Some people might think the following story teaches a lesson that is wrong, considering that it deals with, in essence, lying to a child. I, on the other hand, find it an appealing look at the hearts of many children who understand what the true love of God is. I will let you decide what you think.

There are also those who think that this story is an untruth. If that's what some wish to believe, that's fine. But I choose to believe that there are children like those spoken of here everywhere we look.

In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. Some children remain in their for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools. At a fundraising dinner, the father of a child attending the school delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is my son Shaya? Everything done in Heaven is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is Heaven's perfection?"

The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father answered, "that when Heaven brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that it seeks is in the way people react to this child."

He then told the following story about his son:

One afternoon, Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, "Do you think they will let me play?"

Shaya's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were chosen to play, it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging.

Shaya's father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates.

Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and bat in the ninth inning.

Shaya's father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly.

Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the bottom of the eight inning, Shaya's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, his team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base. Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let him bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because he didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so he should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shaya swung clumsily and missed.

One of Shaya's teammates came up to him and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung at the ball and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. He would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shaya, run to first. Run to first."

Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second base man who would tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the Third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second."

Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As he reached second base, the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, "Shaya run home." He ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "grand slam" and won the game for his team.

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "those 18 boys reached their level of Heaven's perfection."

  • ~Rabbi Paysach Krohn~


  • Funny how simple it is for people to trash different ways of living and believing, and then wonder why the world is going where it is.

    Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding life choices, people think twice about sharing.

    Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of morality is suppressed in the school and workplace.

    Funny, isn't it?

    Funny how when you go to share this message, you will not share it with many because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sharing it with them.

    Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what I think of me.


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