Rav Elya Lopian zt”l once asked Rav Moshe Aharon Stern zt”l to accompany him to mincha on Shabbos afternoon to Yeshivas Chevron. As they walked, they witnessed cars driving down the roads in flagrant violation of Shabbos. Rav Elya, in clear agitation, said to Rav Moshe Aharon, “Woe, a rachmanis on these people, for no one has taught them the severity of the prohibition. Let’s turn back to avoid seeing all this chilul Shabbos.”
Rav Moshe Aharon replied, “We’re already more than halfway to the Yeshiva. Rather than turn back, isn’t it better to just walk quicker and get there faster? We’ll probably encounter less chilul Shabbos this way.” Rav Elya agreed, but emitted a heartbreaking sigh.
Just at that moment, a car pulled up to the two rabbonim and the driver poked his head out the window. “How do I get to Rechov Jaffa?” he asked. Hearing the question, Rav Elya burst into tears. “How can I tell you something that you are forbidden to do – drive on Shabbos? Yet, how can I refuse to answer you and decline a Jew’s request for help?” Rav Elya continued to cry.
The man stopped his car, turned it off and got out. He blurted out, “Rabbi, I never before heard sincere rebuke like this. My mother also observes Shabbos and every week she screams at me for my lack of observance, but never have I seen her cry. I see that you really care for my benefit. Rabbi, I promise you, that from today on I will never again drive on Shabbos.”