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Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
Opening The Aron For The Sefer Torah
A man living in Eretz Yisrael was laid off from his job where he was worked for many years.  As each day passed he became more and more depressed.  He received many offers for different jobs, but he refused all of them since none could compare to his previous job, which was pleasant work in a quiet accounting office.

One morning, he realized that he should face reality, and he decided that he would willingly accept the next job offer he received.  Later that day, he met an old acquaintance who was a principal of a Talmud Torah, and when he heard he was out of work, he offered him a job as a supervisor on the school bus. 

The next morning, he started his new work.  Despite his decision to accept any work willingly, he could not hide his dismay at the contrast to his previous work in front of a computer in a quiet office.  Now he was expected to control a bunch of rambunctious children, who did their best to make sure to give the supervisor a run for his money.  The children could sense his negative feelings, and were even more rambunctious than usual. 

One day, the driver told him an interesting story.  A few decades ago, the doors of the small school buses were opened manually by a handle near the door.  On one school bus, the supervisor found it very difficult to constantly get up to open and close the door for each boy as he got off.  The supervisor began a dispute with the driver, claiming that it was the driver's responsibility to open and close the door.  Eventually, they decided to approach the Gadol, Rav Ben-Tzion Abba Shaul, zt"l, for his opinion on the dispute. 

When Rav Ben-Tzion Abba Shaul heard the question, he arose from his seat, and said fervently, "Young school children (tinnokos shel rabban) are compared to Sifrei Torah, and since Sifrei Torah are placed in an Aron Kodesh, the school bus for the children is considered an Aron Kodesh.  Opening and closing the door is considered like the mitzvah of hachnasah and hotzaah -the great mitzvah of opening the heichal before reading the Torah and closing it afterwards."  Then Rav Ben-Tzion Abba Shaul raised his voice and said, "According to what I know, Yehudim usually fight over the important mitzvah of opening the heichal since everybody wants to merit it.  And you, who are standing before such a mitzvah tens of times a day, when you open and close the door of the bus, are fleeing from it and arguing that the mitzvah should fall on the shoulders of the other one?!"

The man who had been laid off was very affected by this story.  From then on, he began greeting the children with expressions of affection, such as, "Good morning, my little Sefer Torah."  The children were affected by his positive attitude and affection, and even their parents reported that the children were especially happy when they arrived home.  In time, the man's depression lifted, and he was happier and enthusiastic about his life.  (Aleinu Leshabeach)

RELATED ARTICLES:Aron Kodesh  children  Rav Bentzion Abba Shaul

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