It seemed strange but wonderful that this little boy, Yitzy Levinson, cared more about lonely old Mr. Greenbaum than he did about winning any prize
Yitzy looked at the key that Mr. Blum was holding out to him.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Blum,” he repeated, “but I cannot take the key until you…”
Yitzy didn’t have a chance to finish. An angry Mr. Blum cut him off midsentence.
“Young man,” he said, “do you understand what you are doing? A very wealthy man has been generous enough to give you a gift. You cannot just say that you won’t accept it unless your conditions are met.”
Rabbi Levinson spoke up. “With all due respect, Mr. Blum,” he said, “please let Yitzy finish speaking. Maybe once you hear what he wants, you won’t be so upset.”
Mr. Blum rolled his eyes. “Oh, all right,” he muttered angrily. “What is it that you want?”
Rabbi Levinson nudged his son. “It’s okay, Yitzy,” he said. “Finish what you wanted to say.”
Yitzy looked up at the lawyer. “Mr. Blum,” he said, “I think that it was very nice of you to arrange these meetings where you read us Mr. Greenbaum’s letters. It’s also very nice of you to want to help give me all of his things. But I want something more than that.”
Mr. Blum frowned. “I cannot believe this!” he growled. “Mr. Greenbaum was generous enough to give you his things, even though you lost the contest, and now you want more?”
“Yes, I do,” answered Yitzy. “I want something much more important than Mr. Greenbaum’s things. I want Mr. Greenbaum.”
Yitzy looked into the lawyer’s eyes.
Mr. Blum’s anger was gone. Now he was confused.
“Please, Mr. Blum,” Yitzy continued, “my family and I care about Mr. Greenbaum very much. We are worried about him. Weeks ago, I saw him being wheeled into an ambulance, looking very sick. We have tried to find Mr. Greenbaum, but none of the hospitals around here seem to know anything about him. We want to know how he is, and where he is. If he is lying sick in a hospital somewhere, I am sure he would not mind some visitors. We would all love to go visit him. Could you please let us know how we can do that?”
Yitzy stopped speaking. He was too tired to talk anymore. Too tired, and too sad.
He had accomplished so much since he last saw Mr. Greenbaum. He just wanted a chance to speak to his old friend and tell him all that had happened. He was sure that just hearing about how well Yitzy had done in the Mishnayos competition would make the old man feel better.
Mr. Blum’s eyes opened wide in amazement as he stared at the boy in front of him. Most of the boys he had ever known would be very excited to receive the kind of gift Mr. Greenbaum had given Yitzy. It seemed strange but wonderful that this little boy, Yitzy Levinson, cared more about lonely old Mr. Greenbaum than he did about winning any prize. Never in his life had he seen anything like it. It was something very special. This was obviously no ordinary boy, and his family was no ordinary family.
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 775)
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