Kiddush Hashem happens – even in the New York Times. David Brooks’ appreciation of the Orthodox community will be talked about this Shabbos. So will the heart-wrenching translation of the letter of thanks that Nachman Glauber a”h wrote to his parents on the day of his chasuna. (Nachman was killed earlier this week by a hit-an-run driver, along with his wife, on the way to a prenatal exam.)
The appearance of both pieces was not a random occurrence. Both pieces took savvy people who think about kiddush Hashem proactively, as perhaps we all should. Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik took David Brooks on a tour of Pomegranate in Flatbush, and made sure to provide the proper context and significance to what Brooks observed. The Glauber letter was submitted to the Times, and submitted to a more-than-friendly address there – Joe Berger. Someone in Williamsburg (my guess is R Niederman, who is a pro) understood the potential of scoring a point about what the Torah tells us about kids and hakoras hatov for parents, and knew where in the Times to go with it.
BH we have some people who do more than put out fires of scandal. They understand the ability HKBH has given us in this country to put Him in a good light – and they use it!