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NO. 09367 


Isaac Leib Peretz 







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Translated and Edited 




New York:, 1947 

First printing: 2,000 copies 
Second printing: 3,000 copies 

Copyright, 1947, by the Yiddish Scientific Institute — ^Yivo 
Printed in the United States of America 

The selections of the present volume were chosen 
by a Yivo committee of Samuel Charney, Sol Liptzin, 
and Max Weinreich, from the tales and essays of 
Y. L. Peretz on the basis of artistic value and time- 
liness. The dramas and poems of Peretz may be 
presented in a later volume of the Yivo Bilingual 

The views expressed by the editor of this volume 
in his introductions are, of course, his own and not 
necessarily those of Yivo. 













Introduction .... 


Seven Years of Plenty 


The Magician .... 


The Treasure ..... 


An Idyllic Home .... 


Miracles on the Sea 




If Not Higher 

Three Gifts 

Beside the Dying 

Thou Shall Not Covet! 


Migrations of a Melody 

Four Generations — Four Wills 



Hope and Fear 

A Trip into the Future 

On History 

Poets, Books, and Readers 


Our Platform 

Advice to the Estranged 

Escaping Jewishness 



1852 Yitschok Leibush Peretz, born on May eighteenth at Zamosc, 

1855 Enters Hebrew School at age of three. Main subject of study: 
the Bible. 

1858 Begins Talmudic Studies at age of six. 

1870 Is married off by his parents, at eighteen, in accordance with Jew- 
ish tradition; divorces his wife five years later. 

1877 Begins the practice of law in his native town of Zamosc. Meets 
with success in this profession. 

1878 Marries Helena, the wife of his own choice. 

1887 Is forced to abandon the practice of law. 

1888 Enters upon his productive literary career in Yiddish. 

1890 Settles in Warsaw. Is employed for the next quarter of a century 
by the Jewish Communal Bureau in a subordinate position. Active 
in Jewish affairs. 

1894 Begins the writing of Hassidic Tales. 

1899 Imprisoned for three months because of his participation in an 
illegal workers* meeting. 

1902-4 Writes his Popular Tales, 

1906-1908 Most active period as dramatist. 

1908 Participates in the Czernowitz Conference of Yiddish writers and 
scholars. This conference stimulates literary productivity and 
scholarship in Yiddish. Begins publication of his Complete Works 
in ten volumes. 

1914 First World War. Active in caring for Jewish refugees in Warsaw. 

1915 Dies on April 3. One hundred thousand mourners at his funeral. 
Eastern Jewry everywhere pays tribute to its poet-laureate. 

1945 Second World War ends. Thirty years after his death, Yiddish- 
speaking Jews in both hemispheres honor their ablest interpreter 
by proclaiming a Peretz year. 


Jewish history, the continuous record of Jewish experience, 
is measured not in centuries but in millennia. It is not re- 
stricted to any single territory but covers the civilized globe. 
Lands in which Jewish life flourishes in one era may be de- 
nuded of Jewish activity during a later era. It is, therefore, 
more fruitful to classify Jewish historic experiences according to 
the various main centers rather than according to the purely tem- 
poral divisions of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, which are so 
useful in recording the experiences of Occidental peoples. Thus, 
we can differentiate a Palestinian, a Hellenistic, a Babylonian, ia 
Spanish, and an Eastern European cycle. The duration of a single 
cycle may be as long as the entire history of some more populous 
and temporarily more mighty nations. 

The Second World War marks a definite turning point in 
Jewish history. It marks the end of the Eastern European era 
and the beginning of the American era. At the dawn of our cen- 
tury Eastern Europe, between the Elbe and the Dnieper, contained 
more than half of Jewry. By 1945, however, when the Second 
World War came to a close. Eastern Jewry lay prostrate and deci- 
mated. But despite the slaughter of six million men, women, and 
children. Hitler's supreme effort at annihilation of the Jews as a 
significant group on the world scene failed. He merely suc- 
ceeded in definitely shifting the center of Jewish cultural life, 
even as Pharaoh and Nebukadnezar had done before him. To- 
day America, which contains half of the world's Jews, has 
apparently taken over the leadership that Eastern Europe is 
too feeble to retain. America has become the present focal point 
of Jewish history. Tomorrow it may again be Palestine, the 
cradle of the Jewish nation, and in centuries-to-come it may be 
some other land hardly envisaged by twentieth-century eyes. 
American Jews can find the key to an understanding of them- 
selves in the realization that they are now the main heirs of the 
Jewish cultural tradition, which does indeed go back to Biblical 

12 Y. L. PEREfZ 

and even pre-historic times but that, in the more immediate past, 
was shaped, distorted, modified, and developed by unforgettable 
experiences of half a thousand years in Eastern Europe. An Amer- 
ican Jew can learn a great deal about his own reactions to life's 
problems and even to specific American problems by studying this 
seemingly remote civilization. 

Y. L. Peretz is the supreme literary artist of Eastern Jewry. 
From his masterpieces perhaps more than from the cold chronicles 
of objective historians, one can gain insight into the moods, 
morals, and folkways of this colorful cultural epoch and into pat- 
terns of behavior from which most American Jews are removed 
by a generation or two or three. 

Peretz, who was born in 1852 at Zamo^c (pronounced Za- 
moshch) in Poland and died in 1915 at Warsaw, experienced 
all the ferment and restlessness that swept Jewish life from the 
mid-nineteenth century until the First World War. He was 
reared in the orthodox religious tradition that had persisted 
with but slight changes since the Middle Ages. Early in life, 
however, he ate of the sweet and somewhat poisonous fruit 
of the Enlightenment or Haskala. Nor did the heady wine 
of Jewish Romanticism or Hassidism pass him by without leav- 
ing profound imprints upon his personality. He participated in 
the rejuvenation of Hebrew and led the movement for the 
elevation and purification of the Yiddish tongue. He was part 
of the cultural revival in the lands of the diaspora, but there 
also penetrated to him the call of the Lovers of Zion. 

Peretz belonged to a generation that was no longer satisfied 
to continue in the unchanging ways of its fathers or to pay lip 
service to religious observances and ancient rituals which to them 
appeared as a moat of stagnant waters separating the walled 
Jewish fortress from the wide world beyond. The talented critical 
youth of his generation experienced parental authority as tyranny 
and the cramped Jewish life with its many taboos and restrictions 
as a prison from which it yearned to break loose. Beyond the 
prison and the fortress-moat lay Utopia and the vast open spaces 
through which streamed the invigorating cultural currents of 
humanity-at-large. Idealistic youth stole forth furtively from semi- 
Asiatic villages or sallied forth boldly from the larger Jewish 
centers, hungry for foreign knowledge, athirst for alien panaceas, 
aflame with longing for unknown freedom and equality, zealous 

Y. L. Pbrbtz 13 

for comradeship with the good, the beautiful, and the true. For 
the sake of a cause greater even than the Jewish cause, for the 
sake of mankind as a whole, the larger entity envisaged in in- 
toxicating dreams, this youth, unwise in the ways of the world, 
became estranged from their own people and divorced from the 
God of their fathers. 

Their hunger was not sated, their thirst was not stilled, their 
longing was not appeased, their zeal was not rewarded with ful- 
filment. Utopia proved to be a delusion, a fata morgana. The 
dreamers of the ghetto were not greeted by the outside world with 
a brotherly kiss. No arms were outstretched to receive them. No 
invitations were extended to them to participate in a feast of 
peoples, in a brotherhood of nations. 

For a time these idealists continued to stammer pleas for 
acceptance within the foreign orbit. They placed their trust in 
socialistic and revolutionary parties, in the promises of liberal 
ministers, and in the allied stnving of nationalities, such as the 
Poles, who were also being oppressed by an autocratic govern- 
ment. But, whatever faint hopes assimilated Jewish youth enter- 
tained ultimately petered out. Political parties misused their serv- 
ices, ministers proved faithless, other nationalities resisted their 
sincere overtures. Then they fell into an abyss of gloom and wal- 
lowed in despair. From this nihilistic mood, they often emerged 
in a penitent frame of mind, angry against the foreign seducers 
and false Messiahs, preferring the ossified Jewish folkways they 
had abandoned and the petrified rituals they had despised, home- 
sick for the God of their childhood, for the synagogue and the 
ancient liturgy, for the intimate joyous ceremonies of Purim and 
Passover, and the awesome spirit of the Shofar season and Atone- 
ment Day. 

Peretz knew this youth well and he often described their 
malady of estrangement and return. It was to some degree 
his own malady, from which he had quickly recovered with 
strength unspent, better able to assume intellectual leadership of 
his people and to battle for their integration as a vital organ in the 

From the age of three, Peretz too had been stifled by 
the close, stale atmosphere of the old fashioned Talmudic 
schools. At the age of fifteen, however, he was given a key 
to the library of a Jewish scholar in his native town. This 

14 Y. L. Peretz 

library contained scientific, literary, historical, and miscellaneous 
knowledge in foreign tongues. Peretz fell upon this material, 
which was not readily accessible to him otherwise. He taught 
himself the foreign languages and devoured the unfamiliar books 
as though they contained manna from heaven. Secular education 
fascinated him more than did his religious studies. At twenty-five 
he completed the study of Russian jurisprudence and was 
admitted to the practice of law in his native town. Yitschok 
Leibush Peretz even became for a brief period Leon Peretz, in- 
tensely interested in Russia's problems and Poland's soul. 

But his own roots in Jewish soil had been sunk too deeply. He 
recognized the bitter taste of the alien manna before it had poi- 
soned him. He sensed his own homelessness when too far removed 
from his people's weal and woe. Hence his solicitude for the 
estranged Jews who sought to find their way back to their origins. 
He correctly evaluated the importance of their fresh and chastened 
viewpoint, he welcomed them back whole-heartedly, he encouraged 
their participation in Jewish communal activities, he even pleaded 
with the vacillating intellectuals to tend their own native vine- 
yards; but at the same time he admonished them not to offend 
by an attitude of superiority and not to bring in alien ideologies 
as contraband. 

Jewishness was for Peretz not a morass or swamp but rather 
a well of living waters. It was not static or congealed but dynamic 
and evolutionary. He did not ask for strict adherence to the letter 
of the law as laid down at Mt. Sinai, since this tended to arrest 
normal healthy Jewish growth and progress. Biblical Judaism 
was, in his eyes, the base but not the apex of the Jewish pyra- 
mid. He felt that no spot on earth, no moment in time, and 
no particular social class had an exclusive monopoly of Jewish- 
ness, but that everywhere, at all times, and amongst all sectors 
of the people, Jewishness was being lived and the Jewish spirit 
was sprouting, blossoming, and bearing fruit. No matter what 
language a Jew spoke, the intimate Yiddish, the sacred Hebrew, 
or even the more recently acquired tongues such as English, Ger- 
man, or Polish; no matter what ideas he propounded, radical or 
orthodox, revolutionary or conservative, his eloquence was Jewish 
eloquence, his wit was Jewish wit, his sensitiveness to his environ- 
ment Jewish sensitiveness, and his reactions to eternal problems 
Jewish reactions. 

Y. L. Perbtz 15 

Peretz was impressed by the inexhaustible energy of the Jew- 
ish people, their tremendous vitality that enabled them and still 
enables them to survive cruel, Gripping blows and ever anew to 
raise their head high up to heaven, to their God. 

Peretz's analysis of the Jewish scene at the dawn of our cen- 
tury does not read like a record of the past but like a description 
of Jewish life in our mid-century decade. In our day, even more 
than in his, Jews are ceaselessly on the move to the snows of 
Siberian forests, to the burning deserts of Africa, to the feverish 
swamps of Latin America, to the remotest corners of the habitable 
globe. They knock at all gates begging entry and are everywhere 
unwelcome, or else admitted reluctantly in driblets, and under 
heartbreaking conditions. They are driven from the European 
continent, which they have so long fertilized with their brains 
and blood and bedewed with their sweat and tears. They are 
expelled from lands in which they lived long before the present 
boastful nations arose and to which they contributed more than 
a proportionate share in the various fields of science, art, morality, 
and industry. 

After every war new boundaries are drawn and new political 
divisions arise. Each upstart nation demands of its Jewish inhab- 
itants new allegiance and new patriotism. Each little state, though 
it live but by the grace of mightier states, still insists on its 
sovereign right to expel its Jewish minority or to deprive them of 
all forms of cultural expression. Each people has its own streams 
and lakes, that flow beneath its own star-studded sky, and each 
people points with pride to its own mountains, fields, and forests 
that whisper to it intimate melodies of long ago and invite to 
dreams of coming greatness. The Jews alone are everywhere and 
yet nowhere; they skirt all streams, lakes, mountains, fields, and 
forests, but are left with nothing, nothing — save an unquenchable 
longing for one little spot, a bit of sandy earth through which 
flows the fabled Jordan. "A scattered and dispersed people, a wan- 
dering people, who seek work everywhere in order to eat, who 
eat from all ovens or hunger in all wildernesses, who cover every 
spot on earth with their sweat and blood — this world-people can 
never forget the land where their historic cradle stood. Their heart 
longs for this home. Their soul yearns to get there. Their prayers 
daily repeat the cry: Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Their main studies are 
the laws of Zion. Their daydreams: visions of Palestine. Their 

16 Y. L. Perbtz 

pride: the priests and prophets of old, the kings of the House of 
David. Their love: Rachel, beloved of Jacob. They never say: 
fatherland; they always say: Land of our Fathers, Land of Israel, 
Holy Land. There do they seek their youth, their purity, their 
holiness. If a Jew has gone through life's vicissitudes and has 
accumulated sufficient security for his old age and has provided 
well for his children, he does not sit down to rest and to sing 
God's praises. No, there is one longing still unsatisfied, one desire 
still burning within him: to end his days in the Holy Land." 

Despite the primacy that Jews accord to Palestine, Peretz did 
not believe that all energies should be concentrated in this one 
direction. He held that there were battles for self-preservation 
and for self-expression to be fought by Jews in all other lands 
where they formed a substantial minority. He did not conceive 
of the modern state as a Moloch on whose altar minority groups 
must sacrifice their national individualities. He rather held that, 
just as clans, tribes, and nations were originally formed in order 
to protect the weaker families against the inroads and machina- 
tions of the stronger families, so too did the larger political units, 
known as sovereign states, find their raison-d etre in the protec- 
tion which they afforded the national minorities against the en- 
croachment of the aggressive majority population. If states were 
faithless to their trust, then the Jews need not yield to despair. 
They must, in such event, withdraw into their own inner fortress 
and develop for themselves their own cultural institutions, until 
the better day dawned when they could be integrated as a group 
into the larger cultural continents. 

Peretz believed that such a day must inevitably come, but he 
did not expect it in the near future. The immediate outlook was 
not promising and he did not delude himself or his fellow-Jews 
by minimizing the hard road ahead. His messianic visions were 
indeed dazzling and breath-taking, but they were visions of the 
Golden Age at the end of time and not to be realized by his own 

Peretz told his generation that theirs was a world to whom 
the redeemer had not yet come, a world of sin and suffering, a 
world in which God's word was not supreme and in which justice 
did not prevail. God's people, the guardian of justice, must bide 
their time. They must not compromise with injustice even though 
assailed on all sides. They must not abdicate, even though cut 

Y. L. Pbretz 17 

off from food and drink. At the same time, they must not wait 
for equal rights to be brought to them by others on a silver 
platter or for a magnanimous act of liberation by pitying out- 
siders. "A universal, inter-group cannibalism has gripped the 
world and in this cruel war you will not awaken any sense of 
justice or conscience." 

Peretz saw no difference between the actions of modern states 
and those of medieval monarchs, save that the latter were more 
frank in their brutality toward the Jewish minority while the 
former cloaked their intentions in revolting hypocritical phrase- 
ology. When a medieval ruler needed money, he opened the gates 
of his country to Jews, and because of this gracious privilege he 
demanded that the Jews love him and his land and kiss the soil 
that gave them refuge. Hardly did the Jews bow to the ground, 
kiss the soil, and come to love their adopted land, when the 
monarch felt the need of more money, ever more money, until 
the guests were plundered to the last farthing, and then they were 
expelled as useless beggars. The modern European states did not 
behave any differently towards their patriotic and super-patriotic 
Jews. Most of these states participated in the plundering of Jewish 
possessions and then discovered that the Jews as an impoverished 
group were no longer an asset. 

Peretz believed in Jewish self-emancipation in the diaspora. 
His most venomous darts were directed against those Jews who 
placed their hope for the salvation of the Jewish people upon 
liberal Christian forces and upon democratic and socialistic parties. 
The first demand of these forces and parties was that Jews give 
up Jewishness, disown all specific Jewish interests, deny their 
brotherhood with their fellow- Jews in other countries, and cast 
aside three thousand years of Jewish culture. In return, Jews 
would be permitted to pay the bloody costs of liberating other 
peoples and allowed to pull the chestnuts out of the fire with 
bare hands, so that others might enjoy a meal. 

Peretz warned Jews not to be misled by the rosy promises of 
politicians, who were most eloquent when in opposition to a 
government and bore no responsibility for official acts and pol- 
icies. Experience taught that, the moment these politicians came 
to power, they proved incapable of healing the severe Jewish 
wounds with mere phrases and found it inconvenient to go beyond 
words. He asked Jews to face the bitter truth that, though they 

18 Y. L. Pbrbtz 

were the first to preach justice, they themselves would be the last 
to receive it, and that, though they fought in the vanguard of all 
movements for the salvation of the conmion people, they them- 
selves would be the last to attain salvation. 

When the Russian Revolution of 1905 roused the enthusiasm 
of Jews everywhere, Peretz called attention to the pogroms that 
accompanied it, Peretz's essay '*Hope and Fear" formulated his 
position. He welcomed the destruction of the old order, but he did 
not expect Utopia to result from any new revolutionary regime. 
In another essay, entitled 'The Day," he spoke out even more 

''My people have been chosen for shame and scorn, wounds 
and suflFering, beatings and pain. But thereby, they are driven to 
the outermost bounds of human justice, to the last milepost on the 
road to human freedom, to the final victory over physical power 
and physical oppression. The so-called majority, on the other 
hand, in whose name you speak and which you want to make 
happy, is only another of the many forms of oppression. My peo- 
ple's brow has been branded with the mark of Cain and thereby 
my people are cursed to wander eternally, cursed but also blessed. 
In the hands of the Jew, the reddest of all flags has been placed 
forcibly and he has been told: 'Go, go on and on, with all liber- 
ators, with all fighters for a better tomorrow, with all destroyers 
of Sodoms. But never may you rest with them. The earth will 
burn under your feet. Pay everywhere the bloodiest costs of the 
process of liberation, but be unnamed in all emancipation procla- 
mations, or be rarely or scarcely mentioned. Go and bleed further! 
You are the weakest and the least of the nations and you will 
be the last for redemption. As long as a single stone of the old 
walls is left standing, it will rest on your shoulder and weigh you 
down. As long as blood is shed anywhere or a will suppressed or 
a wing clipped, it will be your blood, your will, your wing. You 
will be the last to be freed, on the day when man will rise above 
the earthly, all-too-earthly, when human worms will be trans- 
formed into human eagles.' Don't be so proud of your red flag, 
revolutionists, it is but a weak reflection of the bloody fla/> 
in the hands of the Chosen People — of the people, cursed and 
blessed to be the last of the redeemed, to be the eternally bleed- 
ing, highest soaring expression of the divine in life. I go with 
my people. My soul is inflamed by the glory of their flag and I cry 

Y. L. Perbtz 19 

out: Jews of ail lands and states, unite! Long and dangerous is 
the road. Close ranks!'" 

Peretz was the tribune of the Jewish people, the voice of their 
conscience, the spokesman for their masses. The hundred thousand 
Jews that marched in silence through the streets of Warsaw in 
1915 to pay final tribute to him on the day of his funeral were 
but a small fraction of the millions he influenced and inspired 
throughout the past half century. He spoke the language of the 
common man and he expressed the pain, idealism, and messianic 
hope, that was lodged in the Jewish heart. He once related the 
following Greek story and it is his own story: 

When Sparta was besieged and the situation within the town 
became critical, a call for help went out to Athens. The Athenians 
responded by sending a single hunchbacked person. Sparta gnashed 
its teeth in anger. But this unwarlike person was the poet Pindar. 
He took up his position in the market-square and sang a martial 
song that lent strength to all enfeebled hands and roused all 
faltering hearts to renewed deeds of valor. The foe was repelled 
and victory won. 

Peretz was the Jewish Pindar. He revived faltering Jewish 
hearts and strengthened enfeebled Jewish hands. The spirit he 
called into being grew and flourished until it attained the height 
of heroism a generation later in the Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto, 
when the naked hands of Jewish men, women, and children went 
into action against the tanks and cannons of Nazi hordes. The 
Jewish heroes and heroines who manned Warsaw's ghetto walls 
went down fighting for a more moral world, even as did their 
ancestors who manned Jerusalem's walls nineteen centuries ago. 
Their spirit is in the pages of Peretz. It is an indominable spirit. 
It is as good a heritage as any that could have been bequeathed 
by the Jews of Eastern Europe to their heirs and kinsmen on 
America's soil. 



Themes of literature and folklore wander from land to land 
and from century to century. In the course of their wandering, 
they are modified by each generation in accordance with its ex- 
periences and by each people in accordance with their traditional 
ways of thinking and feeling. A study of the changes in plot- 
structure, character delineation, thought-content, mood or at- 
mosphere, effected in a particular theme by a particular version 
yields insight into the soul not only of the individual writer but 
also of the people whom he mirrors and the age to which he 
speaks. The more universal the theme and the more gifted the 
writer, the more fruitful are the results of such a comparative 

One of the finest and least known masterpieces of Peretz is 
the long narrative SelfSacrifice. From the viewpoint of compara- 
tive literature, it is the Yiddish version of the Tannhauser theme 
and the Alcestis theme in a most original combination. It de- 
serves detailed analysis. 

Tannhauser was a German minstrel of the thirteenth century 
who led an adventurous life and who became the subject of a 
strange legend immediately after his death. This legend is rooted 
in medieval troubadour lore and is the expression of the Christian 
ideal of asceticism and the Christian negation of this earthly vale 
of tears. Italian chapbooks of the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies reveal to us various stages of the growing legend. A Ger- 
man folksong of the sixteenth century shows the story full-grown 
and contains the basic structure which Is followed by the later 
versions. During the Victorian Age, the Tannhauser legend ex- 
perienced its most popular revival. English poets, such as Richard 
Monckton Mllnes, William Morris, Algernon Charles Swinburne, 
and John Davidson, seized upon this theme as a vehicle to voice 
the re-awakened Interest In the conflict between paganism and 
Christianity. German poets, such as Achim von Arnim, Clemens 
Brentano, and Heinrich Heine, popularized the legend among 

24 Introduction 

their countrymen. It is Richard Wagner^s dramatic and musical 
version, however, which has been most influential and has had 
the greatest vogue throughout the Christian world for the past 

A comparison between the interpretation of Wagner, the 
literary representative of the Christian Occident, and that of 
Peretz, the literary exponent of Eastern Jewry, can therefore serve 
to focus attention upon several fundamental differences between 
the two cultures. 

Wagner*s Tannhauser is a knightly Minnesinger who is torn 
between his love for the saintly Elizabeth and the beautiful she- 
devil Venus. Unable to resist the lure of the flesh, he descends 
to the Venusberg and spends passionate years in the fascinating 
mountain grotto of the heathen goddess. Ultimately, however, 
sense-life begins to cloy upon him. All the wiles of Venus and 
all the charms of her Amorettes are unable wholly to stifle the 
souFs cry for salvation from the bondage of the flesh and the 
souFs longing for the heavenly realm of the Virgin Mary. Wrest- 
ing himself loose from the arms and lips of the infernal deity, 
Tannhauser returns to his former haunts and is welcomed by the 
saintly Elizabeth and the Landgrave of Thuringia. At a singing 
festival, arranged by the Landgrave at the Wartburg, the Minne- 
singers of the realm are called upon to sing love's praises. While 
all the contestants sing of heavenly love, the desire of the soul 
for the unattainable, Tannhauser interrupts with hymns to Venus 
and the intoxicating love that sets all the senses aglow. Horrified 
by this minstreFs impulsive revelation of his sojourn at the court 
of Venus, the Landgrave banishes him from Thuringia and from 
all association with the pure angelic Elizabeth. Tannhauser, be- 
coming aware of the enormity of his crime, is advised to betake 
himself as a pilgrim to Rome and to confess his sins to the Pope. 
He is to accept whatever penance the Holy Father decrees for 
him, since no form of atonement can be deemed too severe when 
the soul's salvation is at stake. Tannhauser dons a pilgrim's robe 
and, staff in hand, he wanders on to Rome. There he confesses 
his great sin but the Pope refuses him absolution. Pointing to the 
withered staff, he tells the pilgrim that there was just as little 
likelihood of the penitent escaping eternal damnation for his 
enormous crime as there was of the staff again bearing green 
leaves and again bursting into bloom. Realizing the hopelessness 

Introduction 25 

of ever obtaining salvation, Tannh'auser makes his way back to 
the mountain of Venus, so that he may at least experience 
hellish joys at the side of his demonic paramour, since heavenly 
joys are eternally closed to him. His despair is premature, how- 
ever, for, in God's eyes, no sinner is beyond redemption. The 
penitent, whom even the Pope dared not pardon, is forgiven by 
God. A miracle takes place. The withered staff bursts into blossom 
and bears green leaves. The intercession of the holy Elizabeth at 
the gates of heaven saves Tannhauser just as he is about to pass 
through the portals of the Venusberg. He breathes his last, puri- 
fied of sinful longing. 

To a Jewish narrator writing for a Jewish audience, this 
entire problem, the conflict between asceticism or heavenly love 
and Venus or earthly love was largely devoid of meaning. Jewish 
men were generally married off by their parents at the age of 
eighteen and women even earlier. No matter how tragic their 
fate, Jews did not look upon this earth as a vale of tears and 
did not accept asceticism as a desirable goal towards which human 
beings should strive. Hence the erotic themes and sex problems 
that form the main content of Occidental literatures were reduced 
to a more subordinate role in Jewish literature. Until the dawn 
of our own century less emphasis was placed on the hunger for 
love, the desire of the flesh, the battle against the sex instinct. 
Greater emphasis was placed on the hunger for knowledge, the 
desire for learning, the urge to fathom God's ways with man. 
The ideal was a life devoted to Torah. By Torah, in the widest 
sense, the Jew meant not merely, and not primarily, the five books 
of Moses but the entire literature dealing with divine lore, espe- 
cially the inexhaustible treasures of the Talmud and its com- 
mentaries. A lifetime of study was inadequate to master the 
accumulated wisdom of centuries upon centuries, the brooding of 
the best Jewish minds on eternal problems. Torah did not con- 
sist of volumes to be read but of ideas and generalizations to be 
analyzed, dissected, interpreted, and debated in oral disputations 
with oneself and with others. 

The conflict of Tannhauser between Venus and the Virgin 
Mary, between physical lust and spiritual adoration, is therefore 
transmuted in Jewish literature into a conflict between Torah for 
the sake of gain and Torah for its own sake, between learning 
with a utilitarian aim and learning with no motive other than 


better to comprehend God's world and to justify God's acts. 
Hananya, the Jewish Tannhauser, is placed by Peretz in the midst 
of this conflict. He strays from the path of true learning, he 
succumbs to the temptation of showing oflE his knowledge, he 
delights in refuting and confounding other scholars. His knowl- 
edge is essentially negative and hence sinful. He pierces the Torah 
with verbal spears and swords and spreads ruin and havoc every- 
where. At a wedding feast, paralleling the Wartburg festival, the 
Jewish Tannhauser displays his sophistry and tricks of argu- 
mentation in a most devilishly skillful fashion and is cursed by 
the headmaster of Jerusalem's School of Learning, who tells him: 
"Hananya, you can ruin an entire world. It is better that you 
forget your learning!" That very moment something snapped in 
Hananya's brain, he forgot every word of Torah he had ever 
learned. To live in spiritual darkness without the light of Torah 
is for a Jew equivalent to damnation and hellish torture. No 
penance is too severe, if it can gain for a person readmittance 
into the realm of the learned. 

But whence is salvation to come? Hananya wanders forth 
into exile, garbed in linen rags, with a hempen rope about 
his loins, and a pilgrim's staff in his hand. There is as little 
likelihood of his soul bursting into blossom and recollecting 
Torah as there is of his staff blooming again and bearing 
green leaves. Hananya roams about in the desert, pondering 
mournfully on his young years that are to pass away without 
a ray for his darkened mind. Exhausted, he falls asleep and 
in a dream he is told to go to the good-hearted Reb Hiya 
of Safed's School of Learning and to make a full confession of 
his sin. There Hananya will find atonement, the staflF will bloom 
again, and he will be spiritually reborn. Elijah the Prophet, a 
power in heaven no less efficacious than the saintly Elizabeth, has 
interceded for him. 

The Tannhauser-version lets the Minnesinger die immediately 
after his redemption from sin, so that he might enter into heaven 
as a purified soul, unsullied by further earthly contacts and 
temptations. An early death is also foretold for Hananya and yet, 
were this destiny fulfilled, the whole tale would not be meaning- 
ful from the viewpoint of Jewish tradition. The Christian's striv- 
ing is to escape this world and its bonds. The greatest reward for 
the penitent is to be received, purged of sin, in the realm beyond 

Introduction 27 

death. The Jew, however, strives for knowledge in this world, 
so that he may live more fully here and now. Knowledge ob- 
tained on the brink of death is for him less useful than knowledge 
which he can apply to increase his own happiness and to gladden 
all living creatures. Hananya must, therefore, be redeemed from 
ignorance and spiritual night, but not at the cost of death. A way 
must be found to annul or to circumvent even a decree of fate, 
immutable though it may seem to be. 

The most famous example of the successful snatching of a 
human being from the realm of death, despite a decree of fate, 
was the story of Alcestis and Admetus, an ancient legend given 
its best classical interpretation by Euripides and persisting in folk- 
lore throughout medieval and modern times. In Peretz's use of 
this legend, the Jewish stamp is as unmistakable as is the Greek 
view of life in the ancient adaptation or the medieval Christian 
approach in Hartmann von Aue's version of the twelfth century 
or modern psychological motivation in Robert Browning's ren- 
dering during the past century. 

The legend of the Euripidean Age is as follows: 

In ancient days King Admetus ruled happily over a 
prosperous land and was married to a devoted wife, Alcestis. 
But a cruel fate decreed for him an early death. Only 
one way remained for him to avert the fulfilment of the destiny: 
if he could get someone else to die in his place. None of his loyal 
subjects and not even his aged parents were willing to forego 
the most precious gift of life. Alcestis made the supreme sacrifice, 
however, and for her husband's sake she descended into the 
shadowy realm of Hades. Her unselfishness was rewarded and 
she was returned to life and to her husband. 

The medieval form of this legend, best recorded in the version 
of Hartmann von Aue and more recently in those of Henry Wads- 
worth Longfellow and Gerhart Hauptmann, has the following 

Once upon a time there was a Crusader Heinrich von Aue 
who was stricken by leprosy while at the height of his fame and 
happiness. He became an outcast, doomed to an early horrible 
death. Onlv one possibility for a cure was made known to him: 
if he could bathe in the blood of a virgin who sacrificed herself 

28 Introduction 

for him of her own free will. None of the highborn ladies could 
be expected to forego life for his sake. A peasant girl, however, 
was ready to perish for his sake. At first he agreed to accept 
her offer but at the last moment it dawned upon him that 
a girl who behaved thus was a more valuable personality than he 
himself, and he refused to let her go through with the ordeal. 
This purification of his soul of selfishness and worldliness effected 
also a purification of his body and he emerged from the experience 
with renewed health and greater happiness. 

The Yiddish form of the legend in the version of Peretz is 
as follows: 

Hananya, the penitent pilgrim, is to be permitted to expiate 
his sin. He is to marry a good wife and is to die on the eighth 
day after the wedding. The marriage ritual with its sevenfold 
blessing is to serve as atonement for half his sin and his death 
for the other half. He himself is unaware of this fate in store 
for him, but the daughter of the headmaster of Safed's 
School of Learning learns of this decree from her father and, 
unknown to anyone, she undertakes to circumvent fate. She is 
married to Hananya. On the eighth day after the wedding, at the 
very moment that the staff of this penitent blossoms again and 
he recollects the Torah he once knew, she steals into the garden 
in his disguise and the poisonous snake, sent to bite Hananya, 
mistakes her for his assigned victim and bites her. At the heavenly 
Seat of Judgment the error is discovered and her soul is ordered 
back to its body. She refuses to return, however, on the ground 
that nobody can be required to suffer twice the pain of dying. 
She will go back only on condition that her first death is accepted 
in lieu of Hananya's death. The heavenly host agrees and Ha- 
nanya lives on to become a great sage in Israel. 

In the classical version of the story, the woman, who among 
the Greeks occupied a lower position than the man, sacrifices her- 
self for him and he accepts her sacrifice as a matter of course. 
He is at first unaware of his extreme selfishness, since he is, after 
all, her lord and master, her king and husband. 

In the medieval version, it is a peasant girl who is ready to 
give up her life for the superior aristocrat and to obtain in ex- 
change a happier and more blessed existence in paradise. Not 
until the last moment does the lord have scruples about accepting 
the sacrifice of the serfs daughter. 

Introduction 29 

In the Jewish version, however, it is a wealthy and gently 
nurtured young lady who voluntarily gives up her life for a beg- 
gardly student; it is the daughter of Safed's most prominent Jew 
who of her own free will marries the accurst youth, even though 
she is aware all the time that he is doomed to an immediate death. 
For only thus can she redeem his soul from the darkness envelop- 
ing it. There is no claim upon her as in the case of Alcestis, 
who owes everything to her husband and yields to the insistence 
of the royal egoist for a sacrificial victim. Nor is she exchanging 
a miserable earthly existence for a more blessed abode as in the 
case of the medieval peasant girl, who as vassal owes some alle- 
giance to her lord and looks forward to a heavenly reward 
for a meritorious act. Miriam, the Jewish Alcestis, has every- 
thing to lose and nothing to gain. Hers is the most unselfish love 
of all. Furthermore, unlike the classical Admetus and the Chris- 
tian Heinrich von Aue, both of whom desire another person's 
sacrifice, the Jew Hananya is completely without knowledge of 
Miriam's plan to die in his stead and he would certainly never 
permit it, if he had the slightest intimation of such a plan. He 
has not a trace of the egoism of his predecessors. His is the purest 
soul among them. 

In combining the Tannhauser and the Alcestis legends, Peretz 
purges these themes of foreign motivation and foreign ideals and 
substitutes Jewish feeling and Jewish idealism. He bathes his char- 
acters in kindness and pity. He infuses into them gentleness and 
warm humanity. He gives them of the sweetness of his own soul. 

In Self -Sacrifice, Peretz opens for his readers the gates of 
dreamland and invites them to stroll about under starlight. 


Many generations ago there lived in Safed a Jew famed for his 
wealth and good fortune. As a jeweler, who dealt only with precious 
diamonds and genuine pearls, his riches were real and not merely 
hearsay, as is so often the case nowadays. 

He dwelt in a palace of his own, a palace whose windows were 
gleaming eyes looking out upon the Sea of Galilee. A magnificent 
garden encircled this palace, a garden with a most attractive variety 
of trees, with all kinds of fruit, with singing birds, fragrant herbs, 
and luxurious vegetation of great beauty and medicinal value. 

The paths of the garden were broad and fashioned of gleaming 
sand. Along the paths, trees grew aloft until their crowns met on high 
and intertwined and shaded the paths. 

Scattered and dispersed throughout all ends of the garden were 
arbors, wherein to rest, and mirrorlike ponds, whereupon swam hither 
and thither geese of a rare whiteness — a veritable earthly Garden 
of Eden. 

The Jew had his own donkeys and camels, with which to traverse 
the desert, and his own ship, complete with captain and crew, with 
which to sail over the sea. 

In short, would that every son of Israel could enjoy what this man 

Nor was he niggardly with his wealth: he arranged matches for 
his children with rabbis, theological heads, and outstanding scholars 
of Babylon and Palestine; he sent his sons to the best seats of learn- 
ing, and when they went forth, he gave unto each of them in most 
magnanimous fashion not only their money but also the inheritance 
that might some day be due them, and all this in cash. At length, 
he was left with only the youngest daughter, his beloved Sarah, whom 
he treasured above all else. 

Sarah was exceedingly beautiful, kind-hearted, and good-natured 
beyond compare. 

♦ID^-^^j 5?p''torj?n 

yn5?ia» PK nynjDyDinp yp'^nypy^tr •'•'^'is?'?^ d**^ pk ,br^D ypn^y:^2n px 

|Q^no5?:\:i5?^8Ti>2 T^T lyn pi< in pijn tiJiyii n ^5?:a''« is?^'''':^ n pK ^i^^t 
♦pyii n t3at)^t2;i^s pK iD3^'?sy:^iybKn22 pK ,tyrnp n D-'tt 
1Di«3i pD ipy 5?^8 Tii« 15Piy:^ D''nst2?5?2S px D'^nyis tyiyt nisio pK 

♦pnnnn ny-p ^ 

ly'ny:^ V^^ T^ tD^n pK .yiDja n tonsps;:^ totr;'»: D^n t** lyn pi< 
,t)p''tr;'Wyii8 toi^jn 15? pt » D«;n p« ;n*iin mp^b nyirp n Dp^t2?5?:^P5?Tis 
ID"*?:) lytDDijt) jTDOAip n n^i tn-^bnya d'^k !-^s t^j< di^s: nyi d'';^ pi^ n-'nixn 

♦I^^'IK ps '^SK 

— SID :^T» » PK ,210 n'? 1^ pK ,n'»S-ns'' yo-^n^ k lyiw t-'K nntzr n 

32 Self-Sacrifice 

When the time came for this sole remaining daughter to be given 
in marriage, he had the Rabbi of Safed correspond with the head 
of Babylon's famed School of Learning and the latter recommended 
a rare prodigy of this Yeshiva, a young man named Hiya. The letter 
of recommendation to the Rabbi of Safed contained such expressions 
as "the crown of my head," "the crown of my entire Yeshiva," 
"family — of the finest," "background-— not to be surpassed." 

A rumor spread that the young man Hiya sprang from the seed 
of kings. This rumor could neither be denied nor confirmed, because 
during the riots in Babylon, when Hiya lost father, mother, brothers, 
and sisters, and when he himself escaped as if by a miracle, the family 
record casting light upon his lineage disappeared and he himself in 
his great modesty never spoke about the matter. Certain it is, how- 
ever, that people who passed the young man in the street stopped 
to gaze upon him as upon a lustrous image and more than one 
person made a benediction over his beauty, since his appearance was 
princely and the divine spirit rested upon his countenance. 

Hiya settled at Safed at the house of his father-in-law — to a life 
of study and communal service. 

His period of ease and freedom from care did not last long, 
however, because his fadier-in-law died soon thereafter and the young 
man had to assume the heavy burden of business responsibilities and 
had to undertake journeys to distant lands. In other words, Hiya 
became a business man who ranked among the great merchant- 
princes of this earth. 

Practical affairs did not, however, alienate him from his studies. 
When he rode on a camel across the desert, the camel-driver led the 
animal by the bridle, but Reb Hiya himself always kept a book in 
his hand and never lifted his eyes from its pages. When he voyaged 
in his ship, he had a private cabin, wherein he sat alone and occupied 
himself with religious studies, both what is revealed in Holy Writ 
and what is still concealed in sacred works. 

He even found time to learn the seven secular sciences from old 
sheiks, whom he encountered along the caravan trails: the sciences 
of medicine, zoology, astronomy, etc. 

His charity knew no bounds and could not be calculated in exact 
figures, for wherever he went and wherever he tarried, he gave 
lavishly to the needy. He not only put aside a tenth of his profits 
as his tithe for the poor, while still en route, but he also ransomed 
fellow- Jews when the necessity arose. 

.j<^"»n ts?;3i8:a id-^d ^'''^s 5?i5?i^t) 8 ,nn"'ti;"» o^sn pD K^m lis ,t)3imnyA 
Dti?"': 51 *is7n32 D122 linn iS'^ik na^t:?''"t:^;sJi ns?T D^n pntz;^?^ iik 
rnp n :DD'»^^ d^t ;nn^ti?M niDyi •'u^ki niDy -jii nyp^^pm Dti;^a iik ly;^ 

— i8:i i22iyT pK ♦nn'»t:?'» i3?2ri8:^ is?t ps piiP '^ PK /S^P onn'»tz;">-t:;8*i PS 
♦Dim^'nti:; oinr — '^o-'^'Dtr; pa 5?Dt:;iya'''>K o^i n^^ :nn /Tonvn n'^tr^ti^/zi 

tottip x^^'n iinnn iniK t^ ,o^yii nyi i3?:3"'k ]vm^V^ t''n ^n^'?? 8 PK 
]K^m nvi D^n 15;d lyii ,^nn pK Qn">n nyti^n Di5?i'i j^nDi'pDn vit;s/, o-^n^ 
ny pK n3?inn pK lytooyntr; DD^^nyr^^iK pK lytoi^ pK lyD^s Dsrnnv:^ 
n'^i'pi^s imn-Dinr ns^i t-'k — ,d2 '>£)"'?y ^^^ .p^STO^ '^i^j^:! f'K p''^^ 
'n t^t:;'': 'ps^ pv pDin /I'^iy iyD'»n:\ in 'K^'^n n ijrn^ o^n ♦♦♦n^ns?:^ 
K^'^'H linn Ds?T tiisn di$ii ttz;^^^??^ t^ nynjj vtf. nynn — ♦to^'*: lyn too'^^n ^dt^^i 
,p-n8 birjt:? 8 px ^11 D-'K n'^iK tpi? D'^yDtr?^:^©^ V^ t^^n tytyi^ oi?:^ pK 

D'»2S X Dyi^ll ♦t3''V^''''t^ P-^T 15?:3''K DD8^V^ nSIl 8 tO^H ly^'^K Dt^^n flK 

♦ ♦ ♦ . Dny:^ Q'»K T'lx D^n na'^ntr? n n^^^'P l^^^^ is ps mnn h^^'H is?t to^n 
. ♦ ♦ ♦ minyn 'psri niinn "py — ns2^ i*'^ lyiitr nr?n H^^n nyi in Diryt^n 
T'»K /p'?^ i5?T nyiiti? W jDny^ns?:^ nnu^ pj?T to^n nyn^ :^:j8^ tDt:?*'^ 
-iS?n''K DTi^s;:^ DJjn 18^-15?::^^^ lyn .]i^)']n itoS'»^ niinn DK'»^n 18^ 01^22 » 
,01811 P''^ to^?: *niin^ yDi^ii iyn''x niy'oa p8?3 pK D'^poy yo"»PA n p^yi 
♦D^yii in Ti^ VDoyiA n ps nnio nvD'»n:^ 8 P8^15?a t-'K iy 
♦DD8i:i5?^ Dt^^'iniin-^iD^n 122 ,nb'>^n ,d'»x m8 to^n 08^ 
ry;35? to8n niT^ m nyn-'K pny:\ fK iy p'pyii T'ik .'p^yp 08i 
DT8'?y:^o"»n8 t)ti?'»a t:8n K'^'^n n ]ix ,d'T'qva '?^i^22 Di^n v:i8ii8i8P nyi ps 
^i-'iK rv P»i:iy:^s8n8 t)t^"': px ,Di8n ps ,p^8n5?^ i38n ny 0811 nso 08-t 

♦ISO pD 

pi^ ns; 111 ,(T"ybn yt3i*'8P) ^m*'^ mn 8 tD8nv:\ ny D8n t]'*m pR pK 

nno-'in in ^nb^'^n in ,niinn piw Poiy iii< nn'^mn loyryA 
n !?n ni^Dn n^ in paiy^ 1:2 di^s p^idj?:^ i'?''S8 18^ t>8n nj? pK 
,nKisnn n^nn •'H ,:\yii pnK pyno in Dr^y'^s iv n^5?ii t)^;^ ,p^^t2; yD^8 
♦ * ♦ n^nni nu"'a:iD:iK ^o'>2 8 i'?''S8 PK niDiyi nvn nn-^ii; 

— 1x1a dip;d ^Dai nBob pKi nyt:;'? pK ,wm iy f'K npisj-'^srn 8 PK 

— D-^ai^nK*? ini nts — n'?\np pK D'?yDt2;y^S8 r5?^'^57 in D8n K'^'^n n 111 
']VTQ pn^ '^V^'^ P'^iK mm ps '»:iy-nt:;ytt piiy^ ^ns» '?3 Diip iv m^ 

34 Self-Sacrifice 

Furthermore, he was able to perform great services to the JewisI: 
community as a whole. The trade in diamonds and pearls brough 
him into close contact with royalty and its ojficials. Because of hi? 
fine personality, his honesty, and his wisdom, he found favor in thei« 
eyes. They had faith in him and in the words that emanated fron 
his lips, and, whenever he interceded in behalf of the Jews, the) 
gladly granted his request. 

He thus became an acknowledged spokesmen for the Jews, i 
mediator when trouble threatened. By the power of his words, he 
annulled monstrous accusations, he liberated from prisons, he savec 
from lashes and chains, he snatched, more than once, doomed victims 
from the hangman's noose. In addition, he saved many young souls 
whom he released from mosques where they were facing forcec 

During the time that Reb Hiya was away on trips, Sarah, hi 
righteous wife, was wont to take his place at their home in Safec 
and carried on all his charitable activities in a manner befitting : 
capable and trustworthy wife. Reb Hiya had complete faith in he 
judgment. He was certain that whoever entered his house famishec 
would leave it sated and whoever came in athirst would go out re 
freshed. He was confident that his mate would raise their onl 
daughter Miriam to follow in the path of righteousness and to gro\ 
up to be good and benevolent. 

And so it really came to pass: the palatial home was always ful 
of guests, poor wayfarers, wandering scholars, rabbis, heads of re 
ligious seminaries. If these traveled abroad to seek funds for thei 
institutions, they would stop off, both going and coming, at th 
House of Reb Hiya's Wife — such was its conmion designation. Sh 
never failed to receive them with a smile and to provide them witl 
the best food and lodging. In return, she asked merely that the 
place their hands on the dear head of her only daughter and confe 
their blessing upon the child. 

The blessings had their effect: Miriam grew up an unusuall 
fine child, a real gift of heaven. All of Safed was proud of he 
and said: '*Hiya's daughter is as bright as daylight and as radian 
as the sun." '*Hers is the charm and grace of Queen Esther." Thes 
judgments were no exaggeration. She was the image of her mother, th 
beautiful wife of Hiya. 

Unfathomable, however, are the ways of God. Besides, did no 
the wise King Solomon state long ago: "Whomsoever God loves, h 

.trtx ny'»n '['»» TVi'ty^ in-Kt?i5 pi^^v iv to^n ,n»r)n r-^t d-'jjd iiji nj;?^ 
w ♦ . iit3 n-'^ix r^8 r^ rs;D k^tim ^d*? ts^-^^a ,p^n mi^K d-^k r^ py^S '»'»t pk 

pK ♦ . ♦ xiSn K'^tr? nns "73 '?5? nu?i'» r"?^ ^ P>^ T*?^^^ ^ T-^t ns? d:iv*?§ 
— toir^ lyD^ry'? lyi i^^k pk bt$)2 r^K Dti^^^i pK ?iD'''»p pi? mp'?^ pS D^^iSijn 

, , ♦ ♦ D'?ii:n:ii5?s''K p7?Dtr^3^ D'pisJiis?:^ ^^n D^n fy^ o^n ,p5?t2?t)5;;3 fis 

nitrr D:\y^5 ,l'^"f^ I'^nia S t^i'isr^ t-'K k^-jh n o^n t)i^x nsri iyn'»K pK 
oy '»n ,npnx3t2^ ")57 '?d^ ni22 t'»x D'''»n nn pK pjT i^iptt k*?^^ npi^r n 

-anoyriiig: ik — •iyp''tDti:;nsi iisi pK nyiDST ^ p'»DiO'»n8 dvti t'»in pj?T '['»x 
a''t2;y»'?i npi'ib pj»T ^tdijd ^on^ ,nTn'' nn ny'n tDjii n ts ,t»ik "^ii nyiyp 

♦W1 ntZ^S P« P-'T im^ pX D''51D 

rn'? pnD"»nx i^^v^q ojjii ni'»t:;"» '»t:;;!?i px D'^mn ,D'»^Dn-n'»tt'?D pK .di^*? 
IS pms: '»ii /OAvn ix t\*i8 ,in tai$n n^spmst tiK mn'»2i:n *»di22 pyii ns*? 
pj( ,ai?ii OK'»'»n n i^n — p^T vw ]v^ m)^bii •»its; — o'pyDtr^s^Jiss^ /0:iy"n 
pK ,Dton 0181 b^ D''^ ]rj?53t:? pi< ms'» wiq nnon ]5-n ^np» -^n mv^ii n 
Dn'7"'n'»-nn lyi n"'''^^ toiyn s^nrn tr^'?S''ni^ f'^ist •^n rtyr^a^'^i^js n^i tai^y'^s 

♦ w '^T^ D*'^ n it2;D:y3 px y'i'S^syp 

nyDSijD yp"»2:i^'>K n nnyn 12: Q''ip;2 tn'»in5?:^i;8; pjjn mDnn n pK 
px ♦i37JD?:i p^*? pj?T ps HDnn ii: .nrp 10^15?^ t2?'»^n5?t:o'»ii< ti? tyiw pk Dn;D 
^11 DD!?'? n^DDiSD Dx^ri// :t33isT 15??^ ♦I'^K D^^tt itz^Diyn in t)A5r'?s nss r^^A 
;nom tn ons^^n nnoK t^k «t»ik ta^*''? dsT// ;'aij:iD nyn •»ii n^*?? f'K// /'pT n 

36 Self-Sacrifice 

chastises?" The Creator of the Universe often brings trials and troubles 
to the righteous so that he may test how deep and steadfast they 
are in their faith. 

Be that as it may, Sarah, the woman of so many virtues, sud- 
denly fell sick. Reb Hiya heard the bad news when he was far 
from home. His heart told him to expect the worst. He threw all 
business-matters aside and hastened home, over mountains and valleys, 
seas and deserts. He met with all sorts of hindrances: in the desert 
donkeys and camels collapsed under him because of thirst; on the 
high sea storms threatened to rip his ship asunder — but God was with 
him, he overcame all obstacles, and arrived home safely. Unfor- 
tunately, Sarah was nearing her end. When the saintly wife saw her 
husband, she gathered her strength, sat up in bed, offered thanks- 
giving to the Creator of the Universe for heeding her prayer and 
letting her gaze upon her ideal mate before her death. She turned 
to Reb Hiya, consoled him, and assured him that she was accepting 
the agony of death with the same gladness as everything else sent 
by God. She also spoke to him of her only daughter Miriam, who 
had meanwhile fainted away and had to be carried off. Reb Hiya 
assured her that he would be both father and mother to their 
daughter, that he would not let the hands of a strange woman bend 
or distort or (God forbid! ) break their young seedling. She, in turn, 
promised him that in the other world she would not forget them 
for a moment, that she would always exert herself in heaven to obtain 
for her only daughter a husband of worth, honor, and virtue. If ever 
there should arise a doubt, dispute, or diflficulty in this respect, she 
would do all she could to obtain permission on high to appear to 
Reb Hiya in a dream and would in this way reveal to him the proper 
course of action. . . . Thus she took leave of Reb Hiya and, since 
she had already completed her final confession, she merely repeated 
the cardinal statement of the Jewish faith: Shma Yisroel — "Hear O 
Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One!" Then she opened her 
eyes once more, looked at Reb Hiya with great love and tenderness, 
and asked him to give regards to her daughter and to accept heaven's 
will without murmuring. Then she moved down from her pillow, 
drew up her feet, turned towards the wall, and her pure soul took 
its flight. 

