When she had gone about three blocks from her home she saw an old woman, sitting in the park staring blankly, or so it seemed, as some pigeons. The girl sat down next to her and opened her suitcase.
She was about to take a drink from her root beer when she noticed that the old woman looked hungry, and the girl offered her a cookie. The old woman gratefully accepted it, and smiled at the girl. Her smile was so pleasant that the girl wanted to see it again, so she offered her a root beer. Again, the old woman smiled at her. The girl was delighted! And so it was, they sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, smiling and eating, never saying a word to each other.
As it grew dark, the girl realized how late it was and she got up to leave, but before she had gone more than a few steps, she turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a big hug. In turn, the old woman gave the girl her biggest smile ever. Filled with the warmth of that smile the girl ran home, and a short time later opened the door to her house. Her mother welcomed her home, surprised by the look of joy on the girl's face. She asked, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied, "I had lunch with G!d." And before the mother could respond, she added, "And you know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen."
Meanwhile, the old woman, radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and asked her, "Mom, what did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied, "I ate cookies in the park with G!d." And before her startled son could respond, she added, "And you know what, she's much younger than I expected."
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My late rebbe, R' Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, zt"l, (זכר צדיק לברכה) was a master storyteller. He taught, in the name of Abraham Joshua Heschel zt"l: "a mayse is a story in which the soul surprises the mind". "A Year of Stories" is dedicated to his memory. I invite you to forward the link to these stories so that they find their way into the hearts of other listeners and tellers.
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