Dreaming of Moshiach

Monday, February 04, 2008

Miracle Car

The bungalow colony was eerily empty on this sunny June afternoon. The season had not yet begun, but Nosson Kranz, owner of the Kranz Master Manor bungalow colony, always came down in early June to get everything ready for the grand opening.

"Is anyone here?" he heard someone call.

Startled, Noson walked out of the bungalow where he was working and discovered a distraught-looking couple.

"Can I help you?" he asked.

The man poured out his story. They had been taking their son to camp for the summer, and on the way home their car had begun giving them trouble. They took the car to a nearby mechanic, but the owner - taking advantage of their situation - had claimed that the repairs cost nearly all they money they had. Yet in the end, the car, he insisted, could not be fixed.

The result: they had no car, no money, and no way to get back home. Could Nosson help them in any way?

Nosson was obliging. "No problem. I have an idea." He drove the couple to a nearby junkyard, where he knew cars were available for very little money. The couple picked out a car that costs $250, which Nosson lent them. He also gave them $50 for gas.

They thanked Nosson profusely. "As soon as we get home, we'll send you back the money. We really appreciate your help!"

Both Nosson and his wife were elated at having the opportunity to do this Mitzvah. But as June turned into July, and July into August, he didn't hear anything from the couple - not even a phone call, to explain why the payment had been delayed.

At the end of August, as the summer season was winding down, Nosson was startled to see two cars pull into the bungalow colony - the jalopy from the junkyard, and a new car. The man got out of the jalopy and went over to the other car, which his wife was driving. He got into the passenger seat, and she began to turn the car around.

Nosson ran after them. "Wait a minute! What are you doing? You never paid me back for the car. Why are you leaving it here?"

The man was abrupt. "We didn't like the car." He pointed. "The keys are in the ignition. It's all yours." And they drove off.

Nosson was taken aback. Then he shrugged, and turned to his wife. "Mazel tov. We have another car!" There might not be much life left to it, but he would make the most of it.

On Sunday, Noson decided to take the old Ford Fairlane into the city, a 90-mile drive. He offered a ride to several men who were returning to the city after Shabbos. They wanted to pay him for the ride, but Nosson refused. "Just pay me for the gas," he suggested.

The car pulled into a gas station and Nosson waited for the attendant. "Fill it up, please," he requested. The man unscrewed the cap, inserted the nozzle - and then leaped back. Gas was spurting out of the car, onto his shoes and all over the concrete.

"Your tank is already full, mister!" the man yelled. Startled, Nosson's eyes flew to the gas gauge. Sure enough, it was still on full - despite the ninety-mile drive into the city. Scratching his head in puzzlement, Nosson put the car into gear and drove on.

On the return trip, Nosson again decided to fill the car with gas. His eyes went back to the gas gauge, which still registered full. "It must be broken," he decided, and he pulled into another gas station.

But the scene repeated itself. Once again the gas shot out of the nozzle, into the gas tank and then onto the ground. Nosson couldn't believe it. The car didn't use an ounce of gas!

Nosson soon began to enjoy it. Whenever people asked him for a ride and offered to pay, he always responded by asking them to pay for the gas. And then he watched the looks on their faces when the gas splashed out all over the ground.

The car, Nosson noticed, had a personality all its own. The coil springs in the back seat always sank down toward the ground. His mechanic tried putting in spacers to level the car out, but nothing seemed to work. The mechanic also couldn't figure out how the muffler and exhaust were working - both were completely melted. He kept replacing the car with new exhaust systems, and three times in a row, it melted again.

In all, Nosson drove the car for two straight years, without putting in a bit of gas. By that time, tought, the car had developed other troubles. The body was rusted completely, and Nosson finally had to admit that it was time for it to go. He parked it in the street one last time, waiting for the sanitation department to haul it away.

Just before the tow truck pulled up, one of Nosson's sons came running into the house. "Come look at the car!" he said excitedly. Nosson went outside and stared in disbelief. The car had now leveled out and was completely straight. And the gas gauge - for the first time - registered empty.

Two weeks later, an envelope arrived with a single check inside for $50, payment for the gas money that Nosson had lent the couple. There was no letter - and no explanation.

Reprinted from the book
Visions of Greatness, volume VI
A collection of Inspirational Stories by Rabbi Yosef Weiss




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו