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What would you do with SPAM?
The email asks- 'what would you do'? And the Desk's answer was-
"It'd check it out."
And it did check it out.
It's True! ...sort of...
Except... the SPAM version has been altered
from the story speaker and author Rabbi Paysach Krohn originally
penned. The kid in question was a little Jewish boy who attended
the Chush school for the disabled in New York and his name was
Shaya ("a nice Jewish name") not Shay.
HOWEVER: the school does not appear to have a
website under the Chush name (which is an contraction/abbreviation
of the center's name in Hebrew). It would appear to be the Jewish
Center for Special Education in Brooklyn. Which also does not
appear to have an official website the Desk can find on short
And- Since the story has been floating around
since 2000 or so the SPAM is old enough to go to the school. Sign
And then another question.
Since the core of the story is true, minus
any reference to the Rabi that wrote it and the fact that the boy
is a Jew, why would the SPAM editor add the usual string of guilt
inducing threats to the end of it?
For more information and the original version of the story see: www.innernet.org.il
the Altered Email tearjerker spam follows:
What would you do? You make the choice! Don't look for a punch
line - There isn't one! Read it anyway. The question is: Would you
have made the same choice?
At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves
learning disabled children, the father of one of the students
delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff,
he offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside
influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my
son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot
understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order
of things in my son?" The audience was stilled by the query. The
father continued. "I believe that when a child like Shay,
physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an
opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it
comes, in the way other people treat that child."
Then he told the following story: Shay and his father
had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing
baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?"
Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not
want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also
understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him
a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be
accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field
and asked if Shay could play, not expecting much. The boy looked
around for guidance and a few boys nodded approval, why not? So he
took matters into his own hands and said, "We're losing by six
runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on
our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth
Shay struggled over to the team's bench put on a team
shirt with a broad smile and his Father had a small tear in his
eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his
son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team
scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the
ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field.
Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just
to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as
his father waved to him from the stands.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored
again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential
winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance
to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew
that a hit was all but impossible 'cause Shay didn't even know how
to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing
the other team putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's
life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could
at least be able to make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and
missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the
ball softly towards Shay as the pitch came in, Shay swung at the
ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over, but the pitcher picked up
the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the
first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been
the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right
over the head of the first baseman, out of reach of all team
mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling,
"Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay
ever ran that far but made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and
startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming
and struggling to make it to second base. By the time Shay rounded
towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest
guy on their team, who had a chance to be the hero for his team
for the first time. He could have thrown the ball to the second-
baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions
and he too intentionally threw the ball high and far over the
third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as
the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were
screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay"
Shay reached third base, the opposing shortstop ran
to help him and turned him in the direction of third base, and
shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third"
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams and
those watching were on their feet were screaming, "Shay, run
home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as
the hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his
That day," said the father softly with tears now
rolling down his face, the boys from both teams helped bring a
piece of true love and humanity into this world."
Shay didn't make it to another summer and died that
winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his
Father so happy and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully
embrace her little hero of the day!
NOW A LITTLE FOOTNOTE TO THIS STORY:
We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail
without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages
about life choices, people think twice about sharing. The crude,
vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but
public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our
schools and workplaces.
If you're thinking about forwarding this message,
chances are that you're probably sorting out the people on your
address list that aren't the "appropriate" ones to receive this
type of message. Well, the person who sent you this believes that
we all can make a difference. We all have thousands of
opportunities every single day to help realize the "natural order
of things." So many seemingly trivial interactions between two
people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark
of love and humanity or do we pass up that opportunity to brighten
the day of those with us the least able, and leave the world a
little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats its
least fortunate amongst them.
You now have two choices:
May your day be a Shay Day sunny today always!
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