When the prescribed thirty days of mourning were over, Reb 
Hiya, without a moment's hesitation, liquidated his business, sold his 
pearls, diamonds, and the other precious stones at an almost ridiculous 

ti?Drni''D^ 37 

r^ov'i^]!;^ Pm^i pK ♦rt3t^iy:§ dh t)t:;'»:i d-'DIt dd^a ni?n^ i^t ty:iyT 

— "n'»Di'' ♦ ♦ ♦ nnK'' nii;K m.. tm^m ^n^^^n vb)^ ,i?m nrab^ vw i^i ^t$n 
Ulan IS?-? DAana ^^^ '?^''D ny Dsisitot:; oyi ^Dn**^ ty^iji ^yn''^ r-^t ly^yii 
,13?T 122 ,ipn22 on DniD"> D''^ Dims ny nroi K pn:2 ts''iK iJj::\ D'piy b^ 
nit? ,1^0 ''11 i^D — ,VH pHDn Dpn22 ayi piKDtz; •'H |ik ,T'D '»n ,di^ii ''H 
tDi^ii K n'»iK nn"niit;n n to^ipi^n i^'^^'n n -pyiiJi; r^rb^ri'^s Db^i:s npi22 n 
pyiiK ly tDSiKii /Dsy^ti? pk oy r^? ny d^-^s — win ni?3 yii^ s^ px ♦^lyn 
♦D''^'' tiK ninm''tt ,:\nyn lyn^'X |ij< '?^|D lyn'^K D''^^^!: ds^i"? |1k D-'poy y'?^ 
11K ty'?r''K nm^ia r>^ ia''K lyDiiK I'p^D ♦niy'»:i;D •''»'?ny'?i? d-'K iy:iy:^y:^>i;a 

— ,n*> 13^1^ fi^iT' D^i ]:\is:^t2;y2: q*»k i'?''11 tDi^'H^y^iiD::; ;Dt:?is*7 iks iy'?/!Dyp 
lyiiy:^ lai:^ ny ts^n ♦iyiH:Dtr?yrj?s minym niinn niDt -lyi nyn^ q-'K t-'k 
Is^iDy:^ rit:? *iS73iS: ^S? t:^n ♦♦.Di'?m ly;D1py:;^'»^^^i; vt< pK nir:j^ y^i^: 
tJi^n riynyT d'»>5 Dis:n npiss n •'n it$i ♦ ♦ ♦ n^tr?:i nK"'22'» i^n nnt:; npi^j n 
nmni n^n; ^ py:\y:^s^ i^i tiK .Dyi is^ik D22yTy:\D'»iK fiK t3piKDti?y:\ in n 
n^s ^''X tyt ^^T n ,ni^''sn yn-'K tDnyny:^o''ix D^n o»ii D^iy-Kiia di2J 
Q-JK DD^no tiK ,tx''^n n 122 -lyi'*^ in D'^ni iix jH'T'ds lyi •iss pns^ 
D''^ Dnyi pK ♦ ♦ ♦ nnn^n nii^-mo'' n bnp^ vi^ n m ,n'»DnD d-'K pk ]ii< 
j$ ton''£>y:^o^nK m^ )V^ o^n an^ nT'm-nn nyi pyii diis:ii k i^:i d^x 
,yD8D K ^x I'^x 18D ii?T Dyii ny tk ,122 T'X d:i;u:t k^-'H n im ♦ ♦ ♦ yDti^'^mss 
Dtz;'»: /iri'^^n Dti^'^i yby»'>''n yr^ii** o^i t'pyii Dayn yi^yis t^v tn: ;y;3j$;3 >i: •»>? 
Dyii n Tx ,i2J D'^x n d:\ist ni 1:^:131 ♦♦♦pyin ,Di^it^i on ,Dtz;'»a ,iy^np 
pn:iyDt2? in iDyn n tk ♦pyi^'ii^Q ^^""^ ^"'T t^ y:^i rv n;3xn"Dbiy is'^ik 
.♦.nn^y^i rnins '»s'? pJT ^js^t oy ^r^iin x pyii nrm-nn lyi nxs iy?D 
n Dyii ,nyu)o k "^^ ,pso s /Iidd'^o k ,Qi^t:^i on ,p8^ in toyii oy nnn px 
pijT pK Di^n px tK''"'n 'n in p!?iixn isr niti^i tyj2ipK2 pK iiiv^m yb^ 
^1^^ ^ l^i mt$m r^:iwn l^^'^ri n d^;s in n tojjn •»1T^i: ♦ ♦ ♦ niistT ty^ o^ii 
triK n DiDyy:^ 'p^^ k i^i pK cit'II i^a lyiiy:^ pitz; vt< oy) ^Kitz;^ y^tz; 
lo^My:^ pK noni in d*'^ pi< nnn nnnxn ii<''^n n T'ix pioy:^ pip j? pk 
pjT pD tn-^n Dyi p.n bnp^ '^isit iy /D'^x toyny^ pK nytDOi^D n ton:^ 
o'^s n ^''li^yArjj^ ,it:;''p ps Dpiny:xs;ji8 in Dis:n px .nnnKS ly^is^^ tn*'^ 

♦ . ♦ mnt)n nn^ti^i nxsn — dikii nyi iir in D^'mynyi'^K tiK 

■'"''^ny^K pK tD:iJi:'»'?nn pK bnys n DonpiKD ,Dnno^^ y^K po tD-'atr^yr^ss 
mirin ^y nm:i^a Dsryts^ in t)^n pj< ,Dan •'22112 w^d :i:in''22 ny-ris 

38 Sblf-Sacrificb 

price, and settled down to a tranquil life of study and communal ac- 
tivity at Safed. 

In his palatial home he founded a Yeshiva. He sought out and 
assembled in this institution all the young men of Safed and its 
environs who were adept at learning and he taught them every day 
something worth knowing. They imbibed his wisdom eagerly. The 
poor among them were his special responsibility. He maintained them 
in his palace, two or three to each splendid room. He provided 
lavishly for all their needs. He clothed them like the sons of the 
rich. He even gave them pocket-money, so that if they wished to 
indulge themselves a little once in a while, they should not be em- 
barrassed in the presence of their more prosperous friends. 

When such a young man in due course came to be of marriage- 
able age — eighteen, according to Jewish tradition — ^Reb Hiya would 
send for marriage-brokers and would select for him a suitable match. 
He would see to it that board and other necessities were guaranteed 
in accordance with the student's merits and qualities. He himself 
would provide the dowry, clothing, gifts, and at least half the wed- 
ding-expenses and the marriage-broker's fee. Moreover, he himself 
would lead the young man under the wedding canopy during the 
marriage ceremony — an ofBce usually reserved for a father — and after 
the ceremony he would bless the couple in accordance with the ancient 
rites. As for his own daughter Miriam, he hoped that one day he 
would come across a rare prodigy, a young man who would find favor 
in the eyes of God and man. 

In the course of his correspondence with his relative, the head- 
master of Babylon's School of Learning, whom he used to consult 
both on learned matters and on family affairs, he once wrote the 
following letter in flowery metaphorical Hebrew, a letter which loses 
much of its sweetness when translated into a profane tongue: 

"With God's help I planted a very beautiful garden {the Yeshiva) 
with all varieties of trees bearing fruit of all sorts {the students) 
and whenever a fruit becomes ripe and juicy {of marriageable age), 
I seek out for it a worthy person {a good father-in-law) and I have 
this person make a benediction over it {ivedding-benediction) , If 
God will favor me and show me a citrus fruit of finest quality and 
without blemish, it shall be for my only daughter, my dear Miriam 
(Long may she live!)." 

When the headmaster of Babylon's Yeshiva replied in his usual 
laconic style: "Are there not distinguished scholars in your own 

S^S n5''3o nyi pS iii< nS2{ pS t»k tk t)'?tt8T'nj!;s pK DDiTyAo-^iK D«:n pK 
mru^ on ,:\8D 8 tj'A D^::^ o^n /"^n ngs da^ts?:^ d^h pk n5;ais;'?'i'''in omni 
pS nninn yayis n pi( ,Tn yrjt lypaiitDs:^ p'»tot^n8T I'^^ti "^n pK 
n2 itol?8n5?:\§"»ii< ^n iix israias;^ in T'ik iss^sa pK i^^ ^y to^n ^n tir?"»iix 
^n D^n PK nxiSJs nin 8 v^ omnn im 1:1: px "^^m 12: /rs'^ss pK in 
♦an''n:^n •»a33 isnw ?'»ya;iDi ti?^n?^ ^n to^n px /ns-^ pyn ijnw o:ns^ 
iyi5?P T'T b^T iins 8 .D'?3?:\:i''''^P io''» i'?"'S8 tDn8n8s — Vpv tinhorn '?di 
yti;"»Mn-^5?s yrjT n8S pyii D;Dy:2;n8S ^"^^-^ V^ r\m 8 Pt3:i8 ^^^ 8 

. ♦ . ♦ Dnsn 

^nsm'rntz^y-miDtr; is iv^vn f»K nnn-Q$;i8 18 t8 nmn srnnt:;Di 
iDoyp t)'»)3 i;\TV 8 ta^K ia!5^po'»iK pi^ Q'»iD-?tr; i8i ip'^tz; K^'»n n mv'?^ 
nMm^ nm^n ,ni pyji mv^§ tiK .in^s^Di ni53 •'S'? ,ti;^ayD'?8na8 pK 
p"»b8 ms?bs PK /tr?''nn d'»;d nainnn niKxin a^sn ii^m^ in t»ik ly^s^i pK 
08n pK ♦piDi ma n'?3-inn pj?t n;Dt?D nsin i^t i8i ^nsin is?! 12: n^s 
lesitD D^K in t)yii 05? T8 /t)S8ny^ is D8n ^nn^ ns7DD8t3 P-5T t)Ji:i8^8:i^ 
.D^*? nss PH to83i 18S 'tDA8T iy» '>ii ,yp8t3 — np'» '»'?3 8 "18^ 

DS^i inin» pJT IS btr?» iina pntJ^yA ^8Ja 8 ns^ t38n pas? D5?t 1:^^11 
in /min nai pK in ,pi?itr;Dnn in mv^ii iv P^yn tj-^a ,'75a pD K'»tr?i 
-nay n^iK nyn^K 8^ t^^St n^;a D811 .ti^Ttp ptr^*? T'^^ ,nnst2?» •»3'»as pK 
,nip'»n;D pS id 8 oy t3'T'!?n8S t^^Di^D-nSy pk t2^D8D /t2;D!2t) 

ns Dyjiu; '»n8 pK 

nvx^w 8 'ly^'^T Dsa8^Sy:!^ *i^?3 1'^K n8n iyD83 p**^ pJT pS jqb\T p^tt,/ 
b3 P8^t: D8II ny»'»'»a D'»r»n '?3 D'»tt ,{na'>tz?'» n ny tDi^^^ d81) ^^8^ 
P'»Dr?s Diyn nss 8 t8 pk (on'^Dbn n — ny t3:i'»"»Z3 d8^) fins wrm 
)'\:kn 018 18 o'^iK d''K i'^k in /(nam'? •»18T ttSJ^ tDr-^ia 08i) P"'dS8t pk 
D8A T8 pK /(PKit^a nana) tD8?3 nDia 8 d'^k o-^m pk anin» Dyi'»'»t:? 8) 
mn 8 l?AnnK 18 pini8a in d^ti oy tiK — ny Dnmti; — /'[S'?yn -tj^ Dvn 
an)D nn» m''n\n •»nn pjt nan ^nn dst pk pitr toyn ,n^'>AS 8 18 *i8^ 

/' "»nn 

mrpa ptr?*? pJ?T tD'*?^ pntry:^ pms q-^k tD8n '?aa pS K'^tr^i nyi t8 pk 


40 Self-Sagrifice 

Yeshiva?", Hiya then hinted that scholarship was not the main 

"Learning is like water," he wrote in his metaphorical style, 
"Not all waters have their source in the Garden of Eden {not every- 
one engages in learning for its own sake). One person studies to 
satisfy his ego: he wants to surpass and excel his fellow students. 
Another studies for the sake of prestige: he doesn't so much want 
to honor the Torah as he himself wants to receive honor because 
of his knowledge of the Torah. A third has still another unhealthy 
motive impelling him to study: he likes argumentation; his happi- 
ness lies in displaying not God's wisdom but his own cleverness, 
his own original interpretations, his own minute discoveries; he is 
delighted with his own achievements, his scholarly acrobatics. Just 
to be original, he is even willing to twist and distort the Torah 
out of its true context. There is a fourth type of student who is even 
more materialistic. He uses his education as an entering wedge to 
make the proper contacts, to find a provident father-in-law, luxurious 
living, and a fat inheritance. Assuming that among the many stu- 
dents one can be found who is interested in learning for its own 
sake — there is always some stain, some dregs, some blemish in the 
taste. In short, there are many citrus fruits, but Reb Hiya wants 
something superlative, inside and out; the inside of a human being 

is not, however, so easy to discern It is good to respect a person 

but nevertheless to be on guard. Where can a perfect specimen 
be found?" 

The headmaster of Babylon's Yeshiva replied in his customary 
terse style: "If you'll look, you'll find! Have faith!" 

But how shall one set about looking? 

"A person's character is easily discerned by peering into his eyes," 
Reb Hiya was wont to say. "The soul dwells in the body as in a 
prison. The Creator of the Universe in his great mercy, therefore, 
opened for the imprisoned soul two little windows. These are the 
eyes. The soul looks out of these windows, perceives the world, and 
is seen by it. These two unfailing mirrors of the soul are, however, 
obscured by curtains placed in front of them: the lids. A person 
whose soul has some failing tries to prevent too close scrutiny, even 
as a bride with a defect is kept out of sight before her wedding; 
and so he lowers the curtains over his eyes, ostensibly out oi 

tt^5rni''D» 41 

-yA vtx, nun ;D''d k^k ,n^''^;^n nnn d*'x iy Dnmi^ ^nnin pK — 

,nmr) oDp DV^) D^"*:! in D''nQ iv lOipn'^Dtz; n*'^ to^n ny — yin ir 
yrjT D"*^ ,nmn ■''tz;n*'n yam d'';^ !nyayA''''K tjt d^'i^^ njja 
D;s;n in^iip yr_?T ps ny2i:Dyit)S''ii< yiiyr-'K yrjt lis D^ynp iy ny'7nis:22?3n 
D'':is n'pr^D D'»n:\ ^^^0H iv t''K ,pip k n'''?i^2 ,rK innn nyi tk torjuxn ny 
rrnn nyi ps in *»n tSK^ ,Dtz;i:\^ ny^ lyiyr b^'^t^ ♦hd^hs K^ti? nmnn ]ni 12: 
— Doyp ,t:;'':yD^H:n;3S ix •— lyiii^ k lyrsy:^ )^ px ^toc^ pK p^n:i )^ pnn k 
♦ ♦ ♦ !nti;TT' ^ — nis:"' P''22:i^n22 ]^^ Dnyi:nn nyn''K ,rK ^yb^v; d''^ ypt:;*'? r''^ 
lyi 'T'lK "p'^x Dni^'pn — ,n^ti?^ ^^^ h d^i? n^tr;'? i^^t^; im^ i'?'»Di? tyii pK 
lif^iKS tyiyr yira D'^MiriK ,^^3n !a:\s'? oyD ^ ,r^TSJj |k ,py^s x n^^a 
i? ps iin ny-T pK ,nns iDin T-^t b^i oy mn k K'»''n n lyrns^ '?''ii ,'?'»q 
b'^n ny ]^K ;imu?m irnns ♦ ♦ ♦ lyiypiyi 122 ddi^^ •'itk ^^'^i vi< — t2;D:iy^ 

/T/^Kn ''nK:^^! *»ny:^''// — 

?iy^ DD1T "lyn^ ^itk •'n 

lyiw tDDi^^ D^ijn — p^T x''^n n t3:\ybs — t^D^y^ k n^ij< n\T Kin 
Distn ;no''sn r^5 ''n tort n^^ r^J^ '^^tz;:i n .♦♦p''iK n r^ lynypny^ 122 
no''sin nyi t»k n^tz;! nyi D:isyy:\ ,nu^nn cnri r-'t t^"*^ ,D^iy Kiin nyi 
^Ipipo^'iiK ''n inn ^i$t n ,trDiyD x ps iriK n ty^yr o^t ,iy'?nyDXiyD ''^122 
]iy^ p-'iK n rx ly^ to^i^n iD'^yn lyi tyiiyp-nyi in itjj^ pk ,D*?yii n lyt 
,|yDyia — ly'pnyD^^iys n ix ly'^iiiiyni^D tz?D:iy^ x nyn^ tojjn /Diiypiyr 
D''»jTptr':i K D^n D^n ,t:;D2y^ k ,iix . ♦ ♦ t'?ytDtz;iKs '>n t^p ly yD^yn to'*^ 
IIK .ai^ K D-*^ n^3 v; nsinn mip D'^Knxn ty^ '»ii .n -ny D'^Kn^a ,0:^9 j? 
tou;nDi^3^ js^^K iy^:\ayni^D n ly dt^^ ,|TiniKa in ^•'n nmi n tyn 

♦ . ♦ ♦ nn^'ny ns^s 

42 SfiLF-SACRinCB 

In the opinion of Reb Hiya, it would be easier to recognize the 
true character of a human being by his voice. Reb Hiya reasoned as 

"A human being may be likened to the product of a potter's 
hand. An ordinary person is no more than a broken piece of pottery, 
but the extraordinary individual, the superior personality, resembles 
a ceramic masterpiece which can contain learning without losing a 
drop. It can do. so because it is absolutely perfect. Yet, how can 
we be sure that such a bit of earthenware has not the slightest crack, 
not even a minute crack invisible to the eye? We knock on the pot 
and listen to its resonance. If the pot produces a pure whole sound, 
we are assured of its perfection. If not, we know it to be all too 
fragile. This test may be applied to human beings as well. 

"A person who is not whole and sound will have in his voice 
some overtone, or undertone, or accompanying tone, or dissonant 
tone, or tremulous tone. He will not have a pure, clear, perfect 
sounding voice. There is one important difference between a human 
being and a pot, however: the former does not respond to our 
knocking with his genuine tone, if it is defective, but has the ability 
to imitate, parrotlike, tones normally alien to him. Did you ever 
hear a sound far away, which you thought belonged to this bird 
or that, and when you came near, you discovered it was the mimicry 
of a parrot? ..." 

Reb Hiya constantly put these observations to the test, as 

It was his custom to teach the day's lesson in the forenoon. In 
the afternoon he would let his pupils roam about in the garden; 
he would let them disport themselves in the shade of the trees, taste 
of the fruit — after making the appropriate benediction — inhale the 
fragrance of the various herbs, and repeat the lesson by heart while 
walking, or else discourse about some learned topic. Well, even if 
they engaged in a friendly conversation on a non-learned topic, this 
was no crime. Reb Hiya would shut himself up in his room during 

those hours and study the Torah and its hidden meanings In 

his room was a window looking out upon the garden, a window 
with a heavy silk curtain to keep out the sun. From time to time 
Reb Hiya would take off his spectacles, lay them on his book, cover 
it with a foulard scarf, and put the snuff-box on the top. Then he 
would walk over to the window and stand a little while behind 

DT»bi8S pi;; min n ]in '?np;3 in r^ w o^n '»^3 ly^yiny l» 12^ — 
Diypnyi ^iT8 ''ii ♦♦♦p^A f^K si(ji3 nyi t^Ti ?'»'?^» '»:in ♦iqisjid pv otz;*'! 
ID**^ D^**: T'»x oy t2;D;!jD /"TD^ysu? pv Dt:?''^ Di^in s^D 1^1 ''^i nyniij l^D 
Dijjn •— :ia8'?p ti?T nyn pK sijd oy-r fij: ts^bpi^ ly;:^ ti;:d ?iynyT ix :^'»ik 
♦ ♦ . in^'^m Dins b^^ ypSD t-^k d'':is J^id nta ,:i:itJ:bp t^is ,Dym ^ q^d lyi 

♦t:;Diy^ nyi T»ik •'itit!: tix 

,bipiyDaix 18 /bipiyn^'>K is p^n t^P P»^ toi:;^! vii oisjii t^D:3yj2 s 
nss'^^P /Dy:i'^n p**? tot:?''! nyn^ ,'?ip pmyD'*:!: s /^ip lo^ptz^yiic s .'^ipi^s s 
T8 }Dt^'»i s^o v'^p t2;D:yD 8 ^y:iS t'»k i^^^^i ny D^n 'rip oDyi v^^P ja^s^p 
♦ . ♦ 'pip i^yiQ 8 l^:i iy t)D8^ /^ip tP-'K im Dt:;'»2 D^n iy ]ik ,1^ dss^P iy» 
px nyi .Dor'»» /bip s oaoi^n ps bt$^ s t)oiyn n ♦i^r^issss 8 "'ii iy t^it) 
♦ ♦ ♦ .'nxiBt^Q 8 /'?ip toDs^yjiDisi 8 -- 122 DODip H Ts pK .^:^^is lyT 

Anil in H'^m n DAy'ps hd^ii:? nyi D'^ib — a'»^\T ^s nt^y hdi 
nm^D nss nyu; i^s 8 P^ joy^ynsn nss P^t "ly t^^ybs ny^t^ oy-r 

PK pJ?T ^''•'D^ •»•»! I'PJJT tt^'lS ItDIJJA pX D"'T»tt^r) ">! v^bo^^'i^ iy DAybs 

pK /p8?3 HD^n 8 Pi< ^1*13 V'^T'''^ ps tin ayiD /lyD^'^n n pD iDistr; 
-^K ^pnn'^sssu? pK nysDyDinp •»^'?ny'?s ps ir^nn n ps pj?T mm i^ik 
D^yi nmty i'?''S8 imin ps iiyi ds'pa nyn^j /Hs-byn niy^ii; oy-r nrmyn 
PK pJT iiian;^ D'ris^yT in my^D ny pK .♦♦Dt:;'»a mso pv T'J^ T-'i^ 
px nyDsiyS s mnn t^sn mn im pK ♦ ♦ ♦ nnin nno lyny'? pK mn pj?T 
i:i Di^^ ps px ♦pT ly-T nss mnn^^ lyiyrji lyiiu; » d'>d ,p-n8 ton^^ 
ipy-ns 183 px nSo iS'»ix i^'*'? .t'rni n ly^ayas^is x^-'n n DAy'pQ dijs: 
P"»Aix px — y^yt)ypt:;-pyn8i3 08"t ir'''?§''n8 px '?d''d Dy:yi8^is P**^ 
nynrjx px ,A38ni8S ^^t ^S^tDiix y'pini 8 in t'rytDti:? px nyoxiys 01:12 

44 Self-Sacrifice 

the curtain. He would listen to the voices of his pupils, who were 
walking about in the garden, in pairs or in groups, and who were 
talking to each other as friends do, without the need of being on 
guard or of changing their voices. 

He could not hear and he did not want to hear what they said. 
Only the voices and not the individual words penetrated up to his 

room As the months passed and Reb Hiya failed to hear a single 

true voice, he fell into a mood of despondency. 

Once he went so far as to complain to the Lord: "O, Creator of 
the Universe,*' he sighed, ''the little birds in the garden, who have 
merely an animal soul, sing your praises. My pupils, who have a 
human soul and individuality, study your Torah. Why are the voices 
of your little birds so pure and whole, sounding like the expression 
of perfect souls, while, on the other hand, my pupils ..." 

He didn't finish the thought, however, since he didn't want to 
speak of his own pupils adversely. Nevertheless, his despondency 

From time to time new pupils arrived, new voices, but still not 
a single one of the finest quality. 

Once he stopped his daughter Miriam. He looked at her with 
great love and pity and asked her: 

"Dear daughter, do you ever visit mother's grave?" 

"Yes, dear father," she answered and kissed his hand with great 

He kissed her on the forehead, patted her gently on the head, 
and gave her his blessing. After a while, he asked: 

"And what do you pray for at mother's grave?" 

She lifted her faithful eyes, looked up to him, and said: 

"I pray for your health, dear father! You are sometimes so sad 
and I, alas, don't know how to make you happy. My mother (Peace 
be with her) knew how. So I pray to her that she should instil such 
knowledge into my heart or that she should come to me in a dream 
and teach me how to make you happy." 

He patted her silken cheeks and told her: 

"God be thanked, my daughter, I am in the best of health .... 
There is something else you must ask of your mother!" 

"What, dear father?" 

"When you visit your mother's grave, dear daughter, ask her to 
try, to try hard, and to see that what I have in mind for you should 
be fulfilled." 

4i^53^i'n''285^ n 'T'lK DUX iT""^ ot$^^ Dn"'»'?n ^rjT tiD m^ip n 122 in 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ m^ip n tD!}n pK in id^t 122 Du?"»a 
D 1 ^ p y :\ Dtr''»a px to ^ 1$ ii 5? :^ ^^^^ i^ t^isn ,DDyi)Dt2;3?:\ p^n '^n oisii 

K'^'^n n |iK ,^n^ K |3?^^XA5?Apyiix f^? oy m P^ ♦ ♦ mnnn iiri'^n k i^ ,rbK 

tfyD^a in*''? pr ixd D:iJj'?py^ ^b-^m V^ i^ t);s;n "pisj^ r''^ 

ly^yr-'s yr_n pQ ^ip oisT PK D^n ijjd ♦♦♦nmn pJT tynyb /nrm ^ 
tyii nsrti^n ,m^t2;2 ^22:18:^ o^ik *'n pK in pn os; t>? ,pn •'its ^y^s:^ •»it^ 

D^n D^'^^^n yrjT ^''ik pjt :\nDp^ : d tz; *' 1 iy lo^n 'lyn^ Dpn:^?^^ 

jsij tjtz;^: D^to nyn^ nia^i;^; dist ♦♦♦d^^iw Dt:?'':i ny 

!Dt:;^: n'pio-nttp 
y^i^n K -)''K TiK Dpip ,Dn^ i5?t:Dis:t) n sisj iy Db^Du? ^is^ P"'K px 

ji^yis h: n Dn p« ,nu^nn px Ds^ti^n'^b D"»in:^ d^^^ 

cnri tD''^ i^n-jyT D''i< Dt2;ip pj< d''^? n Diysmy ptz;yD^D ^is** — 

mmv:i PK ^s^P PV^^'K p^22i^?n n Dy^;^ px ^n^totz; p^iK n n^? t3t2;ip 

n^nyi DiiyiD pK ,!.^niyT n 
?iyDD^D n'^K i^s iDooyn oi^^ii px — 

♦ ♦ ♦ pny'^nt) •'iTis: "^^^ '?''''tj do'^n n**^ tos?n ,wvm^ /to^it^?:^ tin nj<D — 
,vm^ ''T '"'T -♦P-^T 122 mivt:i in o^n d''^ .Dt;:;'': o'^'^n .i^nya ,t« pK 

nat;?^ in '''^^^ '^^ ,iyn5?^o''i« pi< lyaip Di'^n 122 lyi^ T-^nj? nsn t^x 

.... pJT 122 

iDDs-iKi t2;nyn:ix oysy !nxnnn ipn n5?DDi$D ,D^n inn ,pn T'K — 

'^^T n ,n Dyn nnp o^m^ ^V'^ T'^iit^ ,"»t^nyDD§D ^p'':^ tjoyii n ti? — 
DDJi:nt3 T'X o^^^ o^t py^i Q'^^P^ '^^'^ ^V ^W pK t^?^ pi^m w^ in 

p^ytDijD ,Di:\ — 

46 Self-Sacrifice 

She answered him simply: 
'Tes, dear father!" 

One late afternoon, while Reb Hiya was sitting in his room towards 
the rear of the house, he heard a loud dispute in the forward part of 
the house. He could distinguish two voices: the angry voice of his 
chief assistant and a strange young voice, probably that of a new- 
comer. The latter voice made a powerful impression upon Reb Hiya. 
It had the quality he hoped and prayed for. Reb Hiya closed die 
book he had been studying and wanted to listen further, but the 
pleading voice broke off and he could hear only the assistant's voice 
scolding and reproving. So Reb Hiya rapped on the table as a sign 
that he was calling. The door opened and in came his chief assistant, 
frightened and distraught. He placed himself before Reb Hiya in 
the posture of a servant before his master. His aged face was still pale, 
his eyes were still flashing, and his nostrils were still trembling — he 
was as angry as he could be. 

Reb Hiya quoted to him the biblical warning that anger was as 
great a sin as idolatry. 

"No, master!" pouted the assistant, ''Messiah must be at hand, the 
era when anything may happen . . . because such insolence, such 
temerity on the part of a young man!" 

"Well, well — ^what does he want, the young man?" 

"Oh, just a trifle: to be admitted to your Yeshiva!" 


"I ask him: 'Do you know the Talmud and its commentaries?* 
He answers: 'No!* — *Do you at least know Mishna?' I continue. 
He again answers: 'No!' — I try to humor him: 'How about En 
Yakov?' — Again 'No!' I go a step further: 'How about the 
prayers?' He bursts into tears. — What's the trouble? Well, he 
can read the prayer-book, but he can no longer remember the mean- 
ing of the Hebrew words. 'Fool, so what do you want?' He wants 
to get to Reb Hiya! 'What for?* He says, he wants to ask you to 
let him sit in the Yeshiva and listen to the daily lessons, perhaps God 
will help him and he will recollect!" 

"Recollect? This means that he once knew and has forgotten," 
sighed Reb Hiya. "A sick person, alas! why be angry with him?" 

"Why be angry? Just listen to the rest of the story. I say to 
him: 'AH right! I'll let you in to see Reb Hiya.' The young man, 

B^Drm'D» 47 

'n «T»iK DD8^ ^inn n^S^'is pS "^ip ot$i ]^tf^ mnn n'as^'is 8 po Qi^on 
IV t^ijn on «i'»ix /DQsns;:^ is? Dijn "^ip ^i^ t»ix ♦own tD'»nA i? ix'^^n 
in 18S p^^nyji tD^n ny o^ii nso di^t ^^"n n dd^;^^^!:^ nyiw '^'^sn^ 
^ip ypniDyn ,5;t3'»^ii22 o^t isriis in top^n ,nynrj?K nyr^ay*? in '?''ii pK 
tDiyp^n im D101J3 oijn ^ip Dx:iDn-tL^n 03/1 n^i in Diyn oy iik nyn^K 
'T'lD n in tDiiSy ♦Dsn 15? t^ ,]^^o ^ nijs /tr^'^D r^ ss'^P 8 i<''^n n D-'a ♦in 
-ijntr^iyT ^ .nytony-rny^j x ,KiDn-ti;n n$?T d'^k n^s in Drai^!;! oy pK 
D"»is 13^8 im pK ,nniD n^^^Dp xinsrs iK^''n n nss 1''t D'?yt)tr; pK nsras^P 

mnn is ps nsssin ;s:t» !ns:2in 8t» 
mnn 15?t ny '?'»ii o^ii .1:1 ,1:1 — 
jnn^ti;'* VK i!?K 122 pj?n8 jD'»'»p''r'>'?p ^ '?'»')i iy — 

?i:i — 

l'»iK i2pT VV PK :D8£itr; >?: i'»D i-'X 18^ !p^a — nytJini i"'x :^ynQ 
^fK o^n — n''t "^^ opmvs ?i5?in8T p« ns?Dim pit:; i'^k dks^ !Dt2?''i 
o;$ii ,nt3itr; ipsrn^D ny mr\ ni'?''»n tz^n-^s niji .15? w i^to pk lyani^T 
^IDys T-?K '?'»ii ny T8 ny d:\i$t ?o;sii i^n ny '?''ii iK'>''n n 122 ?iDo'?'''n yt2?T 
Dyii nti:?SK niy^ 0122 in inym^r pK nn'^tz;'' i'^k ixn p^*? d-'k d'pst ^''K 

!'iy28;3ny'7 in Dyii ny ,ts'?yn dis::\ d-^x 

n«?in 8 — s^ ^''''n n t)>rsn — loy^in^S pK .oy tDO•'^^ ^taa^py^ — 

?Dy3 lyn t^'K o^ti PK ny=i5?i 

p<jl?rji8 in '?yii i^x .Q''X i'»K :^8t .Kims ?t^k oya nyr oisjii — 
iy PK nnnyri^ns .t2;i3*?D luanr?*? k mna nyi nyai^ Dr^^nD 4K'»'»n n 1^ 

48 Self-Sacrifice 

however, wears a linen suit, with a hempen rope about his loins, 
and he carries a staff in his hand just like a brigand, a whittled 
branch of an almond tree. I tell him: *A11 right, young man, I'll 
let you in to see Reb Hiya, but first change your attire. Haven't 
you got other clothes?' No, he has no other clothes and he doesn't 

want to change He says, he isn't allowed to. 'At least, put away 

your staff!' No, he mustn't lay aside his staff, not by day and not 
by night. Why, he sleeps with his staff in his hand!" 

Reb Hiya realized at once that the young man must be a 

"Let him come in!" 

A pale and lean youth came in, dressed just as the chief assistant 
described him, and remained standing at the door. 

Reb Hiya motioned to him to come nearer. He stretched out a 
welcoming hand and didn't allow the young man to kneel or to 
kiss the hand. When he saw that the newcomer didn't lift up his 
eyes, he asked: 

"My child, why do you lower your eyes before me? Are you 
hiding your soul from me?" 

"Yes, teacher," answered the youth. "My soul has sinned I have 

reason to be ashamed of it" 

Reb Hiya reminded him: "No man may bear testimony against 

himself I request you to lift up your eyes." 

The youth obeyed. 

Reb Hiya looked into his eyes and was seized with trembling: he 
saw before him a soul accurst. 

"My child," asked Reb Hiya, "in your eyes I read that you have 
been accursed — by whom?" 

"By the headmaster of Jerusalem's School of Learning!" 

Reb Hiya knew that the head of Jerusalem's Yeshiva had died 
recently and he asked: "When did this happen?" 

"Two months ago," answered the youth. 

"Right," said Reb Hiya to himself. "Two months ago, he was 
still alive," and aloud he asked: 


"As to the reasons — I have been told to make a full confession 
to you." 

"Good! And what is your name, young man?" 


DDisjn nvT^ in ID i^i ,iK'''»n n 122 it^^imK in ^sni t^ ,mnn ,Dn to-'K 

ny d:^is:t ,nnit:;n-'?yn k t^'k oy tj? ;X''''n n D'»''Dt:;ni5?s 

ninn nyi ti^ .d^t is? t8 |ik /Daijn n |t:;ip Dtz;'*: ,o''s n 122 i^^d du?**: 
18Q iD0D*?sn8a ?i^» I8D s;$i8 p*'iK n iDOTis'? 0^11 ,Drj?D irp — 

.)V^)^^ 122 D^ll n"'K t)"»^ T»D 
n p'>MS'»iK in o^NT T»N ♦wyt:;i i;325i? D'»tr;«) oiig; pK :K"'"'n n d:ms;t 


-I8Q 8 ♦t)iyD'»2Ji8S Diyii rp-^s p^iK n r^ ^''^ pnipip ,K'»''n n iiK 
nyii ^p'^iK yrjji pK n'?'?p 8 tDpytDt:; oy ,K''''n n mviB .orj^ irp — 

jQ'j^t^n^ lis nn'»t:?'»-t^8^ lyi — 
jia^*? t3ti;"»i oti:;ny fK D'»'?t2;i'T» iid nn''t2;'»"t:;8i '^Vi tn: ,do'»'»ii K'^'^n n 

?tyii ny tD:^ynS .nS'iiS^^ "Jt^D'': 
♦D%nn '»ni22 riti; ninn nyi Diysoay 
T»in tiK ♦ ♦ ♦ "Dn5?'?y:\ i^^ ly to^n t)'?^^^^ '^^"''n "^ ^^^^^ .ip'^DDn// 

ny D:\nQ 
?Di$ii "n^s — 
.rJ?T miin» in T-^x iss ^»t i'^x ,10''^^y^ i''^ ]v^ mn nvi nnx — 

?iinn ,1DD^^^ ni pK ♦♦ ♦ Dn — 

50 Self-Sacrificb 

"Well, Hananya," said Reb Hiya, standing up, "come along now 
to the evening prayers; then my chief assistant will assign you a 

place at the table After you have eaten, go down to the garden. 

rU find you there and 111 listen to what you have to say," 

Reb Hiya took the young man's hand and led him to the 
House of Prayer adjoining the Yeshiva. 

While walking, Reb Hiya could not help thinking: 

"So young, such a voice . . . and already a penitent . . . already 

accursed, as the eyes clearly reveal strange indeed are the ways of 

the Creator." 

Late that night, Reb Hiya walked about in the garden with 
Hananya. Ever so often, Reb Hiya looked up to the sky, as though 
he were seeking some sign or omen that he could interpret on the 
basis of his astrological knowledge. But the sky remained hidden behind 
a silent gray mist. It was a moonless, starless night. Only the windows 
of the palatial home gleamed in the darkness and by that dim light 
Reb Hiya led the youth to a garden hut. They sat down and Reb 
Hiya opened the conversation in conformity with the rule that it is 
best to begin with some wise saying: 

*Trhere is a Hebrew proverb," he told Hananya. ''D'aga blev 
ish — yesihena" 

"Teacher, what does this proverb mean?" asked the youth. 

Reb Hiya translated it for him from the Hebrew, word for word. 

"It means: d'aga — care (Hananya repeated each word after him), 
blev — in the heart of, ish — a man, yesihena — let him tell another. 
It means: let him pour out his heart." 

Although the youth understood only the translation and not 
the original words, his pale face became flushed like the face of a 
person who was being restored to consciousness after having swooned 
away, a person whose soul was gradually returning to the body. 

Reb Hiya was filled with great pity and told him: "Open your lips, 
my son, and may your words come out into the light. Confess to 
me, my son " 

Hananya then told him a tale strange and wondrous: 

Jerusalem was the town of his birth. His mother was a rich widow, 
and made a good living dealing in spices, 

tt^6nn'»ott 51 

Dip 1^12^8 jn*»iK in Db^Dti; pK H^-^n n dd^^ ,j<uin nina ,u — 
D!5i Dns 18 iTi^ii K3Dn"t2;n lyn nn toyii i^^m .snj?;^! nm*»;a tyiiiST 
piTS-^iK in 'pyn Ti< 'P-^S 1^31831 r« r:\S8'i8 "JtDoyii ]ov ps^ .♦•tr^^D 

♦Tn y:ii2T n5?nD'»ix tm 
-jn**! Di:s: in d'»;d d''K dt»d pk Dii^n nyi i^n is D'»k D^ya ns; pK 

tK-'^n n t)D8iD pnay''^:^ pK 
Ki: p^'ix n px px ♦ ♦ ♦ nsiti^irbsja 8 pK ♦ ♦ . i^p am ,nv •'its — 

di2:j2 ps ♦iDnp rtx, on^ K*':iin ninn p-'si K'»^n n d''*'^ dd^i i?n ti^nB^i; 
•»Q by p^-js 8 05?sy tJDiT pK T'ln^ '^^''n di22 pip 8 iK^'^n "i un di^:j 12j 
lyiQiDtz; 8 t^''^ Db$?Dt2;i8Q ^^^t *in iV^S t^^k ;P"'d 8 oyss? ,ni:i^:iADrKn 
n pD p-'itz; n i^^ i"?^^^^ oy ♦ ♦ ♦ n^tDt:; is ^n:!^^ IS ^^S^ S j'^ss?: iys"»^ 
D'»;3 K*'22n linn d^t k^^h n d't»q DD-'b ly^n d"»xd pk /fs'^^s i^'X i5?t:2{i5?s 
j|S tol^^^ K^'^n n pi< /'nsjDnn vb nnsi// /T»t isyt ">n pK /pis nsio pK in 
/'mnw'^ — t:;'»iJ: nbn n:;iK*7// ^w^nn 122 15? tj:^ST ^lo^-'Dt^? pio3 pj< — 
mna 15?T in DS?n ?t:;Di^D lyi px dsii /''ni-— 

— "n'pa// .(lyn-'x Ditn K-^aan) nst s — ''nr^Hi// :t2?Di^D t^k os"t — 
PSTD'»ix '^ST ^y Jt2?Di^D fH DST "nafT'ti^V/ /iz^Di^?^ S pQ — ''t:^''^'/ /psn pK 
oDin T-'H linn nyi ^m^ Pi< Ti^n os^ 1D"':id''1K in '?st ly — pyT^S IS 
!5n ni /iybD*>n 122 W'lQ 5?D8bn osi is Q''^ V^ tDn^^^ ,iyDi5?iit:;D22D is^ 
]'»K p^1^'s, ly'pyDSS ODip n^ti^a n pK q^k wyiiyDSi 1^;^ tsni ^iDtz^bniss S 

♦pjis ni^ 

jd^k DasT pi< nu^nn D^ii:\ K*'''n n u-^h t»ik D:\np 
l^ST P^ — 1'")^^ ^''^''T '^"^^^n ,b'>iD pJT isy — ''n /i^i3 nns — 

♦ ♦ ♦ miin;D I'^zs iss I^'t '-'t px ,i5?Diyii 5?:»in iddi^*? 
♦XII1 nt^yD s ob^^i^iyT K'':ian d^k dsh 

naabs ynm s rx y^as;^ pj?t . , , D^'?t:;n'' p§ o^iis ly oaip tyDip 

. ♦ ♦ ♦ D''?3t:?n D'»;3 obiisn osii 

52 Self-Sacrifice 

She had two children: Hananya and an older sister named Esther. 
As the only son, Hananya was the preferred child, especially since 
he displayed great intellectual prowess from his earliest years. 

When Esther became sixteen and neighbors began to remind 
her mother that the girl was of marriageable age, the widow treated 
the matter rather lightly and always had a ready reply: ''At sixteen, 
thank God, a girl is not yet an old maid!'' The mother's entire 
heart was devoted to Hananya. She hired the best teachers for him. 
Moreover, since she was a distant relative of the headmaster of the 
Jerusalem Yeshiva and could therefore go in and out of his house, 
she would bring over Hananya on a Sabbath every few weeks and 
the rabbi's wife would send the boy into the study to be examined by 
her husband. 

Hananya made an excellent impression upon the head of the 
Yeshiva.The mother was overjoyed as she listened behind the door 
and heard her son praised, or as she looked through a crack and 
saw the rabbi stroke the boy's cheek ever so fondly and honor him 
with the best apple from the Sabbath fruit-bowl. 

Her heart expanded with more delight when the rabbi's wife 
informed her that the headmaster was willing to admit the boy to 
the Jerusalem Yeshiva, even though she had not even applied for 
his admission. For she was reluctant to be separated from the light 
of her life. She wanted him at home near her. She could then ask 
her neighbor now and then to look after her store for a moment, 
while she hurried over to her only son and kissed his every limb. 
She therefore engaged a sage, more learned than the early tutors, 
to teach her boy at home. 

This most learned sage was the cause of the tragedy that befell. 

He happened to be one of those casuistic sages who do not study 
the Torah for its own sake or for the greater glory of God but 
who are primarily interested in showing off their knowledge and 
acumen at the expense of the Torah. This false sage led Hananya 
along his own perverse path. He taught him only sophistry, tricks 
of debate, how to get the best of an opponent in any argument. 
He planted in the young heart the bitter herbs of pride and ostenta- 
tion. Hananya quickly acquired this skill, for, in truth, argumenta- 
tive discourse is a skill and not an aspect of true knowledge, not 
a part of the revelation handed down at Mt. Sinai. Hananya's mother 

ti^Drn'T'D;^ 53 

'ov^w pjT i^itD ,ti?np Q$?T ,'[K''a:in Dxny:^ lyn*'^ ,t»t t3"'''totz?i8S /''T d^h 

yisn:\ rv 'Q^n inn ,ijj:i th ppKn d$; nysD^iy iD^n:^ j? n Dijn .n lyij?^ 
D^n pK ,is?Ti$?:\ nsnp yDi^n k Dnn''t^''-tr^i d^t t'^k n ^i^n pK ,Dn;3b;D yDi:\ 

nyDiD n D^'^'Dt^ ^yiiy::^ in ^^m pii^Dtz; nn''ti?'»-t^^i ai^n ninn lyi D^n 
yiKSt^; K inn ]ni^ Dpip px ;D"'j< un'^i'? ]v^ ^^^ ^t^isn pK n'^o lyn nyDrn 

in D^^np •— on*»iK"n2ts? ps ^v ]'dois^ id'';:: inD?:: d\^ vh px 

ts^'iK nmti7n n pjt noi^ ^^a k oijii ly^^p ^;$t n ;D''\n nyn pK rt 1^:1 P^n 
,D^^^ nyi pK nnn p''^ tyny^ "p^t ny ,s3n-r^bn iiyoyn:^ x iiji 122 d''K 

Dtr'':i tyny^ o^n a''^3n "»T^^n yt2;^^s n pD iyr">i^ lyny:^ rx oy 
pQ pntrn is''ii< lyrnp i:^ pK p^^^ 122 in pt pK 1^2 p^n px n^^^? »min 
D^'K tD*>D D^n •ly ♦TIT ay3yr''K oyi n^iK |K^:i2n DT^sy^ iy D^n jnnn ly-r 
t322:iii;^sy:ji o^n pi< ^n^yii'i^^s^ r^^ '"^^^ '"^^ 't^^V P^ '^^si'^^s i^i any'py:^ 
to^n x''i:in pi^ -pnx: px niix:^ ps ny^sDytoinp ynyo-'ai •'i n^^n OK*»:i:in t»k 
, n ^ D n K ntj: oy t"'j< n^Ki oyn^ii jh^dh n Dny^y:^D"»ix -Trnt2;y:^ in 
ojjT nija ♦Dp''^y:\ '':i"'o nxn p-'iK ly^ Dijn oisi t)^"»i .m'^i n n n pv lynjj 
nisji 'it^'>nn ty^ to^n ,iy5Kt)t2?-ii?s Dti^^'a n^1^ a'^iy lyi pK lyDi;^ n D^n 

54 Sblf-Sacrifice 

and the general public did not appreciate this distinction, however, 
and so they praised Hananya still more. His mother, foolish woman, 
derived even greater pleasure from these exploits. 

In due time, Hananya imbibed all the knowledge that the false 
sage could teach him and told his mother that he did not need 
any further instruction. The foolish woman thought that she was 
in the seventh heaven. 

Hananya continued along the false path of his own accord. He 
engaged in ever more disputes with young men from the Yeshiva 
and with scholars in general. Always he emerged victorious. Always 
he put his opponents to shame and made them feel like ignorant 
fools. He carried on thus until his actions were called to the attention 
of the head of the Yeshiva. The latter said: "Childish pranks! Some 
day he will become a real sage!" For the present, he asked that 
someone should go with a message from him to Hananya's mother 
asking her to give her son a spanking for such behavior. 

"A mother may do so!" he said. 

Well, instead of a spanking, the silly mother gave him a kiss 
and even bought him a nice present for his cleverness. 

This encouraged Hananya still further and made him still 
bolder. He ran about in synagogues and Houses of Learning and 
showed off his skill. Wherever a pupil sat studying some Talmudic 
passage, he interrupted by asking questions about that very passage, 
listened to the explanation, and then pointed out a possible objec- 
tion. He did this until his adversary became confused and Hananya 
could then prove to the satisfaction of the entire audience that the 
pupil was utterly untalented. 

It even happened at times that, when a young man was expound- 
ing a thesis in public or a sage was delivering an address, Hananya 
jumped up on the platform, just as the other person was concluding, 
and quickly set the thesis at naught or dissected the address with his 
tongue as with a scissor, ripping through his adversaries* arguments 
as through cobwebs and holding all of his opponents up to ridicule. 

Again an appeal was made to the head of the Yeshiva and he 
issued a sterner decision: "Go to his mother," he told the complain- 
ants, "and ask her in my name to give her son a severe lashing." 

Instead of a severe lashing, Hananya got more sweets than 
before and more beautiful gifts. As a result, he persisted still further 
in his wicked ways. When the head of the Yeshiva was informed 
for the third time, he sighed and said that he himself was reluctant 

tt^srm^DD 55 

» ♦ ♦ ♦ Dgny^i nna ly;^ i«: 
-'T'^bn ps nmn yxis:^ n tyny:^ '?ap» K'»aan D^n ons d55s s tk iik 

ny5u? y"?^ •T'K "i^s in ty:iysy oy t^ ,Da'»'»XDyDi y^yT'' yu^nsi n D^n 

• ♦ . . D'jypn 

intr?n Dyiy:^^'»x oyi «t»ik ri^ ip't2;n in iq'»ik iy^383iy3i m K^aan tk 
mb^ px nS'»t2?'> pD Dmnn tj''^ D'»m3"»ii iy)a ^isjd » oijii p^n my^S pK 
"JITS ♦ ♦ * D'»siisn-Dy n8§ tDK^ tiK tin tr?'»"'3Ja pK T-^t *i3i:\ y'i'S px ,Dnai^ 
nn'>i2;">-t2?^i nyi tDijn ,n3*'ti^"'-tt^si dix lyDipy:^^;^ t^k oy ra .tD'^na '»ng: /^iis^ 
to'»\nya n«i D^n px !D'»ix D3n-T»D'?n » Dopsii psiyr mn'?'* nt^yzD :m^Ty:!i 
^tt^Dys 8 '[y:^a8'?iyT q-^j^ '?ijT n /"lyoitt lyi pist pK ty?ai$i im t^'K p'':^ 

!Ay» ny d:^?! .y^SD » — 

DS'^ip px ,'?i:?DyB i^ss trip 8 D-'K iD-'ji px nyt)i;D n ,Dnon p ,d"»^:i 

♦ . . ♦ HttDH pJT nss mna yr-^tr? 8 i8i d'»k 

•ly t5D"»i'? .«n2i;in» iy^ i8i 'ly tD^iyn r'^m ton pk oy T8 /K'»33n Dyt 
T^sntt 8 tDrt oy 111 .]'^l^p yrjt dd8?:» px D^t2;iTO-''M px t^iu? px Dn8 
11X ,t)ny'? lyny* o^ii ^""^^o iyiyr"»i< ^lyi pK S38 o''» ")y tj^yotr? ,t3i*iy'? pK 
P2 /tD-'na '»n8 .3138'? ''1t8 - ♦ s8 toT^yii px ,D'»sn'»n tDnyn ,ni^tr^p osiyis 
D8n •T»ttn» lyn t8 .Q*?iy i^sik:^ n8S tDtini i^'^im px ,tD^a'iDi8S ts'iyn lyw*' 

♦ ♦♦♦tttr?"'! mt^n Diti? pv 

-T';D'?n 8 tD3t2;nT oy nyn8 'Pi'?''" 8 to:i8T nina 8 tyii ny toSyiD ^8?^ 8 
is''ix ff^i^ Tw ny t):\3nsDt2; /'p-'X^ k5V/ m8T "lyiiy^ iyT'»K 18^ px — DDn 
nytzr 8 t)'»tt '»ii ,'?"»i» p**^ DTi^itr^yx pK /nst2;8 Pi'?''n ps tDD8J3 PK nyw'i'ya 
183 y'?8 t3D8^ p>? ,onynrsti? 8 "^n 13''K toomy^r pK .ly'^rs n^iK tz^iT oyi 


,t3^n tpos nym8n 8 o'»n8 ^y tj-^iji ,n5''t2;^-tt^8'i Qi^r lyo^^ii tyja t)§'»i'? 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ lo^jDt!;98 o'^K to'»%iy:i n8n T'k t8 /T'x t):i8T p« *iyt3i?3 nyi is ,ny tD3i8^ 

jD'»pn^D iv^ 183 pK nian;^ ynyaytr; i83 nytoua nyi ps x'»33n D:in? 
t)XSn .n5''tt?'>"tr;8T oy^ "lytaim lyD t)'?'''>xnyT ♦a''y"i o-^t^y^) ly^ i83 "ly t)iD 
T8 .ny v^ n^*? 8T8 T~'t IX u;''3y» kiid d-^k D8n iy t8 .tD:^8T pK B8 •ly 

56 Self-Sacrifice 

to punish the youth whose learning was prodigious but that it was 
perfectly proper for a mother to administer well-deserved punish- 
ment. Told of the mother's coddling of Hananya, he asked that the 
youth himself be called. Hananya came in full of overbearing in- 
solence. The head of the Yeshiva began a conversation about the 
Torah but was soon interrupted by several insolent, pointed ques- 
tions, then by questions piled on questions. Hananya displayed his 
great acumen and hurled a barrage of Biblical and Talmudic quota- 
tions The master listened patiently and without a trace of anger. 

