Toras Avigdor Junior
Avremel was so excited! His cousin Elisheva in America was getting married, and Uncle Anshel was flying the whole family in from Eretz Yisroel for the occasion! When they arrived at the airport, Avremel, Nochum Moshe, and Zevy quickly helped Totty get the bags out of the back of the cab and loaded them onto a luggage cart, while Chaya helped Mommy put Shevy into her stroller.
As they walked into the terminal, Nochum Moshe and Zevy couldn’t stop talking about different types of airplanes they knew about. Yoni and Yaakov put out their arms as if they were flying, saying “vroom vroom!” Avremel looked around self-consciously. “Stop it,” he said. “You’re embarrassing us!”
Once checked in, they made their way to security. “Did you pack your bags yourselves?” asked the security agent, smiling.
“Mommy packed my bag!” said Yaakov excitedly. “And she put in a lot of guns for the flight!”
“Guns???” said the security agent, alarmed.
“Yeah, she said it was so my ears don’t hurt.”
Mommy slapped her forehead. “Gum, Yaakov, I put gum in your bag!”
After a search of Yaakov’s bag and intensive questioning of Mommy and Totty, they made their way to the gate to wait for boarding. Chaya quickly found an empty seat and started reading. Nochum Moshe and Zevy headed to the large windows to look at and enthusiastically discuss all of the different types of planes they saw.
Avremel looked around at the gate. They were the only frum family there. In fact, it looked like a lot of the people waiting for their flight weren’t even Jewish! Living in Yerushalayim, Avremel never thought about how he looked, but now he couldn’t help but feel self-conscious about being so different from everyone else.
“Vroom vroom!” cried Yoni as he ran around the gate area, pretending he was an airplane.
“Voom voom!” shouted Yaakov, right behind him.
“Waaaaah!” cried Shevy from her stroller.
People looked over at the commotion and Avremel’s discomfort intensified. While there were other families in the terminal, Avremel’s family was the only one with so many kids. The other children in the terminal were all playing games on their phones, not reading, running around, or having conversations. And Shevy was the only one sitting in a stroller, screaming her head off.
Avremel felt like he wanted to sink into the floor. He didn’t want to look different. He wished his family just looked like everyone else in the airport.
“Avremel, what are you doing?” exclaimed Totty, just as Avremel started tucking his tzitzis into his pants.
“Totty, I don’t like looking so different from everyone else here,” explained Avremel. “Why didn’t we wear baseball caps so we would look normal?”
“Normal?” Totty said incredulously. “We are the most normal ones here!”
Avremel looked at Totty skeptically.
“Avremel,” Totty said. “In this week’s Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu told Klal Yisroel ‘מִשְׁכוּ וּקְחוּ לָׂכֶם צֹאן’. Do you know what that means?”
“That they should take sheep for the Korbon Pesach?” asked Avremel.
“Yes, said Totty, but what about the word ‘מִשְׁכוּ’? That word means to ‘pull’ or ‘drag’. You know why he said that? Because he didn’t want the Bnei Yisroel to just secretly buy sheep for the Korbon Pesach, oh no. Moshe Rabbeinu was telling the Yidden that they should drag their sheep across the streets of Mitzrayim. And when the Mitzrim saw their precious Avoda Zorah being dragged through the streets they would ask what was going on. And the Bnei Yisroel responded ‘oh we’re going to slaughter them for our holiday’. Can you imagine doing that?
“The Torah is teaching us something important. When we do what we are supposed to be doing as Yidden, we should do those things proudly and not hide it. And even more than that. We do these things because Hashem told us to do them. Now you tell me, what is more normal? To do what Hakadosh Boruch Hu, the Creator of the World, tells us to do? Or to just do whatever some people decide should be ‘normal’, regardless of how silly it is?”
Avremel smiled sheepishly. Then after a second, he quickly pulled his tzitzis out from his pants and straightened his Yarmulke. He and his family were the normal ones, not all of the other people in the airport!
Have A Wonderful Shabbos!