Nowadays it’s a motorbike. Back then it was a fast horse. So this teenage kid pulls up to the shul on his speedy white horse, ties it to a post and swaggers in for a talk with the rabbi. The Big Rabbi. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch. The one they call the Tzemach Tzedek. Just so he can get his parents off his back.

“Hi rabbi! Watzup?” He leans back, hands behind head, right foot up so that his boot wags over his left knee.

That’s okay. The rabbi is cool, too. “Nice horse you got there,” he says.

“Best you can get!” answers the horse kid.


“Meanly fast!”

The rabbi shakes his head. “Too fast is not good.”

“Hey, fast is awesome! I can beat those Cossacks any day. Man, they see this Jewish kid whoosh past them and their teeth are grinding.”

The rabbi still shakes his head. “What if a fast horse gets off track? What if he gets you lost somewhere? A slow horse gets you lost, you’re not so far off. You could still find your way back. If your fast horse get's lost, he’s lost. You’re lost.”

“My horse won’t get lost. He knows I’m boss. He goes where he needs to go.”

“Hey, fast is awesome! I can beat those Cossacks any day.”

“What if he does? What if he figures he just wants to be free? That he doesn’t want a boss?”

Horse kid is squirming around, craning his head to check out the window on his horse. Still there. But ya never know.

“But then,” the Tzemach Tzedek rabbi conceded, “if he can run off and get lost so fast, he can run back home real fast, too.”

Horse kid smiles again. “Yeah, that’s right!”

The rabbi smiles too. Then he leans forward and holds the kid’s hand. His hand is warm and kind. His eyes, too.

“So what about you?” he says.

The kid liked the rabbi. With a little more guidance, he became a super-fast, awesome cool chassid.