Then he replied modestly: 

"Listen, Hananya! Your entire knowledge is essentially negative, 
your entire skill lies in refutation, your entire power consists in 
pointing out the weaknesses of others, in saying *no' and again 

'no* In other words, you have not mastered the entire Torah, 

for the Torah contains the positive statements 'Thou shalt!' as well 
as the negative statements 'Thou shalt not!' You have not learned 
more than the negative part. You are therefore strong in nay- 
saying. Do you want proof that your knowledge is only partial? 
Give us a theory or an explanation of your own " 

Hananya was silent, powerless to meet the challenge. He could 
destroy but not substitute something constructive. 

He offered as explanation: "My teacher didn't teach me that!" 

Then the head of the Yeshiva explained: "Your teacher died, 
and the fires of hell are now consuming him. His negative learn- 
ing does not suffice to save him. He will burn as long as you 
Hananya do not repent and do not tear out of your heart all the 
evil he sowed therein." 

"It is therefore incumbent upon you," continued the headmaster, 
"to have mercy both upon yourself and upon your teacher, and to 
atone by studying the Torah hereafter in true faith and for its own 
sake " 

Hananya rushed to the cemetery to inquire if his teacher had 
really died and when. For he had not heard the news from any 
other source. He was told: "Yes, and the burial took place only 
on the preceding day." The path leading to the grave was pointed 
out to Hananya and he noticed that overnight the grave had become 
overgrown with sticking, burning thistles He realized the mean- 
ing of this growth and resolved to atone. 

Unfortunately, his resolution was upset by the following inci- 

tyarriTDD 57 

b^l IV^ nV t30''M .DID 1^D1» n 0^11 .D^'K ]V^ D^'^^Xny'T ♦riy^S 5??2Ktt K 1^5 

n3''ii;"'-u^^T ^^T Tis: pK ♦nity d'^^d tins K'':i:in D^aip ♦r^x iK^aan p''!:;s"'ns 
D:\yns, pK nsiJin d^d nyn'^x n"»^^ 15; DpN;n ,nmn pyn o$n;Dtir k 1^ ^T-^n 

DD^n n Ts ,D^ D0''^^ ♦ ♦ ♦ /t"*^'/ PK T"'^"' F^S '"'Itj? Dti;"'^ 'T'IK — D'>22n''n 
i^xn ,^^t?37n■^5^ px inti^y niji Dijn min n ^!?n ♦ . ♦ ^u?'>i nnin y^^m rv 
iDoyn Ds^yn •'ii ly^ ♦ ♦ ♦ ni?^ pK iii?^ n^:i dd^h n pK m^ 2^^n pK tn 

lyny:^ f'K ms pj?T ♦lyiis?:^ Dtt^^'i ms pj?T fK nyi ri< jK^iin mn^w 

♦ ♦ ♦ /'pm,/ Dt^''5 /'ni'»no// 

nn ny DisrsDmNis 

♦Dny^p ^x^^i 1^*?^ n^T T'^ D^n D^T — 

DS? pK ,nij;iiy:\ IDS'': fK /H''3in ,T»b?3 pJT jnn^tz;''-!^;;?") '^y^ Q''K d:\ij:t 
Dti?"*! n*>K ISP min i!i?T p§ niDt lyi pK aian*':^ pK i^-'s o^t d'^k DJiynn 
n2wn ^V7^i Dosni .K^aan ,n iidt 'ps 4^^5712 •'its Djrn ^v pi< — P-^t '?"'22^ 
.... D^'nnss 'T'T P« tosn iy DS"!*^ DDD$;^tz; o^t nsn ps lomo'^ix p>^ pD 

.... n^v^b nnin lyn^?^ px pd n2wr\ px ,D3n-T;a'?n oyiy^ «i^ix 

ny-r p« n^T *':2 /is^ tt D:^yns pi< o'^ns P^'?5?"ri''n iq''1x ^^''lan ds^i"? 
♦Diyny:^ Dti;**:! psm D^n ny ^i^n ?7yn px ?nsi'i^^ "^tos^:! n^Dxn f'K n^^^ 
D^T n-'K Dpjii 1^)3 pK ,iDD5;i Dt^ns? IS^'iiy:^ t'^k minp n ,s"' jQ''^ 1^^ tor^st 
nS'^*!^^^ IDpsinxs to3Si '^y:3^K vi< inp o^t ^n 'K'':i:in nv Dyt n5p 0122 riy^n 
.^inm^ D^T oS'ii '^V D^^Dt:?nKs ♦ ♦ ♦ nynn ypn:ii?:is;in pK ypns?D5?Dti:; d**^ 

. ♦ ♦ ♦ pD 1:12 Haitian in dd'>^i(I?S3 pi< 

58 Sblf-Sacrifics 

In those days, there lived in Jerusalem an ex-butcher, who had 
been suspected of passing off non-Kosher meat as Kosher. The Jewish 
ritual authorities had therefore sent a learned Jew to look into the 
matter. When this investigator tried to carry through his com- 
mission honestly and thoroughly and appeared at the slaughtering 
unexpectedly, the butcher seized an ax and hurled it at the Jew's 
head. Then he grabbed the wounded victim and threw him out 
on the street. It was a miracle that the learned Jew came through 
alive. A great conmiotion resulted from this incident. The Jewish 
ritual authorities promptly took the next step. They pronounced the 
butcher's products non-Kosher, worse even than swine*s meat. By 
this time, however, the butcher had amassed a considerable fortune 
from his illicit meat and so he closed his store and took to lending 
money at high rates of interest. At the same time, he became an 
informer, lodging with the government a complaint against the 
Jewish authorities. As a result, these leaders were seized, thrown 

into prison, and condemned to floggings and exile The Jewish 

community was helpless to take further action against him, now 
that he no longer had a Kosher butcher-shop. They could merely 
thank God that this wicked person had given sufficient vent to his 
spite and that matters would now quiet down. 

The rich ex-butcher had the heart of a miser and did not enjoy 
his own wealth. He didn't eat, he didn't drink, he dressed poorly, 
and when a garment could no longer be worn, he didn't give it 
away to a poor man but sold it for the few pennies it might fetch 
as rags. He raised big dogs so that beggars would not dare to cross 
his threshold. 

This wicked person had no sons and only one daughter. Her 
name was Hannah. His wife had been modest and righteous. When 
her only daughter was born and when she had become intimately 
acquainted with her husband's way of life, she prayed to God to 
close up her womb so that she might not have sons who would 
follow in their father's footsteps and carry on his wicked ways. 
Her prayer was granted. Hannah remained her only child. All her 
efforts to convert her husband to righteous ways ended in failure 
and ultimately she became reconciled to her fate. Since life with 
a husband who plagued and tortured her proved unbearable, she 
prayed for an early death. This prayer too was granted. Before she 
passed on, she implored her relatives to arrange for her funeral 

tt^Srnn*o» 59 

0^1 0^11 ,axp ^^iviyrin 8 D'»^ti?n'» rK Dny'?^]^ D^jn d^jx nyay'» t»k 

innVtt^D r-^T x^tttt V^n im^ iy7 m tik jmsnon bv "iwn 8 tyiis?:^ ?•»« ,52^? 
tiK psn n 5!!^? 1V1 tD£«D ,5;pD8'' ^yi n-^iK r-'t iT'i^ti^tt n?Dxn fix n3i)ax3 

-5?^98 Q''^? i^8n ?^)3 D811 .D'^iott^n p D''D^ .r-^nx 08^ TK cnK d^k 05^81'^ 
DyT T8 .i§nD'>iK tDO'»'»n pK p72r-'[n-n'»n nyi D-'n ,m^ 8 tDiyii ♦t)5?TO08^ 
astp nyi iyi8 tk ♦ . ♦ ♦ nnn •'•n iy:^ny .n'?3:n ns^D r'?irs tk ii;'>'^s D5xp 
]1K .V?t)8'» n t'^im TK "18^ *15? t)D8?3^8S ,)i}$^m *T»5:\ 8 T'ltr; mSiD lis 
a'»a"»n n ivd t)Q83 ♦mD'?^'? pix"t*'^"r)''S 08i t)io^ px rTT'nns nn'?^ 8 tD")5?n 
♦ . ♦ ni*?:^ tiK nip^a 2'>'*m ^n nx tyia pK ,]ni}^ no^sn px ''n DSn8n ]V^ V^ 
iy» Dp:8T — ?tDt2?"»5 5?pD8'' y'ltrs r''P r'^^ tD8n ny T8 /IID is?^ '?8T 08n 1ix 
tD^ii oy fiK ,t>'?'»py3i n8?i 08*7 T'T t)8n ytz;''^ nj?^ t8 .d8^ tja^'i'? iy)D tiK 

nD'»^t2r pip HDns nyi5?3i"»'>x pjt «t»ik tD8n pH 5*? yn 8 iti^iy ^5?t 18:i t'»x 
,yi'?a ynp p"»Dibn8 px .i$?prnt) Dt2;^2 ,toy tDtz;'':! t3:\y^s pK ,mn)^^ t3tr?^:i 
-ps;n8 tDtz;^ t'^k 057 iv tJ8?t ^n^?*? t'tS i'?8Sy^s8^8 n'^^ t-'h u^is*?>d 8 T8 tix 
tjrnysi ^iDitt PK . ♦ ♦ 0VD8'? T'lx ntDinsa DS'»ipn85 i8^ ^m^v^^ TV tjpaytt^y:^ 
px ^:inn nom p">p in p^» t3t^"»3 t3i?^-y?a5ri8 VV T^8t 05? ^o-'n^s iy D8n 

• ♦ . ♦ f*!?! pJT 

vp'»sp^x p'»x 18:j .i38nya t)u?'»n v^i "ivi tD8n onDt D'»aa p**? pK 
18^ t'Ji^ '^P^^r 8 PK nyiH nti?K 18 mnn ny D8n ni^n 8 ^^l^ii ♦n:!n n5?D58t3 
D8*T p"»Dtr?^8S 12? p'»in5r:^i8 tD8n n px n8TO3i n'^i^v^ t'»K nin •>it D5?t 
^8T n ,io''^tr?i8S tDDS^tD *T»K *?8T "IV /tD8:^ pyny:\ n D8n ,18)3 pS ni:imnn 
'»x'pia tVyii PK ini38^ n^jrns Kna "ri^n ,p8n t:!2;*>3 d^dt d**!!! p'»p u?d8d 
0371 pK mriv^ tDtr**! nvtDD8t5 5?:i''''K n •»'n iy» n D8n ♦nyi ninm'? p"»:^D'»nx 
lV'n5?3i ^np» nvns n tD8n .t3i8P$^3i Dti^'^i nyias n D8n P-?t 5t5i^^ nnnja t8» 
tp^rjs n t3:\$;^§ ny br>^'\ — ^5Dn ms 'i'U^s nt2?83i /ri5n8i onio'* n t»t h^ik 
D8n n*T»i3B lyn nss pk ♦. ♦ to-^itD oyi pynj;^ p'»'?8 in n^iK n D8n .tSnn pK 

60 Self-Sacrifice 

and under no circumstances to reveal to her husband where she 
was buried. 

The wicked ex-butcher thus became a widower. Since no Jewish 
father could be found who would give him a daughter to wife, 
he lived alone with his only daughter Hannah. And, miracle of 
miracles, he loved his child with all his heart and cared for her 
more than for himself. He was ready to indulge her in all the 
pleasures of this world and to spend his entire fortune for her — 
even though his money was dearer to him than his soul. 

Hannah, on the other hand, shunned all pleasures. She remem- 
bered her mother's injunction not to partake of anything at her 
father's house except bread and water. She refused expensive clothes. 
She could easily get along without them, because she never left 
home, not wanting to hear her father cursed and abused everywhere. 

The less the daughter wanted to enjoy her father's wealth, how- 
ever, the more intense was his desire to shower favors upon her. 

Unable to break her resistence, he came to the conclusion: 
"There is one favor she will accept. I shall get her a learned scholar 
as husband." 

When she neared marriageable age, he undertook to seek for 
her a mate of extraordinary qualities, a scholar surpassing all scholars. 
He gave to marriage-brokers long lists of names outside of the city, 
while he himself rushed about Jerusalem and its neighboring dis- 
tricts, inquiring at all Schools of Learning and promising a lavish 
dowry for the proper young man. All in vain. Nobody wanted to 
be associated in marriage with such a despicable person and they 
were unaware of the girl's own true worth. 

The rich man became enraged. He was still more angry when 
a marriage-broker once had the audacity to tell him to put aside 
pride and to accept what was available, a neighboring carpenter 
who made an honest living by the work of his hands, an upright 
individual who wanted the daughter for her own sake, even without 
a penny's dowry. 

Well, what did the rich man do then? 

He got an idea. He sought out two impoverished sages and gave 
them their travel expenses for two years in advance, as well as pay 
which they could leave behind for their wives and children. He told 
them to travel about among all the Jewish communities of the land, 
especially the distant ones where his bad reputation was unknown, 

ti^DrriTD?^ 61 

♦ten Dt!:;'^^ inp i*'i< lis i'?''D8 "^^T tSJs ")^^ 

-yA ]iK tD8ny:\ t^ pistJtz; Kpin ny D^n ,yrj?T n'T"'n'>"nn n ,n — k^si 
-D'?iy '':i''?sn b3^ rj?T nn^ n Db^iiy^ djjh iik .sisj? i^'K riK ik •'Ti imb^n 
d;$7 i:;t)ij:D ,0*?^:^ ysi8:\ ot$i ]ni 122 rnrs^ *t»k n>!:s tyny^ D^n:^ t-'K pj< ,mn 

.mm lyi nsD iyny:\ lyiyi^D u''^ f»x tD^y:^ 

nyoi^ lyi lis ni^ra 8 D^n n ,r-'T n^na t)t:;"»i lytoDijD n nyn^ ^'»ii 
PP P^^ ♦♦♦toy Du^^a nn onyD^s pK nyoNtn d'»» D-^ns nyo^iK ,^^t n 
D'^ns Dtz;''^ lo^ip n ^pi^n /t3tr'»: «ti^!:t p^^ totr?*': n '?''ii nyT*»^p yiyi^D 
D*'i^ VH ly^ ]iK nyDi^s Dyi d'?'»u; ly;^ ''ii ^iiyn Dtr'-'i ^ist n ^nrr'S nnsD 

♦10k:\ y'^K TK nt^ia 

ptz;n iy^ ,otDn tin ps tin nin:! b^ii nyDD^D n lyp'^r'^ii o^n t^K 

♦tiD 122 niiiD ^•'^5 ni^iy •lyn D^n miKn tin 

n Dyii n5iD p''^ ny ds^id ^tot:?''! tiyinya^'K rv tos'^yn oy tk tiK 

♦DDn-T^^n K t^» 8 tsy:^ t'K ^yii t»k ;t^yii 

tis yDtr;'nyi"»^K o^i ,]m \i t^ito'^ix i^x iks ny ^•^ii ,npiQ^ nynnt^Di 
iy ]M^ .niD'^ii^i yD'»ii:^ o-^jiDTOnaK^ ny d"':^ ;D''n;D^nu? t^^^ s^ — '?D^''t)t:? 
T^'K tix ,niS'»u;'' y^x t''^ nS'^ao nyi t''^ f^^ n^^m'i'^ r^ diik t)S"»i^ p''^^? 
^^^2 in '?'»ii lyrv ♦Don^iK v^ yb^ ]^^ n^m tton x i^s Si t'ln 8 poiSD 
Dni$-t^ Q'tti? t'^^'P 1^*^ tD^n t^iP t^S oyi^ii — ^iii:i;3 Qyi D'^ia ti'T iit:;^ 

♦tooiiiy:^ Dt:;'»a 

8 '?^;d k t3?^ipy:^ D'^K i:j^ t^'X oy ts dish ,nttn k*?^ iti^iy lyi tJiyii 
nn tJTis:'? oy ^^^^ 'T^^ P^ '^'i*'^^ '''^ t:\''''^py'^')8 "^^^ '^i? ^Q'^ toni^jTyA tiK t^^ti; 
,133 yr^D n:in3 k ■— riDij^^^-^yn n: torm ni^Dm m ,d'»k D'^^s^iyi t1^? 
,^^^2 D'^y:^ t'^S^^ 1'"'? '^'^'s^ "^^^"^ Ti^ ,nyt:Dst3 tm '?''ii djjii ,t8^ lyDy^ny t^ 

!tiiisy:\iyDiii< n^^ iy Dnyii 

?iy DID ty^ 0^11 

tix ,wiV2H, Q"»ttDn-n'»;3'?n ^ni22 o-'ij^ ddit ti^^ nsy t8 T'IK "15? to'^Ks 
tT;$'?i22nyn''it ^nonss rnx ns"* '»''ii:!i Tii< l^"rn niKSin 'T'I^ D^y^ ^n d-*:^ 
nixisn r^^^::\ t*'^5 t^^^o''*''^8 ^''^ t^o^'''^ P^ ,D'''?u;n'' pK irp t^x nr?ii np 

62 Sblf-Sacrifice 

and to bring back a young scholar of rare ability as his future son- 

The two Jews were poor. They could not refuse. They accepted 
the expenses for their trip and set out. They traversed the entire length 
and breadth of the Land of Israel — all in vain! 

The reason for their failure was simple enough. The sages spoke 
only of dowry, maintenance, gifts, and not a word about family. 
If they were asked about the prospective father-in-law, they pre- 
tended not to hear, since they didn't want to lie. Everybody felt that 
obviously there must be something wrong and therefore steered clear 
of such a match. 

Meanwhile, the time limit set by the rich man passed by and 
the two sages had to return empty-handed. When they came before 
the gates of Jerusalem, they were overcome with fear. If it were not 
for the fact that they left behind wives and children as living 
hostages, they would have gone to some other country and would 
never have returned to him. They realized that the rich man would 
refuse to believe them. He would feel that they did not carry out their 
assignment wholeheartedly and would persecute them, perhaps even 
to the extent of handing them over to non- Jewish hands 

The two sages sat down and lamented their lot. 

While they were thus sitting in great dejection before the gate 
of Jerusalem, they were approached by a poor lad dressed in white 
linen, with a hempen rope about his loins, and carrying in his hand 
an ordinary staff made of the branch of an almond tree. The lad 
went up to them, greeted them and asked them if they wouldn't like 
to drink and why they were so dejected. He volunteered the informa- 
tion that he himself was living in the desert nearby and that he 
knew of a well of clear water not far away. If they wished, he would 
lead them to the well, because he had no jar in which to bring the 
water to them. They replied that they were not thirsty. They were 
dejected because of worry. In the course of the conversation, they asked 
him who he was and he told them that he was a homeless orphan, 
that he lived outside of any settlement and nourished himself on 

"And have you no desire to learn Torah?" 

He replied that he did learn Torah. Every night, when dark- 
ness settled over the desert, an old man came to him and taught 
him Torah orally. ... He could not look at the old man save from 
a distance, because the latter's eyes glistened in the dark like stars 

D:\j;n&ya "^n D^n i5?d t^j; pK ♦un^n ^ ^iviv^ Dt:^'*^ trnn^ pD px ,ni:ina ]ik 
p^n pijT p"**? pv Dni$n rpnnyn d^u ddi^^s^^i in "^n p^n rinina pyii 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Dtr;'»a ]v^ 

-n^'a^n n ir^:\ /ps?:^5?^ ^n D^n nti^iy 15?^ o^n di^s: n pyny: d"a 
D'''?tm'' ps ns^'^itD n t?n sij in I'pyDtz? pK ,mpn D"»Ta pmx D'»;:DDn 

D'>\n» px cn^ n:n^ 15?^ fi"»ix nyoyn ^^n •jd't^ii /mans? nsmini pK D"»)Din'» 
/l^p''^ px ti''"''?:^ tot^''! ^n toyii it:;i5; nyi ts /tD"»'»ii '»''T Dyiisii /is^^ipy:^ t^ti?'*^ 
on 11X riDin "75? pTi ^n Djni px ,ma^t2;a pdsta t3t^'':i onjr^n pijn -jn t^ 

Das;:^;^ riiri'^to px D"»^i2;n*» dijdu? ps it^V} n»s •'iTii: i^sn ^"^t "'•n ]ix 
pnt)t2? Dy:ysaj<n 8 d-'d diivj*? 3?D'-'n ri< pt^y:^!? nina-D^ynnj is ^n *i:i in 
;m^n ny-T px onn'^iigD » pS ipyDir7-T^8ii ttooisjis 8 px ,]iiv'? n ons 
Dti:?'»a t'?'»n •'n ^s ^''n uayns px .Di'rtz; -^n ton px .''n 122 is d-j^ ny px 
r^ ST Di'^i'n ny ts ^-^n d:\st PK ;t)D8ttt2;n8S •»its ixn ^n 0511 PK /lypmo 
]^Q t5!5ii nrn wti^^Ji f^x ov tix .D'»''n D^» 1X1 8 ps DD"»ni nj? px ^:iT^ iv^ 
PV Dsn 15? "^ini ♦ ♦ * 'rsiip mil in^'S ''n ny tDyii ,i'?'''n •'n anx tix ^lyast 
,m'*i ^n lyiyt p-'DtriST T8 ^n-'X •'n ps^ nyosn I5?:\iyia 1:1^ nyns tDt^;'*: '^'ps 
,D*»x ra •'n pyiQ .oyiatz; s in dd8» 05? px ,tr?Da nmv "^m fisn ^n ns^ 
-ytjso ts Din*' 8 T-'X iy bim nn yi s f^x ny ts ,'»n ly mt},i jpx iy lyii 
. ♦ . ♦ nyxD^Di^np pS in tDrjsir; tix ^wv"? fin iy tonsTb ,ytt8^ 
?n-nn pv lya'iy'? Dt2;'»ns:^ t5o'?'»ii px — • 
taiyii oy lyn ,ddxj ybs ts jnnin Dnyb iv m /''n ny DiysD^y 
-'?y3 D''x tD''^ Dny*? px 18ZD nyD*?x is Q''» ^^s t);Dip nm'»» px nyosirs 
Q'»x iDDi^*? oy '?im ,02Dinips is:i is^ ttj'rx oyi toynyi iy px w»ns 
p3s^n T-'X y:ii.n insi yoini n px ,nyt)t^ *»t '''^'^ nyos^rs nyn px pnx n 

64 Self-Sacrifice 

and his white beard was as radiant as pure snow. The old man came 
to him every night, sat down near him, and taught him Talmud 
and its various commentaries .... The two sages wanted to examine 
him and to see whether he was telling the truth. They discovered 
in him a brilliant scholar. Pearls of wisdom poured from his lips. 
They asked him, why he left the desert and what he was doing at 
the gates of Jerusalem. He replied with perfect frankness that the 
old man bade farewell to him on the preceding day, after informing 
him not to expect any further visits. Pointing out the way towards 
Jerusalem, the teacher commanded him to go to the holy city, where 
he would find his predestined mate and his fortune. There he would 
settle down to a life of study and service. "And I," the youth added, 
* must obey the old man." When the two sages heard these remarks, 
they were overjoyed and told the lad: *'Come with us, young man. 
We have a fine match for you." And the young man went with 

They brought him straightway to their rich patron and introduced 
him to the latter with the words: *'Don't look at appearances. This 
youth is, in truth, a scholar of rare ability. Elijah the Prophet him- 
self taught him Torah." The rich man did not question their testi- 
mony. He was so happy that he immediately arranged the engage- 
ment and set the wedding day for two weeks later. He was afraid 
that a long delay might result in someone casting an evil eye and 
in too much gossip being spread. As a preliminary, he took off the 
young man's ragged clothes and took away his staff. He outfitted 
him with new clothes and new shoes, more suitable for a rich man's 
son-in-law. He kept the old clothes with the intention of selling 
them immediately after the wedding to the first customer as rags 
for a few pennies .... The news of the approaching wedding spread 
quickly through the town. Some said: the worst dog gets the best 
bone. Others gave credit to the bride's sainted mother who must have 
interceded to heaven. Still others concluded that God's ways were 

The two weeks passed without mishap. The day of the wedding 
arrived. For once, the rich miser opened his purse-strings and gave 
a feast for his daughter such as is rarely seen nowadays. In honor 
of the bridegroom, all the Jewish notables of Jerusalem appeared at 
the wedding and all the students of the Yeshiva came to the pre- 
liminary reception. Among the guests was also Hananya. 

While waiting for the veiling of the bride, the groom discoursed 

taya in ^t)jt ]m DDSi n^iK ti:i^i d"»k i2i D^ip isxs i5?tD'?8 13?t pk ,'»'>:it2; •'H 
«T t^^n . . . KnSDin pK KiSo ,nSo ,d^'?oiidi c'tz? d"'K t)"';^ miy'? iik d''k 
"pnys . ♦ ♦ D'?iy |i^a i? in ns? totim ♦n^j^ m^i iy n-'iit lyt 12: ^nyniJjD d''k 
n mij^iss DiB^n iv 013:11 iss /D"'K '»n pvis ♦w'?''1)d lis Q'»n in ]^w 
•'n n$? D'?'»*>2JiyT ?D'»'?ti?iT» ps tiy'^iD n lyDiiK did *i^ o^jii ]ix nm^^ 
;d:\I!Jts?:i PK D^iiyr^rA t^iD lyD'i'ij nyi d'^k d''^ in D^n tDDya lij ^m^D^'Mn 
:\yii Ds?! p^iiyA D-'K D^n nv px ,i5?Dip Dt2;^i d-'K 12: nyzs t*»it:; Djrii ny tij 
15? in ,pjn^ D^Dtr? ^5?P*'^''^^ lyi PK V^^ Q''K ^D^^^^:^ pK ,Q'''?t:;iT» pv 
♦minyn 'pyi niinn bj? t^^n djtii pK .'pti^j p_n pi< :^iin tin tyrflsrr^ Dyn 
ny-r ,Q^^Dn-n'»;a'?n n /-^n pyn ♦♦♦p^jjs tD'rs oyi tia nj; m^,i ,tk pk 
♦liTti; i^*»iii » m lijs pi8;n n**^ /nam d-^^ mna ,Dip :D*'k pijt pK /D*>ns 

♦ ♦♦♦•»n D'»;3 iy D'^'^A 
"inKi;^ *?« Dnn b^^ tU'*^ p^r pK /'T'n:^ D12: pji^ ii^'?:^ d-'x "jn in^S 
♦Dny^y:\ min d'^j^ d''^ d^h p'»'?x K^3:in in^'?K jd^is? 'm^ ^ fK o^ — 
Da!5it^ pK ,mi$;o ^ ib^n d38;d pK ,in D^^ns'iyi pK n'^ai^ nj?^ ^n Da"''»'?A 
xii» Di^n iy ♦PSi'^i ''ni22 «T»iK ]':^m V^ nimnn ]m '?'»n::^^ fK pK D'»i<in 
s^ns inn ]is ly dzdj?: '?3 Diip pj< . ♦ ♦ di^h r*>n j? im yin-py i>!; nxs 
PK n''2An n'^s 'p'^ya^^ji iL^-'n^^ d''k vh pk ,ipyDtr; an 122 D^y:^ pK i^/T'^^p n 
oyi /minn nyi i^a t;31 ns^n /iS'>ipiH:s di2C 15? D'i'i^n^n *i5?T'»'?p 5?d'?8 n 
DHjDti^ pK D^ipJi:n iJ?T n pK ♦ ♦ . nDn£3 jj iJjS oyDijb «t>ik iDoyn idi:;^^? 
tyaiyn n^niJ? ♦ . ♦ p"»n iDos?a on dsjjd Dim isrDony iv^ tp^i '?''"»d ♦Dtr? ij: 
l^a ♦tD5;ny:^o"»iK n^ni^f n Vi^n o^t njTDi^ on'i's ^5;i tis niDt pK tis o^ 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ p-'Dtr^i^s 12: D^**! D'^Dm DDjjA ty;2yT ^bsn m ■— V'^V'^^^ 
mmn lyi pQ :^^D 15?^ D^ip 05? ]ik /i^nnijs di'?!:;^ iy'>''A p^ii '»ni2: n 
-ya pK n^?^ Ps ^^sn "'^ i^Diiyi^pyiis '^'^s lyT Disjn iv^:^^^ i5?i n'»'?is pK 
y^8 tyayt inn oyi nins*? pK ♦Dt:?'»: oy d5?t D^yn n oi^n k^i^^t ^ ddj?^ 
y»?^ — "ij^^-inn Di2r pK ,nainn nyi *t»ik ly^ipsr^i a''^ti;n'» ps onnD'^i 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n5'»ti?^ nn pa Dmnn 
AV^'^pn VH nvDini K'»5:n D^'»'>s'm /oapn^J^a n^s ps di^x n pk— 
D5?n pK Q'»:i^n ,D'»»Dn-»T»tt*?n laytts pK omnn niiK iss m^i inn nyi 

66 Self-Sacrifice 

on a very subtle point of Jewish law before the assembled young 
men, experienced scholars, Jewish officials, and the head of the 
Yeshiva. In the adjoining room the preparations for the veiling 
were already completed, the musicians began to intone a solemn 
melody. The chief rabbi and the head of the Yeshiva, who were to 
lead the groom to the canopy, were already holding yellow candles 
in readiness for the wedding procession. From the groom's lips Torah 
was pouring forth like oil and spreading among the audience like 
the fragrance of incense. His eyes were radiant as the stars. All 
gaped and listened. Hananya too. He kept his word. He had no 
desire to refute what he heard. On the contrary, he was genuinely 
delighted by the stranger's interpretation. He was really happy that 
from now on he would have a companion in his studies, a friend 
with whom it would be worth discussing questions of a scholarly 
nature. He felt himself growing ever fonder of the bridegroom, 
ever more attached. He would like to gQt up and kiss the brilliant 
young man. No sooner did this generous thought come to him, 
when he did indeed get up to carry it out. On the way, however, 
he slid off the right track! 

While passing the crowd, he heard one youth saying to another: 
"The groom is a better scholar than Hananya." The other youth 

replied: ''Hananya is a fool by comparison " This was too much 

for Hananya to stomach. A wound in his heart burst open. He 
felt stung as by a serpent. An evil impulse got the better of him. 
He stopped and prepared to pounce. Suddenly he began to speak, to 
refute. Pitch and brimstone poured forth from his mouth. For a 
moment, he sensed that he was loading sins upon his soul, that he was 
opposing the wisdom of the Prophet Elijah, the true Torah, that he 
was piercing the Torah with spears and swords, that he was killing 
the Torah. He became frightened and wanted to stop talking but 
found that he could not. He continued to talk without his own will, 
even against his own will. A devil was talking through him! He saw 
the bridegroom turn pale with fear, stagger, and collapse on a 

At this moment the house becomes a veritable hell. The old 
miser becomes enraged and roars like a lion: 'Tve been deceived! 
I've been fooled! I've been swindled!'* He rushes about like mad. 
He discovers the poor sages who were his emissaries and marriage- 
brokers; he beats them up and tears out their beards. He runs across 
to the musicians, tears the instruments from their hands, throws 

tt?5rnTDa 67 

,D^^t2;3 fiD nn x •'n ,in tD'»'»:\yx iik ,^^"»in •»'n r*?^ 1^^ T^ dd*':^ min omn 
♦T»iK K'':i:in ,n5?r! |ix t§K:^ y'pK , ♦ ♦ ns^t^t:; *»! •'n tD^!?^ yr_n p-'iK n iik 

♦ ♦ ♦ inn D3?i iti?ip PK r''^i2r 11K r'»t:i:;i2JD*>ii5[ Kpin n'^x in tooi'^nKS oy .tDSi<t2? 
Dyn pn:ir'»r_^niH§ !Dtr?D''^:\5?:\o'»ix in ny D^n a:s8:^ vh lynjj ♦o^ did ny pK 
lyny'? nyoyn i^p tnn lyn jp'^nix dii: d:^^t iinn r'»K •'ii ny Diyn ,D^iy 
0^*7 11K ♦ w D'^K pyp nb^:k k t'^k K'':!:in :di5;dd35? nvay» pK ♦iK^'ian nsD 

^bv^v; ,r''t3ti; Dii^^n n^ pK !yin-i2r\n Kin — trnn Kin — iid^a o"»n n; 
T»T D'^tr;' '?'>i^ lis 11K ,nwii2rBi8: ,ny'i l^J :\rVxi^s Dn"'%n rb^v:^ n «t»ik in 
,n^ti:?a ]ni t:}p'^ir'ii^ii iv tk nj? D'?'»siy*7 :^3'''?22i^s ♦ ♦ ♦ s'?^;dd iik lys d'»k 
nyn DD5?Dt2; 15? TK ♦ ♦ ♦ n»K min pyp .nnin OK'^n^n in'''?K mp D-'n "iv tk 
-15?T 15? pK ♦nnin n D-j^D 15? TK ,n'n5?iiti^ P« t^-'st:? ims n^n pK nnn 
1^ pitz; in Di5?i 05? ♦ ♦ ♦ Dti?"»:i tJjp pK .n3?i n5?nS''iK '^"'ii pK in tipv^v; 

,D3?T 15? pK lOniK 15?Dn"D'»l ^ D''K pS D15?1 05? .I'^ni p_n P5?P ^P221 PJT 

nit:;^in ikd d'^kS pk in d'^p^ii 15? ''11 /P5?'nt2; nijs oK'pn Dn5?ii tnn i5?"r '»ii 

.... ^iDtr? 8 T»iK D5?in 

n;Dn k^zd di5?ii *i5?:ipo 15?t -^hdii; pk qiit»:\ s di5?ii 5?:^in inixn pK 
,5?:^it2;tt •'ii DiiK Dsn*? pK ♦ ♦ ♦ !r)i5?D np^ !ni5?D np^ t^-^^b ^ ''11 Dbnn pK 
,5?rjT D-'iDnti? pK Q''n''^ti? n ,D''^Dn-'T';D^n 5?^5?iis: ''t dsskd iik ddit 15? PK 
■"''?s n 12s 15?:3'»k:i:i5?P dd'»i'? pk ,'n5?3 n o'^ix *'n Dom pK *»n ur^iji'^tr? pK 
.•'n Di5?D5?^t:^5?2r ]ik ddikii pk .omK D:!5?n n ps d'»^3 n ''n Dom pK idt 

68 Sblf-Sacrificb 

these about, and smashes them. He runs over to the bride who is 
standing in the middle of the room and tears her away from the 
veiling-ceremony. He runs out to a different room and comes back 
with the groom's old clothes: the linen suit, with the hempen rope, 
and the white staff. He tears the new clothes from the back of die 
semi-conscious groom, pushes him out of the room half-naked, and 

throws the old clothes after him The notables of Jerusalem and 

all the other guests run away in terror. Hananya alone remains. 
He still stands rooted to the same spot and hears the rich miser 
shout: "It's a pity to waste such a feast! Bring in the carpenter! 
Prepare the wedding-canopy!" At this point Hananya finally manages 
to tear his feet loose from the floor and to escape from the room. 

The head of the Yeshiva meets him in the street, stops him, and 
tells him: "Hananya, you can ruin an entire world. It is better that 
you forget your learning!" 

That very moment (continued Hananya) something snapped 
in my brain, something burst inside, and I was left like an empty 
cage from which the pigeons had flown, I was left without a word 
of all I had learned. I fell at the feet of the master and begged for 
atonement. He sighed: "Who knows whether there is atonement 
for you?" 

I began to sob violently and he pointed out that the bridegroom 
was standing not far away at the corner of a house, not knowing 
where to go in a town strange to him. 

"As a first step," said the headmaster, "go over to him and ask 
him for forgiveness." 

I was afraid to go but he urged me on: 

"Go over and persuade him to go home with you to your mother. 
Ill join you there." 

I went over to the disgraced groom. When he caught sight of me, 
he rushed to meet me. Before I could put in a word, he called to me: 

"Forgiven! Forgiven! With all my heart! The match was not 
destined for me!" 

I would have felt better, if he had given me a beating. Instead 
he put his hand on my shoulder and called me friend. 

I replied: "What sort of friendship can there be between an 
ignoramus and a learned scholar?" He looked up astonished and I 
told him of the curse with which the master of the Yeshiva cursed 
me. He answered: 

yD^i? omn 05?! r-^nit? D:\a5?i:i 1ik cnN: nsrait!:? 8 V^ YV^'^V t}S''i'? iii« 
♦*IP5;Dtr?T'?KTi ]on^^ fix pntot;:; Dyiys^Kn tD^^ u^in'?^ s^^ytjaii!.^'? oi$i :Q'»t:^in^D 
cn^j D'^K DsiDt:; pK ,D''t:;in^^ T-^i n inn iDt2;'?ni8D pD b^i^ do!5i pk 
a"'tr;38 n pK ♦ ♦ ♦ D"»t2;n'?;s s^to'?^ n i^i d'^k dqisi'i P^ 'TD ps psrps^i ^ 
K'^jin p''^ ♦ ♦ ♦ PVi^ *i8S i&'»i'?D38 DD5;:^"minn s?'?8 iik D'»'?t!?n'» ps D'»5it2;n 
ntrijr w '»ii Di5?n pK t)i^ ts^iK Dnj?Dtr;i8S r'^S 1^^ tD^'»Dtr? 15? ♦tjni^'?n 

tDD''i'?Di8 pK 5;^jj'?*7ijs ps s^ D'»s n D'»ip IV tDDin ♦ ♦ ♦ jnsin n D^n:\ o'riiin 
-t2?i$i ^v^ ty»ips?:\i:\3?pt):i8 ex t^k dk:\ pK I'psn ]ik ♦o'^ns aiDU? lis 
8 P8D 5nn DOiyp n ^K'^ain to^'x 0:^13:1 px sis Q''K ti^srDtr; iy jn5'»tr?'' 

♦ ♦ ♦ !l$?3iyb 0^1 i5?Dya oynss /D'ryii 

,mtt px ptDy:i p83p 8 DS?S5? 1''^ mn /X'':i:in D'?^"»22nn ,ynn iniKi pK 
4a'»iD 18 ^'-'t3^ 5?'^5?'? 8 •'ii p'»^ny:\ i"»s T'i^ px ,tD2S8'?3y:^ tDi8T t58n 03?sy 
^niwn 8 toyn pK /O'^S n ix n5'»u;'»-t2;8i tan t»k ^8s Jnnin di81i 8 18 

.IQbvn D5?ii D5? ''^^ ,DD'»'»ii 1^11 ny tD22Sn 

8 nytoaiK ,^n^^ tDti;''! t8 n'';^ n5? t:rjn ,i5?3'''»ii 12: pi8t)t:; 18 t»k n'>\n 
pK pJ?K 111 px D'»iK 111 /Dtr;'»a do'»"»ii d81i inn ij?t D'»"'Dtr; ,T'»in p§ '?pi'»ii 

,t58Di2; n5?i^yns ns?"7 

. ♦ ♦; n^p-'H^ D-'i^ !5n Djrn pK 12: d"»x 122 ''•»:\ /'is? d:^8t /ftDtz^is? Q5?'?8 122 — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ivm^ P-n 12: p^A?D''M8 •T'T t)"»;a '?8T n^r /Q*»x i^n 'pyis pK '»^:\ — 

♦tyjDipns^toiiiK T'lx '?yii T'K 

,WP8 T'tt tDQ^'iV px n''^ iy toynn ?inn it2;'»i5^ oiis 122 T»i^ •''>:\ 

n"';^ IX Dsn pK ,t5?^ip tDtr;'»a Dn8ii m^j t»» dts'? pi« 

Jiyiis;:^ Dt2?'»a :^iin pv fK 05? jmiisDi n'?''n;Dn ibm^ ,'?m?3 — 

t)n8n n n''^ tir^*? ny pk ;iDnn r^ ^8t 15? nyoyn t»x d't^it t3'?8tw 

n5n jT'd DDn px '?Dp8 p-5)a Tik 

t3D8:^ ?DDn"T'^^n 8 to'^^D n8n"DS? 18 P-^ 18P 'iSn 8 'n8s 08*^*1 ^r^ ^8T 
D8n nn'>t:?'»-i:;8^ lyi is?^'?^?*!^ tD-'D rH^'^p 15?^ pS d'K '?"'''2:nyi T»« pi< nv 

70 Self-Sacrifice 

"If my old teacher (meaning Elijah the Prophet) appears tc 
me again, I shall implore him in your behalf." 

We came to my mother. On the way I suffered the tortures of the 
damned. He spoke to me of the Torah. I didn't understand c 

word . . . but my heart wept with longing for knowledge In mi 

soul darkness and desolation reigned as in a ruin at night 

When we came in to my mother, I fell on her neck, sobbing 

"Dear mother, God has punished me and you . . . Now you hav« 
an ignoramus as your son!" 

She was horrified and her voice trembled, 

"What do you mean? How so? Who has cast an evil eye oi 

I related the entire story to her and pointed out to her the groon 
whom I had disgraced. My mother clasped and unclasped her hand 
and sobbed bitterly. Esther, my sister, stood in a corner with her fac- 
to the wall and her tears flowed ... At this moment in came the heac 
of the Yeshiva and turned first to Esther: 

"Listen, bride, go into the kitchen and prepare something t( 
eat for the scholar." He pointed to the youthful stranger and added 
"If you are fortunate, he is the mate destined for you." 

Esther looked in dismay at the groom and his ragged appearance 
but she obeyed the master and went out. 

Then the headmaster turned to the mother and said: 

"This is no time for weeping. You too are not without blame 
You did not provide for Esther and you did not punish Hananya 
Your behavior was not good! Not good!" 

My mother sobbed still more violently. 

"Don't cry!" the master repeated. "Don't cry! Act!" 

"What? What?" lamented my mother. 

"Will you do what I tell you?" he asked. 

"Yes, yes!" my mother hastened to reply. 

The master then said: 

"First marry off Esther. Here is her predestined mate!" 

My mother burst into a heartrending cry: 

"This fellow in linen rags, with the staff?" 

"Yes, this is the young man whom Elijah the Prophet instructec 
in divine lore. Is this the way you obey me, your relative?" 

"Forgive me, Rabbi! I obey! I obey!" 

Then he continued: "Your son will have to wander forth intt 
exile until he shall awaken the mercy of the AU-Merdful. He toe 

ti^srni'DD 71 

,(Dy DD-^M ,x'»nan in'»'?K) ''m ly^^s ]i^d ^raisn t}:^ T»t Dyii oy is — 

ITl n^3 lD5?n D"»K T»K bS?11 

Diyi 15? nnpn-Dwn :^5?ii ts'^m tj*? pK /tyias^ t-'d n q''K T'i^ 'T's 
0^1 vni m'»'»ii 05? |iK ♦♦♦Di^ii 8 Dt:;'*: '>'»Dt2;iS3 T'K iik /min i'»^ u 
pK i5?tJ2::i'»s T^K nat^i *i5?if r^ ?ix ♦ ♦ ♦ niif) i5?t 12: DS8u?i?i5?s i^B Ti^n 

18 PT 8 it)D8n 1^11228 ♦ ♦ ♦ tDQ8it3^y^ T'T P« T'^ t38n t:it$^ ,''V:;vm^ — 

{'pip Tt^ mv^^:^ 05? px Di:;^ Dt^;**:! I5?n5?:! T'K Dn5?ii 
?PD5?A 5?in-p5? t8 I'^'i 05? tD8n i5?ii '''IT8 "'ii ♦ ♦ ♦ tDO^M '>^^ — 
,tnn 15?T t'^K 08T t8 n^K Ti^ii tm ,nt^5??3 5?2s:i8^ "^^ ^''K T'K '?"2215?'7 
8 t)'»/s DP'^n tiK Di5?n 5?i^K 5?»8^ ''T DD5?i3ii8S ,D;35?tr'i8Q D''K n^n T»K o^ii 
5?'?5?P^^ii 8 r^ T'Y D'^s^tot^ ,5?^!^^ I5?t305nit2; n nnoK p;« ,^^p Dn5?t3"'Si8Q 
15?T p-ns toDip 5?:^in ini^n ♦♦♦n5?it5 Don pK ,m8ii 15?t 122 d'^is id-'d 

jpnoK 122 ^3 mip in Dii5?n PK nn'>t:;'»-t2?8i 
-T»^^n D5?T 183 105? 122 05?35? 1852 PK p-n8 1^? p^ ''''^ '^^3 nvn — 
T8 PK — linn ti^5?i^ Q5?i n^iH m^n i5?i to'^ia 18 1^ tDti^ii — ♦ ♦ ♦ ddh 
♦:\iin pj?"7 pj?T 15? i35ni — 122 is? t^:^''''^ — ■ W-^"^ t)5?ii ^t^ im 
D5?i 18^1 ^l^in pJT p^ inn a5?i *T»m dik inoK in Dpip d:^82218Q 

♦ ♦♦o"'ii8 t3''^A pK n m^8Q n3"'t:?''-t2;8i 
t'Sm^ in 122 in di:j5?ii nn'^ti^^-u^si in P^ 
too^n n pi< ♦ ♦ ♦ i5?^''ni ps d!.^22 pv Dti?^:i t^k /I5? 10:^8^ ^1^1228 — 
pK mi8T5?:^ tDtz;**! nnoK 18S D08n 11 08II tD^Di5?i Dpnini8s tik in 
!Dn Dti^'': !Dn Dt^^:j ♦♦♦D§8it^W^ tDt^;^^ tK^:i:in 
.15?5^ni 1:2 I5?pi8t:>t2; 18I 18 vm^ ''i t)n*>M 
♦15?^ fli8i pt3 ,ni''ti:;''-t^8i I5?i ^8^ 8 W ^^^'^ '15?^'*'''^'' ^^''^ — 

♦5?^8^ ''I toils'?? ^08*^1 ^o^'^'i — 

♦n3'»t2;^-u;8i 15?t t):x5?is ^P'^SQ 1^^ too5?ii n pi< — 

♦P8T 122 5?^8^ ''1 1''T to^L^K !p^8S .p'rsS — 

:"»1T8 nn'>tz?'>-t2;8i W tD^st 

mm i-'X VH D8 ♦ - pi^oK n^inn 18J2 ^Qiip — 

tV'^w^ 8 n^n o^m^ i5?i ps o''ii8 in Dom 

?*lP5?Dt2; iD''^ ^Diiii^"? pK linn i5?i — 

♦Dn5?^5?^ nun d-'K d^^ D8n K-^nn in''^K 0811 /Unn 1571 px 08i -- 

?nniip ,iD03i'?8s '''1T8 
. ♦ ♦ ♦ A^8S l'*^ /piti? ^^83 1^» - ♦ ''31 ,^ni;3 1^^ tom — 
oiani on T^'n ,ttDDns8 ni^^ pn n^ ,i5?t)ini 15? Da8T /pt pji pK — 
,]n8n nm i-'IK Q-'it^ ps tD05?ii 11 pK 4PS?myT n^'K n^^iK in d5?ii ma»ni 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 1P\0^ v^ 15?tD^5? ♦ ♦ ♦ 15?t35?St2; 183 

72 Self-Sacrifice 

will some day bring you happiness, some day, later oh ... . JBsthe 
is older!" 

Then he mrned to me: "As for you, atonement might not hav^ 
helped you, for your sin was indeed great. Fortunately for you, how 
ever, the marriage was not approved in heaven and your actioi 
turned out to be of benefit both for the groom and the bride." 

"The bride as well?" asked my mother astonished. 

The master replied: 

"Know that Leah, the daughter of the wicked man, is self 
effacing and righteous. Her saintly mother pleaded for her in the 
realm beyond and succeeded in obtaining as mate for her daughtet 
one of the thirty-six hidden saints that in each generation dwell oi 
earth. You will probably be able to identify him as the carpenter 
whom the rich man dragged to the wedding-canopy, in order tha 
the wedding-feast might not be spoiled, but I beg you to keep thi: 
knowledge a deep secret until he himself makes such revelation 
if ever." 

"How marvelous are the ways of God!" said my mother, some 
what comforted. 

"And now," continued the master, turning to me and to the 
groom, "now, my dear children, change clothes with each other!" 

And to me he added: "Betake yourself immediately on your wan 
dering. Take the staff and guard it as you would your eyesight 
When you go to sleep at night, place it near your head. I shall pray 
that help may come to you and that the staff may blossom again 
Then your soul too will again burst into blossom and you wil 
recollect everything. But remember, I repeat, you may not put or 
other clothes until then. Now go and don't stop to take leave ol 

I changed into the groom's clothes in the twinkling of an eye 
but just then my sister entered, carrying in her hand a plate with a 
pancake. When she caught sight of us in our changed garments, she 
was so stunned that she dropped the plate with the pancake. The 
plate broke with a loud crash and the master cried out: "Congratula 
tions! Good luck!" 

I didn't hear any more, since I was already on my way out. 

