Larry Puller was the softest boy at John J. Picken Elementary School. He had always managed to avoid getting into fights.
As he stood at the plate, Larry Puller had two strikes against him. The pitcher stared him down and said: "Puller you punk. Get ready to swing at the air." The third baseman Charlie Watson chimed in: "Yeah, Puller all you can hit is air - Strike out you dirty Jew, you!"
Something snapped in Larry. He threw the bat down and ran out onto the field. With strength he didn't know he had he threw Watson to the ground and pounded him into a bloody mess. Larry was out of control and couldn't stop. He would have seriously injured Watson if his friends hadn't pulled him off.
It was the first time in Larry's life that he had tasted the bitterness of senseless hatred. He had never even thought of himself as "Jewish." Judaism had nothing to do with him; yet something primal was stirred in Larry Puller. He was given a loud wake-up call that day. His life had changed course, but he was unaware of how until he was much older.
Charlie Watson never forgot the humiliation of being beaten so soundly by Larry in front of his friends. From that day on, he declared war against Larry. For the next 6 years, until Larry left for college, Charlie did everything he could to make Larry's life miserable. He spread lies about Larry and tried to get Larry's friends to turn against him. He cursed at him and mocked him publicly. He send out letters filled with lies about Larry to all their neighbors. Charlie Watson swore that he would do everything in his power to get revenge against Larry. He was committed to hurting Larry and other Jewish kids till his last breath. Larry felt overwhelmed. He had no idea of how to help himself.
Dr. and Mrs. Puller were hollow people who had no faith with which to guide their son. Dr. Puller was a professor of Philosophy at a local college, but neither he nor his wife had any knowledge about G-d with which to encourage Larry by showing him how he could turn his troubles around. As Larry's self-esteem spiraled down, his parents took him to one therapist after the next but no one could identify what was really bothering Larry or knew how to sooth his aching soul.
When Larry was a senior in college he was still hiding from himself. He was a painfully shy young man who was an underachiever in every area of his life. He was repulsed by Jewish women but didn't know why and therefore avoided dating them. Larry had still not learned anything from his years of suffering - but that was soon to change.
Larry's life started to make sense to him after he attended a lecture...continue reading here...
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Have a great day, friends!
Dr. Zev Ballen