Weekly Inspiration

You Will Not Pay For The Bananas!
February 22nd, 2024
You Will Not Pay For The Bananas!

We were warned.

“Don’t travel to the U. S. Even the government of Israel is warning people not to go because of anti-Jewish demonstrations and attacks. Your life will be in danger.” A friend emailed me: “Make sure that you have personal security and don’t look Jewish. When you speak, stress that you are Jewish and not Israeli.”

And so we came to the USA. 

Do you want to hear what happened? 

In all our travels, we have never had so many positive encounters with non-Jews as on this trip! All over, everywhere! Something big is happening. The world is sensing the proximity of the Geula Shelemah. The good people are filled with longing and the evil ones with panic. People feel that, in the words of Reb Chaim Kanievsky zt”l, “Moshiach is on the street.”

Here are some examples:

On the plane to Detroit, home of one of the highest concentrations of Moslems in the U.S., a dark-skinned man sat next to us. He graciously put our bags in the overhead bin. When we landed, he jumped up to take them down. My wife asked his name. “Khalifa.” Where are you from? “Sahara, Africa.” As we prepared to leave the plane, he insisted on carrying the bags for both of us. We remonstrated, but he insisted. “No. I am taking them!” 

I encountered him a few minutes later in the airport. He asked, “Where do you live?” I said, “Israel.” He pointed to himself and said, “I Arabi … I am an Arab!” I said to him: “Great! Amazing! You are my cousin! My family!” I gave him a big hug, to which he responded with a huge smile. We were dancing in the airport! Thumbs up all around!

Is this normal? 

Several days later, we were on the shuttle bus to the airport. A couple from Tennessee sat opposite us. We mentioned that we live in Israel. She got excited. “My parents were in Israel last year and loved it. I love Israel! If the U. S. government ever turns its back on Israel, I am out of here!” My friends, she meant it. I don’t know where she would go, but she was serious! She puts Israel over America!

Is this normal?

The morning after we arrived from Israel, I took a taxi to pick up a car from a rental agency. It was raining and I was jetlagged. But the door of the rental office was locked! Then I saw a sign: “This location closed. Go to Freeport, Long Island.” But Freeport was an hour away! And I had no transportation!

Then a man walked up to me. “Are you having a problem? I own this property and the car agency rents from me. This rental office has been closed for three months and they never tell the customers! They are knuckleheads! Come into our office and I will take care of you.”

The owner, a non-Jew, took care of me in his warm office and made me comfortable. Then his secretary arranged for a car service to the rental agency. Then he made a long speech about the greatness of Israel and the evil anti-Israel rhetoric. 

Is this normal? 

In New York City – that “dangerous city” -- my wife and I were in a shoe store. The store did not permit customers to use the restroom, but the salesman directed us around the corner to a non-kosher diner. As I was about to leave the diner, I saw the manager looking at me. I went over and said to him, “I hope it’s OK that we used the restroom. The other store told us to come here.” He said, “It’s fine.” Then I said, “I feel as if I should purchase something. I would like to buy that bunch of bananas.” 

He looked at me. “No! You will not pay for those bananas. I will give you the bananas! It is my pleasure. It is my privilege. You will not pay!”

Is this normal? 

Last week, the mayor of New York was accosted by demonstrators. What does the mayor say about Israel’s “war crimes?”

The mayor answered: “Free the hostages!”

Is this normal? 

At the Detroit airport, I asked directions from an African-American policeman. He gave me a warm smile. I gave him a bracha and he responded, “Thank you, my brother!” and reached out to shake my hand. 

Is this normal? 

My friends, everywhere we traveled in America, we encountered unprecedented respect and even honor. The world is sensing the proximity of the Geulah Shelemah. Those who desire kedusha want to receive the bracha that will enable them to survive the coming days. Those who hate Hashem and Am Yisroel are panicking and trying to put off the inevitable. 

This week we celebrate Purim Katan. Thousands of years ago, an evil man led a worldwide campaign against Am Yisroel who were G-d forbid “to be destroyed, to be slain and to be exterminated.” (Esther 7:4) We were surrounded and it appeared there was no hope. 

The Gemara in Sanhedrin warns that, if we do not do teshuva in the End of Days, Hashem will send a king as evil as Haman to terrify us, and this will cause us to do teshuva, as a result of which we will be saved. It appears that we are near that moment right now. The entire world is shaking. 

My dear friends, through our prayers and tears we can bring the day of Redemption, when there will be “light, gladness, joy and honor” for us and for the entire world!


Geulah Shelemah: The Final Redemption
Kedusha: Holiness
Purim Katan: During Jewish leap years, there are two
Purims; this is the first one.
Teshuva: Repentance

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