Hananya related that, when he left Jerusalem, he immediately 
lost his way in the desert, without bread and without water. He had 

aim pp T"»K oy oisjii ,D3 ^ -lynis: itab^n ♦ ♦ ♦ im yo'^inr^ ]r>i ijjd is'?iuny3i 
n»i •'K ,]m ti^D *»« ,nniD >? d-^^ t)T;s:'?y:^o*»ix in to^n 03? iik .lyiiysi t3t2;'»3 

♦y^8;D n in Diyiani ♦ ♦ ♦?n^iK n^3 "js?^ — 

11K ,nyii22 yjiyo'pNinsn ig: Pi< nyoDi^D Dsrtri nvi /Hx^ Ti< ,to"»ii m — 
11K ,D^ai'''?yn m^D'pij; n r^ ^""^V^ ^^^ ^8s in D^n npi^r n is?di;3 •T'K 
n5?"''?;s:t3D i5?i ,yp>3:D ny t^k di$t iik ♦ ♦ ♦ p'>:iii^in;a'7 g: ^''K i^b iD5?ay:\o^iK 
y"»'?8P Dtr?>:i *?^t miyo n ,nsin lyi 122 ^bv^^v^ d''K d^h nti;iy nyi d^ii 
r'?^ Dt:;'': Dyii *iy v:i ^nmo-Tion tni^'pi ^^t ,t>k d$?s ,dis;*7 "ii^:^ ♦n5?ii 

♦DD^nD^:^ '?D''n ^ v^^ ^vm^ •'t idii^t id-'o: od^:i — • 

5)n'»^ yrjD ,n:ixii: ,inn dis iik n^'D 122 lytDini ^5? tDA^t n:ii2:ii: fiK — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ! a''u?in'?;D n d''^ t-^k Dt2;''iD ,mi'»p 

lyi fiK ♦ ♦ ♦ piH: 111"?:^ r^ ^''^1 n^)''^ ''''^ '*i'^ "^22 ^5? tD:^ST ,n |ik — 
oas^pisr D-'K D'?8n DDKi 1^1 -sisp TK :^''1K m ^n d-'K d-ti pk 0^:1 ipiTDtr? 
(IX n'?"»n r-'T i5?»ip '^ijT oy ,r-n ^"^sn^ 'pyii T'K pK .ib^'pv; Doyii n in 
'IK •[y?'?nS"»iK T^iK na!i;:i iin toyn D^^^yi pK ,ty?bns'»iK "pist tpytot:; m 
1D318: py^ iDoyii D^^^yi lamv ^\?:iv^v^ nis:i ♦iyi8?3iyT ?"?« T^ t^oyii n 
♦Dyi^V t:"'D t)t^*':i in t:^yTy:\ tin •»'':^ lai^r^j pK D''ti^n'?;3 y^yi:!^ 

niKi pK n5?T"''?p oann nyi ri< ptoy:^nyn''K t^ t»k s^n py n^na 
m^n nyn pK ly^ytD ;« i^iK iDipr.^Q i? 13'>;d nyDoyiitr; ]!?» pJ?iK Daip y:\n 
Bij^S py^tr? ^8S n tD^n ,D''t2;i3^» yDtr'»itDnxs n px n:iiK Dyny^ n ^11 pK 

''!SiD-'?T» ,Sito-bT»// ttQiiyr^ciK D^n nS'»t2?''-ti;«'n iv'^ pK ,::^iii:'?p pnn 
♦niDtz; pS o-'iiK I'^sn pn T'K ,t)nyny:^ du?"': pit:; t^ ^»n ")5?^ 

iS'^n iy tDi^n ,K''ian D'?^^22iy-T ,D''^t^i'T' fis o*»ni? t"»k ny "^n ''itn: fix 
linn 122 Dtz;''^ 1^1 nyoxii ]^ px t^niD 19 nnr^D ^ px Dyti^niij^niXD -t'^^i 

74 Self-Sacrificb 

no great desire for either, however, since he could keep his bod^ 
alive on herbs which he found in the desert. He was in constan 
mortal danger, moving about among all sorts of beasts, snakes, anc 

reptiles. But somehow they didn't harm him They would hun 

and growl among themselves but kept out of his way. Hananya thet 
understood that they had no power over him, because he was onl 
condemned to wander on, exiled and banned, but was not yet fate* 
to die. Once he even imagined he heard a voice call out: "H 
belongs to . . ." but he didn't hear to whom his life belonged. 

Thus he stayed on, day and night, pondering mournfully on hi 
young years that were to pass away without the light of learnint 
without a ray for his darkened mind. If only he could hear a wor 
of Torah! If only he had at least a Prayer-Book! He couldn't pra 
by heart, no, not at all! 

Hananya narrated that once he poured sand on his head an 
that, in order to torment himself, he stood on one leg, crying oi 
to heaven: "Torah! Torah!" Just this one word. He cried with a 
his soul. He carried on like this for an incredibly long time, unt 
the sun set. Then he collapsed on the desert sand and fell aslee 
from sheer exhaustion. He felt himself weeping on even in his slee 
and crying out: "Torah! Torah!" The head of the Yeshiva the 
appeared to the sleeping Hananya. He was swathed in a shrouc 
with a golden crown on his head, and he spoke as follows: 

"Arise, Hananya, your redemption is beginning. God has hear 
your prayer and the Prophet Elijah has interceded for you. Ari^ 
and go forward in a straight direction. You will arrive at Safet 
Go to the good-hearted Reb Hiya. Make a full confession to hin 
Ask him to accept you in his Yeshiva. He will not refuse yoi 
When you become eighteen, he will find for you your chosen mat 
He will pray for you and his prayer always causes a stir befot 
the seat of the All-High. Besides, the marriage-ritual and the sevet 
fold blessings following the wedding serve to cleanse persons of sii 
Help will come to you. On the eighth day after the wedding, yc 
will awaken in the morning and you will find the staflf at the hea 
of your bed blossoming and sprouting almonds. Then your sot 

too will blossom and sprout You will remember everythin, 

except the unpleasant things. You will expound a portion of tl 
divine law before Reb Hiya and your speech will be constructi^ 

and not destructive. Reb Hiya will be happy with you Bu 

whether you will live long," he concluded, "I do not know " 

npmn p-^i^v^^ *iy Pi< l$?iiyA pK ♦♦♦'inT^ r^ ^^^ ^ I't |y:i''ss?A o^n 

l^a fK pDS ]ni bl?11 /Dt2;'»a HD^^tZ? p''? a-'K n''1J< p^n ^n 1^5 ;|57:j^Dt^-)^Q 

to-'iK t)Dn '?ip » '»n /t:;inn dis^hsta ib^s^ n^ ^t$n "^^la p^K pK /nii y:,/ 

tiK DDii;iD5?:\ pK /D3i^: pK ::\15D D^u;Ti:i^'?ay:!^/!Dn^ ns? dish ^m PK 
^DD**^ T« ,niin 1^ pyiiH: ty^n o;$ii n^S^ :^:^^i'' V^jt ^x^m ^v Dijn tJiy-^nay:^ 
'V^ nun D1ISJ11 8 ^tDp ^V to'p^ii ♦ ♦ ♦ m^ pi^D^i"»s pjt iss "^s^Dti? » 1^ 

Dtz;'? px ,s^p |D''i« ^^8T iD^u;^:^ in is? to^n nv D^'^'^n^iyT ,^isj;2 p^K 
^^•Ti v^ ]T.'^'^n D5?^''''K pK r'^S Pi< '01S p''K JT'iK tD^^Dti?^:^ in n3?:i: 
Di^n tynti^yiii pK ♦ ♦ ♦ Di^n 5?^'''»J« D^T ''11 ^v^ ^^^:^ /^imin// ,''jmin// pji^? 
T^K ny iiiK ,]y:i:ii?:iynyDnK t^^k pr n t-'S ,:\^^b ,a^i^^ . ♦ ♦ t^srin'»D;D d**^ n$? 
IS Ti? ,D^'»ss?:^ pK /DSS/3ti:?iKs iQ;sJbu;y:^rjj^ v^ ]m iiv m h'^ik i^ssj?:^ 
-t2?sj;n -in D''K in Dtini^n ♦ ♦ ♦ iniin jnmn :Dint^ pK i^ik n^^t:; pi< D:i^ni 
D'^K tDi^n pK /S^p p''iK pnp yiyn^ij:^ s iik a^'Dnsn pK v^vm '^^''^'^ 

xmiim ''Its: 
t)n5?n5?:\ D^n d;$:^ ♦ ♦ ♦ ti$ in ^T'^n n^isn tm ,K*»:iin ,T'ik '»''du; ■— 
'»">:^ pK »T'iJ^ ^''Dti:; ♦t3'»tts::^ in it?D in D^n j^^3:in in^^K pK ,Dj?ns:i pji 
dd^is;t pK /ns:^ p"»p ly^ip itso^Pi 4^8^tD in t^yii p^m n 111 nn i^s 
,P5?a pK ,pJ?T rnnriD a^x iss in D05?n pk ,|K^n n ,niD-sb an p"»:\ains 
pi< ,p^tsis; Dt^'>: in d^ii iy pK ,nn''t2;'' p_n pK tyi^yiiain^ in ^^t iv 
Dyii 13? pK /3iiin pji tyi'^ay::^ m ly Dyii n^*' 1222^ pyii to^^ do:s?ii n tis; 
ninsn «D3 ni$§ at2;n 8 pn^iyDii; dss^ n^'^Dm pj?T pK /in iss p_n 'r'psn^ 
. ♦ ♦ nyii P^^np iDoyii ♦ ♦ ♦ i*»iK niiDin ynti? ti^ '^sd^ nsm f»K — ayi rin^? 
1^1 D5P1 /ns iyi *pi< piiiDDnK in iDoyn nsin iyi i^a :\^d iddj? aix px 
p» /iy^i3i?)3 p^istr; pK to'»bn5?:\s''ii^ ]'2^n vw oas^pins m !?n ip^rtDt^; 
• ♦ ♦ . n^t^i n in pH I'^ii? ^yn i^si^istz; pj< ]y?*?n 
D05?n pK ,iDD5?^t2; ayi lyo^'m ,iyaK^iyi r*?^ m dD3ni n pK — 
pD D5?n K^n n pK ;ni''no pv ^ti?"*! ,pin ^ ,pi^''n k iK^'n 'i ii^s p^t 
w * Dti^''^ i'»K o'>*'ii — iy m^i — iny"? r^^j?*? iDosrii "^i^ 1^1 ♦ . ♦ pjjn nm in 

76 Self-Sacrifice 

Then he disappeared and I awoke. It was dawn. I started out 
and walked and walked until I came to you, Rabbi 

Hananya completed his confession. Reb Hiya looked at him 
sadly and asked: 

"How old are you, Hananya?** 

"Seventeen years and ten months." 

Reb Hiya was lost in thought. "Poor lad — to be cut off from 
life at an early age," he reflected. Hananya meanwhile raised im- 
ploring eyes to Reb Hiya and pleaded with a quiet and trembling 

"Teacher, will you accept me in your Yeshiva?" 

"An empty soul," meditated Reb Hiya, "a soul without a word 
of Torah and yet the voice emanating from it has the quality of 
King David's violin." Aloud he replied: 

"Go to sleep, my child. Tell my chief assistant to show you 
where and come to me tomorrow morning for an answer. Now go, 
my child." 

Hananya left and Reb Hiya remained in the garden hut for 
quite a while. He looked up to the sky through an opening in the 
hut and asked: 

"Is he the one IVe been waiting for?" 

But the sky was covered with clouds and gave no answer. 

Why Reb Hiya was unable to accede to Hananya's request im- 
mediately became obvious in the conversation which he had with 
Hananya the following morning. 

"My Hananya, my child," he began when the two were alone 
in a separate room, "know, my child, that I myself have no objec- 
tion to granting your request and to accepting you in the Yeshiva, 

Hananya began to tremble violently. 

"Teacher," he said, "let me sit furthest from you, somewhere at 
the end of a bench, in a dark corner, and just let me listen to what 
you teach them, your pupils, just let me listen " 

Reb Hiya comforted him: "I told you that I was willing, but 
I'm afraid. You see, they are, after all, young boys, full of mischief. 
They may, unfortunately, ridicule you and besides, let's not fool 
ourselves, they do know quite a bit, while you, Hananya, do not 
as yet . . . Well, the hatred of those who know towards those who 

pK a^D i^Q toss^y^s^ix T*^ :3^n t»k pK /p^nyA a'^ya vh iv PK 

♦ . . ♦m /T-^K 125 is?^ip5?^ r3i T'K fi ,iy3i38DiyA 
pK "lys o'»n:^ d''^ d'»k n^iK topip i^^-^n n ]ik ,K'»aan tD'?^''22'n3?T ^^its 

♦Q^tl^in tys pK IS'' 1225?1"'T — 

''!D'»»'» rans IS — ny toDSitD — isrnya,/ ♦ ♦ ♦ K''>n n in ddsidiss 
D^a t)asT px ix''''n n T»iK ]3i'»iK yo'»'nA yii^t T'IK K'^^^n Ds^"»n '?!?mv*T 

jt)nyD'»2:n8s pK ^''Dtr; ^Dyny^ p-^nsn s 

?nn'»ir;'> n^i p>K is^J^S^^iiins T^» i^'K D5?ii /'»ni — 
D'?''su? n^sn ps pK ,nnin disii 8 IS /K^'^n n ddsid ,n^i2;a sny"? K// 

ns? msT T»in pK ../'v^^vvq od^^h in o'^ns 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ irp ]n^ ''^''^ ^^1228 /Hiitz^n ns:i i'';^ 122 nD pis^ Qip PK 
Dpip ny /Hsio pK v'^i^n s IS^ Dm?*?! K'»"»n n ]m ^o'^ns tD'»''A K^:an 

.D:^yiD px 1521S ^^^^ pK ^i5?D22:i5?fl pnn 
♦ ♦ ♦ ? 1 y 1 im D5; ^st — 
.DPJiitz; pK Dlp'i'SIIISS PK ^;3\T n^T is^ 

i'?sa n2wn iK^'iin ps;:^ 12: tyiiyA iv^w v^ iK^-^n n osii ns© pK 
♦ns ^n pK omsJa 122 iK'^inn d''^ d^p^i:^ pk 15?t ty^ d^pi /Dis 1^'^« 

na^'p pj?a ,p'»ii m mn nyiiiTsn 8 pK Q'^k nj? dast /"^n K'»i:n — 
f*^ /pji8 nn'»tr;"» pj^ px p?^j?irj?is ti ^^1 t^ ,n^p2 V-^i 122 $?M:n ts 

♦ ♦♦nsi./tot2?''a nj?'»i;D pv ^22 pJD ps 

pK i^5?Aiy i!?x pD 1DDD1511 D^ ''ii ,t22n T^ DTs^ nj? d:\st /•':n — 
tD^St W11 n-'K 0S11 pyn nsi '?''ii T'H ^^^'pypni i^nmi'^Q j$ pK ,p3sn py 18 
♦ . ♦ ♦ T»K '?'>ii t n 5? n 18^ ♦ ♦ . Dn'»tt'?r) n 18S /'*'»t iSQ 

nm '^''''n n d'»k oD-^nD ^'p'^ii r^ m »^^^m nn ist ssn t»k— 
l'?yii -^n ,nn5?:i nt;y» ,DL^'?-y^ii'» diss 18t ]VW 03? nns asn T'K nv dast 
,K^iin ,n8:i tJtJ?'*^ in n^jss*? '12{-i3?t px ♦ - P8)3 P^'^n .mbm-on nn o-jik 
-"T'»tt'?n 8 PQ HKrt:? n pK ♦ ♦ ♦ bnmv^ n pK ,18t ^n pr:i5?T Q'»ttsn-n"»ttl?n 

!8 Self-Sacrifice 

are ignorant is great You will be made to suffer, I'm afraid " 

Hananya burst out joyfully: 

"All the better, teacher. I should suffer and I want to suffer. 
The more I am put to shame and the more I suffer, the sooner 
will the curse leave me." 

"Be that as it may," interposed Reb Hiya, "I have still another 
fear. Your presence may be detrimental to them. You know the 
saying: 'Whosoever shames his friend in public loses his share of 
the better world! 

Hananya replied in a still happier tone: 

"I did not known this but, if it be so, then it means that, although 
I do penance and although the curse is lifted from me, then I shall 
still have no share in the better world beyond. I shall therefore be 

studying Torah for its own sake without any hope of reward 

Good, teacher, good!" 

Reb Hiya drank in his words like fragrant perfume. 

"But, how about the others, how about my pupils?" he asked. 
"How can I let them sin and lose their share of the world beyond?" 

Hananya was silent for a moment and then he asked: 

"Would that still be true, teacher, if I were to forgive them— to 
forgive them beforehand?" 

Instead of replying, Reb Hiya took Hananya's hand, led him 
into the Yeshiva, and assigned him a seat by himself, somewhat aside 
from the others, just as Hananya had requested. 

Reb Hiya began the lesson. From time to time he cast an eye 
on Hananya and noticed the youth sitting with closed eyes and open 
ears, listening intently, his face reddening when he grasped the 
meaning of a word, paling when he failed to do so, and darkening 
gloomily when even the translation was beyond his power of com- 
prehension. Reb Hiya was reminded of a parched camel, lost in the 
desert, suffering from thirst, and cheering up when it heard the 
clear rippling of a brook in the distance. 

During his discourse, Reb Hiya overheard the pupils whispering 
to each other about Hananya, pointing to the newcomer, and mutter- 
ing such slanderous names as "fool," "ignoramus." Reb Hiya was 
pained by their behavior but he did not scold them, because he saw 
Hananya lifting up his eyes and looking at his tormentors with joy 
and fondness, as though they were doing him the greatest favor. 
Then Reb Hiya continued his discourse. 

t^§rm^OD 79 

T^ ssn Disj^ '''^T fiD Dmo*» IT-?'? 'itooyii ♦ . ♦ o'»n:^ fK n^n-aj? ]^ is ddh 

:TnS to**^ K'':i5n d'»ik t)!?nt2^ 
iv^ 0^11 ,t2;rn iy?2 oisjii .ly^ips^ tiK itj?*? nisi t»k /"^an .KnniN: — 

?'»ai ,ti^tD55D T-^K Distil — 
,1trDiy^ l^^n^r ,D^mn inn r-?T D;Dyt:?n8S lya^'^x tk ,u;t>!?to rx oy — 

lyny*? ]m p;$n t)''i nnn D'?iy'? pbn rv r'?^ T'^ '^J^ii ^rimi ]n^ Ps ss*ii? 
pxn^n r'^'21 ,'>H^^bn . ♦ nDt:; n^iK pnas^n Dti;"»a ,n^ii^^ ypXD »Tnin T'K "pyii 

♦^^•»in ipnapyati? "^n lyDiyn s?rj?T r-^K dsxt nsn ox^"»n n 

D-'K Ds:yT pK ,r-?^>3: nS'^u;'' rK in d'*^ d^k d'T's ]ik Di>i;n m i^n t^ 
♦Qn'»»'?r) n lis Din k is ns^ nn:insa :\:s'?iss T-n t)''i^ 

riK IS "ly DD1S11 .^n^ 122 t51^22 flQ ,]1K n^T^ OyT DA^T K^'^H n 11K 

y^yss ^^^ 't^''^^ yDDS^'iSs t3''tt t)sn mns lyi •'n nv toyt ♦ix^^in t»ik 
IV lyn ^in to^D^'Ti Q'':i3 r-'T pK my'^ir D122 p^^ in toiyn r^ ,t*iy'»ix 
,n''i^'nss:D Dvsy D-'K Diyn oy m ,pynt:? "ikd OK^n tonyii tik ,Dnsi*i S tjss^ 
-^t3i^D DS*T I'p^QS typ •^5? 1^11 .nmntr nn» s D''i< T'li^ t^^^xs '^S^ ^''^^ TK 
-as'?^ o»'»*' "^J^^rp iDDS^tr;iss S IS 1^''''^ '^ ^V tois^'nyi -tsss tDtr^-^a dish 
tonVn oy DS11 rsnyi nm iik ^Dtris^ Ps Dmc Dsn iix nm-'D t^^K Dyt:;n 

. ♦ ♦ . '?S'nP S rs ly^tn 'is'^P S /Oitoim ps 
,1K''a2n pyii in ]^'^m ly'?^'^^ D''T^'?n n '>^^ ny tJiyn 'ps^ ^ r^ 
■Dy mn •'H D^^ii*?''n dsssd lynK r-n PK ny:\rD n d''^ d-'X nnx pi^D 
D^**! -jn ^''ix ny Dintr isi P« /tisnyT ny^r onni^ x^^n n osn ♦♦♦n^sjn 
n »T»ix Dpip r« 'P-^iK n nnx t)'?s^VT ^^"'''n ^<'^^ri '>ti .toy? ny "rini ,is 
^n i!?^:i ,t3ssti:?s''^ tD-^^ .ms t)''^ to^^^iyi tp^r.^s d^k i'?''^ ds^t Qn^^'?n 
. ♦ . ♦ niyt^ Dyi nyoini iy m^i ♦ ♦ ♦ roy:^ naiD yooyn:^ n d'>k p^sii 

80 Sblf-Sacrificb 

The pupils asked questions about the discourse. Reb Hiya replied. 
A lively discussion followed. Hananya alone kept silent. Not a word 
of endorsement or of disapproval of any argument! And yet it was 
obvious that he followed with intense concentration everything that 
was being said. When the discourse came to an end, he was the last 
to leave and he utilized the remaining hours before the late after- 
noon prayers to walk alone along obscure and overgrown garden- 
paths until he came to the deserted hut among the oleander trees. 
There he sat down, in deep meditation, and did not get up until 


The chief assistant once came to ask Rey Hiya's advice whether 
to apologize to young Hananya. 

'What's the trouble?" asked Reb Hiya. "Were you angry with 
him again?'* 

'God forbid!" replied the assistant. His story was that, whenever 
he happened to pass the hut among the oleander trees, he heard 
Hananya's voice inside the hut. The young man was either repeating 
the words of the day's lesson in Hebrew and in translation or he 
was praying to heaven with great intensity and inward devotion, 
crying out constantly *'Torah — ^Torah!" as a hungry person might 

beg for bread "From this behavior, I gather that the youth is a 

sincere penitent; I feel that I wronged him during our first en- 
counter; and I fear that I shall some day be punished for this sin." 

Reb Hiya restrained his assistant. He knew that Hananya still 
had a thorny road to travel. But he was happy to note that the youth 
was arousing favorable attention and that even the pupils were 
beginning reluctantly to respect him ever more and more. 

Again the thought came to Reb Hiya: "Perhaps he is, after all, 
Miriam's predestined mate?" But he dismissed this idea: "An igno- 
ramus, despite all efforts!" 

Once Reb Hiya purposely went to the garden hut in the late 
afternoon to inquire of Hananya how he was getting along in his 

"Are you making any progress?" asked the teacher. 

"Not yet! I have not yet been found worthy of acquiring 
knowledge but I do grasp more and more, the words are becoming 
clearer to me, I can retain them better in my memory, at least in 

tt^SniTOK) 81 

^'»i)D 11D s?i8S t^v ^^t iy /DPJiit:; K'^iin r**^ *^JS^ 'l*'t toiys»^ i^d iik 
-nnr;^ 122 o-'ns: t)tt?ij? t);3ip pK nmnnn pK D'^Jj;^ in 022^1 pK ,i$?;^''^3 

pS •nyDiyn n nyn^'K in Ditn iy nyTJj — ^ip DK^:2in o"»in8 nsio ps 
t3yap o'^n^i tj'*^ '?»^^ Q12: ^^snis pk iy n^^^Jj ,tr;Di^t3-nny to*'^ niy'^u; 
nypny:\iin 8 ''ii !niin — nim — nun fayr-'K pK v^k tosn pK /mpnn pK 

♦ ♦wD'^nn in Dyn 
a^n ,nnitr'n-^sn nycni^ i? fK oy tk /K^Dn-wn n^T d^i^:^ ,t^ yt — 
'ryn T»K ''2: pK tJ^yDti^y:^ iz;''''!^ t5t:;'»i d^^^5?i ta^'H T'K n^n •'^ ,k^i^ T'K 

nKSi^T tT'^ns p''p I'D.^n tDt^'^a 

pD D'»r»^n n i'?"'D8 th: ,Dpiy^Kn mn iy t^ ^i^n ;p__n is ps^ k K^^^n 
♦ ♦ . ♦nH'TT^ /pn^^'^n DtT''^: ^D''^ nKD pnp nn''ti?'' 
-tD35? pi^ ?i5?toiytz;8n o^n;^ Dtr'^i o^ v^ ^22 n^^ioim Diy^p "ly tiK 

♦n^n-Ds fK D^^s ny:2 ^^^ in t)iys 
,n3io px iK''ian 122 sjj")8 nnr^ ^kd v^^-^m^ K'''>n n d'''':\ '^ij^ v^k 

ns 0:^37^3 ?osin D3?9y pit^ tDD"'n — 
niS:^ m^n ^^""^ 1^^ T^ ^^n n^DT n pni ,tDti^''n 1^:2 ^iniis?^ — 
P13T px iD^^n^a pi< n^^s^KU? ^3?^ 8 D^n nv^ "7^^ 8 o^n ^i-'K nyn ti^n 

82 Sblf-Sacrificb 

Reb Hiya sighed and said nothing. 

Hananya begged piteously: 

"Teacher, you said: 'Yesihena, let him talk out!' This expression 
remained fixed in my memory. It irradiated my dark soul as with 
the brilliance of diamonds Let me talk to you!" 

"Very well!" agreed Reb Hiya. 

"Teacher, something marvellous has happened to me! In the 
beginning, on the very first day, as I sat before you with closed 
eyes and listened with ears wide open, afraid to lose a single word — 
well, when I closed my eyes, I imagined I was still walking on, 
roaming about in the desert, parched with thirst, my tongue cleaving 

to the roof of my mouth From afar there penetrated to me the 

sweet friendly sound of clear, clear water, refreshing for heart and 

soul I felt God's mercy keeping watch over me and guiding 

me on a straight path towards the revivifying well. As I neared the 
well, the water came to meet me — And now I recognize the 
significance of the well, for I once drank of its living waters but 
an evil man led me off the right track and on to a well of bitter 
waters, poisonous waters, which I mistook for dew of heaven. God 
is, however, extending his help to me now. I am retracing my steps 
to the true well and its waters are coming to meet me, shortening 
my travail. My confidence is rising and I am proceeding with new 
strength. Though I still climb over stones and rocks and thorns, 
I am happy and walk on. I go on, and, as I move forward, to the 
true well, it also moves towards me." 

"Amen! May God help you!" broke in Reb Hiya with a cordial 

Hananya continued: 

"Sitting alone in the hut, I become lost in thought at times and 
I imagine that I was like a cage, full of singing birds. The birds 
sang God's praises and hymned his glory. Then a magician came 
and cast a spell upon them and they began to intone melodies of 
a different character, insolent and dissolute melodies. Ordinary people 
did not know the difference and praised the cage and the singing 
birds, but once a pure saintly person passed by and listened to what 
was being offered to the public by the cage and its birds. When 
his ear caught the true meaning of the melodies, he recognized the 
evil tones of lasciviousness and blasphemy. He then went up to the 
cage and said: ^Rather than to sing such melodies, it were better 
for you birds to be struck dumb altogether!' He blew an angry blast 

tn'»^n5?:\ T'd t-'J^ Di^n d^jt — "n:l^^ti?^/ D::^;$TyA i^t Dijjn i-^k ,''m— 

an i^Kn ,T^ni^ tk lODv^^y^^^ii oysy D^tz;^:^ •r*^ d-j^ /'»in — 
n^n pK p'»ix yDSKio^xD D"*^ T~^K nJi;s ]o^m V^ T^ tj? ,:^«d '|Dt2;ny 

•'11 /T»^c i5?n DiDini ps 1^:1 ♦ ♦ ♦ t3ti;i^T n^s t3?^i:^ dis Dsy'^pyi^i^s i^d t-'k 
^ •'11 D:^a''bp o^n '?ip ti?v:''^^ ,on j? d-j^ ,i5?D^n ii$bp nt$bp ^ D'rtn oy 
DDiS^ TJ? ,Db^D:^:^ n^n T'i< pK ♦ w n^tt^i lyi in:d nni tr^ns ij ,nniD mit^n 
pK /'psnp D12S ::\yii p!?^:^ is-^ix T'^ ai'»s ]ik n*'^ n^n-'K in Dpyn nu^Dm 
in myijTJi b^^^p 1^1 pK nsroKn ipnynj;^ n^:i ,a''X i2j t';^ is^^jy:^ T^ 
D''D ^Ji:np iy-T nyii ,iJj;'7 o^'^i T'K p^^ n:\ypj^; i''^ to^ip pK n''^ 122 ^jik 
X niji /lypinDy:^ q^'K ps ^^^ ^? i^t n^n t>k ,t''k is?Di?ii pn^a^r'? p_n 
122 ^ii:np ps Di"'Dy:^pynj? pK Diyn''nyA^yn'»K t^ Di$n tz;t3a^)D i^DDybtz; 
'»1D fj* D^T Ti? ,tor'')2y:\ n^n t^ px n^oKii D?:)onii:s 122 nsro^ii DDy'ptr? 
•rsnp "15?! tiK /pm22 •'n T'x 4^b^ny-^ djj:^ 't»^ to^n i:iisk pK ♦ ♦ ♦ b^'^n lis 
n''^ px in Dpii?D^ pnton ny^ iik n'^^ dq^j^h p^'pn; n^r ,P5?P^ i^^ d;dip 
n^r^n n3?r''DU? iyn''K lyDy'pp t^ u?Dp pK ♦.♦Dims y'pjj; d"*^ '>'':\ t^ 
Q1X ">'»:;i T'K •'ii •'1TK ]ix ♦ ♦ ♦ ^^^ pK ♦ ♦ ♦ '''':\ px t>d t^ "^ns nynsri pK 

♦n**^ 122 '^Kiip i^ni in myayii '^m '^^W 

♦K''''n "1 a''K toti^Drii ns'pyn d^:i in ^i^r ,tJi3^ ■— 

oy PK ,^i$;3 J? T^ T^ toDKiDiKQ ,ri3iD PK p^^K pn:!rT pK — 
pK ,'?r'>s 5?P''^:iy::^^*'T d*';d '^is ,rj?DU^ k ''I1 wm pn 1'k tk ,1''^ in ddkt 
lyttipy:^ PK i^n^T ♦ ♦ ♦ 'ob^B'^v^ nnti? p_n ,ty:\iiTy:i n''i'? odi^:^ p^n "^r^s n 
p-'inyr^i^ pijn •'n pK .i^d$;:\s^ ^iti^'^s k '?p''s n D^n pK n5?DN:»"nit2;^3 k 
nyDD^ns 1^1 ♦ ♦ ♦ yiyD^by:iD''iK ,3?pnn522in ♦♦♦i^r^rr u D''iir:i nj?T:i^ 
'?r^§ n pK rjDtz; n t^T^bn PK ,«T»nyT |yiN:Dt2;iH;s Dtr;'»i in D^n D'piy 
-12s PK pK nyo-'ni^ K pnx h: i^:\iK:\y:^Din 'pjj^ k ^k o^r v:i. ,rjDtr? i'^k 
,Diyn5?:^ nv tD^n -D^iy pKS d-'Iik rjDtz; ]is mvi iv^ o^ii 457T ]mmv^ 
nyi Dijn 15? ♦D''iira n pD iin in^K 0371 ds^<s$7a i^ks d^h ly-'iK p.n pK 
'iy:ia82i5?:^'t52 TK ny pK ,ns"'?in'':i ps ,niiKn ps ni'^ip •''»^iy^K "^n pK i3i$?n 
nyoyn DDiDtz^iJjs ,iy:\in 122 •'itk nyr-'K im^'^n tiK r-?Dtz; nn 122 ^v^m 
p^Kp ,tr*'3 K D''^ pJiJ? rj?t)t2; nyi pK pDy:i Tij^n ir-^n k asjn ly pK !'?r^Q 

M Self-Sacrifice 

of cold air into the cage and immediately the birds were as if 
magically accursed. They ceased their singing and fell down to the 
floor of the cage. There they lie, as if frozen, with folded wings, 
shut beaks, and closed eyes. They lie like the dead..., 

"And when I listen to your discourse and catch a word here 
and there, each word seems to awaken another bird in my cage. 
It opens its tiny eyes and its little mouth and begins to sing with 
a weak voice, with a quiet voice, but the melodies are pure, devout, 
and honest ... it is beginning to move its little wings . . . soon, soon 
it will fly." 

Reb Hiya wanted to comfort Hananya: ''You see, my child, God 
has mercy on you." 

Hananya, however, was not easily comforted. 

''AH this," he complained, "happens to me by day. But as soon 
as the sun sets, the shadows of the night creep again over my soul. 
Within the cage everything is again silent, frozen; wings that were 
beginning to stir are again paralyzed and fall down as lifeless, the 
beaks are shut and the eyes closed." 

Reb Hiya was painfully touched and told Hananya: "Go now, my 
child, to the prayer-services. Ill remain here and pray for you." 

Hananya looked at him with gratitude and deep affection and 
left the hut. 

Reb Hiya was alone. He said the Evening Prayers in the hut and 
was about to go out into the garden to pray under the open sky for 
Hananya. As he approached the entrance of the hut, he saw a few 
steps in front of the hut two snakes entwined about two neighboring 
oleander trees, their mouths bent towards each other so diat their 
tongues of venom almost touched. 

Reb Hiya was acquainted with all the birds and beasts of his 
garden, with those that wing their way high in the sky, with those 
that rest in the branches of trees, with those that creep about at 
a still lower level on the leaves of plants and vegetables, and with 
those that multiply lower still in the grass and on the very ground. 
Reb Hiya soon recognized that only one of the snakes was at home 
in the garden while the other was a strange snake, called "Achnai," 
which he had never before seen in his garden. He wondered why it 
came. Tarrying in the shadow of the hut, he heard this very question 
asked by the native snake and also the answer given by the other one: 

'n ]tibt^^i^Q pK DDit:;'»3i;sQ •'n '?:^^*'s n lyayt ninn ns iin px .d^d^ 

't^^iSJi*^ 8 1^^ 131^11 jj sijD ]m n)T^ nyi^K iic il^k t^ isrn t'k t^ pk 
Isr'^srA^^K yrj?T o$? d:jS^ ,y'?5?A^^D iv^^}^ 18 H^'IK 't»;d pk di^ii o^ij?^ tDpyn 
n^^ ,o'?'»Dti? 8 t:'';^ rbv '^\^^w ^ tD"*^ f^Aiin t^ t3n*'^^ pK ^d^'pi^d pj?t pK 
. ♦ ♦ 15?'?57A'''?s n D^^ b-'Dti? Din iiK ♦ ♦ ♦ D'^iiri 3?^5;^")y ^y^ns ;D''aiP2 yon 

4DD"'nD Dt^'':! K'':i:in njrns in tot^b 

n -^ii •'1T8 pi< ♦♦♦:\8t3 1^3 ni$Ji ns?^^ PK .in ny d:^^'?? t'?^ 08*7 — 
. * ♦ nf:^m pj?;^ n^iK pni2: dd^^i ly^ ps oaD^t^ n in iP'''? ,S8i8 T't tot^^ pt 
d'';d D^n D3? 0811 pK ,jti'is")8Q /t)/:)iDtr;n8Q pmii: di5?ii r_^Dt:; pK y^8 
-183 8 tD"»^ /D'^iD •»n S8^8 pmir Dbi<:Q pK Db'»''^y:\ Diyn ,t3my:^ '?r'?D k 

.... P"»iK yt:iD8^i8s D''^ ,bDy^r?;D 108*?^]:^ 

tyaii8T n^^'P P^ '''''^ jQ''K 15? d:^8t /I^^j cn:^ iisnyT K'^'^n 'i D8n 
o'»n8 t3'»"»:\ pi< ,pi8"T pK t)S8^n'»^ o^^nA tD''^ K'^iin d-'k n'^m tip^p 

♦HDIO ps 

b'»'n 11K nsiD PK nn5?tti nm**^ S8 to^iw i^ /r"'^8 Dii^^n k^-'H n 
tottip .'?D%T Ti57to:im iK'»:iin 18^ P-^t 1:12 ^^sdd ,pJi8 ltDi8^ l*'^ p'»:^D'»n^ 
12218:^ PK Dno 183 8 T8 /iy Dyti^T ,n3io iyi pa ''pjnit^ iyi 122 lis 15? 
yDay8^ ''^ii^s Dins tD'?wny:^^n8 1^:^:18^^ ''''11:2^ T'^ P8n naio i5?i 183 
n p''iay:!iD''iK 15?^y^i8 i^t py? n'^^ mr] -^n pK ,iy^^''n-iyia8y^8 
♦Dm57:^i8 toy^3 in p8n iy^ysy:^Dsn n tj$ ,''1tk i^^po'^si 

T»in ]T-'?^ 0811 ''T in ^^18:^ P-:?t pa nisiyi ni'^n y^8 K'^'^n '1 I8P 
D^n n in ;'i:^nm n ttz;''^ i5?;:i"»'»n n T'IK p^b O8I1 n fn ;b?3M n5?t3:iiK 
n T»iK pK I'zitibQ vp'^'iv^''^ '»'''?is?'?8 lis i37t^yb:2 n is?n^K dii8 pnp 
♦T8i:^ P^K p'^iVTi in ti5?3Dii3 0811 n 1''1k •'II ;tD''iip ?'»bi3?b8 ps Ito-'^n 
yD'»''m n ,m^^ yti^^^^M 8 t^k :^iKbtz; p^'K m 'K^'^n '1 ib8::i 5?P8t3 D:357piyi 
♦15;Ty3i to-'a 8T 18^ ^8n iy oi$ii :\iKbu; yi^yis ^ pk ''^k^ds?// do^m 03$n 
t'»K pj?i8 P''")i^ T^ '^3? to-'X 4y^ips?n57n8 f^K n 0811 18^ 40''ii ^V '?''ii 
pK .m"?^ yti;''»'»M n oayis yn'^yt 08i "'ii ny di^jh .nsio iyi ps iD8t2; 

;TK DiySDl^^ 5?^^nQ ^ "'H 

86 Self-Sacrifice 

'1 have come to bite somebody." 

The native snake smiled: 

"You are troubhng yourself in vain. I have been here long 
enough to feel at home. When I arrived, I was most venomous and 
ferocious. I used to bite the students of this Yeshiva. In the course 
of time, however, I stopped biting. Do you know why? Because of 
Reb Hiya, the head of this Yeshiva. He was once a merchant who 
travelled far and wide throughout the world. In the course of his 
trips, he met old sheiks and acquired from them knowledge of the 
seven sciences which had been handed down to them by their 
ancestors. These sciences included also medicine. Following the 
instructions of these sheiks, he brought from distant islands various 
herbs as medicines against our bites. I used to bite and he would 
heal with these antidotes. Finally I realized that all my work was 
in vain and so I have stopped biting altogether." 

"How foolish!" answered the foreign snake. "Herbs help only 
in those cases in which a snake bites of its own accord, out of ancient 
innate animosity dating back to the divine curse on human beings 
and snakes imposed for the sin in the Garden of Eden. The Creator 
of the Universe has a habit to prepare in advance a specific cure 
for each specific plague and, even before he created the venom of 
snakes and serpents, he commanded the earth to sprout healing herbs 
on those islands wherein these living creatures increase and mul- 
tiply I am without fear, however, because I do not come of 

my own free will and I shall not bite out of animosity. I come on 
a mission from the angel of death who sent me to carry out a 
sentence upon a person condemned to death." 

"How will you find such a person here, where there are only 
students of Torah, righteous people?" asked the native snake amazed. 

"Sentence of death has been pronounced upon the youth Hananya, 
who spends hours of meditation every day in this hut." 

"How was that possible?" 

"You see, he exposed to shame a young man of great learning, 
a pupil of the Prophet Elijah, and did so publicly on the very day 
of this person's wedding. A partial penalty was immediately exacted: 
the head of Jerusalem's Yeshiva, who was present, pronounced a 
curse upon the sinner that he should immediately forget his learning 
and, in addition, imposed upon him the following penance: Hananya 
must wander from place to place, dressed in linen clothes, with an 
ordinary hempen rope about his loins, and must carry in his hand 

VSrnTDD 87 

PK ,yt2^'')3'>M 8 IMS'? ntz; ST ra T'i^ t^nr^ pi t*>k toonDiK — 

iDO'»^i't tin? .]oi^n 122 Diyny:^D*'iK lya^ T'^^ ^^^ t3i?22 15?^ ts'^iD ♦nn''tz;'' iis 
•tyiiy:^ ^mo s "p^^ » t^'X ,na'»t2;^ lyi tis v;tii is;t ,K^^n '1 ^!!n ?08n n^s 
,p'»'»tr? 5?t)^8 pQ lii< ,t3^5?it lyi lyn^'K nis?'»D:i v^m^ i^^ s tosK^y:^ px 
1S"»1K iD5?it) nn Di^sr'^s 15? yD^yn t}"*^ pK nt^n^'S m^Dn ystz? in^n D^n 

♦ ♦ ♦ nmsin n;DDn t»ik ni^sn yns?T:8 tt^^'nur Din^^^^^ciK nn 15? D^n :\yn 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ fDi^n 122 ioi3?n5?:\&''iK i:s:x8^ ri< T*^ ^ijn ,DDn^iK DyniK t»k 

o-^ns i^:: t3)3ip 0^11 HK^tz; isd ,n;D22s? n^i^ Doi^n m'pti? » lyn ,t)b^^ 
P18S iy:^:i8'?t2; pK itz/tjay/a t»ik nbbp 00^:^ ps — ''n-*]^^ nS^Ki// d^t ps 

myu;'»i cix Dt:;'':i ,'i'?'''n Dya$?r*'X pj» tis ati?''i Dip t»k :Dtt^^a im v^^P T^ 
^pwv^f^ T^ to^n oijii niiton-iK'pia ps mn'''?ti; pK Dip t»k ;|ol^s i^k 'i'^ni 

♦nn"';D-3^*»n » T'IK pos k pjt 122 d^v^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ iD-'pnii ,D''^Dn"n"'^'7n s?^8o ^nn'»^ n^^'n 8 8^ "itDDsn 111 — 
nsiD px nmmnn ^1 :^8t) n^ to^n o^n i^^^nn iinn lyi to^ — 

8 DK'»3an in'»'?K ,DDn-i^;3'?r) k tyiij?:^ ts^'^'^n;:: D^n 1^ i^Jji do^t ■— 
^p-'iDtr; 8 pK insin o^Dn"T'^'?n ps :\8t3 pK ♦ ♦ ♦ D'^a^n — pK ♦ ♦ ♦ T'^s^n 
!5nnyi t-^k o^ii .D'''?t2?n'' ps na'»tr;'»-ti;8n t^t Jiyj^ip^n i'?^:^ "^V m^ P^b 
'iny^y:\D"'n8 PK ^lyns?"? o^i to^n^s '^st 15? .id'^s^i^^ Q'^s^ t:?«n ,t5?ii^:^ 
IDO^ns 8 to^'D nyT'^'pp siyt):iii5?'? i:^8^t3 mm 8 PS?ii ^^T iy ,n^wr\ 8 
18 p-n8 toi8n i^T pK tny W d-^k d^h pk ,'['7:15?'? •'t n^'ix ^dix:^ D3?:3sr5i8n 

88 Self-Sacrifice 

a stripped branch of an almond tree. Not until the staff in his hand 
bloom again, will Hananya recollect what he once learned. 

"In other words — never!" interpreted the native snake. 

"Not necessarily!" answered the other snake. "This sentence, how- 
ever, was not acceptable to the powers above. It was regarded as 
too mild. There was a general feeling that Hananya should also be 
deprived of his share in the world-to-come. The Lord of the Torah 
put in a strong objection, however, and could not be budged. Agree- 
ment was reached that the youth should be permitted to expiate his 
sin. He is to marry a good wife, according to his real merit, and 
on the eighth day after the wedding he is to die. The wedding-ritual 
with its sevenfold blessing will serve as atonement for half his sin 

and his death for the other half Furthermore, inasmuch as a 

daughter of Israel is to be widowed through no fault of her own, 
right after the wedding, she is to be compensated by being blessed 
with a son who is to become a light of true wisdom unto the 

The snake tired of speaking, having never before discoursed at 
such length. It begged its companion to guide it to the water. The 
two snakes uncoiled themselves from the trees and disappeared. . . . 
Reb Hiya was left deeply disturbed. 

He found himself in a difHcult dilemma: if he did not marry 
off Hananya, he would be going counter to divine desire and Hananya 
would never recollect the Torah. To marry him off, however, meant 
killing him. Besides, how could he, Hiya, take a daughter of Israel 
and bring her as a sacrifice? How could he justify making her a 
widow, eight days after her wedding? 

He peered and probed into the sky for a sign; but the heavens 
were silent. Reb Hiya's heart quivered and quaked and a still voice 
within its depths became audible: 

"Hiya, sacrifice your daughter, your only daughter Miriam. Father 
Abraham would not have hesitated " 

It is not so easy, however, to sacrifice an only daughter. Reb 
Hiya recalled that his saintly Sarah promised him that in an 
emergency she would appear to him in a dream to resolve his doubts 
and so he raised his eyes to heaven and prayed for her appearance. 

As he prayed, the clouds that covered the sky passed away and 
millions of little stars suddenly came into view and beckoned to him. 
They held forth a promise of divine grace and invited him to have 
faith in a favorable outcome. 

ti^arnTDtt 89 

iy)a jd:\^T3?a t5?J:3 m^ /p"'r">'n pk d^t !t5?:3J$Dmi Dt2;'»:i pos d^t T'Ik ly^ 
nninnnt; i5?i lyi^ in D;s:n ♦Kin o'piy^ p*?n d^t i3??:jyii2S d-'K «Tiii;T 

♦ ♦ ♦ IW mQ3 Jj py:i d'^k bi$i 75?^ t^ /p-^bn^?:^ fx ip'^:; |1k p''^ .D^^t:)ti;3?:^^:\^pK 

y3t2? n D'»a nsin n ]!}t nsD;^ d5?ii is'^sn ♦ ♦ ♦ ]'2ii&^ii; iv ^ist nsin lyi i^:i 

♦ ♦ . ♦ naxn n'pir^n iik^ i? ,d^i^ ]ii$:i k ts^^ipcn^ tDjrn o^ii *idt"P ^ d''^ 

'?;8;t n ,in^t)nan nyi !?n in n Ds?n r^iv'^n '?''s '»itk ^^^ 8 d-'d t3t2;^:i 
T'lx pK ♦ ♦ ♦ p5?nij 13?"'^^ ]^i< s^ iy:^:i^'?t2;' n in ly^p"*!! njroKii 0122 ivq n 

?'isnp in; iv^b lyr^aynn pK ^xiti?'»-nn i? ]Vf^v^ ^y li$P "^ii PK iDiyn y:ip'''»K 

?ni;3'?8 |K i^Q minn lyi i^: a^d dds pK^ 

n>!:n D^T iisi .mmw '?;D\n nyi jimi? '?ZD^^ pK t)pip pi? ns? Dpip 

jD''nJ3; n^n PS ^ip in: 
iras aniajj ♦♦♦on^ HTm-nn p_n nyoDisiD pji 2np^ m ,x'»''n-— 

oiJ^Diyi nyDDistD yp'»sr''K li? pj?T 122 2np^ lynis t^'K dd!?^ ^m ^^''i 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ on pyn '?^sri)3 T-'K px p-^ij? n ^^m Di2r ^t'IK ny Di^n ♦mpso iis pt»d 

pK /^»M ps ip'?;s;n lyi si* in o^p-'ii ,'?bQnD vtx iy •»n •'itii; pK 
D'^K 122 typa-'ii ^n pi< .bt$}:i ^ t}"*^ ly'pianyDt:; tyu^'''?'';^ in tT!5ii;^n oy 

n8Ti22 iDir^ H D"';^ /pnoa d'»» ,ion ^''^ 

90 Self-Sacrificb 

Reb Hiya*s prayer was heeded. While sitting on a chair at dusk 
after a day of fasting, a fainting spell came over him, his eyes closed, 
and he dozed off. In that very second, the saintly Sarah stood 
before him. She seemed unchanged since the hour of her death. 
She looked at him with the same gracious eyes, placed her right hand 
lovingly upon his shoulder, and said to him: 

*Tear not, Hiya, our daughter's fortune shines like the sun. 
Leave everything up to her." 

He wanted to ask further but his saintly wife had disappeared 
and he felt someone arousing him. He opened his eyes. His daughter 
Miriam was standing before him. Her right hand was touching his 
shoulder exactly where the hand of her saintly mother had just 
rested. He heard her saying: 

"Pardon my waking you, dear father, but the sun set long ago, 
the moon has come up in the heaven, and the stars are ablaze. It 
is time for you to end your fast and to partake of something, dear 

Reb Hiya saw before him the culmination of his dream. He took 
her hand fondly, pressed it to his heart, and said to her: 

"I shall not break my fast, dear daughter, before you answer 
me truthfully what I am about to ask you." 

Reb Hiya saw her beginning to blush but continued: 

"Dear daughter, in certain matters it is customary for a girl to 
reveal her heart only to her mother. Unfortunately, you have lost 
your mother, who was a saintly woman, and I promised her that 
I would be both father and mother to you. You must, therefore, 
tell me the whole truth and leave nothing hidden in your heart. 

Miriam buried her face in his breast and whispered: 

"Ask, dear father." 

He began: "You see, my daughter! The years are passing and 
I am no longer young. My beard is white like the snow of Mt. 
Hermon. What will happen, my daughter, if I am called to the 
seat of heavenly judgment and to your mother? In whose care shall 
I leave you?" 

"Dear father, don't speak of this I shall always do what 

you wish." 

He then asked her: 

"My Miriam, do you want to be more righteous than Rebecca?" 

c?Drr)i'>D» 91 

8 iis::j ,DD8i iss b^^ pK ♦nJJiW Dis?ny:^D"'ii< fx n'?^Sn oi^^'^n n 
-nss r^bn-nwbm k 0*'^^ «t»ik D^aip ,^iDt:? nj?! T'IK k^^h n "»itk Disn ,n'':is?ri 

jD^'K mi$i fiK /'pDpx is''iK D:3H:n vt^^v^ n toSsm*'^ 
T§'?i8S ,1iT n "^n Drj?ti; '?t;d oiytJDi^D 1vm^\^ ,K^'»n ,Dt2;"'i n^t — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 1 •> J? «T»ii< in 

D5;w^''K D5?n 'T'li^ tD^ijjn 5?t)D5?i I'^K 13^'''? |iK ,D''x ni?s t3'''»t)ti; njroD^D 

T'»x pT '»!♦♦♦ topyiiy:^ in n^n t>k o;s:n ,^m?D n^^ m ,"»u?5?t5i?tD -— 

,r-n oyitD oysy wbi$i toi^x ri^ — t5i5?P8'?sy2r in tnjjn iy*?*7n57i3ur n 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ •'ti^yiDjjt) 
tD§8trn'»^ t3'»» 1^ n IS tt?Ds;a joi^n lis it!;»n s t"»x dj? ts ,i<^"»n n D5?t 

tDtr'»l in ^Sni l'»K T**! ,rJ?T D5?1D t3t:;'»a ^^11 l'»X ,''U?15?t)D^t3 — 

.T\m DS?T n5?SD:iy Dt^?"*:! 't»d Doyii n ]ij< ,t:\3?i§ 
tiv^nr\ ly tDMjT /in i3'?tD''n n •'n /K-jn 'i djtt 
-D18 Di5t:;n» yD'»iij?:\ 12s 5?::nin i)^ ^t-^k d'^ij? no i5?i^ ,''tr?i5?t)D^D — 
/•'ti^i^TDD^D nya^ iiST it)0'»n nytoi^ m ii?;D 1^:5 n^i^n i''K nbina 1? Dpjr'rs 
— D:!iiSTpi2r ,npn2r lyi n$?Ditt r-^ :iJ!jn i"»k •'I1 — m i^'K I'^n ^n^ain'' k 

:tD^'>niy^'»Dtr^ ttr^sr pK U0112 1!5T j^'IK d'»jis i"»x ^^n^ tib^nm 

t3t2;'»i rttz? r^ T'J^ '15??2J nis;'» w^J?» ivt^a^to ,371 n^'K ly m^i 
0^11 IIm: — ]i^in nsa tS-'iK '»''3!2? 15?T ''11 oini fK yrj?^ iiija n ♦ ♦ ♦ :^ir 
i5n IS fix /n'?^^ ^ti; in'^-^n D122 isn I'^tt ojrii ij??^ tk nytoD^D ,r-^T Dyii 
?1TiS^i$7a'»i? in i'»i^ ''?5?ii tD^iKn 05?»5?ii T'ik — lyam ivmf^i 
. . ♦ 1i5i:i r-51 no pnist^tz; '?''n I'^i^ ♦ ♦ ♦ psisi tDti;'»i m ^''ti^yDSD — 

:n 15? ta:\5?iS 
?np5i "^n npix iy» r-'t do'?'»ii /'i'^nD — 

92 Sblf-Sacrificb 

She smiled: "No." 

