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Little Chaiml was failing math. His parents tried everything from tutors to hypnosis, but to no avail. Finally, at the insistence of a family friend, they enrolled him in a Catholic school.

After the first day, he walked into his house with a stern, focused and very determined expression on his face - right past his parents, up to his room, and closed the door.

For nearly two hours he toiled over his homework, math books strewn about his desk and the surrounding floor. After a while, he emerged just long enough to eat, went straight back to his room, closed the door and worked feverishly until bedtime. 

This pattern continued; and one day, Chaim brought home his report card, laid it on the dinner table, and continued straight up to his room. Cautiously, his mother opened the report card and, to her amazement, saw a large red 'A' under Math.

Thrilled and overjoyed at Chaiml's remarkable progress, she and her husband rushed into Chaiml's room, hugging and congratulating him, and peppering him with questions.

"Was it the nuns that inspired you?"


"Was it the one-to-one tutoring? The peer-mentoring?"


"The textbooks? The teachers? The curriculum?"

"No," said Chaim.

"Then what was it??!!"

"On the first day of school I saw a man nailed to a plus sign, and I knew I'd better study!"

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לֵב שָׂמֵחַ יֵיטִב גֵּהָה וְרוּחַ נְכֵאָה תְּיַבֶּשׁ־גָּרֶם׃

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine;
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

(Proverbs 17:22)

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