If a yeshiva man is sitting on a crowded bus and an elderly priest or nun is standing, should he get up and give them his seat?
I say yes, and I'll tell you why. The mitzvah of kiddush Hashem is a priceless mitzvah, and you're going to get in return a lot of goodwill from the world. When you stand up for somebody who has a good excuse to get your seat, he's elderly, so forget about the fact that he represents avodah zara, he represents errors. Still you do it because you want to uphold the banner of kavod Shamayim. It's a smart thing always.
That's why I always say, if you're in a subway and a panhandler gets on with small glasses and a tin cup, and he's looking through the glasses to see who's a good customer, and nobody does anything, nobody even responds with a penny. You take out one penny, not more, make sure it's a penny, and drop it in the cup with the loudest possible clink, and lean back and bask in the glances of everybody in the car. Everybody is admiring you now, especially if you have a beard, a black hat, or a yarmulke, that penny has earned you a thousand dollars in kavod Shamayim. Don't drop in more than one penny however, unless one cannot make enough noise, then you should do it. Kavod Shamayim is too precious an opportunity to let go by.
I once saw on Church Avenue, there was a panhandler walking by and nobody stopped. A poor little Bais Yaakov girl fourteen years old stopped, she took out her little purse and she dropped something in his cup, it made a very big hit. In the big crowded street, nobody stopped except one little Bais Yaakov girl. Whether she should've done it or not, but it made a kiddush Hashem, and it was worth the money. You should always keep in mind to look for opportunities.
That's why frum Jews should always show that they are patriots. Frum Jews at every occasion should try to do things that will make the world approve of you.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures. To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210