Acheinu Activist Shmuel Horowitz was a man on a mission. He was on his way to Cholon to speak to a salon owner about registering his two sons aged 13 and 11, in a religious dormitory.
Horowitz walked in and found a belligerent man, tattooed from head to toe, slouching on a couch, chain- smoking cigarettes-or possibly something more potent. The décor of the salon was equally threatening: knives, guns and swords covered the walls in a most intimidating display.
Though unsure of how to get the message across, Shmuel refused to be daunted. “Hashem, these are your children too, “he prayed inside. He spoke earnestly to the man about sending his sons to a religious dormitory. Apparently Hashem was in that room with them, and miraculously manipulated the conversation.
Without warning, the father suddenly turned to his sons, and barked, ” I spent enough time in jails in my life, and if I ever find you in jail, I”ll come personally and kill you!”
Now Shmuel was on to something! Launching into a quick explanation of how the yeshiva dorm would keep the teens out of trouble (and jail), the father somehow agreed to send his sons to a religious school.
The first part of the ordeal was over; but getting them into yeshiva was no easy feat. Upon being interviewed by the principal, the boys were found lacking. Neither had performed well and the younger child was especially behind. With the two boys waiting outside the office, Horowitz begged, shouted, accused and cajoled. The principal agreed to take the older brother but not the younger one.
When Horowitz warily reported this to the father, Hashem again came to the rescue. “Tell them if they don”t take my younger son, they’re not going to take my older son either!” the irate man bellowed.
And that was the turning point for the principal.
Needless to say the two boys, now earnest bochurim – are learning happily in Yeshiva since. And if they ever visit jails in their lifetime, it would probably be in the role of the visiting Rabbi.