"When Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, came to propose a 
match between Rebecca and Isaac, the Bible mentions that Rebecca 
was asked whether she wished to go of her own free will with this 
person Eliezer and she was not ashamed, she answered the question 
with the words: *Yes, I do'/" 

"Ask, dear father! And I'll answer you." 

He then put the next question as follows: 

"Tell me the truth, dear Miriam, which of my pupils would 
you like best as your husband?" 

"Hananya," answered Miriam softly, so softly that only a father's 
ear could catch the name. 

Reb Hiya was overcome with amazement and asked: 
"And why do you like him, daughter? Did you speak with 

"God forbid," she replied. "Besides, would he have answered 
me, if I had?" 

Reb Hiya smiled and said: 

"What makes you like him, child? Do tell me!" 

He saw that she did not find it easy to speak and so he 

"I ask it of you by my parental authority." 

She then told him that she liked Hananya from the very earliest 
moment. "In the first place — ^his voice, which flows into my heart 
like the finest oil. In the second place — his heroism!" 

"Heroism?" marveled Reb Hiya. 

"Surely, it requires heroism for a young man to go about in 
linen clothes among well-dressed comrades and not to be ashamed 
or intimidated!" 

"Is that all?" 

"Then there is his kindness of heart, evident the moment he 
raises his eyes and just looks at you. Then there is his sadness, which 
is most touching." 

"Child, he is expiating a great sin which rests on his soul!" 
"God will have to forgive him!" — she burst out with perfect 
assurance. "I once passed the hut where he sits during the late 

^''11 n "»2r /t):^^^©^:^ tnpni ty^ Di^n /'mv^n •»§ nK i'?Ktz;i„ jd'''»Dt^ ,)pm^ 
pK t)^5?t^y:^ tDtz;**: in n D^n ,oy dd^'ti ^n^y^'^K to''^ ,t^D:i3?^ Q^t to^;^ p^ 

♦pysD^y Ti T»x byii ,t)D'?''ii n T8 pt2;yDKD ,:^n§ — • 

?DiysD:i5;y^ I^t i^;d d'pisiii *iy — pK !Di^t2;ron ■— 

♦b^'»22i3?i /KiniN: ?"7a''p /t5?T 01^11 — 

!S8 iin''3a ntn nn »T'1H r^ T'^ — 
♦1^5?S5?;\ n-'K ny T^K yn lyDt^ny nn pK n'rsn ts ^d-'K n t)^''''22iyT 
!V;3''is lynti^a •'ii imK r^sn •T'K r« T't oon oy ;^ip oijt — D3Dt2;iy 

lyw^s '»! Dn''\T ny lyii 'D''K topip oi$ii n»n ton pj?T n^s ]ik — 
» ♦ ♦ ♦ n8?i D^-5n IS tosijD oy . . ♦ nrnto pj?T pK *0'>nH: p-'iK •»! ps .T'i^ 
!n?D^i nyi T'li^ d-'j;; tor^ wt h: ♦ ♦ ♦ s§ t3;2ip ny nrp — 

yam T'K nyn ♦ ♦ . nm'»a 189 Dsn ny m /Hsid nyi i^msD ^^^2 » ^^^ th 

94 Sblf-Sacrifice 

afternoon and I listened to his prayers. Is it possible, dear father, 
not to give ear to such prayers from the bottom of a heart?" 

**God is a Lord of Mercy, daughter!'' 

"I don't know his sin, but his atonement is sincere. There is 
so much repentance evident in his face, so much pain in his heart, 
and sometimes so much melancholy about him! How can one refrain 
from pitying him?" 

"Is it only pity you feel, dear daughter?" 

*Terhaps at the beginning,dear father. I used to think then 
that, if I were in your place, father, I would always be praying for 
him. Later on the thought came to me: were I his brother, I would 
sacrifice myself for him. Then suddenly — you asked me for the truth, 
father dear — suddenly a stream of hot blood rushed to my heart. 
I thought that self-sacrifice in the truest sense can be achieved only 
by a wife. Since you insisted on an answer, questioning me by the 
power of your parental authority, I had no choice but to tell you 
all this 

And once, father, I had a dream about this. 

It was on Lag B'omer, the holiday on which you went with your 
pupils for an excursion on the sea in your boat. Hananya went 
along. You asked him to. I saw through the window how sad he 
was as he boarded the ship. 

I remained all alone. It felt dreary to be the only person in 
the house. I was so gloomy. I decided to go down for a stroll in 
the garden. There it was also unusually quiet. Not a bird sang. 
Not a worm gnawed at a tree. I became strangely melancholy and 
tired. I went over to the flowers. They stood wilted, with heads 
drooping. It was a hot, sultry day. I lay down on a flower bed 
near the white lilies, my hands under my head, and looked up at 
the sky I dozed off and had the following dream: 

A dove was flying through the air, a white, gentle, sad dove. 
Below it, unseen by the dove, flew another bird, black of hue, with 
a long sharp beak, with which it sought to stab the dove. I felt 
deep pity for the dove and cried out to warn it of danger. But the 
dove did not hear me. It floated on in the air. The dark bird was 
alarmed, however, and disappeared for a moment. Then it returned. 
Now it flew even faster. It was beginning to gain on the dove. 
I felt an intense, still more burning pity. I cried out more loudly. 
Again the dark bird was frightened and stopped a bit. Then it re- 
sumed the chase. I cried out in heartrending tones. This process 

T'K nijn — rj?T 'p^T T'N ♦ ♦ ♦ '»t2;5?D^D ,n'>\iii8 "^5?^ I^iiy^ pk d^t — 
pms?t3tz; D"»x njjs T>K d^s^i /''t^yDjjD ,m^ ]^i T'IK ■— DDisnoyA bt$r:i 8 
8 r~^T bi^T T>;5< tD^nyji p2K-T5?:\ ^t^ t^ 2^n i^nyi .♦♦i5?iw ^"^sniiD 
arb2:i'?s pK ♦♦♦i^iw ti:;srioiti q^'K iss i^;3 t^ d'?^!! n5?:ii^T mn^ 
D^\T Q^iDt:? n^ 1^^ Di^n — n;2K on pisr t^ ^^i do'jm n — wvm^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ nn T'K '?"»'>:!Siyi ntn i"»^ 'T'IK Dcn n ts Dr?ii is; nis^ t»t iisp T-^t !r;sa 

n^sy:^ n''2289u;' Dn'»^'?n s?^in d**^ DO'^n n n^i5?n yb lyiw f'K oy 
lyryA pK ♦ ♦ ♦ io"»''ns?:^ d"'K tooi^n n tT^^ K'^ain ♦ ♦ . n*' p5?n'»i< »T»t2; nyi 'T'IK 
♦ * . ♦ T'ti; nyi T'lK *T'ii8 fK iy pny^nD "^ii nsrDs^^srs pin t^ :i^n 

♦r-ns 101^:^ pK iy:^iis::\y:xssis T'X pn ♦ . ♦ pny^nD "^ith; pK v^n v^ p'^bi? 
Dijin oy . ♦ ♦ ]v:^i'\m ot:;"»a t:;$n b;:^''iD pv ■— ^"»Dt2; t5?Tiy^ I'lK t^k tai^Ji pK 
pnir-^nD ly'^nyniin pn t»k pK ♦ ♦ ♦ DSJj'ppy:^ Dt^^^i n^n pv pi< onisii PV 
pK Dtii^bni^s s?'?^ •'n t^^-'Dti^ ♦♦♦'[y;Di^n n 12: Ti< '*''^ ♦♦♦n^iw Tia pK 
5?oi^n n r?a D'^'^n i? n^'iK t»» T'K a****^ ♦ ♦ ♦ 1^115?^ a^d nj^o-^M 8 t'»k 03; jp''iny:i 
pK ♦.♦pJi8 '^^''n PH '»iT8 pip px ,BSp pyoaiK mvn n id'^d ,iy'?^'? 

♦a^lD ypny'»nD ,^'?'»Dt2? ,yOini 8 ♦ ♦ ♦ ^"'ItO 8 "^^M n$?DaiK t3'''?S 05? 

,'?:^'»is i$7:i")8iit2; 8 18^ t)***?© — tD^'»a oy ds?t n''itD n — i^x lymM p8 
T'X 3inp ♦ * ♦ n^'iD n isyDtz; 'r'^ii pK bn^it:^ pixt^? '[Dpnt3U?y:^D''iK I8 to*'^ 
Diyn a-'iD n ♦lymti; ^idii i8 =i^^t P^ nii;Dni i'?'>'ii 8 :i''ito iyi i^ix 
-15?-? '?A'»iQ iy22i8iit2; ly-r 18^ ^dsi*? m pK iyDi?ii u^-^nt:; /Oti^u T';a 
,pni22 iyn8 to^ip IS? - ♦ y'?:^^! 8 T»ik n^^ii^^ss t^iyn pK in Dp^it:; 
8 181 Ttt pK in Dpsni .♦.nnD n p8''is?i 18 t^n^^^ /i5?p''D08n d*»'?d 
-i8iit:^ iyi n^D^n 181 i-'K mt:? jm:i»m I5?pn:i5?i3?i3 8 I81 /I37pi8t3t2; 
ODDy^imiyDiM bca 8 in Dpn ;'?8» ss ISi T^ Dp5nt:;i5?i ^^ns ly^j 
pK ♦ * ♦ iypn:iD!.nn8n 18^ l''^^ '-?i^ ♦ ♦ ♦ ix ^8^ 8 I81 t^'^'^S px .♦♦ pmir 

96 Self-Sacrifice 

was repeated several times until finally the dove also heard me. It 
came down to me and asked sadly: 

'Why do you cry, child?* 

I answered: 

1 am chasing away from you the dark bird which you do not 
see and which wants to kill you!' 

Then the dove replied gloomily: 

It does not want to kill me. It must kill me. I am condemned 
to death and it will execute the sentence, unless — ^unless someone 
sacrifices himself for me. But this,' added the dove sadly, 'this nobody 
will do!' 

1 will do it,' I cried out to the dove. 

'And will you not be full of regrets?' 

'No' — and I swore to her most solemnly never to regret my 
sacrifice of self. 

The dove nodded to me affectionately, tarried a moment, and 
flew away. 

When I awoke, I knew the meaning of the dream. 

He is the dove, he, Hananya, and complete sacrifice of self, 
dear father, can be achieved only by a wife for her husband. And 
I have sworn most solemnly!" 

Reb Hiya listened with increasing sadness and then asked: 

"And supposing that Hananya were destined to die young? 
Supposing that from his loins there were to come forth a great 
luminary but that he himself were fated to leave this world at 
an early age?" 

She answered simply: 

"No matter how few his years, each of them shall be happy." 

Reb Hiya's eyes gleamed sadly as he asked again: 

"And supposing that Hananya were destined to bring forth a 
great luminary, a light of wisdom unto the entire world, but that 
his own life were reckoned in heaven not in terms of years but 
rather in terms of days, counting from his wedding?" 

"No matter how few his days, each of them shall be filled with 

'*And you would willingly accept a fate to be widowed so soon?" 

"A young widow but a blessed widow, blessed by God!" 

Reb Hiya remained seated, unable to comprehend the heroism 
of his young child. 

"Heaven's doings!" was the thought that flashed through his mind. 

s«i8 in DT«^ tiK ,t3-is?ms?T T»'ij( T»x) Dnjn n-^iD n t-'n ^^isjid sds^dj? ^its 

rav /iDDLnti; onjii — 
liK m'^i Doyt n 0JJ11 ^:\"»is msw oyi in ps ijnj ;\$'» tk — 

IJD^^D in b'»11 0^11 

♦ ♦ ♦ nn*»;3 a«n 8 t'»a t^ ♦ ♦ ♦ ttD"»'»D t»;d n;:^ nj; , *? •» ii njr Dti?''^ — 

?P8n Dt2;'»:i nonn rv t)05?*ii px — 
. ♦ ♦ T'^i T8 ,12: Tt< '^)y^w T»K pK ip"*! — 
D^'rs pi< ^rbi^ii 8 D^^Dt2? /DQsm'''? D-'D n-'iD n 'i'^^ 122 in Dp**! 
05? 0811 i5r:8t3t^'n8S T^ n8n ,DS85y:^S"»ii< t»xd S8n T'K T8 PK .pvm 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Di^iD8a 
in t8P '''t2?5?tD8t) ,pJT trsinoDD pK w K'^nn — 15? t-^k n^^ita n — 

iT'K S8n n''iii^5?:^ pK ♦ ♦ . mm 8 18^ 
;DA5?is pK pny'»ntD n5?"T K'''»n n onyii 
oy ?Diyti;83i Dti;''! d'»;3''-i^''^ PP ^''H K">a2n d^t T8 .pk •»ii pj< ■— 
-iy3i:si'' p''Ap5?ii8 n^ ^y 'iyn8 /P8^ 8 iy»ipD'»ii8 n^S?^ V^^-n pD 18^ ^^8^ 

?Dbyii n^T lis tD'»n 

jn Dns?smy 

nsr ^8T y tD n '?•»§ *>it8 /t)i5?tr;8:i 118'' Q**^ t-^k 05; '?S'»ii — 

♦ ♦♦.p8n 
tminiB is? pi< /P'^iK DK'»*'n "1 T'lx itoDi^b pny'^nto 

8 in pQ py:^i220'>n8 tDn5?t2;8:a *i8i d'^k t-'K 05? a"»iK ^rx m pK — 

tD:iDyny:i ^»\n px fK iyn8 py'? P-^t — io'»n:^ 8 ^8^ /p'^ni^ 8 ♦ ♦ ♦ D'?iy-p8A 

W^ JT>ij^ — 18 nam lyi ps 18^ 't*i8^ T'IH ^^''^ 

!p8n ny ^^8^ ^5?t3 5?tDi3i n5?28 5^3?tD tr?T ^8^ -^ 

?ta:i5'?:2 niD'?8 5?:^ii'' 8 t30'?'»ii n pK — 

ID8^ ps 5?t3tr?Dl5?^5?^ 8 *i5?:a8 — 

♦ni-'p t3iii"» p§ n"ii33^ n pn3j;'»'>Dt2;i8S otz;''! ,tsn H^'jn n Dni?^a 

n? tDD8it3 /^8T^tt^^ 8// 

98 Self-Sacrifice 

She placed her hand once more on his shoulder and with eyes 
upraised and a voice of prophecy, she said: 

"It is my hope, however, that the sentence which hangs over 
him will yet be annulled. I shall give my life for his." 

"How so, dear daughter?" 

"I don't know myself, since I don't even know what sin he is 
expiating. Later on, hell tell me." 

Though Reb Hiya's heart was heavy, he no longer had any doubts 
that the match was decreed in heaven. "God is testing me," he 
thought, but I shall endure this trial." Aloud he told his daughter: 

"Congratulations! God willing, we'll have the engagement to- 

Miriam bent over her father's hand and when she lifted her 
head again, Reb Hiya could hardly recognize her. She had suddenly 
become suffused with happiness. Joy radiated from her every feature. 

"Are you not afraid, Miriam?" 

"No, my trust is in God!" 

Her voice rang so clear, so pure, like crystal. 

Reb Hiya's heart was less calm, however, and when his daughter 
left, he wrote letters to the headmaster of Jerusalem's Yeshiva and 
to the chief of Babylon's Jewish community. 

He poured out to them his entire embittered heart: 

"Tomorrow my daughter (Long may she live! ) will be engaged. 
At times I think that I am putting a crown on her head. At other 
times I imagine that I am leading my only white little lamb (May 
God have mercy on her! ) to the slaughter. Nevertheless, I do not 
want to go against God's will. I shall set the date of the wedding 
for a month hence. Until then, please advise me and pray for me, 
for my daughter, and for the penitent Hananya " 

Reb Hiya kept his word. 

On the next day the engagement took place. The guests gaped 
in astonishment. The youths of the Yeshiva were beside themselves: 
such a prize for the ignoramus! They remained silent, however, out 
of respect for their teacher. 

The month passed without an answer from either the head of 
Jerusalem's Yeshiva or the leader of Babylon's Jewry. Reb Hiya 
saw in this silence an unfavorable omen. He, therefore, called in 
his daughter on the day of her wedding and told her: 

"Do you know, Miriam, that your betrothed Hananya is destined 
to leave this world on the eighth day after the wedding?" 

-»iny:^S'»iK d"»;d pK ^ops ]mt< toisn n "t^d 8 i^5 d-^k m"*^*? n pK 

jn d:\^t nK'*^^ {$ ps ^ip » d-'id pk p-'ij^ yiya 

'?Dn Dyn D-'K nya^K D:i:5?n o^n innn lyi ts nyn^ ni^n T^t — 

♦pj?:^?^^!^ iny^ r-^?3 Q'^K n8§ bv^'\ r^ — nv'ii 

n^iQ oijii ^8S ,t)t2?'>: 1^1 iisT o'>'»ii T»x ^i^n ,tDtr;'»3 0"»'»n p'»'?8 t»k — 

K vv^ 03? T8 ,tot2?'»3 pQD r'^i? ritr? i^ni^'^a nsn pyn^ OK^^'H n f^K 
Djri byn T»i^ 'n^i ^T'b tonns — •is? iodsid — d^a pk/, ♦ ♦ ♦ t>tj:\ p§ :iiin 

♦Q'»Kir) pmti? tns;^ i^;^ i'?5?n n^n nu^n^ dk nyoDis^t^ nn 5id-^t;3 — 
-s-^iK p'^iiss in oi$n n ts pk ,mKn oiytjisjs ns^s-^j? t»t Dr^n onia 
-p'»'?a •»1T8 '?^;3 8 D**^ PK n .Dis?pi5?i Dtr?^a D5?^3 K^">n n n Dis^n .p'^ins?:^ 

?Dn^ ,tDti:?''3 ins r^P *i8^ tDO^n — 

itDs:^ ^T'l^ l^r^SA T»K T»)D T8'?18S TK /ra — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ "ij^t^tz^np '»n ,rn '»it8 pk i^'^P ^im t3?:^ii^p5?:\ D^n ^ip *t»k ])^ 

nS?DD8t3 n T8 pK ♦ ♦ ♦ pn •»1T8 t3t2;"»5 1^1 ^lyn? T^K nSH OK^-'n n 

tnsn tDiSD'»m8i tin onK •'n i^s do'*:^ 13? pK 
♦ ♦ ♦ D"»Kin /•»nnti; Dn)D /lyDD^t^ pJ??3 i5n pjt t'?s?ii ns? tonintz? ^t^i^J^'/ 
px ,B8P is^'iK f'lip 8 n^ns i^'K ryt T'K T8 n'»;D in ddsi ^8?^ ^''''t: 
nyi IS ,t'?x'? Ki^ani /y'rsrss^tz; 01^11 p'»22i">'>i^ pj?)a *t»S i'»k ts — "t^d ^^•'D 

. ♦ ♦ ♦ nD'»nt:? 
QS?i p-n '?'»n:i;3 •— ny t^nintr? — r^ tn^'^i lys^ l''i< ^'»i'^ ^^^ I^VP^' 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ tr?iin 8 *i'»iK i'»K ^jni niinnn t;DT 

185 t3in flK — t38n 8 'HXy 18 T-^i< P§ I'^K 01811 tD1^22 m 15?!''^// 

'\... K'»i3n n5itr?n-'?5?n n8S Pi< n5?t)D8t) pJ?^ 18S px /'?'?S3n» I'^ia 
♦isrnya K^-^n n t'»k mnna 1^15? t8 
♦DQ8^y^ tD^n nb^v 1S?T .fnntz;^?:^ D'^Kan isria D^n oi^d tD'»ms d^t 
!ts^ip D2'»n8 '?8T n?n-Qs? Qyi :in iso-jik ts?a5?T n3'»tr;'» m ps omna n 

D''btr?n'' ps n5'»t:;'»-t2;8i pS nsitr^n p'»p . ♦ . i^ni8S to^''^^ tr^iin nyi pi< 
8 18S 18 oy IV tDD3?3 ?'[5?;3ip83i t:tr?^i K"»^n n D8n 'i'nai tis K'^ti^i ps iik 
d:\8t tiK nyt)D8t3 ''T P-?i8 nam ly-r ps 7.t$^ pK iv t)Sn ,t;2'»o i^:iv^^ 

pni:!jpS?Ti8 n8iw in**:! t'»k K'':i:in inn tin h'^ik t8 /Onja ,iD'»n in — 

• . ♦ ♦ nsin lyi 183 :^8t) PD8 oyi tD'rsni i5?-r ps 

100 Self-Sacrifice 

He told her what he overheard of the snake's talk and that he 
was still without answers from the leading Jewish authorities. He 
reminded her that, if she was not absolutely resolute in her deter- 
mination, there was still time for her to change her mind. 

Miriam replied: 

"I am determined and my heart is resolute. Now that I know 
the sentence, I also know how I shall annul it." 

"You! By what power and in virtue of whose merits?" Reb Hiya 
could not help wondering. 

Miriam answered: 

"By the power of my faith and in recognition of the merit of my 
saintly mother (May she rest in peace! ) and your merits, father 
dear, your life of study, good deeds, and righteous conduct." 

No alternative remained except to proceed with the marriage- 

This began with the reception for the bridegroom. He sat in his 
old clothes and didn't speak a word. 

Reb Hiya made the address for him and Hananya listened with 
a mixed feeling of joy and pain. 

When the groom was led towards the bride, he found her sitting 
in a linen dress, with a simple kerchief over her head, apparently 
in order not to embarrass him. 

When the kerchief was raised, there emerged a face radiant as 
the sun and eyes so limpid and trusting, so mild and gentle, but 
sparkling with supreme happiness. 

Safed's entire community came to the wedding. The groom stood 
under the canopy in linen clothes, with a hempen rope about his 
loins, and a staflF in his hand. 

The bride encircled him seven times, she too in everyday clothes 
so as not to embrarrass him. Reb Hiya stood beaming with happi- 
ness and — weeping. 

When the groom was called upon to repeat after Reb Hiya the 
Hebrew phrases of the marriage formula, he asked: 

"What do the words mean?" 

Reb Hiya translated the entire Hebrew text for him word by 
word and followed the same procedure with the Hebrew blessings 
and the marriage-contract, translating word by word. 

The audience gaped in astonishment: if Reb Hiya acted in this 
strange manner, he probably knew what he was doing. 

tt^srnTDjD 101 

T8 11 Ji r:^i^bii; 15?^ ps Diyny:^ D^n ^^ Dig;ii n''i< D'?'>^sm nj; rx 

,ri"in nvi o^'^^^ t^ tk px ,t3Dys pk pNin r-^^ pK .Doys pa t»x — 

i]nt '?Dn» D''K ^yii T'K •»itx '»ii ^ri^ T'K d^''^^ 

ni|j;'» s;:^aj?^ 122 ,"'t2;5?D8D ,m ,mDT i-'k pk ♦ ♦ ♦ nii^K p;^ ps ma r« — 
niDT px /''tz^jrtjKt} ,mDT p_n i'^k pk iDi^t^n n'''?y ^npiis 'isri ,)vm^ P-'» Ps 

D'»aiD"D''t:;y^ px 211122''^ .nnn pji ps 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ nsin i? t'^yDtz? 122 Da!?*?! 
Diyi pK ,n'»t2;in^D yim pK tnn nn D22n ,'?s$?3-tnn i< v^ 05; pK 

11K nm tD'^a ,pJK T»T Diyn iy px ^nti^m k d'»k ikd D'^xn K'»^n n 

nn"'?? 5;35?mivj?'? pK n'ra n dpt ,D''as-n'?np 122 inn d^tt 1^^ ^vq 

....Bi$p n5?3i''K lit) pojjiss s to'»tt pK /innn dk tr?'»"»a^ K^tr? ,d''1s ;^ 
P"»iK ,pT X '»ii Q'^iis i$ T'lK Drj?t2; ,iit3 0^7 H'^ix on^M ly;^ tj? pi? 

*iymm inn lyi D^^Dtr; — nsin nyT i2r I5;^»n22 nD2J r^m T't dd'^'i'? 

♦ ♦.♦t)3ii:n nyi pK ipytoti^i^xn i? to'*^ pK 
ti/^-^n^ K^^tz; nyr^^p yp''np^ii r^ n'?^ ^t d-'k onx dt'd ly^ px 

.t3:i'»"'n pK nn:i tjsyt:; pK to'^^toti^ ^^'''^n n pj? ♦ ♦ ♦ innn m 
ny D^yis — "nx nn,/ inn oyn p^n^D '^•''n ny t» PK 

?t:;D!?D oisjii — 

•'1TX pK ♦ ♦ ♦ mt$^^ r?a toi^ii d'^k Dt:;Di^D-i»s pK 12: d'''>:^ K'»''n n px 

\ ♦ ♦ . nnna n pK niDnn n Q'»k iy tot2;D!?Dn»D 

* ♦ * . DID ny DSii iy DD'>'»n anon-i^ /•'itk did x''"'n n ris; 1^1 

102 Self-Sacrifice 

Still greater was their amazement when the groom did not utter 
a single word of Torah, not even at the wedding-feast, and when 
consequently no wedding gifts were announced, not even on the part 
of the bride*s family. 

The ceremony of the Sevenfold Blessings that followed the wed- 
ding was conducted in the garden, since it was summertime 

Tables had been set up along the wide main walk, separate tables 
for the men and separate ones for the women. The bride sat like 
a poor girl amidst rich guests and the groom sat like a dumb person 
amidst all the scholars and Rabbis. These discoursed and disputed 
about learned matters. Above them all, Reb Hiya stood out 

Reb Hiya was obviously restless. While talking or listening, he 
kept on looking about him with his eyes lowered to the groundc 
Was he regretting the match? Not at all! He was following with 
his eyes the strange snake called Achnai. He saw it move silently 
among the guests, unnoticed by any of them and never taking its 
eye off its victim, the bridegroom Hananya. 

In the evening of the final, the seventh day of the Sevenfold 
Blessings, Reb Hiya called over his daughter and told her in a 
strangely altered voice: 

''Daughter, tomorrow is the Day of Judgment. Be strong!** 

'1 am strong," answered the young wife, "I am blessed by God!*' 
Then she added confidently: "I shall redeem him from death." 

''May God help you!" said Reb Hiya and hot tears streamed 
down his face. 

"But remember, dear father," she reminded him, "tomorrow 
there must first take place the miracle: the blossoming of the stafl 
and also of his soul! He must discourse to you about the Torah. 
Come early to us, dear father, don't sleep too late!" 

"Will I be able to sleep at all?" he wondered but aloud he 
assured her that he would be on time. 

Next morning, when Reb Hiya visited the couple, Miriam was 
already dressed but Hananya was still in bed. 

"Forgive me, father-in-law,** he said, "I don't feel as I should." 
And he closed his eyes again. 

Reb Hiya looked at the white staff which was standing at the 
head of Hananya*s bed and he couldn*t trust his own eyes. A green 
bark was spreading over the staff, veins were forming beneath the 

surface, buds were sprouting and beginning to blossom Reb Hiya 

was about to go over to look more closely at this miracle when he 

tt^srm'»Da 103 

m^y\ V'p Dlun tnn lyi d^ii ,05*7 is;n^K ]v^ Dijn dssjista ny^ ii$: 

pn^jA ]•»« tS7ayT — Dr22is?ttiT iyii3?A fK oy — niDin 5?5t2? n ]ii< 

18 •'n tDsrtyA PK n'?3 n px nyT:!!?^^ lyai^ii iss Pi< lyT^ima onDt 
]tr;^ii:2 15?did^ 8 ^n wm T'»i< inn nyT pK jdos?:^ yDin it2;"»n22 n'rs sr^ynis: 
•lyafK 11K /Hnin di5?13?i^ PK Dit:;-n^::\ ]2^n o^^^ w^ni pK D'»n»'? y^8 

. ♦ ♦ ♦ K^-^n n — 5;'?s 

my nyT JT»iK p'»ix n D-'ZD Dni? pi< ons tJ^it^Di oyss? to^n pK ,p?n 
iriK n D^a 18^ DD1T IV ln^bm'on tyw^i; iq^ik hdih toti^u 15? D^n •'ir 

pj?T pD sis;i8 t:!^"*! riK pv mi$'? pN: ,iyTy:\ totz;'*! D5?rv pS /Dd^ta n 

. ♦ ♦ ♦ x'»a:in inn ps — imp 

Mp pnn:iit2^a 8 to'»» t):\8T5?A t^ d^h px lirtoD^t^ 

nn pnsDtr; ♦pm-Dp i^t pk piisjD njrtDD^D — 

tDU^Diyiya p3 T»K .'?ni^n yAii** d^t t>i5?SDas; ip'istDtr? pa T'K — 
• ♦ ♦ . to^iD ps ir'>'?o^ix D-'X '^yn T'K — pnDn d**^ ix n Dn — pK id^:^ ps 

•nyiD yo-'M D"»a H'»^n n T»K t)tr?urii iis^yn d^a in ^^1 — 

!03 nyT pJT lyns nisi pi^^ ts ,"»t2;ytD8D ,n d:^8t .piy^y^ 18^ — 
!pi^^n 8 in 18S P8T *li8i iy JT'i^ njatz;^ pjt .pr^'pn ni8i ipyoti? ly-r 
!Dti^''i n8^t2;i8Q ^nS P8A .•'t2;yD8D /n:iiK ix Dip 

♦IS i^x iy m^i T»in pK ^is^'^tr? 15?^ T^ '^Vii ''^s ny DD8it5 

onD pi^ T'K ,p'?8Si8S ms lympy:^ t-^k K-^n n t8 .oan^ia 122 pK 

♦Dyn px py'?y3i 18^ f»K K^ian i8^ A'^^vm ly^W 

♦ ♦ ♦ HKnnn ipn tDtr;**: T>tt "?•»§ t»k ny d:^8t /lyiitr; ^'i'm^ T'^ Din — 

♦iriit n pm!s t3D8J3i8S iy pk — 

t)y"»^]i /0:s8P'»22 iK^iin t)'»'»t)t2? D811 ipytotr; 101^11 is'»ix K-'n n Dpip 
D-'in n ,t)'>in lyri:^ 8 t3''» TT Dpyi8a ipyotz; iyi — Dt:;''! p''ix yr_n iy 
18 Di^M px 1QD83P t)^D in Dpyi8n /iy?iyi8 to''^ i'?8iiy^^8 toiyn 
iy oynyi ♦oa dis ipipix in lyoayi pK p'»md'»ik in iy 'r'^n ♦ . ♦ iy?'?s 


noticed Hananya's face also undergoing a transformation, a deep 
crimson spreading over the awakening features, and the eyes opening. 
Hiya found himself looking into a pair of quiet, clear, blessed eyes 
that harbored not a trace of a curse. He stared and stared. Then he 
turned to see whether Miriam too had noticed the miracle but his 
daughter had vanished. Meanwhile, Hananya opened his lips and 
began to discourse. Reb Hiya listened and forgot all else: the 
miracle of the staff, his daughter, the Achnai — emissary of the Angel 
of Death. Pearls poured from Hananya's mouth, pearls of wisdom, 
hidden mysteries of the Torah. He opened up to Reb Hiya the gates 
of a new world of learning and led him into a marvelous garden, 
a Garden of Eden containing the Tree of Knowledge, the Tree of 
Life, and all sorts of other fruit-bearing trees. The pure light of the 
preceding seven glorious days irradiated everything as with purest 
gold. All trees blossomed. Flocks of birds sang amongst their leaves 
and fruit abounded in their branches. There seemed to be no end 
to all the blooming, sprouting, singing, playing. Hananya talked on 
and Reb Hiya imagined that the soul of the world was speaking. 
Or was it all a dream? Reb Hiya opened his eyes wide and let his 
ears imbibe the marvelous tones. He opened his mouth and drank 
in every word as it streamed from Hananya*s lips. He felt a holy, 
inner rapture spreading through every limb and organ. 

How can mere words express the ecstasy of Reb Hiya as Hananya 
uafolded to him the mysteries of the Torah! These mysteries are 
recorded in the Book of Hananya, which Reb Hiya published in a 
gilt-edged edition. 

Let us meanwhile leave these luminaries of learning and let us 
see what the simple but righteous Miriam was doing: 

When she beheld the staff bloom and her father's gaze fixed 
on the staff, she seized her husband's linen clothes and left the 
house. Silently and quickly she passed from the room; the carpet 
muffled her light steps. Then she came through all the rooms until she 
came to the last one. She did not meet a single person on the way. 
She had arranged on the preceding day that nobody should appear 
until she called. She looked about and made sure that she was alone 
and unobserved. Then she took off her dress. Her lips muttered: 
"God, forgive me, if, to save a soul, I wear man's clothes." Then 
she put on her husband's linen garments, ran towards the door, 
opened it, and sat down on the threshold of the door opening out 
into the garden. She sat thus quietly for a while and looked out on 

tt^firriTDtt 105 

ni^s 8 T'lK tDiss? ns? PK /in t3^D'»n /T»t DiyniynijQ D'»as DK^:iin •'•n njras 

K'»"»n n pK /iy:^t:;'T7 is t3n'''»n pK iissy*? n x^'ian Diisjr bnm^si ]^H ,n8TO^ 
'"'KiDy// 18 nyDD8t3 nyi 18 ^ipyt^tz; pQ oi |8 :Qi?'?8 18 t^oynss PK t^iyn 
pK nun j'?'*!^ ps ix'':i:in in itD''t:; '?iy5 jmi^n-ixb^ ps n"**?^ oyi — 
"— minn o^iy Dy^^i 8 ps ny^it) n ik^'^'H n i^q m^v n^ pK ^nmn nno 
ny'?8 PK /D''''nn-r^ It^**^ rTwin-r);! 1d^^ n^-p 8 — ltoi8^ nyDsr'riniin 8 
-8a pi< r^8 Drjt:?8ai D'»^\n nyat^; ps tuTi v^'^'^i n pK ,nns ^n^v^i^ '»'''? 
It2;''n22 ly^rt 'pp'^D niin» pK /ly^ba n^^'^'^n y'78 pi< n^8^:!n pn t)''D d'»i2; 
pK ,D228istz; px ,D'''?n Ds; px —• p!:?^ n ^jik nns pK lyDsr"?! n 
pQ nti^m n t8 rin dd8t wn n p8 .Diyn K^'jan ...'ob'^B^ pK ^DArr 

— irii^ n ny oasy tj'^ni pK Dim w^^i ny D^iii'pn •'ns !D7s?n D'ryii i5?i 
K"':i:in D^rbu; b'^iia nviv^^ p"'^ p8 ♦ni'?ip yDy'^nsrii^n V-^vf, is8t nr^x ''^ 
D^K in D^'»^5?:s2 nm iy'?''Dt:? n5?p'''?'»'»n 8 PK /S8i8 is'''? '''^ ps nvDiyii n 

181 DISS ,pinti?8:i t)ti;'»:i 1^^ i5?:iyp ix^^n n pD mv^ ds?t 18^ 
on K'?n ,isriiy3i n^:^^ t)8n ^''lan 08ii /minn nmo n ♦tr^Di^D-nny >]^ij< 
pywo''n8 tD8n K''''n n D8ii isd Dj<'»:in pK — nti^^n i§o bv n^'nins 
0811 ^^T im ,q''31k:i n iT8'?n8Q lyanyi t^ i^yii ♦D'»:iti; Dyiiri'TS^ id''^ 

♦DID 'pttn^ np722 n 
nyD8s 'lyT pi< .15??^?^ 18 Dn"'\T ipSDt^ istt •'II /lyrnyT D8n n •'n •»it8 
yi5?D:iii!?^ 018^ nvi DSssDy:^ n D8n ,ipyDt2^ isnx Dpipi8s f'K ,8''"»n n 
mn pQ o"'n8 n d^'':^ ^t^^ pk '?''Dt2; ♦ ♦ ♦ D''n8 niDti? ps t^k px n^tr^in"?^ 

^^78 "13?:3''K DD'^l'? n pK ♦ ♦ ♦ D^D STDD!?*? JT^'^K pJK in pK DB8T 1811''^ "^V^ 

^QV")^ Di8"P Qit2^ P"'P ♦ ♦ ♦ aiD^iy-T8s '^3?^ 18S ^^nn iD^sy"? di!2 m omn 
nyrv 8^ l''^ '^ST oy /D:^8T5?:^18 IDsyi 18^ D8n n ♦r^yii nya*»K Dtz;**: n 
fK n T8 .D^T pi< Dii< in Dpip n t8 PK ♦pn Dyii n T'»n iTini8n Dti^**! 

— p'''? v'T'K iyt2;Dsyt^ — !D8:^// nyT'''?p ^T'X b^i^ in pa n ds*i81i ^V"^^ 
nvi in «T>ix D983 pK -- ♦ ♦ /"n3rn'?;3t;' ^m^ t;^ m ,t2;Q:i mps rx 057 
nyi T'lK in Disyt px n''D n Disy pK 122 Dsn'? px ,D'»t:;in^^ 3?i5?Daiii?^ o:i8J3 
Dpip px '^''Dtz; y'^ini 8 n Dn •»it8 ♦P-?18 lDn8^ Pi< niDt2?i3;i8s Ps *?37iiti^ 
n''i'?n8s Dnyii pK D^^n ,Dini ^''Dtnn nyi ps in D-'i^ D811 yy'?8 "ly^ nnK 

♦ ♦ ♦ ny;a'»^n-iyia8S?'?8 ''^ 1^^1122 

106 Sblf-Sacrificb 

the garden walk, which extended from the house far into the distance 
until it was lost somewhere among the oleander trees. 

Her lips murmured prayers and pleas to the Creator of the Uni- 
verse to accept her sacrifice. When she saw the Achnai unfold itself 
from the oleander tree and move along the walk, she quickly covered 
her face with her hands so that she looked in every respect like her 
husband, Hananya. Through a thin crack between her fingers, she 
observed the snake creeping nearer and nearer. The Achnai moved 
slowly, rhythmically, but with sureness. It knew that the victim 
would not escape it. When the snake saw Hananya (so it assumed) 
sitting calmly on the threshold, with his face hidden in his hands, 
it thought: "The victim sits quietly! He must have a premonition of 
some dire event. He is praying or perhaps reciting his last con- 
fession." The snake stuck out its venom-filled tongue and prepared 
to use this murderous weapon. Miriam saw this. She watched the 
Achnai move ever faster as the desire to bite arose in his reptile- 
nature. She heard the rubbing of its belly over the sand. She heard 
its breathing. As it came still closer and the spots on its speckled 
skin became clearly visible, Miriam closed the thin opening between 
her fingers and, without drawing breath, she prayed in the depths of 
her heart: ^'Creator of the Universe, mayest Thou accept my sacri- 
fice!" She began the final prayer of confession, quietly, with bated 
breath, and without the trembling of a lip. Before the prayer was 
ended, she felt the fatal bite — and collapsed on the threshold with 
the cry: 

^'Creator of the Universe, forgive me for the unborn genius 

that you wanted to give me Let Hananya live in his stead!" 

She began her death-struggle and her soul left her body amidst 
great pain. 

God is, however, the Lord of Judgment. 

When Miriam's soul ascended to heaven, it was awaited; or, rather, 
Hananya's soul was awaited: saints came out of Paradise to meet it! 

When the soul was conducted to the Seat of Judgment, it was 
asked merely as a formality, of course, since the answer was known 
to all: 

''Did you conduct your business honestly?" 

Miriam answered: 

*1 never engaged in business." 

«^firm^o» 107 

p§ B4 T»T D^p"»n "^KiD^// nyi '»ii /Diyniyi n ts pk ;imp n-'K is^^y^ 
t3^yDtr?i8s PK Ta'»nti;5?5i n to^yi 311 ns?^''^ V^ tDTHj'? pK D'^in-nyrasy'?;!? 
pK .K*nn 18)3 ny-T ^n n'>nn3 d-'Ik n Dyt ,t):iyn n to^^ n-^is o^n nn 
n "»ii /Dpip px ny:\i'»D n 'iii;'*m "pD^yst^^ pT 8 i5?:i''K 1^1 n dT^"? ttij^ 
,iy^yxD89 in Dpn "•>kid5?// n5?"r pK ♦♦♦in topn pK in Dpn i^a^^tz; 
PK iiyinD;i8 Dtr?'>a n'*^ Dsrn pip lyi ts /tocm 157 nyan n^^ ,m;a"»5?:n 
^'pyiit:; m T»iK p?n in D2sn iv ^ii /05? tD3'»'>;3 ^n8) iK^aan toynsri 15? T8 
d:^8T n»n d^t PK '?'»Dt2; D^in ]::iip lyi ny DD8it3 ;D'?5;Dti:?"i8s Q^^s o^t 
15? DpSTDtr; ♦ ♦ * "»n'»ii d:\8t is? is?i8 /^^biijs t^k iy pK ♦niKna sjtoDj?'?!:; d^k 
^ttn» pK !pn-»'?3 D81 ^D-'ni^ 05? d'p^h px o'»n8 '^^iJa po sr'^s^ss^^tosn o^t 
miKD n ;ipn i:s lypi^totz? I8 T't Da-^M ''•'K^Dy// lyi •'11 ,DyT px ,d$? tDyt 
081 rit2^ t)iyn n pK jtjpyniyi d'^k pk in t)8n ]D!?n 1:2 ^18^?^:^ 8 ps 
PK ,Di5?8^ D?Dip 15? T8 pK ♦♦♦iys80 pJT pK n^8t m^i'^K inn p^ia pm 
'?D'?yst:; yri 081 '^^na dd8?2182 '18^?? V^^ V^ W^ ipy'?SDn,i jrrjT 
D5?:i .Dbiy "?!!; uiai// :D3?D8 18 Y^^^i i^'»Dtr; pK D$?n pK ,i5?:^rs n itr^m^e 
1^0^22 8 18 'Qyt)8 18 ''^'^i^tz; ♦ ♦ ♦ U8T mm 18 tJi'^M pK ♦ ♦ ♦ "pip pj;3 18 
PK . . . on D5;i n D'?''siyi /mm Dpnij? n lyT-'K 18^ - ♦ P"»^ ''i to''^ 

ttDSII pK '?5?11t:? iyi nnK 15?Di118 tD'?83 

D^8iW i^» too8ii n 0811 P8^ n8s ^niD i''^ m ,D^iy "pt:; lam — 
ntt^i n pK /100131 18 m'^m pK !di8 im nnK K^a:n pj;^ ^8^ ♦♦♦5py^ 

♦in ]^iv ps Dnio'' oni:^ d^^zd s8 l^t DT-'t:; 

iDSt2;^)3 pS D8:^ lyi — t38A 15?S8 t^'K 

nnK Di8iiyA iy» D8n /^^m pnK ^118 f'K o'r^nD nati;a n t8 PK 

!oni8 liy"U po 1V^5?T D^-pn^r ♦ ♦ ♦ nmi ot^'^nn nnK iDO-'M 08i .1'»k 
q^^-,;hj ^3^ _ :^5;-iQ ^ n Ij;^ D-^A /pTun DU n Di"'o lyia T8 pK 

j18i 15?» tDO^^m lo^ni MVti oyi iin 12S 
?miJDKa np05? — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D'riasns?^ t)i:;'»i 'i'SJ^ pv n8n TK 

Ids Self-^acripice 

"Did you study Torah?" 

She smiled charmingly: 

^'Creator of the Universe, did you command Jewish daughters 
to devote themselves to the study of your Torah?" 
A hubbub arose: 

"What's this? who are you?" 

She replied: "Miriam, daughter of Sarah and Hiya, and wife 
of Hananya!" 

The tumult grew. The discovery was made that she had sacrificed 
herself for her husband and that the Achnai had been fooled into 
making a mistake. The soul was told: 

"Quick! Hurry down! Get back to your body before it is moved 
from the spot!" 

Miriam refused. She claimed that nobody could be required to 
suffer twice the pain of dying. She would go back on condition 
that her first death was to be accepted in lieu of Hananya's death! 
He must live! 

The heavenly host cried out: 
"Agreed! Accepted!" There is fear of delay. . . . Hardly were the 
words pronounced than Miriam's soul was back in her body. She 
got up completely whole and sound, as though she had never been 
bitten. She ran into the house with great joy and told husband and 
father what had just happened to her. At the very same moment, 
two messengers arrived with two letters, one from the head of Jeru- 
salem's Yeshiva and the other from the head of Babylon's Jewry. 
Both letters contained only the single word: 

"Congratulations! " 


The story of the great luminary who was born of the union of 
Hananya and Miriam and of the happiness that came to Reb Hiya 
in his later years — this story we shall (God willing) relate on 
another occasion. 

We merely want to add that the Achnai that let itself be fooled 
was never again entrusted with any further missions and is indeed 
no longer seen on earth. 

a^srriTD^a 109 

!K''iin nt2?K ,K^'»m nitz; na Dn^ :n m^.'i 
-iDitt ]8^ T»j{ n»S 05? T»T D^n n tis 4^^ to'»''nyT . ♦ ♦ t2;^n is tonyn 

IDnHJ pS D"'K Din t5?» 
T^K — n d:^}$t — nra nio'» itj"? '?;s;;d ^^ii2s i^iiDn;^ rDtz;"*: n '?''n 

!p5?b "P^T "15? 5tD''1D DK'^ain 18D D'>1D 'T'K 

inixn pK ."[Ds^Djrri t»t tj^n T'J^ d**^ o^n /''n to'?'''':!^^^?^ P^ nn?2''t2? ^1*1:^ d'*^ 
linn yr-'n pK pK /'^an pS ^wi pD n5?D^''ii22 15?^ PK /D"'^tz;ii'» px nS''iz;^ 

D811 nm p5?ii px ,wt D»T pD i5?^V5?:^o^n8 t^'i^ o^n P^:^ Qyi ps?ii 

t)8n n8i tDT8'?y3i T»T mr^ 0811 ''pK:iDy./ T8 .12^:^122 18^ "I'^S^n n-^^i 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Dtz;^! D"»x tJ5?T fyzs px ,DS8t2^5;:\S8 T8 tDV8J3yT ps 15?;^ 



Peretz has come to be universally recognized, a generation 
after his death, as the literary symbol of Eastern European Jewry, 
as the voice that best gave artistic utterance to its longings, ideals, 
tragedies, and folkways. It is, therefore, not surprising that in 
his works there frequently recurs a legendary figure who was as 
vividly alive in Jewish consciousness for many centuries as is 
Santa Claus among Christian Americans today, a prophet whose 
presence is still felt in Jewish homes on Passover nights, whose 
exploits are still related from mouth to mouth, and whose inter- 
vention is still dreamed about in hours of adversity: Elijah the 
Seer, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Gileide, Elijah the Herald of 
the Messiah. 

Peretz incorporated this figure in the beautiful romantic tale 
Self-Sacrifice, He treated him in a kind and simple tale for chil- 
dren. He introduced him as the savior of the believing couple in 
The Magician. It was in the story Seven Years of Plenty, how- 
ever, that Peretz presented Elijah in the most interesting role. 

This tale. Seven Years of Plenty, is based on an ancient legend 
that was frequently reprinted in Hebrew story-books. The pre- 
Peretz legend tells of a well-to-do person who lost his fortune 
and became so poor that he had to hire himself out to do manual 
labor in somebody else's field. While at work he was accosted by 
Elijah, disguised as an Arab, who told him: "You are fated to 
enjoy seven years of plenty. Do you want them now or before 
your death?" After consulting his wife the impoverished person 
chose to accept the good years immediately. The couple used 
every opportunity to do good and to practice charity. When the 
seven years were up and Elijah reappeared, the man told him: 
"If you can find a better steward of the wealth entrusted to us, 
we shall gladly give it up." God recognized the good use made 
of this wealth and granted it to the couple as a permanent 

114 Introduction 

This tale of a rich man who lost his wealth and had it 
restored with the aid of Elijah belongs to a narrative genre popu- 
larized by itinerant story-tellers of the nineteenth century through- 
out eastern Europe, migrant scholars well versed in Jewish lore 
but not too well provided with worldly means. Such a tale might 
be told by a learned guest during or after a Sabbath meal to his 
temporary hosts who were sufl&ciently prosperous to welcome 
strangers in their home for the Sabbath. Such hosts would 
not normally engage in manual labor, because of restric- 
tions imposed by governments and guilds, but would most 
likely carry on some trade or profession that would en- 
able them to earn a living without the sweat of their hands. 
To this class of people the narrator hints that wealth is only a 
pledge entrusted to mortals but that it can be retained for a long 
time, even forever, if the proper use is made of it, if every oppor- 
tunity to do good is conscientiously observed, and especially if 
charity is practiced, as much charity as possible. Among these 
auditors, agricultural work, especially laborious service in the field 
of another person, was looked upon as a degradation so deep that 
it must arouse universal sympathy and must require the inter- 
cession of heaven. 

Earlier versions of the legend peer through, older layers of 
pre-exilic days when Jews tilled the soil and physical labor was 
held in high repute. The introductory statement of the well-to-do 
man who lost his fortune may well have been superimposed at 
a later date, for, in its simplest form the story is the familiar one 
of the poor peasant who worked his land and thereby attained 
to prosperity, either suddenly by finding an unexpected hidden 
treasure in the soil or gradually by receiving the well-merited 
reward of his hard labor in the form of bountiful crops, but who 
nevertheless retained his simple, pious, productive ways and thus 
remained ever comfortable and happy. 

It would be fascinating to trace the legend back through its 
various layers to its simole beginnings and to discover when, 
where, how, and why the legend was first linked to Elijah. 
Since our interest is, however, primarily in the recasting of this 
legend by Peretz, it is not necessary to go so far afield. It suffices 
to compare the legend, as k was current in Peretz's generation, 
with his own artistic recasting. 

Introduction 115 

Peretz transposes the story from the Orient to a town in Poland 
which is typical of hundreds of small communities within the Jew- 
ish Pale. His readers are not well-to-do patricians — ^these preferred 
books in Hebrew, Russian, or Polish — but the Yiddish-speaking, 
woefully impoverished masses. His hero is therefore not a rich 
man who for some unexplained reason lost his fortune but a 
poor laborer who had never known prosperity. Peretz is not inter- 
ested in seeing wealth restored to the rich. He is the singer of 
the underprivileged, the declassed, the inarticulate, the suffering 
human creatures. If Elijah is to appear on earth in order to succor 
human beings, then surely his efforts should more properly be 
exerted in behalf of the humble and pious individuals who merit 
divine intervention. Such a person is Tovye, the porter, the spir- 
itual brother of Bontsie Shvayg, Peretz's hero who is acclaimed 
in heaven as the worthiest of men even though he is unnoticed 
by his fellow mortals. Furthermore, if Elijah is to appear in a town 
of Russian Poland, he can do so neither in the guise of an Arab 
nor even in the guise of an all-too-familiar and not too highly 
esteemed Russian or Pole. Peretz, therefore, transmutes him into 
a German, since the Germans of pre-Hitler vintage were respected 
by Eastern Jewry for their efficiency, their honesty in business- 
dealing, and their straightforwardness in speech. 

