I tell them I love them, that they are the future of our people – and I challenge them to bring our forefathers to life again, to follow in their footsteps. I assure them that if they do so, everything will fall into place.
I tell them I brought them little pekelach, bags of delicious candy so that they may always remember that even as candy is sweet, the words of Torah are even sweeter. My friends give out the pekelach and something strange occurs. The boys shake their heads. At first we don’t understand but then one of them says they want the pekelach with a berachah.
Think about that. These are boys without parents. (Some of the parents are alive but they cannot care for their children.) In any other society, in any other city, the chances are great that children like these will grow up angry and destructive, a menace to others. But these little boys, though they love candy as much as any other children, are prepared to return their pekelach unless they receive them back with a berachah.
I’m speechless. “Father in Heaven,” I say, “look upon your little children, sons without fathers and mothers, sons who have suffered so much, saying no to candy if it does not come with a berachah.
“Surely, Hashem, in their merit You must give us a berachah even if we as a people are no longer sweet. Make us Your sweet children again and inscribe us for a good, sweet new year.”
Kesivah v’Chasimah Tovah.