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Thought for the Day: Dreams Do Come True

It is certainly a pleasure to spend a day at Disney's Magic Kingdom with one's grandchildren.  I highly recommend it.  There is a greater and even poignant pleasure that I can only recommend to the very young:  Spend a day at Disneyland with your grandparents when you are four years old, then go fifty years later with your own grandchildren.  Not only do you get to experience the unbridled exuberance and enthusiasm vicariously through your grandchildren, but you also get to re-experience your own exuberance and enthusiasm; all in the context of that special love that binds grandchildren and grandparents.

I am not going to tell you about the roller coaster rides that only my granddaughter and I enjoy; that's too obvious.  What I'd like to share, though, is one extraordinary experience that I shared with my 5 year old grandson, whose name means "Life is Glorious!" (cf  ישעיהו כח:ה)

Sundown was at 6:00PM.  I had resigned myself early in the day to davening mincha and ma'ariv without a minyan.  Sometime in the early afternoon, however, my son-in-law told me that another Jew had spotted his yarmulka and told him there was a plan to make a minyan for mincha/ma'ariv at 5:50PM at a certain location in Tomorrowland.  Cool.  About 5:00PM, we were in Fantasyland and started walking in the direction of Tomorrowland to attend our hoped-for minyan.  We stopped on the way for a live show with Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, and several other Disney characters.  The show was called, "Dreams Do Come True".  As is usual with Disney shows at the park, they engaged the children in the audience.  Mickey said dreams come true, Donald said "feh", then Maleficent came to steal all the happiness, Donald did t'shuva... but it still wasn't enough.  Mickey asked everyone to think of their greatest dreams and say, "Dreams do come true!"

Cute.  I looked down at little five year old "Life is Glorious" and saw his little fists clenched, his eyes fixed on Maleficent, and repeating with a kavana rooted in the deepest reassesses of his soul, "Dreams do come true; Dreams Do Come True; DREAMS DO COME TRUE"  (That's increasing intensity and kavana, not volume, btw.)  Of course he was rewarded with fireworks and Maleficent being banished.

Then we hustled to Tomorrowland for our minyan.  We get there at 5:40PM.  By 5:48PM there were eight of us.  I was still on high from seeing the kavanan and emunah of that little five year old.  Ok, yes, I am a sap; I did think "Dreams do come true"... and... we got our minyan.

Do you want to know the real dream come true, though?  I know someone who was raised celebrating Easter, Chanuka, and Christmas.  His family car had both a mezuzah and a St. Christopher medal hanging from the rear-view mirror "to cover our bases" (no mezuzah on the house doors, of course; we weren't superstitious, after all).  Oh yes, and whose religious education was "don't let the government legislate morality".  With all that, he has children and grandchildren who are shomer Torah and Mitzvos.

That's both the dream and experience of our great-great-grand zeidy, the one all geirim call their father: Avraham Avinu.  Dreams do come true.

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