Tovye's reaction to the proposition of the stranger does not 
deviate from Peretz's source. At first he assumes the stranger to 
be a wizard, he tries to get rid of him by pleading poverty and 
inability to pay for well-meant advice and efforts. But when the 
stranger repeats the proposition three times, Tovye decides to 
take the matter more seriously and to consult his wife. In the 
pre-Peretz versions no adequate reason is given for the wife's pre- 
ferring the seven good years to begin at once. The only reason 
that can be deduced from her attitude is that the couple will at 
least be sure of seven good years and, if they do sufficient charity, 
more years of good fortune may be vouchsafed them — a rather 
sensible calculation. In Peretz's version there is a further motiva- 
tion which reveals the poor porter and his wife in a much finer 
light: the children have been sent home from school because 
they were unable to pay tuition-fee. This is the determining factor 
in the couple's decision. In the original, husband and wife enjoy 
their seven years of unexpected affluence. In Peretz's version, they 
continue to lead their simple hard life and do not touch the 

116 Introduction 

money for their own purposes, since they hold that a person has 
a right only to the money he earns with his own ten fingers. Of 
the wealth placed at their disposal by God, they took only the 
tuition fee that would enable their children to continue to study 
God's Torah. Such study may be paid for with God's gold. The 
rest of the gold is God's to take back and to dispose of as he sees 
fit. When Elijah reports this answer to the heavenly court, the 
judgment is rendered that there were no better stewards of God's 
gold than Tovye and his wife. These therefore knew only years 
of plenty ever after. 

The magic touch of Peretz thus transforms a simple legend 
of the rich man who lost his wealth and then regained it into 
an artistic narrative of the noble proletarian who received the 
well-earned reward of a life of hard physical labor, unalloyed 
honesty, and unquestioning faith in the goodness of God and in 
the moral structure of the universe. From this tale there peers 
the kindly face of Elijah, who in Jewish lore performs the same 
function as does Santa Claus in Christian lore. He is the patron 
saint of the poor; he is the ready helper in adversity; he is the 
kind stranger bringing comfort to burdened hearts; he shuns sham 
and pretense. During his stay on earth in the reign of King Ahab 
and the wicked Queen Jezebel, he experienced persecution be- 
cause of his faith and ostracism because of his uncompromising 
zeal for Jehovah. Remembering his own labors and pain, he is 
ever ready to answer honest appeals, rushing on his seven-league- 
boots to all the ends of the earth, bringing succor where it is most 
needed and most deserved. 

No wonder, therefore, that Elijah exercised such a fascination 
for Peretz. To this writer, who sympathized with all suffering, 
the highest type of holiness was not the holiness of the hermit 
in his cell busy ever with his own personal salvation but the holi- 
ness of social-minded individuals, whether they be famed prophets 
like Elijah, rabbis like the Rabbi of Nemerov, or simple souls 
like Nachman of Zbarash, individuals who found their highest 
happiness in making a bit less the sum of human misery. 

Elijah as the Jewish Santa Claus is most clearly revealed in 
a tale which Peretz wrote for children. The kind-hearted, white- 
bearded wanderer comes into a home to rest for a while. He puts 
down his bundle, which is filled with raisins, almonds, and other 
sweets, and he explains that these delicacies are meant for good 

lNTROt)UCtIO]Sr 117 

children who behave well, eat in time, sleep in time, wash 
properly. He adds that he also has in his belt a little rod with 
which to spank children who don't obey, who don't sleep quietly, 
who cry, and who won't wash up. Does he really spank them? 
O no!, he explains with a smile, he first tells them once, twice, 
three times. If they still don't obey, he warns them a fourth 
and a fifth time. Well — he confides with a sigh — he may have 
to give a little spanking to a little boy or girl but not often, since 
nowadays children are really nice. 

In the tale The Magician^ Peretz associates Elijah with the 
Passover ceremony, an association present in the mind of every 
Jew who celebrates the Seder. It is still the custom on the first 
two evenings of Passover to fill a cup of wine for Elijah, the 
largest, finest, and most precious cup. It is still the tradition to 
open wide the front-door, so that Elijah will know that he is 
heartily welcome to everyone in the house. The Jewish Santa 
Claus does not have to creep in through a chimney. But the warm 
hospitality is accorded not only to Elijah. It is extended to every 
Jew. The opening invocation at the Seder is addressed to all the 
needy: let them come in and participate in the feast commemorat- 
ing liberation from slavery. This brotherhood of all Jews, rich 
and poor, during the Passover season, this solicitude of neighbors 
that not one family be left out of the joyousness prescribed for 
Jews everywhere, this spirit of true humanity among even the 
humblest representatives of a much maligned people, fascinated 
Peretz, filled him with pride, and found expression in the narrative 
of Elijah's visit to the trusting Chaim-Yone and the obedient 

Husband and wife in both Elijah tales. The Seven Years of 
Plenty and The Magician, are silent souls. They suffer want and 
hardships but they are never wholly crushed by their sad lot. 
They never despair. They never avert their faces from life. They 
have faith in God's world. They lack knowledge as to why 
they are subjected to their troubles but they have no doubt that 
there is a meaning to all they are forced to endure. They try to 
extract a glimmer of light out of the murky grayness all about 
them. They dream of the sun that must break through the thick 
clouds somehow, somewhere, at some time. And Peretz does 
reward their faith, their hope, their dream. He lets a dazzling ray 
beam upon them and warm them. Elijah is this penetrating ray. 

118 Introduction 

Elijah is the precursor of the Messiah and the symbol of the un- 
expected help that may come even today in our unmessianic, or 
shall we rather say pre-messianic, era to those who are worthy of 
extraordinary assistance because they retain faith in the funda- 
mental justice that must prevail in heaven and on earth, in the 
realm of God and in the destiny of man. 


And it came to pass in Turbin. 

Once upon a time there lived in Turbin a porter named Tovye, 
who was poor beyond description. On a Thursday he was standing 
in the market place, his coat-tails rolled up under the rope about 
his hips, and was looking about for a possible turn of fortune that 
would enable him to earn something for the Sabbath. But the stores 
all about him were empty and void, with nobody- going in or coming 
out, with not a single customer in sight who was likely to need 
help in carrying bundles. Tovye lifted up his eyes to heaven with 
a prayer that the Sabbath might pass without sadness, that at least 
on the Sabbath his dear Sarah and the children might be spared 
the pangs of hunger. 

In the midst of his prayer, Tovye felt somebody tugging him 
by the coat-tails and, on turning about, he saw a German, dressed 
like a forester or a hunter, wearing a hat with a feather and a 
sweater with green trimmings. And the stranger spoke in pure 
German as follows: 

'Xisten, Tovye, seven years of plenty are in store for you, seven 
years of good fortune, success, and golden treasures. You merely 
have to choose when you want these years. If you wish, fate can 
smile upon you from this very day on; even before the sun, now 
shining overhead, shall have set, you can be in a position to buy 
up all of Turbin; after seven years, however, you will again become 
as poor as you are now. But, if you prefer, the blessings of good 
fortune can come at the end of your allotted span of life and you 
will leave this world as the wealthiest of persons.*' 

The stranger, as later became apparent, was Elijah the Prophet, 
who always appeared incognito and was now disguised as a German. 
But Tovye thought an ordinary magician was confronting him and 
so he answered: 

"Dear Sir, just leave me alone because I am the poorest of the 
poor — may you be spared such fate — I haven't anything even for 

ntn^ ytaii tin 

pK ♦nnt:? t'Ik oyss? ijrrm^Q ^t$i ny ,n'?\n T-^t ts^iDip t)57ii 05? fy^sn ps 
Dyr |y^ ,i<n pxi K^r t»k ♦P'^t"''? diis px ons p^yiw n ty^'»Dtr; i^^ 
♦p^iDiissiS Djjii pjT '?^T oy ,'|S''ip nnno i5?»ip nys^y^y ^^t oy ,tDt2;'»i 
V^p ,n'?'>^n ,^^T *iy ,t)yny:i ^ d'*;^ '?D\n Q122 i:^'»ii< n 'T'IK /lyayi ny ds'^m 
l^i^T i5?'?iyirp n D'»D ^lyo n^-^n pj?T px ,p^n Dtz;*'! natr? tDiyDtr?iJ?Q 

♦nnt2; dix piy:\ain otr;'>a ,Di^t2;rDn 

nyD'»t2; 8 •'11 I'w^vm ''ptTDin 8 in nj?D IV t)yT ,DiK in iy t}pip ♦y'?^© 
iS?a'»K i^T i^syt I'^^a oujn ,t;;Din t^n t»ih d^'K 12: m^i b^i^rii oi^-r pK nysj 

n^'' pn n^*' yDn tan in^iiy:^ Diyt:;^! t-jk nn /H-'aiD nvn — 
n tyn nn i^ lyn^ 05? in Diiyii ^'obv^ nnxii< pK /nn'rxn pK 'rttt ps 
l^i '?t;3 t^_n tyrjt:;S*»iK m tDyn — iDD'?"»ii nr 5?t^i^ '''7 t^^n Do'?'''n 
-)n D'^'^Dtz; 0^11 pT n p-^jinyDJiix Dyii oy nyT"»K pK ^^li ip'>mnn nvi 
1^3 lyniS ,nn''no nyi t)''^ T»amt) pi?::^ p-'ipsis ly^^p iDoyn ,S8P n^^''^ 
— it)o'?^ii pK .fyiiyr^ DD-'n n •'I1 ,i8^yis 18 pyn Pnn iDoyn n^'' P''t 
n px /p^S"* y^'-^ lis T^D Dix Dt2?ny ly^ip D!?2: ytDtrtDayny:\ /5?Dn n tjyii 
n'»53i lyDoy^A 15?! D'pyii lyi ps r'':)ip5?ii8 ddsii 

,in ti^n 01^:11 ^''^^n in'''?K ,p'»iwd'>ti8 in Dijn oy •»'n ,05? fK pyny^ 
;Dr'»»y:^ m^ ^y^5SJ n^'SiD ♦t)'?yDt2;i8s '?t2?Din 8 pK a^k nyr-'Dtr; pjt •'ii 
DiyStDiy n5?D8^'Tit^''3 nytoo^ns 8 /nibnnn *>d'?8 n'i'K ^nsn*? ,t'»k oy t8 

18S ^^''^ 'V^ r^ Qmsn '18^P l**^ n ^8*? .^tTD^-n n'>'? p^ja — 
n8n Tx pK ^m^^i nitr^ n-'iK S8n i'»x .p-^^Ki "^iv nyon^A 8 .t3D8ny:\ nn 
♦nnn''D 11?"? to''» nisy yrji n8S 1^8^283^ 122 08n t)'»» tjtr^^a nn 

122 Seven Years of Plenty 

the Sabbath and I certainly can't pay you for your advice and 

The German was persistent, however, and repeated the same 
words again and again and again. Finally, Tovye began to take the 
matter seriously. 

'Well, my dear sir, if you really mean what you're saying and 
are not just out of your mind, if you ask me in all seriousness, then 
I must tell you that, whenever I face a problem, Fm accustomed 
to ask my wife Sarah for her advice, and so, without consulting her, 
I can't give you a definite answer." 

''All right," said the German, "it's good to talk things over with 
a wife; go ahead and ask her. FU stay here and wait for the 

Tovye again looked about on all sides. No prospective customer 
was in sight. What could he possibly lose? Well, he would go 
home and ask his wife. He rolled down his coat-tails and went on 
to the outskirts of the town. There at the edge of the open fields 
was his mud-hut. There he could talk the matter over with his 
dear wife. 

When Sarah espied him through the open door — it was summer- 
time — she ran out to meet him. She was overjoyed, for she thought 
he was bringing her some money for the Sabbath. But he at once 
disillusioned her: ''No, dearest, the Lord has not yet bestowed any 
earnings on me, but there did come to me a German . . ." 

And Tovye told her the entire story: how the German fore- 
told seven years of plenty and wanted a decision whether they were 
to begin now or before death; what would she advise? When? 

Without much thought, Sarah replied: "Go, dear husband, tell 
the German that you want the seven good years to begin this very 

"Why, Sarah?" — asked Tovye astonished. "After seven years we'll 
be poor again, and to go down the steps of fortune is much worse 
than never to have climbed up." 

"Don't worry about the remote future, my dear, dear friend. 
Let us meanwhile take what we get and let us thank the Lord for 
his blessings from day to day. We need the money now to pay for 
our children's schooling. They have just been sent home. Just look 
at them playing over there in the sand." 

i>j' von pn 123 

tins nti? •[n'»5itD 05? ?*»» ^'^^^ im iix ^ij;^ '»"''nir ,b^j2 r^ nsroiyii n 

jd-'k IV t)"i5?SD25; .ss? r^ 

T8 /pijT in T^ im ,T)m'2 T^ DD:\5rns n pK ,ti:^i'? r^^?!*? r? tDti?''i toD'^n 

tD^i^n IS nisy 18 in n^S n'»;D dzdi? o^n nsr iyiy"» r?n ,:^nu t^ v^ t^ 

.]'2n t3tr;''i n^wr\ yi^^p r*'? m T'i^ |isp *i^k i^ pi? "rnsro ni^ii pj^ id'*^ 

IS nss; 18 in ,i8t yton 8 ny^n t^'K oy is ^'pti^Din o^t d'^k d:\8t 

O^T /iy P>? ^?3iyiS PA n 'P^T IV /Q'^K D81 PK .•'TIS nyi t3'»;D ID'PKn 

♦naitr;n 8 'T'l^^ Itonxn px r''t^^ ?t ^V^"^ '^V tDO"»M ^tr^Din 

15? D5?T taomsS rP 'It^^-^T y'rx v^ DiK 'ps^ 8 1^:1 in Dpip rr'nit) 
♦fr^yiS ^''^^''''^8 D57T1 15? ,ny"T^^JS^ 3SJ1 15? 18P o^n ^in 15? tJD^ito ,Dt2;''2 
-5?:^ to^n 15? 111 ,m^^ 15?T i5?torn o'^nx d''"':^ px d5?'?8S n s^ik 15? ^'^^'^ 
tD'»D in io5?i;Dt2;i5?i''i^ /'?n'»D^ 15?^''''^ 8 rx n'?5?^ iq''1k v^'^ ^V^^ /toa'^Tn 

♦ni^ii tin ^i5?o 

,tt5?'n5?:^ 15?»1T T"»X 05?) 1"'D 15?15?S8 15?1 IW 15?n5?1 Q'»K D^H '?15?0 "^ll 
15? T8 ,t3r'»»5?:^ D^n n ^nn^'^t:; o"»ii:^ D-'tt t:\yp8 ts8^5?^o''i^8 d''H n t-'x 
n5?3ii$ i-'K 15? to:^8T ^nntz; T»m n^nnn 18 i^'k D:^i5?i:i 

D^^a tjom^o r**? 15!?^ ^T*^ ^JSn i5?J38i 15?:^'''? r-'T ,'?15?d .r''^ — 

♦ . ♦ 'Pll^tom 8 15?^'^P5?:^ 1''tt IS fK 15?:i8 18S15?1 /I315?t2?8:2 

T8 .m8T '?win 081 ,ps i^8i '"'it8 tiK '»it8 th d^''"'S15?i iy pK 
n i5?n ^i3''K 18 T'T Dia5?ii 05? pK /is** 5?t)i:\ pn Di5?t2;8:a Q''K fK oy 
I'^K i^a 15? tD:^5?is ♦ni''D5 iyi I8Q I5?i8 ^^12^8 /15?J3ip i'tst W 5?t3n 

?15?11 :nS5? 18 

jD''K t3i5?DDa5? pK :i38'? t)t:;">a '?i5?o tDD8it5 

pn n DD^''ii 11 T8 .^tr^toin Dyi :^8t PK .18^ i5?n"»'? pj»;d ^-^^r^ — 

!5?n i5?i I'^iK 18^ 5?t)n 

l'?yii 18'' P'^t i8:i :Di5?iaiiii8s n''3iD tD:^5?is ^*?i5?o '08'ii *^8S — 
8 ''11 IP15? 18*7 PK iiv Q5?i PH ,Dr?'?-y;D5?i8 Pms iiyii i8i i"*^ 

?18^5?18 lt)0815 

,D5?a '?55iii5?i ♦d'?5?ii n .iiino"i5?t)n 15?!"'^ ]r>^ ^^^^^ n8Ti8Q — 
t^byi^-nn ii8i 15??^ t8 .t)i&n mv nv m inn ::x8t Pi< m tD-'A ly;^ 08n 
PK in i'?''St:^ •'n ^11 ,5?t m /tDp''t:?5?:^^'»M8 i''» "'n D8n ly^ nyirp n i8S 

124 Seven Years of Plenty 

These last words were sufficient. Tovye ran back to the German 
with a definite decision: the seven good years were to begin im- 

The German warned him: ''Consider carefully, Tovye, today 

you are still strong and can somehow make a living, more or less 

But what will happen later on, when you are older, in declining 
health, and unable to muster sufficient strength for your work." 

Tovye answered: "My wife Sarah wants no delay. She says: 
'Let's thank God for today's gifts and not worry about tomorrow.' 
Besides, our children have just been sent home from school." 

"If that's the case," said the German, "Go home and before you 
even reach your home, you'll be a rich man." 

Tovye was about to inquire once more about the sequel that 
was to follow the seven years, but the German had vanished from 

And so Tovye returned home to his mudhut at the town's edge, 
where the open fields began. On nearing his house, he saw his 
children playing in the backyard in the sand. He went up to them 
and observed their digging. They were bringing to the surface not 
sand but gold, pure gold, real gold of the finest quality. 

Obviously, the worst was over. The seven good years had begun. 
The seven lucky years. 

Time flies like a winged arrow and the seven years sped past. 
At their expiration the German reappeared to tell Tovye that in 
the coming night the gold in the ground would disappear as well 
as the gold in the house and even whatever gold might be hidden 
with other people. 

He met Tovye standing in the market place just as seven years 
earlier, with the same coat-tails tucked up on his hips, and still 
looking about for a possible customer. 

"Listen, Tovye, the seven years are over." And Tovye replied: 
"Tell it to my wife, Sarah, since she was in charge of our wealth 
throughout the entire seven years." 

Both went to the town's edge and came to the same mud-hut 
in the field. They met Sarah in front of the door. She was as poorly 
dressed as ever but her face was all smiles. 

The German repeated to her his message that the seven years 
were over. 

1^^ Vt3i:i pn 125 

mm n3 Tir) is** 5?di:\ pn n 'p^ii 157 m .nniirn 

:'7Ii?D!!^l OlS^l Q'^K D3l^T 

tDo:iSP pK m3 t)''^ t2;my;^ x it30'»n Drj?n ,n''Sit) nyn-'K *i^5 id^ — 

nyi 1:2 ms b-^s '»iT8 pK nil'' 8 r-^T DD^ii tm tiyii njrtD'?^ tooi^ii n m 

— pisn Dt^-'i T'lK iDD5?ii tDynix 

niiK 15?;^ D^n o:iD'''»n2J pK ^pnijr Dti^"*:! *n5;D$?si2? 'T'IK dd^^t pK dp dp 'n 

♦ . ♦ Dp''t^y:^»'»%n^ inn iid nnrp n 
Doyii n i5?T^i< im /D'''»n8 "'n ,'?tr^t}^n oist Q'^k m^i /"^im n*»ii? — 

nt2;i5? ]^ rJ?T iD05?ii i!:?^^ mtatr; px ly^aip 
nyai$ d'^k t^'K nr P^t n 1^5 ps^n p^isn5?n'»K d^ijd n^'K ny '?''ii 

rcaiD Dijn ,t):^isTS?:i ritr; *T'^ mn ,t)i"»iiisf:^ ♦d'^ms /iT'nito nsr t)'»^:^ 
to^TT aiDti? 15?T 122 1:2 1^ D^ip n'pys t^ins is''ii^ loy^s .DigiDu; n^T i5?Drn 
D3?TiS77 /12? nsr D'>'':\ /^Jo^T T^ ^it^ti^ n^T ^i^TDJiM in p-^B^ ^vii'^p n "^n ny 

l^'^n ov /t3Di^iy^ Dtz?"*: 1^)3 mn iv^ m ^T^ t:)'»''Dt2;n8s ♦-ninD am 
♦ ♦ . ♦ "ir yp*»*T^T;D pn n n^'' pn n ?n"'in$;:iii$ I'^w in 

T8 ,p«n:2is D'^it /tn'^SiD n '7t2;Din o^n nij'' pn n i;?: iD^aip ni^'i^^yi 
D;$n pyn D^yi tDyii ddjj^ nss d^jh Ti? iik i^rnnit? 15?:iyT nis:^ pn n 
laijn -^n o^n i^^^i oiji I'i'^ss: pi< niDtz; T'^? ib^:k o^i niy lyi r« '^%'^ 

D-^tt ,")§•» pn I8S ''11 ,pi8^ ito'»b r^^ t3"'''Dt^; nj; •»n ,]n''nit) n:s? DsyiD 
nss IS nnK o'»iK Dpip fii? iiDub -^1 lyDiiK oy^^B ytj:^iKt2;'nJ!;Q s^ai'psrT n 
nynns 15?35?t n?'» i^'^i n ,n''niD nyn :D''X i^h m^i ♦toon 

.m^n nyn rx n^'K i^n iv^^m t''^? *ir P'^t y2s:ii?:^ n 

Dyi^ T'lK PK n tiK ♦TD n^T nKQ ly^nyo pyiD pK i^^s tS''iK binn 

i^j'' 5;di3i pn n ts nyoiyii 5?a'?yT n d"'^ 'rti^Din o^t n"»i< to:\^T 

126 Seven Years of Plenty 

She replied that they had not even begun to have seven good 
years, that they never regarded the gold as their own, because only 
v^hat a person earns v^ith his ten fingers w^as properly his own. 
But wealth that came unsought and without sweat was merely a 
pledge which our dear Lord deposited with people to hold for the 
poor. From the gold she only took a sum necessary to pay for her 
children's schooling so that they might learn God*s Torah. Such 
learning of God's law may be paid for with God's gold. The rest 
was still untouched. If the Lord, blessed be His Name, found a 
better keeper for His gold, let Him take k and turn it over to such 
a person. 

Elijah the Prophet listened until the end of her tale and then 
disappeared from sight. He repeated her words before the heavenly 
seat of justice and the court of heaven ruled that there was no 
better keeper on earth. Hence the seven years never came to an 
end so long as Tovye and his wife Sarah remained among the 

1^^ Vt3i:\ p'^1 111 

I5?»^:i i3?3i^'? t^^T ojjn tnpa k n^:i f'K DDiTy:\ttiK |ik o^^iit:? ])$ d;dip o^n 
lytt^iiis IS? 'put ,xn'»r)"KD\n?:3 /-r^^^i iin n^s inp3"'?yn Tiyo5?i |$ ti* orjn 

♦Diy^y:^ p^n 'piyo ir?ii pt pK rT'niD pt-^s dtu^^:\o'»ik ^^"^i in 


A magician once came to a little town in Volynia. 

His coming caused a great stir, even though he appeared dur- 
ing the troubled pre-Passover days, when the worries of a Jew 
outnumber the hair on his head. 

A man of mystery! Ragged and tattered and yet with a real top- 
hat, creased and crumpled but genuine! A Jewish face dominated 
by the specific Jewish nose — and yet shaved like a Gentile! No pass- 
port! Nobody saw him eat, neither Kosher nor non-Kosher! How 
was anybody to guess who he was? To the question: "Where from?", 
he replied: "From Paris." Asked: "Where to?", he answered: "Lon- 
don." "But how did you get here?" "I got lost!" He was apparently 
making his way on foot. He failed to show up at prayers. He stayed 
away from synagogue even on the sacred Sabbath preceding Passover. 
If people became too persistent and crowded about him, he disap- 
peared as suddenly as though the earth had swallowed him and came 
to the surface again on the other side of the market-square. 

On arriving, he rented a hall and began to display his art. 

Real magic! Before the eyes of the entire community, he swal- 
lowed burning coal like macaroni. From his mouth he drew forth 
all kinds of ribbons, red, green, or any color called for by the 
audience, ribbons of endless length. From the upper part of his 
boots he pulled out sixteen pairs of turkeys — ^yes, turkeys as big as 
bears, real live turkeys that ran all over the stage. Then he lifted 
his foot and pared off gold ducats from the boot's sole. An entire 
plate of golden coins! Encouraged by applause, he whistled; im- 
mediately Sabbath loaves and fine breads came flying towards each 
other through the air and began to execute dance steps under the 
ceiling. He whistled again and at once everything disappeared; no 
more Sabbath loaves, no more ribbons, no more turkeys — all was 
gone without a trace! 

Now magic may be of two kinds. The black magic, practiced by 
the Egyptian sorcerers of old could probably boast of even greater 
tricks. One question, however, remained unanswered: why was he 

jddi^ds;:^ Dt2?n lo^na » iS7»ip:i;8: im i^i D^n ,s^p id-^ij? it$n "^n :\iis:t ny?3 to^n 

,o'»''ii •'n ♦onsnD p^"? Dti?''! ,oit2;s v^^p Du;'»a ,iyTy:\ tDW'^a nyrv PtD^n 
— ?pn'ni ;''Tn»i3 ps./ xiv t^r^^r ?i5?^»n ps :rD:^yiQ iv^ ifK ny o^n 
^D-'is 8 ''iDymiaisjbmjsS,/ ns d:\ist ?iyn8 vt< ddip ''h "!|^i:i^'? p*»p// 

iDti:?'*: "pnr^n-nnt!? i^^^ss 'tJt2;'»;i pi;^ pv !?n in dpjii pK ns?^:!!?:^^?^ 01s i:^ 

♦122aip ps:!!: 122 p-^inw^ im rbso ^ iy:iin5?A in ny Disjn >Lnny-T 
^11 ib"»ip j?pn:ii?:57n:i ]y:^ai'?tr^3?:^ 15? toisjn rnjri "irip ^:sn nsaip iv:^^ 
,5?in:^ /^Dni ,nyn:i5?n '»'''?'^5?^^!; iy D^n ins5?3io''n8 '?"»id ps pK j^Dn5?s 
S ps ♦ni'?:\'D -Jii — yi^ii^b pK .D'i'^Tiyix it$i D^n ly;^ n'''?^p h; niN;^ 0^11 
■— 05?pn:i'»K lynij: .oyprn'^K i^q t^CD^t o^nj? is? taS^iKii ^ii'»Dt2; pQ 5niy'?i$D 
ttn'»'»n 1^313?"! ;5?3yxo nyi •isn'»K in i§"'ibj?s •'n pi< ,3?pn5;a57^ px ,n5?a ''I1 
» ,15?'?'73yi s^^yi'i's:^ s;iii2;y7S3 nyi pD s^ toirsnp px did 8 nnx ny 
is-'iy ,ni^s 8 ny t)"':^ ^ijiisin ]v^ ti^mQ ny'?i3yi y^yi^^ri bo^^t^ v^m 
lUj p•>^^ pK 'pp'^s n •>ii fti^Dy'pnp tix ni'pn i5;ttJjn:s: iddi'? is?*! pK in 
tt3*»m:2 Dyi ly tjn pK ♦y^by^o lyi i^diiik piiiDnAnn jj '»s iiji i? ]22ai?D 
D">iK /tu^tDy^np onx !iTn i^'ps ^pa^ntr^iSD pynins r^^ 0^1 Diyn ,ni^s 

"in n itrj*n8::i oysy tik iijp /"t22 lyi^// m n«T 15?» tao^nr ;K'?'>;3 
n lyaij; rK mmigin t^^^i? yiyoyix dhoh t» p^n ons^D ps D"»?aiD 

130 The Magician 

himself so very poor? As a person who extracted gold coins froir 
the soles of his boots, how was it that he didn*t have enough tc 
pay for his lodging? With a single whistle he baked more Sabbath 
loaves and fine breads than the largest baker in town, he brought 
forth turkeys from the tops of his boots — and yet, he had such f 
lean and hungry look and his face was so emaciated that a corpse 
would be ashamed of it. The wits of the town jested: a fifth questioi 
can now be added to the four that are usually asked on Passover 

But before coming to the questions of the i'^^^r-ceremony, let u^ 
take leave of the magician for the present and turn to Chaim-Yont 
and his wife Rivke-Beele. 

Chaim-Yone was a former lumber merchant. He once bough 
a forest as a good investment; soon thereafter the forest was declarec 
closed to woodchoppers, and he emerged penniless with a single shir 
on his back. He then became a foreman for another lumber-deale 
but not for long. It was now months since he had lost his job anc 
had been without earnings of any kind. Somehow he survived thf 
winter — may all foes of Zion experience such winters! 

After winter came the season of Passover. Since everything fron 
the chandelier to the last pillow had already found its way to th^ 
pawnshop, Rivke-Beele told him: "Go over to the community funt 
and get some of the money donated to provide the poor with wheat 
flour for Passover cakes." Chaim-Yone answered that he had fait! 
in God, somehow help would come, and he wouldn't have to los^ 
face. Rivke-Beele went through the house once more, searched agaii 
every nook and corner, and did indeed find an old worn silver spoon- 
a veritable miracle of heaven. That spoon had been lost for year 
and years! Now Chaim-Yone took the spoon, went oflF, sold it, am 
donated the few pennies as wheat-money for the poor. He main 
tained that poor people had a prior claim. 

Meanwhile time marched on and ever fewer were the week 
before Passover. He, however, remained steadfast in his faith. jH 
insisted that God never abandons his creatures. His wife continuei 
silent. A woman must obey her husband. Day j followed day. Rivke 
Beele didn't sleep nights. She buried her face in her straw mattres 
and cried to herself. Chaim-Yone must not hear her. Still there wa 
no sign of any change for the better and Passover loomed so neai 
Her days were even worse than her nights, since in darkness 
person may weep to his heart's content but in the daytime a persoi 

IpKa-lXllI? 1V1 131 

* ♦ . imT\m nis 122 x'»t!?p yDS:i'»S n :T»t ly;^ tt'rDnyn nvp^bii x 
f'X n:n'»-D"''»n ♦5?^'»'»s-np3n nr»n r-^T px tn3i'»-D^'>n ix r'^^'ny^''^ tix "ly^^^ 

-15? v^ nwn r^« rx tD^Jin^ iy fK ,DD8»'i8^ n'i'xii on iv^ to^n ,10^5731 
y3^'»t2; 8 f'ltr ny tD^^n j'i'T»i'?n8S '?^tDti^ n ny t5ij:n nyn!.nti;i^Kii k fi^ns?:^ 

DV3 tix 'i'np 122 lyans ^''r^ :y'?'>'>s-np5i D:^ijT 4ti:;v 10x3?^ if*! lyto^i^'? 
08*7 tix /tQ'?yn Dyii 138^ T8 /pnDn D^n ny ts .mi''-D"»"»n d:^^^ ♦rD^n-niy;^ 
*?8^ 8 li8::i ddit |ix y'?^'»n-np3i D^n ♦Dti^'»i t»t iy oyii t22i8iitr^i8S Q'':i9 
-— b^v^ nvnya'?n D5?iva''")5?3iS8 1t)^8 18 tJi'^sy:^ fiK i3?'?yp:"'ii y^8 l^x 
-D'»^n D">"»:)i !t"i8'ii5?^ n'''^^*^8S fx bSv^ lyi t)an p^"* /Q''ttt2?n ira 01 8 trtt;^ 
-niy» T»iK tt2?8i^ ^89 ''T pi8 t::^8^D px ,t'tDS'»ipn8S /^Sy^ on D^ayi /Hiii'' 
nn t)i^2r n nyD'?'»n isr^yT ny t):i8T /Di^'?-yDyn8 ♦Dr?*?"V»n8 ^8S '['»D'»n 
t)8n ny — • nos ix p8ii n8S 8 ''H 'lyjs tair?'': *[2i:a83i v^ v^^ ♦in tDpn '^•l^ii 
ntr;'»K 18 jtD3it?ii^ y'?"»'>a-np3n ^x^'^d !t)ti;'»i toT8^n8s 'iv t5:^8T ^to^^ ifinDi 
y^'''»a-np3T ,3i8t) 8 183 ,:i8t3 8 18^ Py'^'i8 ^^^8 t)^'*:^ oy .]8» 8 i:^'?8S ti^ 

or^ii 11X r-?*i8 p^iyt^ ri< q'^^s d8t ^^8^^ ^ns*?^ v^p iiq t3t2;'"»i idd'»'»ii 
♦8t)tr^'»i p'»'»s r^p rx nos 'T'IX px /n5?n Dtz;''! '?8t nai'»-D'>''n ,D*»^^'^y^•»t3tr; 
S8 t2;D8D tr^i^^y^a 8 in tjr^ii dd8i '-?i — toDya •'H yiyny n D8n ^v^ ]m 

132 The Magician 

must pinch his cheeks, should this be necessary to retain the proper 
color. Neighbors were always watching, gaping, searching with 
their eyes, piercing her with pity sharp as needles. Some went so 
far as to ask: "When will you bake Mazos? How far are you with 
beets for Passover?" Intimate friends said: "Tell us what's the matter, 
Rivke-Beele? If you need anything, well lend it to you, etc." 

Chaim-Yone, however, wouldn't accept any of the help offered 
him and, since Rivke-Beele could not act against her husband's 
wishes, she constantly looked for new excuses, her face glowing and 

Her neighbors saw that something was the matter. They ran 
to the Rabbi with their tales. The Rabbi listened with great sym- 
pathy, sighed sadly, and. became lost in thought. Finally, he replied 
that Chaim-Yone was most learned and pious, and if such a person 
retained his faith, others too should hope for the best. 

Rivke-Beele, accustomed to ushering in Jewish holidays with 
the Blessing of the Candles, was, alas, left even without candles for 

Passover came! 

Chaim-Yone walked home from the synagogue. He saw all the 
windows casting their gay, festive light upon the market-square. 
His own house, however, stood like a mourner at a bridal procession, 
like a blind person among the seeing. But still he didn't lose heart. 
The thought ran through his head: "If God wishes, we'll yet cele- 
brate Passover!" He entered and said cheerfully: "Happy Holiday!" 
He repeated: "Happy Holiday to you, Rivke-Beele," and heard jher 
tear-laden voice from a dark corner: "Happy Holiday! Happy Year!" 
Her eyes burned through the darkness like two glowing , coals. 

Chaim-Yone went over to her and said: "Rivke-Beele, today 
is a holiday commemorating the exodus from Egypt. Do you under 
stand its meaning? Mourning is not allowed. Besides, what is there 
to mourn about? If the Creator of the Universe doesn't want us tc 
have our own Passover ceremony, we must bow to his will and 
attend somebody else's Seder. We shall be welcome everywherec 
All doors are open. All Jews are now reciting the passage of the 
Hagada: ^Whosoever is in need, let him come in and eat.' So come, 
take your shawl, we'll go to any Jewish home." 

Rivke-Beele, who always did what her husband asked, restrained 
convulsively the tears that welled in her throat, put on a torn shawl 
and was ready to go. 

nVDK?:>-]iJ3ip nvT 133 

n pytoti:? pK ,d'»ik p'^ik n in ipip pK /iSs;:^ tiK i^i n'^i^ ]p^p miDtr; 
?nix;D n^'K Dpi?! i5?*n jps?^s yiyi:iK ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ly'^nisn d''» ''h *|p"'^n-ni:i^ni id'^^ 

t^yii /li^K t3'?5?S !?y^*»"»n-npni ^T-^k id"»» in idid d^ii ,t2;D55t3'D — 

tDyii y^'''»n-np3i pK /'mi nt^s mriis,, rv ^'^^^ I5?ni$ '?''ii mr-D^m 

11K SD^ DSDynp ,o'»ii< tti5?n /IV^sy^ ^Si 15?^ ^troi^D'o — 3n diss id'»i*? 

min-p 8 T-'K nii''"D''''n t^ ,is? toi^sDis? hid ^3 nio px ^in di5??P18S 

♦ ♦ ♦ ns? Dijn .iinD3 D^n iy tij^ iik ,D"';3t2?-K'T» » pK 

pK nytD22iyQ y'?^ T8 ny D^T ,D^M8 t!m;Dn-n'»a iiS d"»''^ n:ii''"D'»''n 
18 ''11 D^"»tot2; nin r-^T 18^ tix ,5iD-Dr-nn^''t? d'»» d'^ii^ i5?:i:L^t^ Pix^ 
T»T i^n iv^^ D'^^s 13? ♦ypnij?$?T tti^'»ii2j 5r'7^'''?n 8 •'ii ,D">inin;D it^^'^iiiir ^nnj 
r-n8 D^''A *iy nj? DD8it) ''!noi3 tin iJji t)yii ,i*?5ni ti5?ii ti^:^ t^,/ :S8 tDtz;''^ 
niD-nv Di^// jD-'^d^ '?8^ 8 185 PK 11K /"3itD-ai'> mh, nv^^^'^^S da^t iik 
,n5?iD d''d d98T3?a:i8 /Q''^ Dn$?DDa5; '^ip oy*?''"'3"np3i px ''!^'?"'*'i-np5i nn 
tyijrn tnx y^T'K 11X ''n^"* t)n ,niD"Dr d^// to-'ns ^P^'^t^ "lyu^^rs 8 ps 
IX n^'K ins 15? to^n ."j^^'ip sp^'iiynynn •'nix •'11 ^'?5?pi''ii nytD:2:i'»s ps o*'n8 
-n8s .ansjiD n^''r ,3id"di"' pk Drjn ,15? tD:\8T .5?'?'''':2"npni// jT'K d:x8t PK 

I^^T l'»1i^ ?n5?''11t3 i:s^ 81 PK 0811 PK !DU?''J 15??^ 18t) nmtD ?D0'''»Dt2? 

Ti;:i .no9 lytiaiK p8n i^8t t?:^ ,^b\$w^ w:i ti8n g'pis? "^tr; imi 
m'^V V^ 1^^ t'^is^ii niD n»^iD 8 Ti^:i P-n pK D"''? 185 ty^3?:i:J8 15?» 
i5?'»iD ]^H T^ ♦♦♦DiDS?DiK p8'?5^-?'i8 nm t^yii )v^ mo 01:2 xi^iv^m 
ov lyii jt2;D!5D T^K 081 /'^is^n ''11'''' pssi '^S// tP8t IT** ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ '1S8 ly^'tJ!:^ 
i-*^ l^^ii ,bm n i''i 'T'li? n5?n .Dip ♦pj? 'j5?^ip:i'-?i8 '?8t /pn3?:\iifi pk 

. ♦ ♦ /'T'' tDoyn it3t^iv D12 pn 

T^^ D^8n 18?^ 1*'^ ps P^i QV1 p''i:JVtot2; toiD 0811 ^'?''''a"np3i p>< 
in i''iK t3»y:i ,nV8n D121; i^'K in Dom 0811 pnw d81 nini3 y'?8 to^'D 
in t):s^ yn i57n'?yT iyi pK — t^'':^ i''it:; '?''ii px '?8tr? yiyonysr 8 

;mp pK ,pj?i8 tDX3ip rVJaj? V^ 'i''D n lya^ 

134 The Magician 

At that very moment, the door opened, someone entered, and 
said: "Happy Holiday!" 

The couple made the customary response: "Happy Year," without 
looking up to see who had come in. 

The newcomer said: "I want to be your guest at your Seder" 
Chaim-Yone answered: "We are ourselves without a Seder." 
The stranger countered: "I brought my Seder with me." 
"A Seder in the dark," sobbed Rivke-Beele, who could no longer 
control herself. 

"By no means!" replied the guest, "You 11 have light!" He waved 
his hands: "Hocuspocus!" and two silver candlesticks with lit candles 
appeared in the center of the room, suspended in mid-air. Light 
flooded the house. 

Chaim-Yone and Rivke-Beele saw that they were confronted by 
the magician. They gaped at him, unable to utter a word for sheer 
amazement and fear. They clasped each other by the hand and 
stood wide-eyed and open-mouthed. The magician meanwhile turned 
to the table, which was standing abashed in a corner and told it: 
'*Well, youngster, cover yourself and come here." Hardly had he 
uttered these words, than a snow-white tablecloth fell from the 
ceiling to the table and covered it. The covered table began to stir 
and shift, until it came to the middle of the room. It halted directly 
under the light and the silver candlesticks moved down slowly and 
placed themselves on the table. 

"Now only the couches to recline on are missing," said the 
magician. "Let there be couches for reclining!" Three footstools from 
three corners of the room started to move; they came up to the 
table and placed themselves on three sides. The magician com- 
manded them to become wider; they thereupon expanded until they 
became armchairs. He exclaimed: "Softer!" They covered themselves 
with red satin. At the same time, white, snow-white pillows fell 
down from the ceiling and stretched themselves out on the arm- 
chairs until these became real couches fit for reclining. From no- 
where appeared red cups, bottles of wine, Matzos, and everything 
necessary for a Kosher and happy Seder. There were even Hagadas 
with golden edges. 

"Do you have water to wash?" asked the magician. "I can also 
bring water!" 

Only then did the couple awaken from their amazement and 
Rivke-Beele whispered into Chaim-Yone's ear: "May we? What 

-ipK»-iX3ip nvT 135 

.lyaipjrAams ''n iiss !•»» oy isrii ^pnayst Dtr;u /'n^-* ]2^h, ^n ns^sms; 

"mo D1S DDjjA nr-5« 11?^ '?''ii T'i^// tiy;aip5?:^p-n8 vh 0511 nsri idiiiut 

'% ♦ • ♦ Dti^^a no rv r'^^S P«jn i^a,/ :mi'»-D'»'»n Diysoij; 

nn D'^X) no Dyi D:\a^in5?:iD'';D D^n iv tg; /is^^jy"* DijrsDay 

'n:^^ tD-'ia ii?DDi2^ STii^nbn i^s ^n)'^ in iii^n^n 05; pJ< !oipi$S-oii?ij;n 
.p"'t30''b Diyii 05? !Dsib nn pK ,niDt2; iD"*^ pi? ,DD'»'?-pi8ytD0 'SlVl2^:i 
]m^ •'n pK /iyDJi;D"t2^iip m fK o^t ts ^ts^S^TiyT y'?'»'»a"npnn pK naT'"n'»^n 

-ens DU?'': b''!^ pD DISII p''22r''K V^P PV"^^ Pi< I^^T^^II 183 IV^^^P V^ 

"DUi T»T Dillon iyD8;2"t22aip nyi ny^i^^a yiys^ pK p'»iK 5?a^ony:)is"'iK 
:a^K n misjT pK 5?^yp^''ii 8 PK t)^ytz;ii^s lya^Dt:;^?^ vh 01511 w^d D122 '^ipii 
/O^nii: Disn d:^ist 1^ •'H •'iTg; pK "nyns Dip pK in pyisn /biini /ii// 

,D^K t)pS?18n pK l^DW-^D 02511 '»''2t2; 1^ S^l^ U;^D 1D'»1K y^'^yDO ps o'r^Q 

aiiDti:; lD"';a pK D^ip pK t)'''>:^ pi? /H'^'i 18 T't tDn''%T ti^-'D n^^topsri^i nyi px 
n5?DD!5b jni5?nbn n pK ,dd'''? n lyDiiK Dpais t»t to^^nnso pK /pj?i8 
d:^8t nm^u ♦t^'^D ]S"»ik iyT';i8 nn i^yut:; p« s^is n5?pns;T»i in p^"? 
im ts?^^:^ ''!tD5?n"non pjt ]bt$i ■— iDS?a-non i^^ I'pys n5?D8»-i2iJi''P ^5?^ 
JT'iK in i^yDti^ pi? t2;''D on 122 ly**^:^ im /nitoti^ pD ipy 25n po .I5?'7p:i5?n 
1S??22 ^iijni lyD^nn f?^t -^n n5?D8Js"l22^ip ^^^ 'i5 tDO^-Ti ♦tort im yarjT 
:0"»iK IV t)sn ♦t^iDti:;i3?to8s ''n ps t)i5?ii 05? pK /D^nn 15?t r^ d'*i^ T*t '»n 
I'rSD ninn na iin pK /D5?^8o p-^n d"»d in ''n ip^sn — "nyD"»m// 
"122aip isnK ,in p'»"''? pK ,tt:;'»p yor?ii '>^iu; ,yoini b^^s y'»'?yDO po *»n ^nK 
pJT «i^iK !|Dyn-non n^'^i ^V — PK t'^itniz^nsTD^s "'t T'ik /Dijns;:^ o*i5?08d 
oy ^t^^-'D p'^iK in D^yDt2? px QT^ D''^ Hi^p 8 i^K in DPJiisa D^ns?:^ 
0^11 r'?8 pK ,ni2i^ pK /pj?ii nyt:;5?'?o d'»d niois yuni inx in prjii^n 
Dym'?^^ 8 t3'>;3 ''nn3in/, i'?*'S8 mo py'?^ns tiK intr3 » n nn^T ty» 

18P T^ nyD8)3-i22:iip m to:\yis ?'T'K to^n ttr^^ii is nyo^ii pK — 

!1'»iK nyo^ii lyjiiyna 

y'?^"»n-np5i pK .M^ ps t338Ds;aS''iK Dtr^iy in -^n p^n D'p^Jasn 
T»x tDD-^ni nai'»-D^"»n px "?d8ii ?ty» 3iy^// ny'»iK iS'»ik in3r"D'»'»n u:\yis 

136 The Magician 

do you think?" Chaim-Yone didn't know what to answer, so she 
advised: '*Go, my husband, and ask the Rabbi." He replied that 
he couldn't leave her alone with the magician and suggested that 
she go. She maintained that the Rabbi wouldn't believe the foolish 
chatter of a woman and would probably think her out of her mind. 
Both therefore went to the Rabbi and left the magician behind with 
the Seder. 

The Rabbi told them that what is brought about by black magic 
is not real to the touch, because magic is only a delusion dazzling 
the eyes. He advised them to go home and, if the Mazos could be 
broken by their fingers, if the wine could be poured into the cups, 
if the pillows of the couch were substantial in their hands, then all 
was well, and had been sent to them from heaven, and they had a 
right to enjoy it. 

Such was the Rabbi's decision. The couple returned home with 
fluttering hearts. They entered the house. The magician was gone 
and the Seder stood just as before. They touched the pillows, they 
poured the wine, they broke the Mazos. 

Then only did they realize that the magician was none other 
than Elijah the Prophet and they enjoyed a most happy holiday. 

1pK»"lS3ip nvT 137 

rv tDijn fjit^^-^a D^^ DDS^y:^ Di3?ivD D^n oign T» ,m^m nn nyi dish 
t)D^'»n ♦p'^iK n i^D ti?'':i5?'7:s?'?nnii;D i^ ^1^:^ vh nitr;''3 Dsrn^ii ,Dti?'':i mt:;^;^ 

v^ ,n^nDi /ts^ms — Dyn-non ps it^v n pK ,r-n^ moi3 n pK lo'*:^ 

ly^ip ♦D'^M^ ti;^:y3i<:^pxn^n d**^ ^n ly^'':^ ♦toiipDSs;:^ nn ns?T t)ij;n '»it» 

psrnn ni22;3 n ,tt Don p-^ii 13?t >]Tiiti in ]t^^ it^^p n ♦is^^jjDti^yA 
pK ,j<''3:in in'»'?K i^iw v^ dist Ti? ,t5)^iJ$Dt:;i;M:s toti^'is? ^n pijn ♦♦♦in 


It's no pleasure to sleep in July in a room, four by four, together 
with a wife and eight little children, especially on a Friday night. 
That's why Shmeril, the woodcutter, woke up after midnight, hot 
and breathless. Quickly he poured water over his fingers, grabbed 
his robe, and ran barefoot out of his suffocating hellhole. When he 
came out on the street — all was quiet, all streets were closed, and 
a high, quiet, starry sky covered the sleeping, little town. It seemed 
to him that now he was alone with God (blessed be He! ). Looking 
up to heaven he exclaimed: *'Well, Creator of the Universe, this is 
the time to listen to me and to bless me with a treasure out of the 
abundance of your treasures." 

Hardly had he uttered these words than he saw ahead of him 
an odd little flame running out of the town. "This must be the 
treasure,'* he reasoned. 

He wanted to run after it. He recalled, however, that a person 
must not run on the Sabbath. So he walked on after the flame. 
Strangely enough, no matter how slowly he walked, the flame pro- 
ceeded at an equally slow pace and the distance between himself 
and the flame neither increased nor decreased. He kept on walking 
and at times something in his heart told him: "Shmeril, don't be 
a fool, take off your robe, dash over, and throw it on the flame!" 

He realized, however, that such an idea must stem from the 
Tempter to Evil. He did indeed take off his robe; he seemed ready 
to throw it; but, just to spite the Tempter, he took still smaller 
steps and was gratified to see that, at once, the flame also moved 
more slowly. And so he followed the flame at a moderate pace and, 
walking on, he gradually got toward the outskirts of the town. 

The road twisted and turned, past fields and meadows, and the 
distance between himself and the flame never grew wider or nar- 
rower. Were he to throw the robe, it would not reach up to the 

Meanwhile, his thoughts became confused: if only he would 
catch the treasure, he wouldn't have to be a woodcutter in his old 

♦ODD^^i ix :^;$D!_nD t2?Dis:D ,^ii5?ri nyD'»ii:\ r'^P tatr**! t^k ^ly'pnyn:'*? ddk: pK 
15?DD15P5?:\S3S 18 tDD83 i^nbsn 18^1 T'lK i^p5?n2:'?8n '?n3?^^ V?S^ T^ t)S8D 
^DS'ps^s o^'T T'T »T»iK DS8D ^'pi^yi n s^ i:i'''nt2;5?:^ T't tDD'':^ ,Dyt38 t8 P^^ 
im^ 08^ ri< *i^ tD^ip ♦D''in8 Dunn D^iypnto ps is^oym^^ 8 ds^i'? pk 
8 D*»"»Di:; ^tjytDt^ Ipms^^tT' n^^"*^ PK rtDD8^i8s n^^ ^"^S ''?''^^ — 
ns; T^'K 111228 T8 /D'^K in DD8T ♦^a^^ iyD:inyDi2;5?AD''iH n'$b'>i^v nyD"'in 
,11// ;'?;D\n D122 pmpips'>n8 nv t)S8^ j^in inn ,m^ d'»;3 p'''?8 iyi''^i< 
18 to''^ it:;Diyn pK n5?nD"»ix T')d ^obt$i ,dl^:j2 t-'k 11128 /Dbi5? ^^ mni 
D-'K *i8Q t8 /*iy tD^tnyn ,D*'n8 08t to:\8T ^v ''11 /'rinssiK yiin ps ixix 

^ni *Dy fK D8T T8 n3? t3^^Dt2;n8S ♦D''1*18 ^tO^Dti; pD '^Dy'PS 8 Oysy t3D'»l'? 

