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A Letter from South Africa

My name is Clive Sher and I live in Sandton, Johannesburg - a city of which you now are surely more familiar... I am 19 years old and am studying at university. The reason I am writing is to thank you (on behalf of my mother and I) for your impact made on both our lives this past week...I know that not only my mother and I benefited from you...presence, indeed the whole congregation of Sandton Shul and the whole Jewish community of Johannesburg cannot stop raving and commenting on the positive and inspirational impact you have had on our lives. Thank you. On a more personal note, I would feel honored to share a personal story with you - one that was inspired by listening to your Shabbos shiur on "Tikun Haolam" and reading your book... Motzei Shabbos, I met a couple of my friends for supper. Driving down Rivonia Road I stopped at a red traffic light where stood a young homeless, crippled boy of no more than 10 years old begging... ...I immediately realized the situation: that here I am in this world, I have a roof over my head, I am wearing beautiful clothes, am being educated, own a motor vehicle... the list is endless! And next to my window stands a poor disabled kid who doesn`t have a home, does not have an education, cannot wash himself, hasn`t eaten supper. "Tikun Haolam" flashed through my mind as the only solution. It makes such sense I realized. Without hesitation, I called the young fellow over and gave him some money. What`s more important is that I gave the Tsedakah with a smile, and the satisfaction from the young fellow`s return warm smile amazed me. I never realized that I actually had so much to give a person... ...I now know that with these benefits in my life, I should help spread it and try to bring happiness and satisfaction to other people as well. Coincidentally, later that night,... I found a ten rand note on the floor...I picked it up,...and later gave a portion of it to the charity box. It was only the following morning that I realized the impact of carrying out the mitzvah of Tsedakah and Tikun Haolam. Maybe that ten rand note is a sign of what you so cleverly taught me in your book and shiur: that there is a way for anyone poor or rich to be able to give Tsedakah... From this incident, I am even more intrigued by your teachings. It is often difficult to believe in something infinite. Yet all of your inspiring stories and teachings of the Torah make everything so clear... that all (is) written down in the Torah - "our gift", waiting for us "to unwrap" and learn. Thank you heartedly for making such an impact on my life. Love From Clive Sher