Before taking the bus to Bnai Brak for the very first time, I asked my son where to get off.
“At the Coca-Cola;” he said, “it’s the first stop.”
Sure enough, at the entrance to Bnai Brak on Kahaneman Street, stood a factory and a billboard galvanizing every visitor to this holy city with the majestic image of a larger-than-life Coca-Cola.
I hurried off the bus and noticed the air was gray and not fresh. Look; I belong to the group of believers who think that words of Torah sweeten the air and brighten the sky. The reality made no sense; Bnai Brak is famous for its Torah, right?
Up the street, I saw tens of Torah students walking, plus a fair number of modestly dressed women. Each man held a gemara in one hand and a Coke in the other. Each woman pushed a stroller with one hand and grasped a Coke with the other; small children drank it too [I’m not exaggerating]. Moreover, each and every grocery, pizza shop, you name it, displayed a sign for you-know-what.
And not only that, but also cheder kids and others from all over Israel have been going on school tours of the Coca-Cola Factory.
In Bnai Brak. Okay. I can see why the secular kids have no other place of interest in that city, but can’t the cheder kids visit Rav Shteineman or something?
On 23 Av 5777 – August 14, 2017, Hana Levi Julian reported in The Jewish Press that “The Coca-Cola bridge” collapsed right on top of a truck as it tried to pass beneath, unfortunately trapping and killing the driver. Did anyone else report the incident? I don’t think so. If chas v shalom I was CEO of Coca-Cola, I would suppress that bit of news, along with whatever this addictive product does to people’s teeth, stomachs, and brains.
So what do we learn from this? I opened my Zohar and got this message: evil forces “cling to all entrance ways” to sort of ruin the “seed”. If this is so, why do cheder kids (and other kids from all over Israel) ride a long way on buses just to visit Coca-Cola? Read this paragraph again; it’s self-explanatory.
The Moshiach is bound to show up any day, though, so those forces will have to fritter away. I hope it’s already happening.