Dtir-'i ly^ *i8t3 ts'^'i'? t^ '^^^ t"*^ S5? t8 /in iy tDi8»'n3?T /1D^i'?D8^ 15? 
T»iK Dn''%T iy^5?»89 •'1T8 /tD^'»oi ny is?^j?»8s ''n ''1t8 pk ^18^ ^v D-^^ri — 
iDiyii 'PD^^D ayi px D-'X itz^'^m i^n^ nyT pK ,pn 122 I8 '??^5?'?s 08i 
T»^ 18 o^sy D'^x in ddii '?8^ ^'»''D nv tJ^^:\ njr^^T'p Dt:;'»i nv:\iy^ tot:;'*! 
i^inst:; 8 ito /^D8^8n 08^ s^^» Q5?i ^t)!^**! I81 rv '-'t ,'?iyDt^ jp^^n 
08T T8 ni;n8 i3r to"Dt2?n8s !'??35?^3 QS?t T'IH «T'i'n8 oy ni8ii px nyoiix 
1:12 D^^nA .28^8 T'T ps iy t3^5?i ^D8'?85 D8T ♦yin-i22'» m n-'x pK tonyn 
,t)nD ynyiybp 181 ns? DD8^ /ynnnx^ oyn cyonb n8^ '*i5? f'K iQn8ii 
D8T in tDpn ,Dnt) s^iy^jy'^P t)D8?:3 *iy tDin t8 /pni$?s?T in to^nsisri pj< 

^O-^n pH 181 '?»y'7S on 13?'?5?;383 '»1T8 "ly tD''*':^ nyDS?'?5?^83 T'lK "r^Dy^s 

T»T D'>m iii< D^r^iybti; :\5?ii *iy"T .'pDyDt^ ps o'»n8 I5?'?y»89 ^5? to^ip 
'p^ay'^S D^T px D^K it^''ii22 I'pn^ nyi pK ,oypi8'? PK n5?'T'?ys nsrn'^K 
,'?t)8'?83 D8T 1S1811 '?8T ny T8 P8 n^^ii^nv tDi:;'>i ny:\iy^ di:;''1 r'?8 onjpi 
S8P PK Q^'K T't nsrinys ^^J?m5?'7 ♦DD^nnyi t)t2;'»i '?^5?'?s 012: n^? t)'?8ii 
p"»p nyD^y n5?i T'lx ny tD^8i'i '*^22iK Dsn is8d '?8t iy lyn :iyp:i8i3?:^ n 
0811 t3ynn8 lyi 122 ni3 oyi tDtz;^i pitz; t)8n ny ^)vm^ totr^^i n5?P5rn22'?8n 

140 The Treasure 

age; he no longer had the strength he once had for this work; 
he could buy his wife a pew in the synagogue, in the section reserved 
for women, so that her Sabbaths and Festivals would not be spoiled 
by her not being permitted to sit anywhere. Poor woman! On the 
High Holidays, she was always falling off her feet. The bearing 
of children had sapped her strength! He would make her a new 
dress; he would buy her a few strings of pearls. He would send his 
children to better schools; he would start looking about for a match 
for his oldest daughter. At present, she helped her mother to carry 
the baskets of fruit and never had time to comb herself properly; 
yet, she had long braids, such long braids, and eyes like a gazelle's. 

It would be fine, if the Treasure could be caught! 

"Again the Tempter," he mused. "If the Treasure isn't meant 
for me, then I'll have to get along without it." Were this a week- 
day, he would know what to do. Were his eldest son Yankel here, 
the urchin wouldn't be so passive . . . children nowadays . . . who 
knows what they are doing on a Sabbath? . . . The younger son 
wasn't any better either, always ridiculing the teacher. Let the teacher 
but try to slap them, why they would tear his beard off . . .and who 
has time to look after them? What with chopping and sawing all 
day! ... 

Shmeril sighed and walked ever farther. Every once in a while, 
he lifted an eye to heaven: "O Creator of the Universe, whom do 
you want to test here! Shmeril the Woodcutter? If you want to 
give, give!" 

At this moment it seemed to him as if the Treasure were be- 
ginning to move a little more slowly. But just then he heard a dog 
barking. He recognized the barking: it originated in Visoke, the 
first village beyond the town. In the fresh pre-dawn atmosphere, 
he saw white spots coming into view. These were the houses of 
Visoke peasants. This reminded him that he had walked about as 
far as one may on the Sabbath. He stopped. 

"Yes, I've reached the Sabbath-limit," he mused. "You won't 
lead me astray! You are not sent by God. For God does not make 
a mockery of man — and this is tomfoolery!" He got rather angry 
at the adversary and so turned around and hastily retraced his steps 
towards the town. He made up his mind: "I won't mention this 
matter to anybody at home. In the first place, they wouldn't believe 
me, even if I did mention it. And, in the second place, if they did 
believe me they would laugh at me! Besides, what is there to boast 

11£1K 15?i 141 

n ,bw n5?t:^nyn!}ii nyt !"»« Dijotr? « dd"'1P5?:^ n$? to^s'^i ni^n Dyi ♦'?i!j^ ii^ 

n-JK D^p^n nj? pK ny^u^Aix nims n i'^k p^n i^^irp •'t — cs n ps 

n lis: i$?Di» lyT n di^jjid ,1^35?^ /•'it^ ♦♦♦in^'t:; ^ p^n Dpip^:\b'ii< 
i:!2 DDyn T»T ib''S8 Dt2?^i D5:?:i: r"»p "pij^ pv Dijn pK Dn"»iK d**^ is;'?t2;"»v , 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ynso » •'11 p'»iK pK /5?a:38^ ;y:\:38b n D^n sy^s pK 45?^ypi83 

^b^^^ ♦ ♦ ♦ iid is Dijn iy o^n .Doiny:^ piiz; iy d^ijii p^n nyi pK iDt:;'':i 

— in^iV 5?P''t3rjn ♦♦♦iriit:;^:^ di^**: pits; 15; D'?^n ,1^115?:^ ^p:iy^ pt ijt 
nyoya tDtr;'>a T'^H PK m^?^^'?'' in .♦♦♦nnti; y^;^ 15?iid ''n oi^'^i ,do'»'»ii n5?ii 
o-^iK D^^K "|5?«) t)oin /pD si^^p ^ ny ^^11 ♦♦♦pTin ny dd^;d i^^d p*»ik 
:\^tD 1X18:^ K — ^tsy^ 122 ^^'^toDS •'n t»ik d!?2j toi^n nyii pK ♦ ♦ ♦ iiijn n 

♦ ♦♦♦W pK pj?n 

t)r?22 ps Dsi;ii;n pK n5;Dr?ii pK nyDini i^'?8 d''*':;^ pit ss^ D22sn iy 
-D-'iK §1 iDDb''ii ly^yii /D'^iy ^tz; mm// :p-n>i: ^D^^ pK r^-'iK i^ d!!2: ^^ 
nyi T» ^D-'K in DDi?! ''Dn ,pyji Do'?''ii ?nypyn:s2'?^n ^lyiDt:? ?pins 
nyT yn nyi pK iisja nyDy'pyi^^s ^o'^n ^ Ipn 122 t^ t»t Dn'»^^ 1221K 

— ''ypjjD'»ii/, pD PK Diji Jt^-'n D^i ny mypnyi .ta^**! mm ^ nv tonyn 
in p'»ii oy ^11 pitz; tjytnyT iy pH ,Di$Dt2; lyi lyo^m ni^i yt3t2;ny dis:i 
ytz^ny'is nypSD'»ii n iy:iyT o^i npy'^s yoini Dsi^ai$Dii?3 nyt2;n§ lyi pK 
D'pyDtr? ,nnti?-Dinn ^ pj?t piu? ti» oy t^j: ,in ny tDi|?^iyT -r^^n pK ♦ly'ppjn 

♦Q^ in ny 

D^yii lyn pi< •'ii m^^ fiK ny DD^iinD ,nnt2;-Dinn 1^ pk oy ,1$'' — 
D«:\ ,18Ttoi$^ PV Du?'»:i PK oy nyii pD n''ss^*i^ tDtz?'*! r^ Doyii :p_ni!: 
'?o'>n i? toiyii ny pK Joy pk yb nt2;y» — ■itr;D:iyjD ps pnn p'»p.t5t:;'»a dds:» 
D^'':^ pK ,b\o)^^v D122 ciK pni22 in tD'>m pK nni-'?yn tanK lybr^n 
jDtz;''! i''K ^yii i:\«TD'»iK D-^m ny-T pK ny DD^'nt) iddi^id ♦pnis: p-^DO^n 
n^a ps p^*? IV^ t^yii /«:'» ts pk ♦ ♦ ♦ p^'»^a t)t:;'»i i^» ly;^ Dyii ,o:iDt2;iy 
.mv^ T'^K — toD^ni D^iy-Kim lyi .*.?iy?Dn tz^j tk '?^t d;$ii is pk 

142 tuE Treasure 

of? The Creator of the Universe knows — that suflices. My wife might 
even become angry, as far as I can tell. The children would surely 
be angry — ^naked and barefoot, poor things! Why should they trans- 
gress against the commandment: 'Honor thy father!'" 

No, he wouldn't mention it. He wouldn't even remind God of 
the incident. If he, Shmeril, had done the proper thing, God would 
not fail to remember it 

Suddenly he felt a strange happy calmness come over him. A 
quiet satisfaction permeated his limbs. "Money is after all trash. 
Wealth may even seduce a person from the right path." He wanted 
to thank God for not subjecting him to this test. He was so relieved 
that he felt like bursting into song: "Our Father, Our King" — ^he 
remembered this melody of his youth but stopped short abashed. 

He tried to recall a synagogue chant — ^when suddenly he saw 
that the same flame, which he left behind, had emerged in front 

of him and that it was moving slowly before him The distance 

between himself and the flame grew neither larger nor smaller. 
It seemed as if the flame were out for a walk and as if he too were 
walking a bit, in honor of the Sabbath. His quiet happiness per- 
sisted. He looked about. The sky was turning paler. The little stars 
were beginning to fade. There was a slight reddening in the East 
and the reddish tinge flowed along like a river, narrow and long. 

The flame, meanwhile, continued to move. It entered the town 
and proceeded to his street. There was his house. He saw the door 

wide open. Apparently, he had forgotten to close it And now, 

the flame went in, it was inside his home! He followed it. He saw 
it creep under his bed. Everybody was still sleeping in the room. 
He walked over quietly, bent down, and saw the flame under his 
bed spinning on its axis just like a top. He thereupon took his robe, 
threw it down under the bed, and covered the flame with it. Nobody 
heard what was going on, and now the first golden ray of morning 
stole through a slit into the room. 

He sat down on the bed and made a vow that until the end of 
the Sabbath he would not breathe a word to anyone, not a single 
word. Otherwise, the Sabbath might be desecrated. His wife might not 
be able to control her curiosity. His son certainly would want to 
get to the bottom of this matter. They would want to start counting 
immediately. They would want to find out how much. Soon the 
secret would be out. In the large synagogue, in the smaller houses 
of worship, in all the streets, the tale of his wealth would spread 

-ISIH n3?1 143 

oyn I'^^fis tjyn ny ♦♦♦"iy::ii»in tttr^^a ^'»ia nss 05r oyn ny ^p-^Ji 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ lypiy^S?:^ r'''?8 •I y wn ,pt3y:^ oon 
,D'»v^i"i yp'»DD"»'? ,ym$» «: oysy t»t t'»K ny Db'»Sny-r r^r'p^ji^s iik 
ny» Dti?**:! toi^s tk tD*?y]i„ ♦nm iv^'^m^ ^ d"»k t»t Dc^yi: onSK y'?^ t'»K 
d'?"»ii oy pK /ayn iDDy^i pS n'^Ssiijns i«:i w r\M''m iriBi:; iik !?p '»ii 
rp 122 D:^iynay3i Dtr^^i d'^x ujjn ny 0^11 nn^&nyi oija typa^i o'^i? in 
T»T ny m^^nyt n'?» "J^'^Sisj// ♦tyjian rb ^ t2;t)is;D d'^x in t3'?"»ii oy ♦iroa 
^'»ii ny ♦9tj Dp>3:n pK r^^«: T'T niss in D;aytt?n^§ iy nis^i ^ns** y^^i** ^^ ps 
,^y tDyny-r lynig: iii'j^xi^s — ,opn'»2^o s ^im ytr-'itn s lyis^^iyT in 
pmx D'»x T'»x n'^T lytoiM tsTij^yji toijin ny ois:*iT ^^v^^ yiya'»'»x oi^^t th^: 
,'?t3yt)t2; Q1X ly^yjDSS ps^i d'^k i^S in t)pn oy px ,t)msjs ps ty^aipyaonns 
lyDini Dnyii l?}Dy'?s oyn pK d-jk i^-'m I'i'n^ lyi pK ♦.♦*?DyDtr^ dix 
— tD'T»S8st2; ly pK ,t3i'»:!r8B!r; '?)Dy^s d^t i!5'?3i ny^riv Dtz;**! ,ny:iay^ tDtr?'»3 
t)iyii ^»\T nyi .153 topip pK ^"^totr; in ly tD^ne ♦nsti; iiss"? ,'?o''a s ''it^ 
oy ,^o'»n K in D'?t3^n mt^^a lyr ,tt2;y^ t^ in iT'^n ^v^iiiv^ii; nyos^n 
Dpn ^^y^s oiST pK — i^ay'? ivi px '^oi^to ly'^oni 'p^^t:; ^ ''11 in too-^r^yx 
pS n-'D n aiDti; pjt pk id? m^ P-n T'X d^'»3i .p.ns biav^xi; pK r'^S I'^t 
. . . lox^nKs IS foyjinss n'^iB ^ n Djjn ny ,M m'^'^^v nv t^yt aitot^ pjt 
ly D'»'»:\ !oy to"»n pjis niDtz; p»K q"'K 122 .pjns tD'''»:\ '?^y'?s o^i ttoij pK 
Dns y'?^ nyDins tjyn pyDim *?;ay'?§ o^n in idtij:^ oy "^n ny toyr ,1^3 
in tj'^m '^^y^s o^t ny toyt ,pj>x in t):\'»''S ,122 '?'»Dtr; ny tD^^n — is^'^tz; 
tnyDiiK ^yD:inN: ^iim PK ny Di^yi ♦di^ tSnK .'^Tni is: m rUyn nytJ^iK 
;^i px ,t)tr''a tonyn nyrv — 12: *?»y'?§ o^n tjpyn pK '^to^^ijD oiji t)yn 
D^ijBtr Dyi iin ^8iDU?ins?3 ly^yi^Siii 8 ]niH aiD^ pH vw in toy^:::^ 

.ns'? ps 

oyrv ly oyn natr;' iyn"»K m ^iTi 8 tDiD pK tjyn iSnK in ly Dsyt 
IX /n'?'»^n rfy^ip oytt oy — titr?'»3 tJi^n n'?it?:n pv ^P^t otz?**: tD'nijii p^*? 
•»n ,t3tr;'»3 •»x'7n8 .D'^aa n ^-jn ,p*?sn3r?x ot^^a in toyii n ♦..♦nntr^ ^i^'^n 
pS mo lyi uyii *T^8a pK i^S'»n io'»"n ibrpi ,'['?'»^2:nyn'»K t'?yii n*?8S 'i*?yn 

144 The Treasure 

from mouth to mouth ... the tale of his good fortune . . . and nobody 
would pray, nobody would wash for the blessings, nobody would 
perform the benedictions with the necessary devotion. He would 
cause his household to sin, and half the town as well. No, not a 
whisper.... He stretched out on his bed and pretended to sleep.... 

In consideration of this piety, on his part, it came to pass that, 
when he bent down under the bed after Havdala and lifted up the 
gown, he discovered underneath a real bag with thousands upon 
thousands of gold pieces, an amount almost beyond imagining, an 
entire bedful of gold. He did indeed become a person of great 

He spent the remaining years of his life in joy and contentment. 
Amidst his happiness, however, his wife had a habit of reproaching 
him: "Heavens! how can a man have such a heart of stone, not 
to mention a word throughout an entire summer's day, not a single 
word even to his wife . . . and I still recall that I wept so bitterly 
during the prayer *God of Abraham!* I cried so much.... There 
wasn't a penny in the house." 

He would comfort her with a smile: "Who knows? Perhaps it 
was in answer to your prayer 'God of Abraham!' that this reward 
came to us." 

1S1X IVT 145 

v^ n5?ii t)^ii ]om v"?^ pK pK ti^nn^n-rT'n T'k ,^it£? pK pK ,o"'n^ niDti^ 
,t5?^ii8i Dt^;'': t)yii lyi-'V pK ♦♦♦bm pyii ♦♦♦nii''ti?y pjT p^ii lym^:^ 
1^: D5?n 1^ pK ■— pJT 12^ ^im oy "^n ,*[t2;Diyn Dtz;**:! ,in it^^Kii Dt^''^ 

♦ ♦ . i^m'^i YV^^B p''? — p^: .to^Dti? $?n^^n 8 pj< t3iny:\pin pJT ipn^tiKs 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ '[Q^'?t:; in DSK)3 pj< t55?n on t»ix o^^ix in t)'»22 ^5? PK 

d'»q'?8-»§'?8 t)'»)3 pST 8 1:^$?'?$?::^ ypi$t5 id^ik pk ,bm^^^ o^i p"'in5?:is''iK pK 
n^nSTix VP^^ T''K pi< — lyiiy::^ Dyn ciir^ ^ — niy^'ti; k ti§ D^r^s ,piin 

♦piS'' ''T rim pi^ ton5?'?y:^s^ pit2; Disn 15? PH 
,D^i5? ^ti? i:iini jisigm^s nm pK ^^^ y'pi? d''K Di^y^s rj?n o^i i^:i 

Di^^iyi 'S«n T'K pK / * ♦ ♦ Di^ii p^^:*'''^ t^v ni?ii ny55?:^^''K n^s ,p^T i::^ 

♦ ♦;m"''»iw:jj •»its /D^^iw^^ "^m T^ ''dhiss ps d;^^/, r?n d^^^5?t /T^ ''t 

♦ ♦♦♦t^^iiy^ tDti?''^ nitDt:? pi5 lymTpv pk oy 
j^D*>'';at2; 8 D''^ n Do^nD is? pK 

''Dni58 pS Dj$:\,/ pj?i ps mDT i'»k oy in D^n itrsK ,tDO''m lyii — 

♦Di''S5?:\o''i« Dn nm 


Chaim was a porter. 

When he walked through the streets, bent double under a case 
of goods, he himself was not visible. It seemed as if the case were 
walking alone on two legs. Only Chaim's panting could be heard 
from afar. 

But when he put down his burden and received his few pennies, 
he would straighten up, take a deep breath, untie his straps, wipe 
the sweat off his face, go straight to the fountain, drink a few mouth- 
fuls of water, and run into the court-yard. 

He would stop near a wall and raise his gigantic head, so that 
the edge of his beard, the tip of his nose, and the brim of his cap 
were in one plane. 

He calls: 


Below the roof, a little window is opened and the little head 
of a woman in a white bonnet asks in reply: 


The couple look at each other with loving eyes. Neighbors call 
it billing and cooing. Chaim wraps his earnings in a piece of paper 
and throws it up. Chane catches it in the air. By now, she is ex- 
perienced in catching. 

"Wonderful!" says Chaim's attitude, and he shows not the slight- 
est desire to move on. 

"Go! Go, Chaim!" she smiles at him, "I can't budge from the 

sick child I've put the cradle near the chimney ... so that I can 

skim the foam from the pot with my hand and rock with my 

"How is baby?" 


"Thank God! And Lena?" 

"At the seamstress!" 


"In school!" 

WT ,minD iDD^p ns^t^iiK Dn5;p''in5;:\2i^K ,on;:\ n inn d"a ny t^ 
♦ , . D^'D '»'»'n:c T'lK r**^;^ d-j^ ido^p i5;i ti^; ,t»t ddin;! os; jo**!*!!? t3i2;'»: D'»i« |y^ 

iy ;ttr^iA 5;D37^t3y yrjT DJaip^n .dos*? n s^ ny d^'''? tois — ']^i 

DD**!^ |iK nyb^ii :\i'!^ti? injs ^!: did ,t5;ana D122 t-^^^ d"»'':\ ,D"»as ps D^"»nt2? 

♦tins n^in >!; tk 
"in m '''ITS sispiiTn Dyi T'lK ^T'^n ,mm S PS?^ T'T ^bv^vi; 15? 
.nDti7 p-JK «T»iK D"»ij< lyzsip 'td^t D5?nQ pyi:;^^ ID*'^ ts:i nyi d-'d ^n^^i rs^ 

:DDn iy 

man — - 

t2;nyni?ii v^bp s px .'^lyDSiiys v^bp x nn Dasy ist n^toiiK ps 

]l^P^\:iVP "''t :PST Q^UDU? n ;tS n'^IS''^ T^S^ l^T Dpip pb^QISS D^T 
♦TQSS bp'^DU; S TK D'?p'»liy:\a!?K ,DDmiKS p-'T H'^^S DD^Sn D''"'n .-pT 

♦p-'aiispyns t)tr'':i ptrn pv n^A D?n pK ,D''''n ddk^ mKbsa nnn k — 
. ♦ ♦ ^rp ipas'iP ps P''^ t^^**^ T*^ tSP T^ t^'T D^D'»*'^ii^ !D''''n ,'»'»a ,'>n — 

. . ♦ . T^ m O-'D tD-'D pK 
?iynya ,Dy ]:i0^r:i 0^11 — 

?yavn pK id^:;^ t'»x 01^1*?^:^ — 
!pnst5''''i *iyT ^^ — 

148 An Idyllic HoMfi 

Chaim lowers his beard, walks away, and Chane's eyes follow 
him until he has disappeared from sight. 

On Thursdays and Fridays this scene lasts a bit longer. 

"How much have you in the piece of paper?" asks Chane. 

"Twenty-two cents!" 

"I'm afraid, it's very little!" 

"What do you need, Chane?" 

"Six cents' worth of salve for the baby, a few pennies for candles, 

I already have the Sabbath loaf And there's the meat, a pound 

and a half Well, we still have to buy something to drink for 

Kiddush! ... And a few more logs for the oven!" 

"Logs I can get you. There must be some around the market- 

"I also need — " 

And she lists whatever else she needs for the Sabbath. The 
conclusion is that one can say Kiddush over the Sabbath loaf and 
one can easily gtt along without many of the items. 

The chief articles remaining are candles for the Sabbath and 
salve for the baby. 

With God's help, however, if only the children are healthy and 
the brass candlesticks unpawned and especially if there is the tradi- 
tional festive pudding, the couple have a really happy Sabbath. 

For, Chane is wonderfully clever in preparing this pudding! 

Some ingredient is always missing, either flour or eggs or fat, 
and yet the final product is a pudding sweet and delicious, that 
diffuses through every limb and particle. 

"The Angel of the Sabbath must have cooked it," says Chane, 
smiling with satisfaction. 

"Yes, an angel, a true angel!" laughs Chaim. "You mean that 
you are my little angel, because you put up with me and the chil- 
dren. How they pester you all the time! And I too get angry once 
in a while — but do I ever hear you scold or curse like other women? 
Yet, I offer you so little of life's pleasures! You and the children 

go practically naked and barefooted What am I good for? I 

can't even chant correctly the Kiddush on Friday night or the Hav- 
dalla on Saturday night or the other Sabbath songs." 

"But you're such a good father and such a good husband!" 
insists Chane, "I swear it, by my happiness and that of all Israel. 
May God grant me many, many years with you!" 

jfT'rDi!?tt^ 149 

liji D'»K Dpip n2n |iK ,pyiiis d'»'':\ ,in^n n qjji;^ pmx dt^^ D'>'»n 

!p'»r"'ii fK 05? .KTi^ nitjn T'K ■— 
mm ,1^*7 idosih;*7 di^ii — 

T'lx IQi^nn — 11 ♦♦♦mis p'^sntoinis ,t^^ v^^'^^ii ♦♦♦nt^ T^ ^^n 
ny^:^:iy*n 5?Dy^Dy i^:i 15?^ niJjin Drjri ♦ ♦ ♦ ]i;^Tp 
♦pniN:^ IS'^IK r-^T n;3 oy ,ts^ti? pit:; m T'K 'p^ii i5?^:!^:iym — 

♦ ♦♦♦1^1 TK nnst — 

in T-'K pj?T ID h: 1^ m P^^ /H'^n i^n''K p^^ mvp i^p ly^ t^ :Dni^^n 

nrp n^S i^^T '»'7 T»iK ,DD''^tz;Dayn — pk np"'5? i$?t 
-y^ n ,D:iiTy:\ ijnyt ly^i^p n ,Dsbyn to^A tj? ,pyii tooyi ps pK 
— ^:\ip }? ni^i §T Pi< 03? n"»ix tonsn ,D22yn^s tDti;'':i nyoDi^b ^:yt2; 

innt^ py'?''ns 8 11$:^ p'ppi^s djjt to^n ■ 
!b:^ip D1X nx^sa nnn is pk mn D^r^iisn 

HID DI22 pK ,DDyS ^1 nT-^H t$l ^'P^^ 1ST ;O^BV ^''K tj^^s p"»n^yDi2; 

T'K ^WB t3'''»:\y22 13? j'^^^ip iypnn"'n^ k nyon j? ,i3?tDys j? o^nj? D^ip 

♦nna i^b ^bT-^m pK ^nnn ^:^is:t ,ix^^ 13?t t)D^P djjt — 
DD'»i n Ti? ^Dor''^ n {D^'^'n dd^^ !iKb^ k ^ktiik ^ik^p^ ^ ,^'' — 
^s-'ii ♦♦♦n3?i:i''P ''T ps P^ •)''^ P^ o''iK DOD^xn n th: ,ik^^ lyr^'^p ^ 
D3?sy -i^rn T^ /I1 ♦♦♦r*>n ^1$^ ^ i3?ii T'K ,111122 1^ tt "^n lyiD b^^ 
10 ^ Do;$n n nm:^ P« ?n3?ni^ii ''t '-'=i s^'^^^^ "^n ^'1''^ Ps n^"?!? ^ 
?T'K riD 0^11 122 ♦♦ ♦ oyinp pK D37pJ<3 ly^'':^ nsrirp n px n ti-'j^ pD nm 
niT^T pv tioyi tot:;"»a i^''SK lyp T'^ ,n^inn 112 m^2 ,t^iTp n tot:?''! 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ iy:^rT 
Di^n n:in in tD^H;n tod i^on is PH .vdhid isron is; di^s do'^i ■— 
nyo^y ^^3 1**^ "^^^ T»K ♦ ♦ ♦ ^KW"* ^3 n'^iK pk i^d n^^m i^*' ^m ^ipn-'K 

150 An Idyllic Home 

The couple look into each other's eyes with as much kindness 
and affection as if they had just stepped forth from the wedding 

Their happiness is even greater during the meal. 
After the nap, which customarily follows the Sabbath noon- 
meal, Chaim would go to the small synagogue to hear words of 
learning and wisdom. 

There a Melamed or teacher instructed simple folk in the Bible, 
according to the commentary of Alshich. It was a hot day and the 
listeners were still drowsy; one person dozed off, another yawned 
loudly. Suddenly, when a certain passage was reached, all became 
attentive; for the discourse had shifted to the other world, to 
Gehenna where the wicked are whipped with iron rods and to the 
radiant Garden of Eden where the righteous sit with golden crowns 
on their heads and imbibe wisdom. The auditors listened with mouths 
wide open and faces flushed, hardly breathing as the marvels of the 
other world were unfurled. 

Chaim usually stood near the oven. Tears welled into his eyes. 
His hands and feet trembled. He was entirely in the other world. 

He suffered with the wicked. He bathed in hot pitch. He was 
hurled into the infernal pit He picked faggots in desolate forests. 
He experienced all this so intensely that a cold sweat covered his 
body. A little later, on the other hand, he shared with equal in- 
tensity in the joys of the righteous: the radiant Garden of Eden, 
the Angelic Host, the Leviathan, the Messianic Bull, and all the 
other good things — these were so real and vivid to him that, when 
the teacher jfinished the discourse, kissed the book, and closed it, 
Chaim awoke as from a dream, as if he were actually returning from 
the other world. 

"Ah!" he caught a deep breath, after having been breathless all 
the while. "God in Heaven! If only a piece, a little bit, a tiny crumb 
of that other world for me, for my wife, for all my children!" 

Then sadness came over him. He asked himself: "How do I de- 
serve it? For what reasons? Why?" 

Once, after the discourse, he went up to the Melamed. 

"Teacher," he said with trembling voice, "please do advise me, 
how I can become worthy of the world to come!" 

"Learn Torah, my son!" came the answer. 

"I don't know how!" 

Jf1^3-D1^r 151 

Dsnsii MT8 ,ttn nm 15218 p>iK n r^ in Dpi? i?^8SiKjB otn tik 
13;d31k 116 otr^is? jj^^yt '»n ,in ddsi oy ts ,n8n I'^m !»•»» •»it8 iik 

♦ ♦♦.iyS8 nsin i3?i 

♦ . ♦ ♦ ttr^D D!?a 157D5;'?'»nS 1l$2 Diyii ojr 

♦mm iiyn i!i2i8 p'?iu^ Dyr'»bp fK D^'»n tD^">i iis;'?tr; pija 1^3 

15?t3^"'l122 13?1 /'?»m 8 182 DS8:i 15?2'»'»K ;l68'?tr?18S 18^ I^W IS^'^iS 
rt3i8 iDDsn D1S Diaip 05? tyn ,dj?ds81 18^ tri^m P*'in 8 o*'"ii8 t)T8'? 
wv^i n DO!5)3tz; |5?» in .DiiTi pQ .D'pyii lyay** pa ooyi^ti^ ]y» 
5?25?i^8^ TK |2jn Q^pns n 111 .n5?"P i?''dd'»^ ps nyon yai^rtii^K t)*'^ 
— lyb^j^D n ?t)av'?y3iS"»i8 y'?8 n^i^ i3^8^5?i ♦ ♦ ♦ niin lynvb pK i^ri^iip 
D5?ii 05? 0811 ^nvm 18 18 pJH in Di^rn iy» ♦ * . d-^ii — ly^'^is n /I68 

!d'?3?ii "^V^T inK im 

-'»x OS? .pnK n pK nsno D8n iy ♦pmK d!?3 lyb^^niy^ d^-^d::? D-'^n 

♦D'rs^ii lyis** «T»iJ< 15C2831 pK T'^K iy ;0'»S pK mvn n q"»k n5?tD 

IS ;S'?8'30 lyo^M pK in Di8a jQ'Str;i n d^d i5?J38n2r dtj"? iv 
f'?8 ♦♦♦iyi'?5?ii vocii PK i5?23?s^ tJiL^^p ,y^pn-n3 iDi8iiy:^ toiyii 
t38n 081 I8S ♦ ♦ ♦ o^nii2^ i5n:^8P iyi Q^i< d?5?18:i 0$; pK ,1111 13; Das?'? 
,D"»D8'??:i ^ /11S"P 5?p'»DD'»'? 081 :DV''i22 y'?8 to''^ ii^'pii nna lyoystz; iy 
-yay'? "^iTS 18S Q''^ in i^v^v pst yoia y^8 PK lan-iitz; iyi ,]^^ii^ i5?i 
tD38J3i80 pK tz?ip 8 tD-'^i /topn^y i^'??^ iyi lyii t8 .tj'rn nT8 pK pn 
♦D'pyii lyiT pS ''ii ypSto /Di'?n 8 ps '''^t «T»iK in iy ds80 nso 081 

iyi i5n iD'?8ny:\rJK D8n 15? 0811 nvm oyi i^"^^^ '^y t3Q83 ^18 — 
"812 8 tr^t)83 '^2:''S 8 tytD83 /'?p^Dt2? 8 ^m'=^ JQ^''^ '^^ ''^''^'^ 'tDi^s: 1^:2282 
n5?'?*15?'^^V V2!2;a y'?8 186 V^ .11511 pJ?3 186 /l**^ 186 ♦♦ ♦ J<nn-D'?iy VIVP 
p6 ,m8Ts;:^ 02«tDtt^)3^K// nn D:^yi6 15? jpnyniD iy toiyn D'?8»yi pK 

♦ ♦/'?0811 186 .0811 

:i«)^tt D1S iy:^28:^y2i2: lyiiyb p82 iy t^k '78J3 P^k 

noiT l?8t 1''i« 'Hxy 18 i"'» tD'»A ,t)iyD"»:s '?ip pJT pK ,iy d28T ."'ai — 

!Kan D'piy p8n 122 p-n 

♦»i3it2?n 8 iy t:iyn iniin nrp )r2^ .liy*? — 

!DU?'»l 18P TK — 

152 An Idyllic Home 

"Study the commentaries, religious legends, or at least the Ethics 
of the Fathers!" 

"I don't know how!" 

"Recite Psalms!" 

"I have no time!" 

"Pray fervently!" 

"I don*t understand what Fm praying!" 

The Melamed looked at him pityingly. 

"What are you?" he asked. 

"A porter." 

"Well, then, serve those who study." 


"You might, for example, bring a few buckets of water into the 
synagogue every evening so that the learned scholars may have 
something to drink." 

Chaim was filled with joy. 

"Teacher," he continued, "and my wife?" 

"If the husband sits on a chair in the Garden of Eden, his wife 
is his footstool." 

When Chaim came home to recite the Kavddla, the benediction 
of the cup at the close of the Sabbath, Chane was sitting and reading 
aloud the prayer "God of Abraham." When he saw her, he felt a 
tug at his heart. 

"No, Chane!" he exclaimed, clasping her in his arms, "I don't 
want you to be my footstool. I will bend down to you, I will raise 
you up, I will seat you near me. We will sit together on one chair 

as now It IS so good to be together Do you hear, Chane? 

You must sit with me on one chair. The Creator of the Universe 
will have to give his consent!" 

n''n"nT?ti^ 153 

!Q'»'?^^n oust — 
!Dt2;''a Di^x rv s^n T^ — 

♦D'»^Dn-n"'^'?n ti?^t^^ ^t ,i: — 

t)3i^W tiK pytyji n;!n vt/^ ,]d»d n^inn ly^ipyr^^-'M^ T^i< w'>n tj? 

ts'»'»n§'>iK TT '^Vii T»i^ '^''^ 1^ ir'^ns^'ns i"*^ '?5?ii T^ ♦ . ♦ $7^5?p:i5?noiD 
. ♦ ♦ 11^^^ •'11 .'piiou? i"H T'li^ t22n ly^isnir tb5?ii 'T'^ ♦^'')2 py:J T't 722^1 pK 
«T»iK T» D^^ irr tDon;^ n ,nin ,Dois?n ♦ ♦ ♦ i^Dsjn^j ton ''itjj naix pk 037 


In Holland, in a half -sunken cabin at the edge of the sea, dwelt 
a silent soul — a Jewish fisherman named Sati, perhaps after a great- 
grandfather Saadia. But the fisherman didn't know of Saadia, As a 
matter of fact, he knew very little of Jewishness. Descended from 
generations of fishermen, he had spent his days and years on the sea. 
As his was the only Jewish family in a non- Jewish village, how 
should he know much about his own people? His job was to catch 
fish; his wife's to make and mend nets and to keep house. His children 

rolled in the sand and looked for amber Why, if Sati should be 

caught in a storm on the sea and his life were in danger, neither 
he nor his family could as much as pray the simplest Jewish prayer: 
Shma Yisroel. Sati on the high sea would merely gaze mutely towards 
heaven; his wife would beat her hands against her head or else direct 
an angry look at the dark and angry sky; his children would hurl 
themselves on the sand and cry out together with other children: 
Sancta Maria, Sancta Maria! 

How should Sati's children know any better? It was too far to 
walk to the nearest Jewish community and the poor family, with 
barely enough for food, could not afford to ride. Besides, the sea 
didn't let a person get away so easily. Sati's father, grandfather, and 
great-grandfather had perished in it, yet such was its fascination that, 
though it often proved to be man's most dangerous and most treacher- 
ous foe, one loved it and was drawn to it by an irresistible force 

Since escape from its lure was impossible, it seemed best to live on 
it and to perish in it. 

A single Jewish custom was still retained by this family — ^Yom 

Early on the day before Yom Kippur, Sati and his family selected 
the biggest fish and made their way to town. There they handed over 
the fish to the community shochet or ritual slaughterer, where they 
stayed over night and ate at the end of the fast. 

lis ::iyin Q!5n ^Tr?n typ3ity:^ii^ij; a^is:n ^ t»k n:^'?i$n nan^ n^i ]^k 

nns3t^;3 ytr^nr j?p^22r"»j< is — ■ Dny^y:i ,q'' is-'IK ns'' T'li^ ^5?tD D:\jyw8s 
orjT nr?n o^T ,u;'''s tos^jD y^'Dijo ?tD*»n iy ^i$t dijii ,nr"Dtr;'»a ttz^'^m 

V'^tosD tD^n . ♦ ♦ r-'T ^bsn;^ ^Kit;^ v^^ w '^'^^m d:i«pp Dti^'^a ,2^m r« 
n^riij; /pjns s^p pK in u^^isi'ptz; orjt ai^ii 0^1 i]rii^ '^^"'n T'X DitJt:; tip^pn 

stDi^D n5?ii'»p y'ls^^is tD-'D T-^b^ is*^^ P« "^J^s^ l^^*!^ T'^ l^'isii ijrirp 

ims^ StDii^o /Snstt 

r-ns n'?Nnp ri< r^:;^ 01s inj ?iy;D id*»ii d^ijts?:^ -^n in^n lyis:^'^ ps iik 
m-'i mnn nons D'»ip D^n d^ii T'p-'m^ 57»5?ni^ ''i t)sn p?s ,01^1 ^k 
o$?''tD8D n5?ti^Q 05?'»tD80 .p5?ii8 t3t2;"»i D-^ nj?! m^'? .Q5?t r»i8 'P^ /Di^PS?^ 
,rw IV mn ms sts 1^1 ,d'» id'»ik I5;»ip3?:^^ii< iy:i3?T yTnn57D'?y tm yrn 
-bSS 8 tos8 P8^ P« '^^"^^ nyttDDSbisrSy:^ owmvr:^ nvi f'K *i5? :Q'' IV1 
•»ii D-'K 12: p-'isyr^i^s ly^ Dn5?ii 1^?::^^ pi^ ,d^x ]v^ d^h a*'^ pK ,i<:iit2; ^v^ 
py*? 1$?^ '?''ii ,ioins8 totr;**! d^'K pS in t8P 75??^ PK w.|5?A:i8m d'»;3 

♦ . ♦ ♦ D-^K PX p*'n5?Di1X PX D'»X n^'IK 

,Xi;^§ pom Q5?*7 p'»^p5?:\0'»1K f^Ttt D^H ns ^yi I'^K 'niD^3-DT' ^1V 

pV^nB^ V^ 'P-5n8 tD^toiz; pK ti^'^S tD*'» 1V3118W f'K nnBtr;^ 5?22a8^ n pK 
pK iD08Sn89 tJi^y'rS iy» p'?5?'n 55a ,t3nitz? ttzr^np oy-r tr^'^S d^t p?J3 id^h 

♦n^'^yn p8:i T05? 

156 Miracles on the Sea 

Throughout the day they sat in the Dutch Temple; they listened 
to the singing of the choir, the playing of the organ, the chanting 
and praying of the cantor. None of them understood a single word 
of the ritual, but they looked upon the holy ark and upon the 
preacher in the golden yarmulke or barret. Whenever the golden 
yarmulke arose they stood up, and whenever the golden yarmulke 
sat down they settled back in their seats. If at times Sati's tired and 
drowsy eyes closed, a neighbor's elbow would nudge him to stand up. 

This was what Yom Kippur meant to him. He was completely 
ignorant of its signijficance as Judgment Day, when even the fish 
tremble in the water, and entirely unaware of all that went on in 
heaven. He merely followed a well-established family custom to listen 
on Yom Kippur to choir and organ without eating all day and to go 
to have supper at the s ho chef s house after Nehilla (this very word 
for the late afternoon prayer was even unknown to him). Perhaps 
the shochet himself didn't know much more. — A shochet in Hol- 

After the black coffee, Satya, his wife, and his children would 
get up, say good-by to the shochet and his family, wish them a happy 
year, and walk the entire night back toward the sea — "sea" and not 
"home" was the customary expression. 

To stay on any longer was out of question. 

"Why, you haven't even seen the town!" the shochet and his wife 
would argue. 

But Sati merely repeated contemptuously: "The town, hm!" 

Sati was no good at speech-making. The sea teaches silence. He 
really did hate the town, its narrow streets shut off from air and sky, 
a slit between one roof and another. On the sea, however, what ex- 
panse and what air! 

"The sea is your foe, your death," he was told. 

"A good death," he replied. 

He wanted to die as his father and grandfather before him, to be 
swallowed up by the sea in the prime of health, to be spared the 
torture of sickness, the pining away on a bed year after year, the 
lamentations about him, and finally burial in the hard earth Brr! 

A chill went through him at the mere thought of such a death. 

When the family walked home, toward the sea, through the night, 
dawn would begin to break and they would catch sight of the golden 
reflection of the sand-dunes and further on the sparkling mirror of 
the water. Then they would clap their hands in joy. 

D"> IS^JIK D-'oa 157 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ tipsrnjr:^ p-'Dtii^i^iK 01:1^ 

D^n oyi ps — in tJiD b^^n r^ C3^n pK ,DiyD"'22 lyo^ii pK ^^^ k 
n3?n 122 iia''3"ar ,]VW^ ^n:i''^ k s-'k i?n vi< oy ♦DD^iiy:\ Dti?*»: 5?''t^HD 
Di:;'*^ i'?'»sK D^n iy) "nb'':^:!// i^:i m pK ,]o:s?a:s?:^^ik ^n^ pK ip 
ID K ♦ ♦ ♦ 5?nyt2;Dyn n'^m tomti; di^s i^d d'''>:^ C'n^'»y:i// dd''m oy tj? ,t:Diny:\ 
m^b^n — too^TO:i dit*'^ i^'Ik wsk P'^^k Dmiz; i^t d^h ly^ 
''n D"*^ pK n!-ni fD^'tt 3?''tDKD D:^y^D yiinp ny^s'ii^iw 1^1 1^1 i^Kn pK 
pK rtDrT^r^T^'in pj?T pK Dmty p*'^ in lya^r^yTs?:^ 4n''%nD''iK in ly^iyn^v 
Dt2^'': ♦Q"» D12S DDK^i y2i;:iK:\ K pyi^Kn iix p''^pyiiK px ,in iyiiyt^Drn:i^ 

/'D'» niiT// — i;$i ,p^t 13?^ t3:^:^^D '^Q"»'»n^// 
*Dt^'':i in ]v^ ms^ '[D'?^nQ'»iK pK 

lb''DK lijl D^n l'»K j^^pDmt^ 1T^ t)''^ Dmtl? iyi tJmS^D ,t^D!?t)0— ■ 

tTmo in D/^npiH:s 

♦ ♦ ♦ 181 pK 1J?T wm ^pyoKS 8 ♦bi^M 1^ pK DDi*? |Jj ,:^13? ♦t^^js ly Disn 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ in !DJD3?Dy D5? ♦ w Disni K — i$?n;sj n"' isnK 
;a''K n ty;D dhi^d id^d i^l^k ♦ ♦ ♦ k:ii^ 13?:^x i^t fK oy — 

iDnD lyDi:^ k lyn^ — 
pyii iy;\nbti;y:^ii^K — nio on^n p_n fix o*iyD^s pjr p^n '?'»n ly 
. ♦ . Dyn >< T'lK ::^:iJi:^ 01^22 k |odi:\ pK iyp:iy"ip tDt^'': ,d^ ps t3''%niyD5ny:^ 
nyDiKH lyn pK ♦**n5?ii p^ir^i^i iijnyT p« ♦^m^'ni ly^ •'n ni?n 

nin . ♦ ♦ n^y 
♦ ♦♦♦nnnp Km pa in mK^iyi *iy m ,n^^ tonyii DbJi:p 
wa"» 01:2 /D'^'^n^ D1S 1:^ t)^'':^ ly^ pK 
.JiiS^D lyT ly'n^i 1^ t3n^\n oy pK .dsk:i nyn-'i^; did i:s d^'':\ ly^ m pK 
l^nyT pK ,^yis ipn^niT tta pi?^:^S3^ oyiyn^^A ayi toytiyn ly^ px 
n t)">^ ]y^ t3t2;t)p .in ly?:! D-^nsiyi ,d"> ps *?:^''Sti^ "lyi n''^^ t^r^s 

♦ ♦♦♦myn 

158 Miracles on the Sea 

They were as happy as a bridegroom with his bride. 

This went on year after year. 

Fishermen came and went, one shochet was replaced by another, 
but the custom remained unaltered. 

The custom required fasting, choir, organ, a big fish for supper 
after Nehilla at the shochefs house, leavetaking, and mutual good- 

This custom was the only thread linking Sati to the Jewish people. 

It came to pass one morning: the sun was reddening the east; 
the sea, awakening from slumber, breathed almost inaudibly, exhaling 
lazily and inhaling dreamily; somewhere in the azure, white wings 
fluttered and cried . . . then again quiet . . . here and there quiet irri- 
descences flitted over the sea, golden spots skimmed across the yellow 
sand, the cabins of the fishermen were shut all along the coast. Only 
a single door — Sati was going out. 

It was the day before Yom Kippur. Sati's face was quiet and 
earnest. His eyes sparkled with delight. He was out to perform a good 
deed, to catch a fish for Yom Kippur. 

He walked up to the little boat and lifted the chain which kept it 
moored. The chain clattered and voices became audible to the right 
and to the left: 

"Don't! Don't!" 

His neighbors were calling to him. Their heads peered through 
the little windows. 

Far and wide the sea lay calm and smooth, blending with the 
happy, laughing morning sky. The water barely breathed and hardly 
wrinkled the shore. Between the wrinkles rippling smiles danced and 
shone as on the wrinkled face of a kind grandmother. The sea mur- 
mured something or other, perhaps it was telling a grandmother's tale 
to the scattered slender water-plants and to the moss-covered bits of 
rock which it seemed to caress smilingly, playfully. 

But the fishermen knew their sea too well and they did not 
trust it. 

"Don't! Don't!" 

The sea will rock and cradle; the bright mirror-like surface will 
break; playfulness will turn to grimness; the quiet to a roaring, 
howling, deafening commotion; the rippling furrows to billowing 

a' ll-JiK wtii 159 

.... •»iT8 Du;'! T»i D">ns n'?3 » o^a inn s 

♦anrD tDnr»^a ::im'»;3 tww isri — nyiSTD^yt nsrti:?^s nyi t»t Di^n oy 

-O^IK ,!?nS tIK niJD ,JD08S pS ^bl3n DIDO 8 T'»J< AnriD ^n 11K 


/mT'»;a nyn in D^n o^D^ny^ D"»ip ,^sd i^s 'i'S^ r^'K /Qi\n ^ti 
,l5?Jann pr in Dnyn 05; Dnp ,t3»yDy ly nnp ^d** is^t h^ik in tDp5?ii ^•»Dt2? 
in ^v^i in ♦ ♦ ♦ pK in t)*»x pK ,onK Dai'i'mss i^ja pK ^n§ in d'»x ly 
- • niy 18 nnK tD5.ni2; ,'?A"»bs n^s 5?o!?ii 8 Dsi"? ny'»i'?i ist pK tDn5;D8'?s 
ltr?D'»^3i |py'7fl yayi^jj:^ ,d'» pya^K ts??'?§ txig:'?^ yb"*^^ . . . b^tiii; nyu^ii pK 
,:\5?'i:i nya'»K iy'?n'»Dt2;nsti:?''S n lyiyr dd8)318q ,i^8t i'?5?a nyn'»K in 
* ♦ . ♦ onns D"'''A y^D^D — • t)5?9npo n'^D p-JK n^i 

1DD55^ ^•'Dtz; ,a">:is im vh toxny pK Din§ ♦d^jh fK iis>3-nr niy 

niQ''3-Di^ «inK u?'»S 8 1383 ,mix';a 8 pt^ d''^ ny :pnK '»t d'^k 

T^^K OSr 15?3'?5;i1 D''tt ,D^V ^T 18 t)?^3?^ Pi< IX ^S'»t2; D1X D^^A 15? PK 

0D35?i in nyniyi ni'pip pK .^:^i'>'?p tD'»v n ♦0182 Qix n^inyAix is^iw 

joprb pK 

yr^^p n pfl syp n tDpyDt2;5?:\Dni8 P8n 0811 Q'»:i3t2; n d'»s "jSn 08t 

-»3ia5rjD8Tix ,D^ lyi io8:is:ionK D-j^n pK Dim da^^ b'^Dtr? px p?n 
iy D-^ip ...btii'^n py^^ns ipni38^ tpn33n8i:3"t2;ns ?is onr id^;3 id8a 
,]y383 nyon 8 ^3 •»ii pK /3iyn3 D!53 in D'?x:in iy o-'ip ,n'> nn ^D^yDy 
D*?anija oysy im ... tybxan n ttzrmx iy'?3*»'»iDt2^ ypnjx:i8^:^"p''D3'*^ lxa8D 
lx:i8'?S'iyo8ii y3i38^ ^"''3 ,yiySi8iiy2i^ ''"^ Q'' ^^^ D'?^'>x'iyi nt^y^-yssn 8 /"ly 
i8n n iy3'»K •'n Dy'pA -jy pK /pn^ys nyp-'Dti? yiyDp8ii83 n8n »*»» ^n 
ny px ^D** Dyn iyoy3 typ lyis "lyt^^^S *i»^ — p'^ii^'^BV ,pn:iy^3'»'»»t2; 

•ot:;^i D'»K tD3'»'»^ji 

.... yD"»3 — 

ny?'>D3"»b nyn oyn ixs'i'S PH ,p*»nyx in Dyn pK in mm d^ lyi 
pK "»ntr^y:\ — ty^ns i^'^Dt^ ps /Oxny is pyn tayn ^•»Btrr ps p» ^^ji**©!!? 

160 Miracles on the Sea 

waves capable of swallowing barks and boats with as much ease as 
the Leviathan swallows little fish. 

"Don't! Don't!" 

An old man, barefooted and bareheaded, with fluttering gray hair, 
came out of a cabin. His face was deeply lined like the sea but without 
the sea s false smile. He went up and put his hand on Sati's shoulder: 


He pointed to a little dark dot on the horizon, a dot visible only 
to a fisherman's eye. 

"A cloud is forming!" 

"Ill be back home before that," answered Sati, "it's just one fish 
I want to catch." 

The old man's face grew more serious: 

"You have a wife and children, Sati!" 

"And a God in heaven," answered Sati confidently. He is out in 
the service of God. He pushes the boat from its mooring and jumps 
into it. 

Over the sea it bounded, as light as a feather, and the sea cradled 
it, humming to it sweetly and charmingly, caressing it with beautiful 
entwining pearls. The old fisherman stood on the shore and murmured: 

''Sancta Maria! Sancta Maria!'' 

Sati's boat flew lightly over the sea and Sati threw his net so 
skilfully. The net became heavier and heavier. He could barely pull 
it in with all his strength and he found in it water-plants, sea-weed, 
but not a single fish. 

The old fisherman on the shore had lost the boat from view. For 
the third and fourth time Sati threw his net and pulled it in again 
with tremendous exertion. All sorts of water-plants were in the catch 
but not a single fish. 

The sea began to rock and to cradle ever more severely. The sun 
was already high in the sky but its radiance was covered with mist — 
a weeping sun. The dark dot on the horizon had meanwhile drawn up 
behind the orb like a brown snake, growing ever darker and darker 
and creeping ever closer to the sun. 

Half the day was gone and Sati still floated on and on, trying his 
luck again and again. 

