The other day a haredi man picked me up from the side of the road near the Kineret (Sea of Galilee). He began to speak with me about the Torah. Now I’m sure he assumed that I was a secular Jew whom he felt he needed to educate, but when I told him that I read the Parashat HaShavuah each and every week, we had a delightful conversation about that week’s Parasha!
Then he began to speak about all the ungodliness in the world today – the gay agenda, the pro-death agenda, etc. I was in complete agreement with him on bemoaning the prevailing spirit of rebellion in the world today and said that if we as a nation would only turn to our G-d, Elohai Yisrael, and cry out to Him with all our hearts and follow His Word, we would see His deliverance! And this gentle haredi man wholeheartedly agreed with me on this.
Then he said that it doesn’t matter to him if a Jew is haredi like himself or secular (like me, he assumed). He said all Orthodox, Conservative and even Reform Jews need to make Aliyah and live as one in the Land. Then he did something I’ve never seen before – he repented before me for the way the Orthodox Jews have treated the secular – wow!
I was so surprised by his humility and so I figured that if he was in the mood to repent, I’d give him something else to repent about, so I asked him, “And what about the Meshichim (Messianics) who are also Jews and have the right to live here in the Land with respect?”
He looked at me with surprise and when I smiled at him, he realized that I was “one of those”! But he shrugged his shoulders and made one of those classic Israeli facial and hand expressions that declares “You’re right – why not?!”
“The kindness of G-d leads us to repentance.”