Monday, August 15, 2005

A telling story...

By the grace of G-d
Shalom uBrocha!

(Rav Zilber laying teffilin on a student)
While writing the previous article dedicated to the yortzait of Rav Zilber I have discovered this story I'd like to share with you.

A native of Kazan, Russia, Rav Zilber was born just before the Russian Revolution in 1917, but was discreetly taught Torah by his revered father and not only completed Shas several times during his years in Russia, but also taught Torah to many others. During World War II, he was imprisoned in Stalin’s gulag where, yet hemanaged to remain Shomer Shabbos despite the inhumane conditions. He later had to flee from the KGB, which wanted to arrest him for his Torah activities in Russia. In 1972, he emigrated to Israel. As he walked off the airplane on his arrival in Israel and embraced the custom agent.

Chavivi! My dear one! shouted Rabbi Zilber as he gave the man a bear-hug embrace. It is so wonderful to be here and talk to a Jew like a Jew! The man offered a polite smile and a pleasant Shalom.

Please tell me, pleaded Rabbi Zilber with an intensity that seemed to announce a question whose answer would solve all the problems facing Jews for the millennia. For years I am struggling with this problem. Please tell me, how did you understand the K’tzos haChoshen on the sugya of Areiv? (The K’tzos haChoshen is a classical commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat, Code of Jewish Law.)

Ma zeh K’tzos haChoshen. (What is a K’tzos haChoshen)? came the reply.

Rav Zilber was puzzled. He tried another query. Maybe you can explain how you understood the Mishne in (tractate) Uktzin in the last chapter.

Mishne? Uktzin? K’tzos? What are you talking about?

Rav Zilber, recalling the difficulties he had trying to teach and study Torah in Russia was mortified. In honest shock, he asked the man. How is this possible? You mean to tell me that you live here in Israel and have the ability to learn Torah. And you don’t know what the Ktzos is? You never heard of Mishne Uktzin?

Rav Zilber began to cry.

They say that the customs agent was so moved by Rabbi Zilber’s simple sincerity, that he began to study Torah.

(Story found in the archives of Project Genesis web site )
(Among many lessons one can learn from it is that a person shouldn't be constantly afraid that his words explaining various Torah concepts will be rejected by the audience for - words that come from the heart enter the heart take root bear fruit and lead to action...
This especialy aplies to bochurim doing Mivtzoim ...)

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