By Shmully Goldberg
The following story is fictional, but the point is very real:
It’s 3:30 pm, the bell rings. All the children in the hall are running to
get out. It’s the end of the school year and summer holidays are about to begin.
Waiting outside, all the children are eager to get home. One boy is waiting quietly for his father to pick him up. Slowly all his friends leave.
A strange man approaches the young boy.
“Hey Shmuli! Your father is stuck at work, so he asked me to pick you up.”
Young Shmuli stares the man up and down, he looks at his white shirt, his black pants, and of course, that black yarmulke on his head.
Now, Shmuli’s parents had spoken to him about talking to strangers. But this man wasn’t a “stranger,” he was a Yid, and he knew Shmuli’s name!
After little thought, Shmuli picks up his school bag and walks off with the man.
As adults, we constantly try and reinforce the “stranger danger” talks with our children, but is it all talk? Do we do anything about it?
The above story is fictional but it might as well be true. Klal yisroel has unfortunately dealt recently with a lot concerning this issue.
Many children’s perception of Yidden is sadly the same as a police officer (not Chas vesholom to think that this can’t happen as well). They perceive a Jew as “someone you can trust.” A young child reasons that its against the Torah to lie, or chas vesholom hurt someone, so this person must be safe!
After reading the story, you may all ask, but how did the strange man know Shmuli’s name? Was he a regular at the same shul? Maybe he met Shmuli’s family at the local pizza store? The answer to this question is very simple: Shmuli’s yarmulka had his name on it.
Remember, predators can read Hebrew too…