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"You shall not desecrate My Holy Name, rather I should be sanctified among the Children of Israel; I am Hashem Who sanctifies you" (Vayikra 22:32).

The Torah obligates us to behave in a manner that will cause people to recognize that we act according to the way that Hashem commanded us. This will cause them to want to emulate our ways and, in order to do so, they will accept the Torah upon themselves too.

In Barechi Nafshi, Rabbi Zilberstein shlita relates a story which is basically elementary to a religious Jew; yet it caused a non-religious Jew total amazement.

A Torah scholar rented an apartment up north during vacation time. One morning, he arose early to drive to Meron to pray at the holy site of Rabi Shim'on bar Yochai ztzk"l. He wasn't careful enough, and accidentally bumped into a car which was parked on the side of the road. Luckily, the damage wasn't great; one of the covers of the back lights was cracked. It was obvious to the Torah scholar that he had to pay for the damage he caused, even though he could have just driven away and ignored it. So, he wrote a large note, with all of his details, and placed it on the windshield of the damaged car, explaining what had happened and advising the driver to contact him for reimbursement.

About four hours later, there was a knock on the door of the apartment where he was staying. He opened the door and was confronted by a man, about 35 years of age, without a head covering. Before he could say a word, the man aimed his camera at him and took his picture. He didn't quite understand what was happening, but the man quickly explained.

"You are the fellow who damaged my car and left me a note," he said. "Let me tell you, that as soon as I finished reading that note, I told my wife and children that I cannot believe that people such as you exist. I decided that I must have your picture to show others that there are people like you in the world who will pay money even though no one asked them to."

The young man responded, "What do you mean 'no one asked them to?' Of course someone asked us to. Hashem commanded us in his Torah to pay for any damages we may cause; whether or not the owner is aware of it."

"Yes, that's what I mean," continued the fellow. "I think you are the only one on this planet who has such ideals, and that's why I wanted your picture." The man kissed the young man on his forehead and exclaimed; "Now I know that there is a G-d in Israel."

The next day, he brought a repair bill for 300 shekel which the young man promptly paid, and he went on his way.

One Friday afternoon, a few weeks later, before Rosh Hashanah, someone knocked on the young man's door. It was the non-religious fellow and his wife who said, "After several weeks of discussion, we decided that if this is the way a religious man behaves, we want to be a part of your community!"

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel