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"Moshe sent off his father-in-law, and he went to his land:" (Shemos 18:27). Rashi explains that Moshe sent his father-in-law, Yisro, back to his family in order to convert them to Judaism too.

Jews are not selfish. If they find something good, they immediately and instinctively share it with others. This is true for spirituality too. Once a Jew has found the right way to serve Hashem, he is obligated to share this all-important knowledge with others.

Today, many people are involved in kiruv - outreach - with amazing success. Thousands of estranged Jews are returning to their roots and are accepting and practicing authentic Torah-true Judaism. There are many methods of reaching out to others and some work better than others. Sometimes, though, we are surprised to hear stories baalei teshuvah (penitents) tell about what made them change their lifestyles.

I came across a note on the Net which had been submitted by Mark Steiner on October 30, 2002. I found it very interesting and I decided to share it with my readers.

Last week (on the Yahrzeit) I heard a talk by Dr. Ephraim Shach, Rav Shach's son, during which he discussed the famous "rabbit speech" in which Rav Shach zt"l raised the rhetorical question, "in what sense are people who eat rabbits, don't know what Yom Kippur is, etc., Jews?"

This speech of course aroused much opposition in Israel, but, Dr. Shach said, two kibbutzniks from Ein Harod were listening to the speech on the radio in the kibbutz barn, and what Rav Shach said made so much sense to them that they decided to leave the kibbutz and go to learn Torah in a yeshiva in order to be Jewish by more than birth.

When they went to see Rav Shach, and informed him that they were leaving Ein Harod, he asked them whether they had parents in the kibbutz. One of them answered that he had an elderly father there. "In that case," answered Rav Shach, "you can't leave the kibbutz. Try to keep as much as you can of Judaism while living there."

When Rav Shach passed away, and Ephraim was sitting shiv'ah for him, an ultra-Orthodox man, with black suit, hat and white shirt, came to see him.

"Who are you," asked Ephraim. "I'm the father of that boy in Ein Harod," the man replied. When I heard what your father told my son, I was so impressed by the morality of Torah that I decided to leave the kibbutz myself and learn Torah too!"

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel