magazine salesman
introduced himself, and said that heíd like to ask me two quick questions.
I said, seeing no harm in hearing him out before declining his offer.
is your magazine subscriber?" asked the salesman.
one," I replied.
you donít get any magazines?
old are you?" He broke his promise about two questions.
told him my age and he offered to send me ĎTV-Guideí and ĎMotor
something-or-anotherí at great bargain prices, with a special free gift.
for the offer," I said, trying to sound as appreciative as I could.
"But Iím afraid Iím going to decline."
is that? came the prepared question.
I donít watch TV and I have no interest in motors."
it doesnít have to be TV Guide," he blurted. "We can send you
anything you like. Whatís your field of interest?"
had some experience in the past in steering such conversations in a different
Jewish Bible. What some people call the Old Testament."
Iím afraid we donít have any magazines on that - whatís in it?"
mean in Torah magazines?"
could have started my list with, "Commandments" or "G-d " or
"Mysticism or any other aspect of Torah, but I didnít...
Messiah..." I began, intending to list the others as well, but the word
struck a cord. Before I could say anything else, he interrupted with - "Oh,
did you hear what happened in Israel?" (He was referring to the recent
bludgeoning of two Israeli teenagers.)
guess Iím not surprised that Mr. Salesman associated the word ĎMessiahí
sure did," I said.
it horrible? Iím not Jewish or anything, but hearing this kind of stuff is
terrible," I agreed.
whatís going to be there?" Mr. Salesman continued. "Isnít there
some kind of a solution or something?"
course there is," I said. "The solution is for the Israeli government
to protect its citizens. Thatís the top priority of any government in the
world. And, since weíre on the topic, let me add that thereís something
every person can do about this situation."
that?" he asked. There wasnít the slightest indication of impatience in
his voice. In fact, he sounded very curious.
G-d gave the Jews their commandments, he also gave the rest of humanity seven
commandments to follow. Theyíre known as the Seven Noahide Laws. One of them
is the prohibition against stealing."
Iím not sure if that meant that he knew of this commandment as one of the Ten
Commandments, or that he simply acknowledged the evil of stealing. I think both.
I went on, "this includes stealing the Land of Israel from the Jewish
people. The Land belongs to the Jews because G-d gave it to them. Any attempt to
remove it from their possession, whether through acts of terror or political
pressure, violates this prohibition."
fact needs to be brought to peopleís attention. Thatís where you can
do something, and get others to do, as well." I paused for a second to let
the idea sink in. "Got it?"
- I do." He sounded sincere.
Have a nice weekend."
too, thanks. Bye."
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meaningful, productive ways.
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