Yitzchak Moshe was once a rabid fan of Maccabi Haifa. Fifteen years ago, he went to the soccer stadium in Kiryat Eliezer and watched three games without paying for a ticket. 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 theft, recalled what he had done, and decided to make amends. Yediot Achronot reported that Yitzchak called Maccabi Haifa and although it said he need not pay for those three games at this point, he was not deterred. He sent a check for 200 shekels to the team’s offices.
He explained why: “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.”
Maccabi Haifa 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 Yitzchak’s are published about soul-searching that includes matters that appear “too old” or “too minor” to take seriously.
In this week’s parshah, we read, “And you will return to the L-rd, your G-d, 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.”
Teshuvah 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.