Chanukah heroes.

Nearly tautological, that phrase.

Dreidel clutching kids defiantly learning Torah. A beautiful, modest woman bravely infiltrating the enemy camp. Families gathering around the table to secretly celebrate Shabbat, in defiance of Greek laws. Outnumbered Torah scholars confidently taking on huge, powerful armies. One holy woman surrendering each of her seven sons to martyrdom during the Chanukah revolt. Most of Chanukah seems to resonate with heroism.

The sacrifices are truly mind-numbing, definitely extraordinary.

But, the other day, I discovered that heroism lies in the lap of the ordinary, too.

We were talking about Roi. Roi Klein. He had jumped onto a live grenade to save his fellow soldiers.

What a decision.

What character.

What a hero.

Then my mother announced, "Mrs. N called me today about carpool."

I wondered why she was changing the topic from something so venerable to something so mundane.

"She wanted to know if we had our rides arranged to and from school.” she told me.

I thought of the grandeur of his deed.

"Though we technically needed to carpool with someone because we had no morning ride," she continued, "I was still hesitant about committing."

Barely a nanosecond to think, he had yelled out a warning and then "Shema Yisroel" had burst forth from his soul.

She explained, "I really don't like driving; you know that. And carpool? I really hate it. Everybody knows that."

His wife, Sara. His three year old, Gilad. His one year old, Yoav.

"So I was kinda mumbling and then Mrs. N shared the schedule, 'The K's do the mornings, my husband does the older boys and I do the afternoons'. I asked her what she wanted me to do as it seemed all was settled already." my mother related.

It must have been a part of him from forever ago. Such an act has to be nurtured long beforehand.

She said, "So Mrs. N told me that she wasn't calling to ask if I could drive; she knows I don't do carpool. She was calling to offer us a place in the car as there is one empty seat available. She wanted nothing from us; she was only extending an invite for a free ride, twice daily, door to door."

Without time to deliberate, he gave up his life to save that of others.

With much time to deliberate, she gave up her time to save that of others.


Ordinary, extraordinary-they're everywhere.