Tziporah was driving in Yerushalayim one day, when traffic suddenly came to a halt. There was no way to maneuver out of the situation, and they would have to wait it out. They were stuck. Her young daughters soon became aware of something very upsetting going on outside their car. Two teenage girls were standing right next to their car, and were pointing at Tziporah and her daughters.
It was obvious that they were pointing at the chareidi family, and laughing at them and their way of dress. The family was the unwitting recipients of their scorn.
Tziporah and her daughters were a world apart religiously from the girls who had signaled them out for ridicule. Her young daughters started to cry. “Ima, why are they pointing at us and laughing?” They were still stuck in the same spot, and couldn’t get out. Tziporah was trying to ignore this rude invasion of their privacy, but there was little she could do with the traffic still at a standstill.
In the end, Tziporah decided she had to do something to calm her daughters down. She came to the realization that those inside the car, as well as those outside of it, were stuck. The girl doing the pointing and laughing was stuck in her bad behavior pattern, while encouraging her friend to join in the fun. Meanwhile, Tziporah and her children were stuck in their car, and unable to get out of their upsetting situation.
Tziporah decided to open her window and talk to the instigator, who was smirking at her through the driver’s side.
Tziporah is a very modest, gentle woman, and did not know what words she could use to reach their tormentor. She said a silent prayer to Hashem asking to be guided in using the right words to defuse the situation.
The girl outside the car was ready for a fight. “What are you staring at?” she asked Tziporah. She was full of anger.
Hashem heard Tziporah’s prayer. With faith in Hashem, she opened her mouth, unsure what to say. These are the words that came out.
As it was right before the holiday of Shavuot, she put a smile on her face and said, “I wish you a chag sameach.”
The girl looked down in embarrassment and then wished the family a chag sameach as well.
In the end, though the young daughters had been crying while the verbal abuse was going on, they now saw how the effect a kind word and a smile could change everything.
The traffic finally opened and the cars were able to continue on their way . The family learned a lesson they will remember for a very long time.
Hopefully, so would the two young women.