“Nir” and Far: An Encounter at the Kosel


kosel 1The following story was reported by journalist Tzvi Yaakovson in the American Yated Ne’eman this past week.

At the entrance to the Kosel plaza, Nir picked up a cardboard yarmulka bearing the emblem of the Kosel Heritage Foundation and walked determinedly toward the Kosel. “Tell me,” he said to a young man dressed in a hat and jacket, “is there a specific chapter of Tehillim to say when you want to give thanks to Hashem?”

The young man looked him over from head to toe. Nir was wearing jeans and a jacket bearing the logo of a well-known brand of apparel. On his feet were a pair of expensive-looking shoes. If the young man had to guess, he would have surmised that Nir was a hi-tech worker from Raanana, or perhaps a lawyer from Ramat Hasharon.

Finally responding to the question, the young man said, “Of course. There are many chapters that can be said for that purpose.”

“Two or three will be enough,” Nir replied.

While he was reciting his chapters of thanks, the young man who had spoken to him hurried over to one of the Lev L’Achim workers at the Kosel. In the past, I have mentioned the special Lev L’Achim project that began a year or two ago, in which a group of avreichim is stationed at the Kosel to reach out to anyone who appears emotionally moved by visiting the site, or who arrives in a state of heightened emotion. The bochur went over to the first avreich he saw and told him, “There is someone here who will definitely be happy if you offer him Lev L’Achim’s services. This is clearly a good time for him.”

The avreich waited for Nir to finish his Tehillim and then approached him. “I see that you are thanking Hashem for something,” he said. “If you would like, we can offer you a weekly shiur to attend, a visit to our midrashah, or even a chavrusah. Where do you live?”

Nir laughed. “That is very amusing,” he said.

Flustered, the avreich stammered, “I’m sorry… It was just a suggestion. I didn’t mean to insult or pressure you… Have a nice day….”

The guest with the cardboard kippah embraced the other man. “Do you know why I am thanking Hashem? My wife and I came to thank Him for the fact that we met an avreich of Lev L’Achim from Kiryat Sefer two months ago, and now he learns with us every week…”

{Matzav.com Newscenter}