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Elul at the football stadium

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Yitzchak Moshe was once a rabid fan of Maccabi Haifa. Fifteen years ago he arrived at the football stadium in Kiryat Eliezer and watched three games without paying for tickets. A long time passed, Yitzchak got married, and became a father. Today he works for the Tenuva company.

Recently Yitzchak participated in a Torah class on the subject of robbery and theft, recalled what he had done, and decided to make amends. In the Yediot Achronot newspaper it was reported that Yitzchak called Maccabi Haifa and although they denied his request, he was not deterred. He sent a check for 200 shekels to the team's offices and explained: "This is a big atonement for me. My conscience was tormented. The purpose in my publication of this story is to set an example for our youth that they should not steal." At Maccabi Haifa they thanked Yitzchak and contributed the money to Variety, an Israeli organization that helps children with special needs who come from deprived backgrounds.

Each year during Elul stories like this are published regarding those whose soul searching includes matters that appear to be "too old" or "too minor" to take seriously. In this week''s Torah portion, it is written: "And you will return to the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you this day, you and your children." Teshuva (repentance) is a great, sometimes frightening, word. Yet there are those who manage to break it down into little pieces and make repentance a matter of small, but significant, acts.


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