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Erev Tov

Updated: Apr 3

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I remember that my mother would often tell me when I would turn up my nose at some new thing or opportunity, “Never show a fool anything half-finished.”

Anthony Newley’s first claim to fame in the States, at least for me, was when I saw him in his starring role as Little Chap in the Broadway musical, Stop the World I Want to Get Off.”

Little Chap, a young man goes on a job interview and finds the door to the interview to be a giant obstacle, forcing him to stand on his tip toes to open. As Little Chap succeeds in life, the door becomes reduced in size until he needs only step over this once so formidable obstacle.

I recount both of these moments from my past as I think of this past week in Yeroham. Upon arrival the heat was unbearable for me and the main street unattractive; its apartments looking old and unwelcoming. Now, six days later, I walk alone down the same main street and greet the seniors, especially the couples, with “Erev Tov” (good evening) and feel warmed by the smiles and the “Erev Tov” I receive in return.

Now I see children of all ages and backgrounds playing together and riding their bikes with such joy. Now I see the lights from the apartments and think about the families in those same apartments and I think of the incredible openness and care of the many people we have met and I no longer see unattractive buildings. Yes, they are there, and yes, they still are not my taste, but now they are the homes of wonderful people.

Our week has been so full, and though it’s been but a week, I am changed.  I am changed by the week that has been and excited for the week yet to be, wondering what I shall feel next week at this time as our experience in Yeroham comes to a close. Right now, however, I want to sit in the back yard of the “tsimmer” where I am living, stare at the heavens all aglow and enjoy the almost perfect silence of these most special moments.

Rabbi Larry Halpern

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