The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 7 July 2007 / 21 Tammuz 5767

The Considerate Listener

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
During the time that Rav Eliezer Shach lived in Jerusalem there was an elderly Jew who had arrived from the Soviet Union who made a point of approaching this great sage every Shabbat Eve between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv services. He would relate to him all the local and foreign news of the week.

This totally surprised the other worshippers who were familiar with the tremendous dedication to Torah study that eventually developed Rav Shach into the Torah leader of his generation. When they finally got up the courage to ask him why he did not simply tell this fellow to leave him alone, this was his reply:

"This lonely Jew looks forward an entire week to do what he thinks is a great service to me by sharing all the news he has read. Should I disappoint him by telling him that I am not interested?"

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