♦ ♦ ♦ . tn'^ii'? lyi ijr'p^'^s yp^*?? ^11 /is^tz; pK 
♦ . ♦ ♦ jrto'*: — 

18? :x^iKiyt2;'Ȥ 8 18^ o^n y'^STDrs psnti? r^'?? 8 Q''K dpjii 15? PK 

♦'?;D"'n 11D D-^iT iS'^iK i5?TiyT 
. ♦ ♦ ♦ lp'?i$ii » D^'ii^ Dopsn ayi pD •— 
tz^-^s p-^K ;y"»Ds:D DiySDiy ,iin d^^m ist r« pmss lyns byiVD — 

♦1S38D l^i l^X ^'»11 

jptr? iD'ps im !5i d"»:j3 o^t d^^ii is?d2:513? iik 
iTmo .irp iii< n^j?ii do^n — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ pnS tDAmSlT' 11K ^S''t2; DIS^ SIJ DSIDtZ; 1$; pK ♦ ♦ ♦ 11D mi:j*'D 

15?! 11K /D'^ n^n'^K ^s-'t:; o^m^ T^ tDAi$*nD lyis^s 8 ''ii ddi^'? iik 
D^p^'ii 11K oy toD'^iT 11K ,ny^n^^ •'iTJ? ,pn:iyDiin on .nn^ oy torn n^ 
lytz^-'S lyD^ii: nyi px — D3is?:iii3;D ^v oi$ii biys yooiyt:? n tD''!s 0118 os 

:to^^ii;3 11K :^n:2 is^ik t)^"»Dt2? 
imi^Ji^ 8t3:!8D ^8^852 8^)^80 — 

TmO IDSn^n tD?">t2?yA — D'' nya'^H '?D'»t2; D3?''D80 in DMS^ltD tlTJl'? 

nims sr'rs t3^^ iik ts^ n Dijni ijnsnitz; iik is?w iik /r57:i im s^is 
— nytoti^-Q'' ,i:s:!8'?si5?08ii i-'K tk t^r^n liK D'»n8 D"'ip"anp n iy to^^r 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ t2;'»s ip'»i:i'»"»K r"»p tDtr;'»i nija 
lis iTi^n8s ritz^ '?s'»t2; 0^1 tJiijn :\ynn is'^ik nytz^'^s n5?t)'?8 *iyT 
jfy:! n o''nii: '?}s?3 idis?s di2J iik '?8?5 ttom di25 ritz; d-*:!: Tmo a'>iK 
y'T'K rK in )2^n •\ti^b§ivom'\ ^^^i5?^8 /is^^^siso-^ns n t-'K dd!2^ tDt2;'»a 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ t:;^Q iyp'':2i''''K rv *i8i — lt)D8^Qi8s P'^ik 
iS-^iK IIK n$?pn8t)t2? '?;$» 8 oisn in tiriiy^: iik torn d-* i^i iik 
-•^^S 15 -_ p^^3i -T^K f>K DDi^D im 'V^ n I5?^iiit2;y:^s'>n8 pitr? fK b7:i^n 
P'»i!2$;:\onK in t)8n ^?:)^*^ PS TK y'^s^tors s?22i8iitrr o^^ iik :11T ywrni 
ny!?5?piit) t)iyii IIK m^v^ y^''iis 8 "'n lit 13?^ iyD:i\n oDD^'pi.nnjrDrn 

♦ . ♦ ♦ lit lyi IS in Dpin iik ny^ypiito iik 
pK tDims ,t)tt''iiu; IIK tj^'^iit!; s'^tDSD IIK ,:^8t3 'nys^8n ritz; fK 05? 

162 Miracles on the Sea 

The thought came to him: "God doesn't want me to fulfill his 
commandment this year. I must go back!" His heart was sad: he must 
have sinned against God in some way and so God was unwilling to 
let him bring the customary offering. He grasped the rudder firmly in 
his hands and was about to turn the boat around toward the shore. 
In the very same second he felt a splash on his face. Looking about, 
he saw a large golden fish jumping and disporting in the sea, lashing 
the water with its tail. 

Ah! this fish must be caught! This fish must have been sent by 
God who was aware of the fisherman's disappointment, of his yearn- 
ing to fulfill the divine commandment. Again he headed the boat out 
to sea and gave chase to the fish. 

The sea was rising in fury. The waves towered ever taller and 
taller. The sun was already half-covered by a cloud, from behind which 
clusters of white rays broke through obliquely. The fish swam over the 
shoulders of the waves and Sati's boat followed after it in hot pursuit... 
Suddenly the fish was lost to sight. Between it and Sati's boat rose 
up a wall, blown skyward by the wind. 

*lt is fooling me, it is dazzling my eyes!" thought Sati and was 
about to turn his boat back to shore. In the same second the wave 
flattened out, as though it had never been; the fish swam almost up 
to the boat and looked at him with big eyes, as though begging him: 
*'Take me, please take me, fulfill the divine commandment, perform 
with me a deed of righteousness." 

Hardly does Sati turn seaward again — when again the fish is lost! 
A new billow arises between the fish and the boat. The sea resimies 
its angry mood. It no longer sings a charming melody. It now un- 
leashes its full rage. To swim on its back, to step on its waves is 
indeed most dangerous. It seems even to terrify the sun, which is now 
completely hidden behind clouds. The wind, that must have been 
waiting for this moment, now lashes out in complete abandonment, 
with all its angry strength, beating the sea, chastising it as with rods, 
infuriating it ever more and more. The sea snarls and thunders, as 
though a thousand bass-viols are playing in its entrails and a thousand 
kettle drums in its waves. 

**Home! Home!" beats Sati's heart. He gathers up his nets into the 
boat, grasps the oars with all his might, and works away with every 
bit of strength. The veins in his hands are near to bursting. The boat 
is hurled up and down the waves like a hollow nutshell. The sky is 

D' ID-'iK d'd: 163 

,nn2j^;3 n tm o^'pa i^-' ojjt ^jjt t»j< ,tDti;'>i 'p-'ii ,15; ddsiid ,d;s:\ — 

px .ir?i8 D'»is rK ristr^ {? IS? tD»ip8i s;ai i5?ai^5?T lyi pK itj:i *pnix 
nn tDsn^ii t2;'»s nyas?n'?^a ns?o'»n:^ s '»ii ,D5?nyi pK d'»ik t»t D^m 15? 

o^jn D^a ,Di57tr8n \2^^ D'^x D^n tr^-'S d^t ^tssd 13? ti;d tz^'^s ds;t 15? 
t)'»m ny px ♦mi22'»tt n pjt 122 q'»"»pjd I57pa5?n pr /Ij^tj^a tr;Si-n)!D:\5? |in tD^n 

♦ . ♦ ♦ tr^-'S Dyn 183 d:\8^ pK /0'»ik pms 
♦ . ♦ nyDjn px n5?D5?n T»T iT'^n 0T^m:> .Dmsrx pitz; f'K d** lyi pK 
to!5i 'i'?8ntDt^ yoi^ii pats ,tDpyi8n ip^8"ii s tD^a piti^ ^k pr jra^sn » 
D3?r'»'?s n lyn^'X tD;D''ntr? ti^-^S lyi pK .ip^^ii n3?torn pa ^nyn^ ns?iip in 
-^Ji'ps Di5?ii iTO'iitz^n^S PK ♦ ♦ . 18^ /183 ^S'»tr; Dy'»D8o tix /0y'»'?8'n3 ^^ pS 
-S?:\S'»ix ,^811 8 T'lx T»T t)n'»%n '?s'»tr ort)8o px Q''K itr^m /t:;'>s nyn r^r*? 

♦ ♦♦♦m^ii pD D:\8^y:^S'>iK ,p8'?^ 
'?"»')i 11K 5;'>D8D DD8'itD !p"»iK H i'»;3 Di:is?'?a 05? /T»;a Dn8:i ov — 
d::^'*^^ 5?n isa'pyt m p8 ♦pmx is^'^Titz; px '?S'»u? 08t iS'»mo"»ix nyoini 
DyD3 i)^^^m i5?piiTy:\rjx ^8J3 8 t)"»;D \^b^)^ n •'ii ,y*»'?8ii3 "^^ 'iy^8 in 
^riK VD-^nr^ t)">a wh n'»ix topip pK tr?'»Q nsri is DiD^ntr; i2r '?S'»t^ dis 
,niira n i^;^ t3'»» D'>''p» '-5T ♦.♦t?^ QVi /T'a Q5?i nn toyn ny T-?'?:^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ .TH D'»a n3T)D l^» 15T 
5?*»'?8'^1D r-?:i 8 !ti;^S "15?^ tDiyil 1T1'?^8S •— D^K pniSt y'»D80 D^ni 
1V'^ 18 ^y^T'^i'^ in ton-'M oy px .^S'»tr? on pK d''X itz;'»'n22 «T'1X oa-'nir; 
nn DD5?3 ny ,Q'» nn ri5? D:\in ^r"? i5;^n'»'? pv totir-Ji !a'» ps pni** 
pK ipynto IX oy"»b8ii3 3?:i^-5t »T>ix n5?a'»nt2? ^^ q'»k n*»i8 7112^8 /HTsm 8 
. . ♦ pT n tp'?8T^ n^Di'^n in D^8n8a /iPS'itr^iy^ Q"* n8S in t3'?8ii n i!?'?]^ 
,1i8W^ D!5nS8a T"»K 15? — • toi'»ii -)5;*T Di8ii5?^ ^83 t)8n ,onx d5?t ,Dn n^^ix 
t3ti:?D8S px /t)Oi?atr? iy pK .n8^ ny3yo8'75?:^o''ix 18 ^''^ in t):^8''5?^ px 
pK Df^ns D"* lyn px ra'» d^t «t»ik lya 18^ Dm px ny^n D-^a *»ti 
Pit -« lp"»i9'?05?p ^oyny'TS?:^ Viin PK i'?'»st2^ iD8n isrciaT^io i!?'?:i ,Dp8:ip 

iya8Tix Day:i IV pK ,n8n 08i ty"»080 2?a 038"?? in^%n8 /D''^^8 — 

164 Miracles on the Sea 

black and the shattered sea an angry brown. And still, Sati struggles 

to reach home, home 

Suddenly, he sees something swimming towards him from one 
side — a human body is swimming, a drowning person, a woman, her 
hair floats before her, black hair, his wife has such hair, beneath the 
hair white hands are visible, his wife has such hands ... a voice is 
calling: *'Help! Help!" — his wife's voice . . . the mother of his chil- 
dren ... she must have followed him on another boat . . . she is drown- 
ing, she is calling for his help. 

He turns the boat to the right and wants to get to the body — the 
sea opposes, waves arise to interfere, the storm tears and howls, and 
through the storm he can hear her voice: ''Help, help, Sati, help!" 

He puts forth his last ounce of strength to get to her, he is nearing 
the white spot, he can no longer see her hair but merely the swimming 
and sinking dress ... his oar can almost reach her . . . but between him 
and his wife a wall of water arises and hurls her to one side and him 
to the other. 

"A mirage!* thinks Sati and he recalls that he had the same ex- 
perience with the golden fish. Involuntarily he casts an eye toward 
the coast. He notices that in the fishermen's cabins the windows are 
already lit up. 

"Yom Kippur!" flashes through his mind and he lets go the oars. 

"Heaven!" he exclaims looking upward. "Do with me whatever 
you will, on Yom Kippur I will not row!" 

The wind rages on and the waves hurl the boat up and down. 
Sati, from the moment he let the oars drop from his hands, sits calm 
and peaceful, looking with open eyes now up to the bolted heavens 
and now down to the boiling, foaming sea. 

"Do with me, God, as you will. May your will prevail!" 

Suddenly he recalls a melody of the choir and organ and he begins 
to intone this melody. His silent soul had only one language with 
which to speak to God — the language of song. The sky becomes 
blacker and blacker, the waves higher and higher, the wind more 
piercing than ever — The boat is hurled up a mountain and down 
a mountain, from one wave on to another, now a wave tears him from 
the rudder and now a second wave comes up from behind and opens 

its jaws to swallow the frail bark The wind tears like thousands 

of ravenous wolves — and in the rnidst of all this commotion, Sati sings 

D"* Ifi^lK D^D3 165 

in DDisn 01: yV-'in » ^11 .j^^^s l^'^ii tD^sn nyi r^ VVi^ n ♦tiDsyii? y'?^ 
-pna ,^^^^ nyi t"»k Dxnijiitr^i^D /oy**^;!?™ n nyn'^K sij pK i'^ik '?s"»t2? oi^i 

It? — D!}T lyi ps IX D'»i< IX DD'^ntr oysy ny Dynn :ir^xi^s 

ns .♦.♦n^n ynm D^n rjti tin — i^n yxnsntz; n^n n ]v^'^^w tk 
.♦*tD3yn y2'»iT8 to^n mm im — myn yoini in ttim^::! *i8n n ^lymiK 
/ ♦ . ♦ nynrp ya!?T ps nyDi?D n , . ♦ ♦ '^ip onim tin — lynyosn ttosn ^ip 8 TK 
"l^ji DSn n ;DpayiD n ♦Vq'»u^ tt^'^mx tS'^iK ty?3"'ii^38^ Dn^sy:^ d'^k d^h n 

. ♦ . ♦ n'?'»n t^-^T 
nyt — *iysnyp dix ix b'^^'\ tix ODDyn d^ih *?d'»u? o^t D-^m ny t^x 
tis Dom oyniDti^ nyi ,d^» ly-r t^K in tn"'*'n oy'?8ii3 Jtju^u dt^"? d** 
,y^D8o !p)'?yn !n'?yn :'?ip 'i'^k ly D^yn oy-iiDt:; Dyi t''^ *^iJ^ ■— tDy^ii 

♦ ♦ . !«l'?yn 
ny f»x D8 PK .ty?^''"i'^t:^'^22*^22 ttsSsnp yoxy*? n t8 OAiyitoiz; ly tiK 
•-»iit^ D^n 1^:1 ^t:ti?'>i t'*''^ ^y tjyt n^n n jpy'rs toini t^s toim Dtr?"'^ t''iti? 
,tD''D ly-T f'K 18^ - ♦ ty^^8'?"iyT IX ly-rn tt3''» * ♦ ♦ T*»'?p ypn^yprr ,ypn:iy;D 
f'^K t''K S8 n t)0'»iDti^ ,^811 8 n^'iK in viT'^n ,nini t^^t t^K d-^x t^'*'^'^^: 

nytj^mx nyn t''X — ^^""^ d^t ,tDin 

U8n yn^yt d8"t t8 /pn:ya8»iy"7 in ny t)D8"itD !ti;'':iy-riy'?m8s 8 •— 
mx :^'»iK t8 iy tD§i8i*i pna*?'»Ti Dtr^'^a ti>^ jti^-^s Dy:iy7'?8A tt^"*^ tD8nyA ny 
nytDXiys n iybT!?niytr;'»S n t'*^^ f"^^ T*t ]^T:ib oy •^n ny tjyr ,5iynn 
ly-rn nyi D''n8 :\r'?xi'?s dt^*? iik /in ly D38»'iyT — nis'»3-Di"» •— 

.m^n ^yi )^Si 
iiQ'»s-Dr .Do'?'>T) n 0811 /Tn8 ^»^^ Qix "ly t5i?iti:r n*»Ji3 d'';^ id ■— 

♦ . . !Du;''i i'»K nym 

tiK ;'?s'»ii:? D8T Dy'»'?8n:3 n tQ'^8ii y^^pn-^D Vi< 'toom Dm lyi t^^ 
iy Dxn •»n8 /Di8n nyn tiS lyrn ayi DT8'?y:^o"»n8 tD8n iy "^ii .y''D8o 
,n^ii8 '^^''H Dy2yo8'?t:^i8& Q1X '?8^ 8 1^''^^ V^V^^ to-^a Dpip ]^^ ,p?n 

♦£>8'^8 Q'' tP'*^^5?»''i^"P''"r^:J8P Dix ^8?^ 8 
. ♦ ♦ . tyt2^5?A tiXT t^^T ^8T !DO*?'»n n D8n /D8:^ /I**^ Dn:) id — 
,'?A-)8 tis tt3'?8nynyDaiK ^83 tie ti^^"*^ 8 in ny Da8»^yT oyxi^s 
181 t58n n^tr;i y^iDU? ypn8-r •'n .ti^''i QVn t5?:^i''TiX38i 18 ^^''''^ iv ^8 
Diyii '?;3\-i nyT «D:^rT iy ti8 •— d8a d**^ t^n 1^ ti^'? yp^xr"»>< 08t 
iysi8^ nyDyn ti8 nyDyn in t2"'^^ oy'?8iiD n nyxi8iit:^ t^x nyxn8n^ 
V'^^ ,S8":^n83 ,nn8"n8a in Don8ii '?s''^ 08i . ♦ ♦ Dm ny-r DT8'?n 181 
D'nyTJ?'?t:; tii< o"*i"J8 Q-^x do!21 yr-^K * ♦ . ♦ nyD*»nix nyi ix oy Dsn8ii y'''?8ii:5 
tD8i T'T D::i8' r« prn iid t8 t3»ip yD-^nix 8 'lyrn Dyi pyii8 d'»8 
P^ pj^ — . pj^^j^^T lyDiPiD *»ii Dom Dm lyi ..♦'?'»i» to8 18 t3'»a ^S-'tr 

166 Miracles on the Sea 

the melody oi Mi Yonuah Umi Yonua^ He sings like the choir as- 
sisted by the organ 

A wave crashes into the boat. Sati wants to die singing. The boat 
capsizes ... but Sati is not yet destined to die. 

Two white figures, as though woven of white mist, walk barefoot 
over the sea^ holding each other by the hand, their eyes aglow, their 
hair unfurled behind them, and as Sati overturns with his boat, they 
stoop down to him, pick him up, take him between them, put their 
arms about him, step with him over the waves as over hills and dales, 
and lead him thus arm-in-arm through storm and tumult. He looks 
up and wants to speak, to ask something, but they tell him: 

"Sing, Sati, you had better sing! Your song will overcome the 
rage of the sea " 

They walk with him and Sati hears his boat following him. He 
turns around. There is his boat with the net and entangled in the net 

is the golden fish 


When they brought him to shore and he made his way home, he 
found two guests: the shochet and the shochefs wife. 

A fire had broken out in the town and so they came to spend 
the holiday with him. 

The fish was killed — and the custom remained unaltered on this 
Yom Kippur as on all others. 

Di^^a to^iD m 1^: PK trDSO i3?n?j ,.*ns?n^K in dij;? ^s^t^ o^-r 

•^ns Q"»K n'^s ]^H ,iy*?nyi pK p-^^n nyi-'K ^n os?^'?8nD n lyn^K d^'k d'';^ 
'?^ii pyiD oysy .TOi ^•'ii PK Dpip i$r ♦'?^iD5;a pK Drii ]ti?'»iis Diajn^yii 

jD"»k p^i ^n n?ja — 15; 
nss Q^T p-n i5i:^ Dyii mm p-n mn ,5;*»dj?d n^oyi :\in — 

D^K tD^"»a orjT ^S"»t2; os-r •»ii ,t)i5?n 5?'>d»o pk ^d-'k d^^^ j^^^a •'n 
T-'K n:i m pK pK ,na *m D^» bSi^^ 0^1 -- D1X in D^m ny ...i^^ 

PART in 


The world of Peretz has its starting-point in every-day ex- 
perience, but it does not end there. Peretz deals with the problems 
of the average man, the struggle for bread, the ills of marriage, 
the joys and cares of parenthood, the alternation of births, feasts, 
and funerals; and yet every event described is irradiated by an 
unearthly light and leads from drab existence on to a realm 
beyond life. 

Life was not easy for the himian beings in whom Peretz was 
keenly interested. Of the many nationalities that inhabited the 
provinces between the Baltic and the Black Sea, the Jews were 
the most oppressed. They suflFered not only from harsh govern- 
mental decrees that restricted their freedom of movement, that 
excluded them from most professions, and that burdened them 
with special prohibitions, but they suffered even more from the 
scorn and hostility of the neighbors in whose midst they dwelt. 
Jews had to be very circumspect in all their relations with non- 
Jews since the slightest spark might set off a conflagration and the 
smallest misstep might loose a wave of pogroms, in which neither 
women nor children nor greybeards were spared. 

The question is often asked: what inner force enabled the 
Jews of eastern Europe to surmount all difficulties, to survive 
hunger and scorn and brutality? The answer is: faith. The harder 
life became, the stronger did faith grow in Jewish hearts. The 
greater the pressure of the hostile forces from without, the more 
fiercely did the Jews cling to the traditions of their religion. And, 
strangely enough, the more tragic and desperate their physical 
lot became, the more fervently did joyous mysticism take hold 
of their souls and shield them against spiritual decay. This joyous 
mysticism was known as Hassidism and Peretz, the clear-headed 
thinker, early recognized the importance of this movement. 

The central figure of a Hassidic brotherhood was the Zaddik 
or holy rabbi. His followers ascribed to him miraculous powers 
that he never claimed but also never denied. They saw in him 
the intermediary between God and man. They felt that because 

172 Introduction 

of his holy life his pleas for his fellow-men were more likely to 
be heard in the heavenly region and so they came to him for 
advice and for intercession with the divine powers. The wealthier 
among these followers contributed to the support of the rabbi's 
court and palace in a magnificent way. An atmosphere of gaiety 
always prevailed. Dancing and singing were prescribed. The poor, 
the dejected, the weary of heart came and were infected with the 
gay mood. They forgot their troubles for a while and left in- 
vigorated by their experience and almost always comforted by 
a good word from the saintly leader. 

In the tale Between Two MountainSf Peretz described such 
a gathering of Hassidim on Simkhas Torah, the festive day of 
Rejoicing of the Law: eyes sparkling, voices interwining melodious 
sounds, long-robed worshippers dancing and prancing in the sun- 
light like carefree children. Heaven and earth seemed to join in 
the contagious merriment and the soul of the universe seemed 
to dissolve in sweet accords. When the Hassidic rabbi, who 
formed the center of this orgy of exultation, was upbraided by 
his former teacher, the anti-Hassidic Rabbi of Brisk, for indulging 
in sensuous irrational mysticism, he replied that the hard dry road 
of logical Talmudic study could be trodden only by the most 
learned of Jews, few in number and gifted with the keenest 
intelligence, but that it was not adapted for all of Israel. Such 
learning of the Torah consisted solely of exhortations and pro- 
hibitions; it was without mercy, without a spark of grace; it did 
not lead to happiness or freedom; it had nothing to offer to the 
woodcutter, the artisan, the common sinful folk. God's Torah 
was, however, meant not alone for the gifted but also for the 
lowly and the simple-hearted. Hassidism served their needs. 

In the story // Not Higher, the same theme is reiterated: a 
Lithuanian Jew who puts his trust in reason and logic sets out 
to disprove Hassidic faith in the wonder-working saintliness of 
the Rabbi of Nemerov and ends as an ardent disciple of this very 
rabbi. The sceptic is won over not by a miracle brought about 
through prayer, fasting, or castigation, but by a kindly act per-' 
formed by the rabbi in the silent hours of pre-dawn in behalf 
of a poor bedridden widow. 

In the tale Three Gifts Peretz selects simple, unsensational 
deeds of piety, purity, and self-sacrifice as the gifts of goodness 
most acceptable to the saints in paradise. 

Introduction 173 

In the tale Beside the Dying Peretz's hero refuses to follow 
the Angel of Light into a paradise where no one needs a tear of 
pity, a word of comfort or a sympathetic heart and prefers to 
follow the Angel of Darkness into the realm of the unfortunate, 
the hungry, the parched, the weary-hearted, the tortured, the lost, 
and the accursed — because there he can sufifer with others and feel 
with others. 

According to Peretz, saintliness of the variety ordinarily asso- 
ciated with this concept does not confer happiness upon its bearer 
or upon others. The almost perfect hero of the story Thou Shalt 
Not Covet finds it intolerable to be at all times a paragon of 
virtue and he envies in his heart of hearts the drunken peasants 
who sit beside a warm hearth and drink whiskey from tin cups 
and bite into salted herrings and utter profanity. 

Peretz holds that if there were a saintly person on earth who 
because of devotion to God and to self -purification had won to 
a position far above the battle of passions and conflicting desires, 
such a person would find existence empty and dull. But Peretz 
also holds that life would prove even more empty and dull to 
the unbeliever who attained to the apex of worldly success and 
to the full satisfaction of earthly desires. In Four Generations — 
Four Wills, Peretz paints the rise of a Jewish family in affluence 
and outward prestige and shows that increasing wealth and power 
are bad for the Jewish soul from every possible angle. This saga 
of a Jewish family is comparable to John Galsworthy's bulkier 
Forsythe Saga and to Thomas Mann's earliest novel Budden- 
brooks. All three masterpieces — English, German, Yiddish — are 
written at about the same time and are family chronicles covering 
about the same period, and yet what an enormous difference in 
their approach to human values! What a gulf is revealed between 
English and German feeling, on the one hand, and Jewish feel- 
ing, on the other! Peretz's story of a few pages deserves most 
careful pondering. It is a devastating indictment of Jewish 
assimilation, that aping of Occidental ways which has sapped 
Jewish vitality for over a century. 

Peretz in his stories and essays urges a rejection of alien ways 
of life, a return to ancestral roots, a rejuvenation of Jewishness. 


The Rabbi of Nemirov used to disappear every morning during 
the Slichos days. 

He was nowhere visible: neither in the main synagogue nor in the 
two smaller ones. He could not be found at any Nlinyan and he was 
certainly not at home. His house was open to all. People came and 
went. Nobody thought of stealing anything there. But, strangely 
enough, not a living creature was to be seen. 

Where then was the Rabbi? 

Where could he be, if not in heaven? 

Surely there was enough work for a Rabbi to accomplish during 
the High Holidays! Jews are in need of a living, in need of peace, 
in need of health, in need of a good match for their children. Jews 
want to be good and pious and yet their sins are so great. The Ad- 
versary with his thousand eyes searches from one end of the world 
to the other; he never fails to see, to accuse, to tell tales . . . and, who 
should help, if not the Rabbi? 

This was the general opinion. 

It was not, however, the opinion of a Litvak who arrived in town. 
He laughed at this idea! You know the characteristics of these Litvaks. 
They have little regard for moralizing tracts but they do possess an 
uncanny knowledge of the Talmud and of all biblical passages. In- 
deed, this Litvak cites Talmudic proof — and there is no gainsaying 
him — that even Moses himself couldn't g^t up to heaven as long as 
he was alive, but had to remain ten feet below the sky! Well, try to 
argue with a Litvak! 

Where then was the Rabbi? 

"None of my business," he answered and shrugged his shoulders. 
In the very same moment, however, he made up his mind to get to 
the bottom of the matter. What a Litvak! 

That very evening, immediately after the final prayers, the Litvak 
stole into the Rabbi's room, hid himself under the Rabbi's bed, and 

T"»K tr?'»2y§yt2;^n pnyn^?'? PV iS7:iis; / d ^ u ty;^ t^^n pm Di^n 03^51:^5?^ 

♦tyiw Dtz;**! nitotz; pK 

^Di'^tr; ,nDns tSiST .$?nn-py p**? /ly'ryT'' ?tmj:n8§ 12^ D^xiii"D'»;a'» 
,o"»n:\ lijT ly^yt iin n iik ,pJ?T dud pk ton t'^'^n /D-'DiTtr; 5?t)n ^miTy;^ 

IV^ V2 D'?y'n P5? P^X pS tDpIp t:\''1K DaT'»1D 5?a55T D'»;!D fDtZ^ njTT pK 

^is^yn b^T lyn — pK ♦ ♦ ♦ Dno» ]ix ,t):^^'?pnJi:S pK /Djtt 13? P>^ n5?t>'»"»ns 

?'»an 1^1 ot2;"»3 T8 
♦DDsnDyji Q^iy i^T D^n ''It^ 
liijT Das;? •T'K n5? DD^*? •— pHinD'''? k 'i5?;3ipy:^i^ lyis t'>k '?^;3 p'»x 
18 T»T '»n is^Dtr^ njjS^ST /P''Ji''*'ii '^''t it)'?8n QnDo-ioi;^ '^^^ joypsiiD'''? n 

n^'ns Diijps;:^ Dtz?**! tny^ nn2 o^n ny torjii ,irni ntr^ i'^'^d^ ♦o'»ik ny 
nsstr •''»:\ ,13 !'?;3''n n 5? t? :n x Q-'HSto lyx in tD'?8ny:\ n^i ,^;3M is'»ik 

!p8iiD^'? 8 tD"';a in 
?'>ai 15?^ t^^8 Diaip i5;i in 
man ns Tin pK ,'?opx n d'>;3 d-'X pK ^v wns^sDiy Jnr^KT ]i^» — 

♦18T n pnnyT 1^ 5tr;'>^» in 15? t-'K (nyp p8iit)'»^ 8 o^n) 


P811D'''? nyT in D5?a::5i /5ny;D i^i t'^^a ^DD^n^s p^yt oyi i^i 
T1K5 ly ♦tor'? px ,Dyn om n5?t:aiN in d:^''^'? ,p-n8 nn pK 'pai Di:r 
.tD!?s-nin^'?D DID -15; o^n /Pnj? D»ip •»ai m 111 '15?^ pK idi^hsj? 

176 If Not Higher 

lay there. He was prepared to wait through the entire night and to 
see where the Rabbi disappeared and what the Rabbi did during the 
Slichos hour. 

Another person might drowse off and sleep through the critical 
hour, But a Litvak knew how to ward off sleep. He recited to himself 
from memory an entire tractate of the Talmud! I don*t know whether 
it was the one on Sacrifices or the one on Vows. 

Towards dawn, he heard the knocking on the door which awakens 
people for Slicbos-pmyets, 

The Rabbi had been sleepless for a long time, however, and for 
at least an hour the Litvak had been listening to his moaning. 

Whoever heard the Rabbi of Nemirov moaning knew how much 
of Israel's pain and sorrow was contained in each moan. A normal 
human soul would melt away listening to such plaintive sounds. But 
a Litvak has a heart of iron; this one listened and remained supine. 
The Rabbi too failed to get up. And so both continued to lie: the 
Rabbi (long may he live! ) on the bed and the Litvak under it. 

After a while, the Litvak heard the beds in the house begin to 
squeak. He heard the sleepers in the house jump up out of their beds. 
There was a muttering and murmuring in Yiddish, a pouring of water 

over nails, an opening and closing of doors Then quiet, after all 

have left. The house was silent and dark; only a bit of moonlight 
shone through a narrow aperture. 

The Litvak afterwards confessed that, when he remained alone 
with the Rabbi, fear overcame him, he trembled in every limb, the 
roots of his side-locks pricked his forehead like needles. 

It's no trifle to be all alone in the house with the Rabbi at the 
dawning hour of a Slichos-dayl 

But a Litvak is a stubborn person. He trembles like a fish in 
water and persists. 


Finally the Rabbi (long may he live!) got up. At first he did 
everything a Jew is supposed to do . . . then he went over to the closet 
and took out a bundle — In the bundle were peasant clothes: linen 
trousers, large boots, a coat, a large fur cap, and a broad, long, leather 
belt embossed with brass buttons. 

The Rabbi put on these clothes. 

lyDVn w tttr^^a t)h 177 

pn5;i5?3i T»i< i«nsoD $?X38:\ 8 p'»:i''''n:JD^iK in isr Dins?'? jhsj? 18 in toitj 

nt2;§K riu? n^^ Diirn is? •toi^^j 8 is^^t^y:^ d*>i r'^tz; fK '»ni nyn 

18Q "i^y^r '?s'»'n /Cni 1223571? iyii8i''^y^ dvi tDiyn^?:^ D^n 05? lyn 

P57rj?x 18 ")y:a8 18^ tD8n p8W>b 8 n^S3?^P 08^ P''i^i57n r^^o'^ix mv"?^ 

,'»ni iyi n"»iK in DP*? "»ai lyi n^^oim in m-^b px 122 iy tDiyn .yi^n 

♦toyn n3?tDaiK p8^itD''b iyi wn IS'' IX ,py^ 'pst 

♦ ♦ . lysnpD 18 P''''^ T-Jin pK ps;! n •'n ,p8'nt)'''? iyi Diyn i8:iiyi 
,018*^1 tr;"»T'' 8 tj'?^!!^ 157» ''I'l /pyn n ps d''118 in is8d n''a-'»an n •»'n 

,i5?D!s2a'Ȥ px ^i'^'Du; i57t>^JiT Diyii oy ,mt}t2; tiD d'>ii8 ^^'^V 15?i t''k 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ msb i5;i pD DD**^ 'pen v^"?? 8 P-'i8 D''iP torj?u? )it? p^M 

p^^8 i5?i'*''J< p'»'?a5;A fK IS? lyn T8 /p8nt5'''? ivi ,wm 15? t38n rm» 
18S iD8^3?;xsnx D''X pit2? fK Dnn n ♦n^"»x 18 t^8S8:3 d-'k f'x ,rni id'^zd 
n ^11 p^^'ptr? n pis; p8t)t2;5?A D^x p8n riixs n ps tsrbnsii n ,ps?iti? 


♦ . ♦ ♦ aioti; px p'»b8 ^^^St) 183 .tDi^i^-nin^'pD tix ,pm p''^ jD^'»p"»r'''?p 8 

px t2;^s 8 ^11 "15? t)iyt3'»22 ,tDi85t:?y^^'-'^ iy^8 18^ t'»x p8'nto''^ 8 

.m'^b px 15?D8'^'l 

♦ . ♦ ♦«l''ix PS?"? ^8t "'ai lyi D^'>Dt:? 1^^1:15? 

oyi 122 IS iy tD'»''A 18nn ->pt3 118^ l^"* 8 08^*1 *iy DID iy?1Q 
nyT^*?? 5?t2;nns in tTini8a 05? ♦ ♦ ♦ '?p5?s 8 Dni8 d^s?:: px 15;d'?8"15?t'>^p 
'?D'>n n5?DiQ ^11:^ 8 f^rmTo 8 .'^iT'DU? yoniA ,n3?"n'?s v:iyD:nrj?'? 
♦15r^5?3i5?a 5?i5;t2?5;^ d^» p8'?tr^5?:^onx ,d8s Dsrns^is?^ pi8'? iD^ni 8 d-'id 

♦ ♦♦♦18 oy DID ''an ns?i 

178 If Not Higher 

From his coat-pocket the end of a coarse rope stuck out. 

The Rabbi went out. The Litvak — after him. 

Passing the kitchen, the Rabbi stepped in, bent down, took out 
an ax from under a bed, put it under his leather belt, and left the 

The Litvak trembled, but still he persisted. 

A silent awe, the awe of the Slichos season hovered over the dark 
streets. Now and then the wail of SUchos-ptdLytts from a Minyan 
broke the silence. Here and there the moaning of a sick person came 

through a window The Rabbi glided along the sides of the streets, 

in the shadows of the houses. He floated on from one house to the 
next — and the Litvak after him! 

The Litvak heard his own heart-beats mingling with the sound 
of the Rabbi's heavy steps; but on he went and, together with the 
Rabbi, he reached the edge of the town. 

Beyond the town was a small forest. The Rabbi (long may he 
live! ) went into the forest. After thirty or forty paces, he stopped at 
a little tree and the Litvak was stunned with surprise to see the Rabbi 
take the ax out of his belt and cut into the little tree. 

He saw the Rabbi hew one stroke after another, he heard the 
tree groan and crackle and fall with a crash. The Rabbi cut it into 
logs and the logs into thin little pieces of wood. He then arranged 
a bundle of wood, tied it around with the rope from his pocket, threw 
the entire bundle over his shoulders, put back the ax into his belt, 
left the forest, and walked back to town. 

In a side alley he stopped before a poor, dilapidated little house 
and knocked at the window. 

"Who's there?" asked a frightened voice. The Litvak recognized 
the voice of an old Jewish woman, a sick woman. 

"Me!" answered the Rabbi in the White Russian dialect used by 

"Who is me?" the voice in the house asked again. 

The Rabbi continued in his peasant dialect: "Vassil!" 

"What kind of Vassil and what do you want, Vassil?" 

"Wood," said the so-called Vassil, "I have wood for sale, very 
cheap, almost for nothing!" 

And without waiting for an answer the Rabbi went into the 

iVDVn ']p m-*! a'iK 179 

n^ja — p8iiD'»b IS?! jo-^ns tD'»'»:^ ^m nyi 
nytDiiK pD ,r-?K in D::^^^a ,T»p vk '^ai nyi s^ t^sriD pna»"»"'aDnn 

♦aiDt2^ ps 

.108:1 ybypiiD n nyn^'K in tarn nns nypn^'^Kiii-Q''^'' ny'?'»Dti? 8 
8 iy*T8 'l''^^ 8 m^V lis mn'^'i'O ]iq ''nti^y:i 8 D'''n8 in Dom ds8 
n r>^ r'?8 in D'?8n '^ai nn ...nyoisayQ 8 n^iy ps pyip nyp:i8*ip 
ny^:i8 Di:2 fin pK ps ♦.nyT!.%i *»! ^^q p^t:^ n px ,]08:^ n pS id^t 
w D^K 18:i P8'nc>''^ *iy*T pi< 0^8 iy D;3'»nt:? 
iya8Tix in t3ti;''Z3 iQ8'?p2Jn8n tr^x fin -^ii ,tjnyn p8tit3^'? iv^ pK 
]ya8n^ DDip px nv t3'»'':^ p-'A nya^ ;tonD ynynu; D:'»ai ps 'np ]d*»;3 

♦cms to^Dt:? lyT onK I'^a^ id*»» 

-p^oim 8 toD8^ iy ♦P-^^8 '^I'^yn ?''K in D;Dy:i rpy"? ^8T ''^ai i^i 
bni"*! Dnyii p8iit)''? nyi pK ^^^•'a 8 P-^a S8 in D^yotz; pK tonu p-^ntnys 
m^b^ pK p8n n 089 ps Dnn8 t:tt$?:i •»nn nyi •»n ,pnayyT D;Dint2;ai 

^':i:iV'^p '?^'»'>ai d8t "^ii onyn ny /topKn pi< DpKn ^21 nyi ''11 /Dyt ly 

..♦OyS'''? nnK Oy D'?89t:^ ''ai -in pK /Db8S '??::)*^'»2i D8T pX .Dp8ap pK 

Day:i .r'psn btav^ 8 in dd8^ ^y PK ns^'^tor?!!; y^n t»ix — oys*''? n 
n nyn''X r'?8n ^^^^^ ^^^ 0Dn8ii *iy /3?:iyt:^yp lis pntoti? iD-'b Dn8 oy 
ibm ps o''n8 in ioT8^ .089 Dy:i''K P8n n P-n8 pmx topyDtr; .oyr^^s 

♦P-n8 tD8Dt2; !•»« pmS D'>'»A pK 

P8nay:^:ii?>< 3i'?8n .oyns 18 i^a S8 in ny D'?5?Dtr^ '?o$m3?t3:i'»n 8 px 

.^nytDSiyS pj< 18 tD98'?P pK "iTjn 
P8™^^ nyi .0^8 aiDir? ps tp^ntz^iy-r pra tjr^ns tva nyii — 

.yanr nyp:i8ip 8 pS /y:iyT"> 8 lis "^ip 8 t'^j^ oy t8 .mvpiv^ 

Awi t2;ny'»i9 n^'iK '>ni 11^1 Diysony !8'» -~ 

.31012; lis 15;d!}ii ty;a oaynS ?8"' 8^^? — 

.'?'>08n iiwb tr;'»08i8'?8» H^k nyoini DiySoay •»an lyn pK 

?'?'>08ii .itDO'?'»n 0811 pK '?^08ii 8 n8& 08*^1 — 

nrn ftS"»ipn8B IS T« 38^ /'?'08ii ^yt3'?yotr?i8S ly^ da8T /r^8n — 

iYbt$n orn '2:na ...p'»l?'»a 
4!3i8 aitDt^ i^x in ny Dttya ,n^wn 8 nnx pniDisit 0^:1 ,pK 

180 If Not Higher 

The Litvak stole in behind him. By the gray Hght of early 
morning, he saw a poor home, ragged furnishings, broken-down 
utensils. In a bed lay a sick Jewish woman, covered with rags, who 
said in an embittered voice: 

''How can I buy? With what? Where am I, a poor widow, to get 

'Ill trust you," answered the strange Vassil, "it's only six cents!" 

"But how am I to pay you?" moaned the poor woman. 

"Foolish woman," said the Rabbi in a tone of reproach. "Look! 
you're a poor sick person and I am willing to trust you this bundle 
of wood. I have faith that you will pay. You, on the other hand, have 
such a powerful, great God and you don't trust him. You don't even 
have faith to the extent of a mere six pennies for the wood!" 

"But who will make the fire for me?" lamented the widow. "Have 
I the strength to get up? My son is away working." 

"I'll also light the fire for you," said the Rabbi. 

As the Rabbi put the wood in the oven, he chanted the first part 
of the Slichos in a mournful tone. 

And when he lit the fire and the wood burned cheerily, he said 
the second part of the Slichos in a somewhat happier tone. 

He concluded with the third part of the Slichos, as the fire was 
burning with full force and he was putting back the cover on the 

The Litvak who saw all this became from that moment on an 
adherent of the Rabbi of Nemirov. 

Afterwards, if another adherent related that the Rabbi of Nemirov 
rose up from the earth every Slichos morning and flew to heaven, the 
Litvak would not laugh but, on the contrary, he would add quietly: 

"If not still higher!" 

lyns lis tiTb lyiiA Di^n ,iiK riJ? T»iK TT t3j?ni:\ p^no'''? ly-r 

?to^y:^ ,ni^^^ y^niS /T'K ni^n ^11 ?is'»ip t>k ^;$t o;$n d''^ ?|S'»ip — 
nm TK ,'?''OKn ^^D^yDti^nKs nyi Dnj?stoiy ipnjjn in '^yii t^ — 

♦yiyir y^ayis n DsrDyip ?|b^2i:K3 m t^ '^yn iyiH;ii ps — 
5?p:!^np 5?^yi^ tx Dcn n ,i?T t'^nn nn n dioid ,i^d:^d u?nj!:a — 

r? y^^r\ '?D:i'»n tiJ^s itz;^^::^ opyt v^^i^^i *i^ik d'^k t»ik Doijn pK 
m3 tyi nis^n t'k :n:iD^^ n D2i:Dyip ?i22''mji^k 'T'd d5;ii lyii tm -- 
♦''m lyi DajjT ,T»iK i2r'»Mrj?K m bv^^ T^ — 

,pn:i22Dnp /•^nn lyn Dis:n ^pvix rx v'^^n disjt pn:r'»'?r_n;^ ,iik 

I D •»m X Dyi mm^o n tis ,iyp'»Doib ben s V^^ ^m^m 'iv t^^n ,D:i5?nn 

♦ ♦ . ♦ IDisrs 

nyiiiS:T^yi ^ ta'»'?nyA piw t-'x |yTy:i r"?^ o^^ t3^n oijn pkiid*»'? nyn 

nyii^T»»y: lyi T^ ,D'?^"'2ii5rT 'pij^ i<: D^n Ton ^ T^^ nv^v^^ pK 
,1^^^; '?«)\T px n-'n^ D-^bs pK m^^ns ny^ ,Dr?22-nimbD ^T'lK T»T Dn'»%n 
:D''M*iyb''Dt:; tnyr^ix n^i ,pKb Dt2;''i p^no^'? lyi pit:; mv^B 


Balancing Scales 

Ages ago, somewhere on this earth, a Jew died. Is there anything 
unusual about a Jew dying? Surely, nobody can live forever! When 
the Jew passed away, he was buried in accordance with the usual 

After the body was laid to rest and the orphaned son said Kaddish, 
the traditional prayer for the dead, the soul winged its way to the 
heavenly seat of judgment. 

On its arrival, it found the scales prepared, on which the court 
was to weigh all the earthly deeds, the good and the bad. 

The advocate of the deceased, formerly his Good Spirit, came 
up with a clean snow-white bag in his hand and took up his position 
near the right pan of the scales. 

The adversary of the deceased, formerly his Evil Spirit and 
Tempter, came in with a dirty bag in his hand and took up his posi- 
tion near the left pan of the scales. 

The snow-white bag contained good deeds and the filthy black 
bag evil deeds. When the advocate poured from the contents of the 
clean bag onto the right pan, the good deeds spread a fragrance of 
perfume and shone like the little stars in the sky. But, when the ad- 
versary poured from the filthy bag onto the left pan, sins came forth 
black as coal and they smelled of pitch and tar. 

The poor soul stood and looked and gaped in astonishment. It 
never imagined that there was such a wide difference between good 
and evil, since on earth both often seemed so alike that he easily mis- 
took one for the other. 

The pans of the scale moved slowly up and down; now one side 
ascended and now the other; the pointer of the scale, high above the 
pans trembled as it moved a hair's breadth to the left and then a hair's 
breadth to the right. 

Only a hair's-breadth and not all at once either! The deceased was 
a simple Jew, without any great crimes to his debit or any kind of 

tSTtt DID — D'»a iy» lyp py*? p'»n^'>K — n?11S3l "IDS'*:! f'K T^ 8 ,K'?'»a 

Di:s «l"»n8 nttu?:i n d-^^d — irnp da^t ditt' "lyi ^'^'^i^n n^'rio 1^:1 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n^y» '^ti? tn-]T»a D122 ,DStr;^» 
n5?D^5?ii n"'iK ,A8ii •»! in-n^n nss t^iSi T"?^ toAiijrn /H'^ns n Daip 

♦ ♦ • ♦ nii22'>a n pK nnsy n D^iyii iv^ 

pS '?8t2^^8'ii 'i^'T 5.^1 ,m^n n$?i pK •»''Jtr; '»ii ^pyt oini ns'?? 8 tD"»)D ,tt 

-yryiw iV'^ /Vinnr n5?^5?T5;iw r-'^ ■— "ii^'^Dp oa:j;Dnn on D»ip 
5?n ,viim nyi t'^i^ 'ppyt p'>D''ip 8 d^» .in D'i'yDt:^ px — nnai it'dd n$;a 

.♦♦.Din isprb ny^ T'lK ^8^811 lyi 
.nn5y ■— ^pyt txn8iiti? pnnn px ,mix''D '[y:iyT '^pyt ns'^P P'-'^i V^ 
ns^DDyn n^ri pQ '?8^^8ii lyn f|''ix 'ppyt io!?ii '»''au; pS nirio n^T D'^tr; 
.^tt\i v^ is?'?'7n5?Dti:^ "^n jDD'>i'? pK 03r;3i&n8s "^n ^n tp3;;Dti^ — m^Ki ,Din 
pD '?8^^8Ti ^y^ T'l^ '^''^'^8 "^pyt tP''Ti'i^ pS ^'y^'^^p nyn D'»ir 
•'ivn8iit:^ ,DD8^y2i T-'K 18S Dtz;"':! "'n lyiyr — nnny ,Da8n nypr*? ny-r 
.y^8^D tix nys yn8iytt8D — ''''T p8n nn 8 PK '?'»iP 
D'»n8:^ TT tD8n n — ^^m pi< 'tDpip pK n;D^a y^yn8 "'t •'its D*>'»Dtr; 
n D8n D18T j^DDy'^tr;// pK ''Dn,/ fti^'^iix pib^n 8t8 |i?t bi^t ov /DDny:\ 
.ty^iiy:^ ny^^8 n8s oy^^'^K /DiypnyT Dtz?**: yT'»n dd8 yi^^ 
8 .n ^8^ 8 '38^8 px n'»n8 ny'?3?^8S in p^^n ]'?8t2^:^8ii "'^r pK 
DW3 /D-iyD'^s T''n nyi PK b^m^^^ nyi 1^3 ^r^i-'^s 08T tiK ... yiy'' ^^8^ 

, . ♦ ♦ ODDyn n8n 8 T'li* /Opa'»'? n8n 8 Tix T't 
18 'Wm T.'* nyD08n9 8 !^8^ 8 t)''^ tDt^;**:! iix . , . n8n 8 ^^ik 18:1 
,nv'?mirD yp-'^p — *'iT8 ♦♦."Di2;n t!;^!^" 18 T'Ik *''^t /'o-^yDnS/ p'»'n:\ 

184 Three Gifts 

martyrdom to his credit. Petty virtues and petty vices, tiny bits, specks 
of dust, almost invisible to the eye. 

Nevertheless, when the pointer moved a hair's-breadth to the 
right, a tone of joy and exultation resounded throughout the upper 
regions; but when, alas, it moved to the left, a sigh of sadness broke 
forth and reached up to the very seat of the All-High. 

The angels continued to pour out slowly and faithfully one little 
particle after another, one speck of dust after another, just as plain 
people do when they raise the bidding at a charitable auction penny 
by penny. 

Well, even a spring finally runs dry: the bags were empty at last. 

''All through?" asked the court attendant, one of the busy angels. 

The advocate and the adversary turned their bags inside out: 
nothing was left. Then the attendant walked up to the scale to see 
which way it tipped, to the right or to the left. 

He looked and looked and found himself confronted with a sight 
not seen since heaven and earth were created. 

"Why do you take so long?" asked the head of the court. 

The attendant stammered: 

"Even! The pointer has come to a stop in the exact center!" 

The good deeds and the evil balanced each other exactly. 

"In the very center?" the court queried again. 

The attendant took another look and replied: 

"Absolutely balanced!" 

The supreme court deliberated a while and finally arrived at the 
following conclusion: 

"Since the sins do not outweigh the good deeds, the soul does not 
belong in hell. On the other hand, since the good deeds do not weigh 
more than the vices, the portals of paradise cannot be opened for this 
soul. Hence, the soul must remain homeless. It must fly about between 
heaven and earth until God remembers it, pities it, and bestows his 
grace upon it." 

The attendant took the soul and led it out of the courtroom. 

The poor soul moaned and bewailed its lot. 

"Why do you weep?" asked the clerk. "The bliss of paradise may 
not be yours but then you have also escaped the torture of hell ■ — 
and so you have broken even!" 

The soul, however, refused to be comforted: 

"The worst tortures are better than nothingness! Nothingness is 

jriia?)tt im 185 

a'»iK iD'»» D^ip — ^ij:)3 ^•»^D ♦ ♦ ♦ iy'?y3''iDt:? ny^psru'^ntz; ,is;'?nias? yi**'*?!? 

DD^nns?! iy t^n ,ni3X5? |ii rsn » o-'ns in Dii^^ti^ 'O?^'''? 'Di^t:^^ on 

nuns 8 /WKnn nn8// n^'tD^x'*'? D'na-''??^ );i^wb ^11 /n'^iDtz; 8 18^ :i^it^t^ 

.♦♦♦nmis 8 W P^ 
♦p"»T'»^ n5?ii iy'?pyT n /O-^iK T'lN T»T t)S5?tr; oyma 8 18^ 

8Di2?^:x n^is^p lybps;! n cix iv'^m ,5?in-i22^ 1^1 •»'n .sionr nsi 

iyt:?5;A d^ji 18^ t^k 05? 0811 /D^'^it^; D5?t iik /''ITS: topip pK ny Dpip 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n8iw ts8t2?8:i lyiyt 115? Pi< "^a^T Din 
,r-r-n'»i-38 w t):\yis ?:^i8'? ''its oiy'^n 0811 — 

♦ ♦♦♦!D''» yn8i5??:580 r^'c tD'»'»w '?:\rs 081 !T-^'?3i — 

♦u;''t3 on^y^ '?ti^ pi-n''a iiS '?8^ 8 18^ iy» tjayis ?t38iip8— 
jDiySDiy pK ,t;»t:; iyi ,^8?^ 8 18^ *iy ^P^^P 

n8n lyi t»ik— 

i^w*^ "»8n3 pos 8 

.♦wtotr?"»i Dinn p'»p n^!2;i 
iy» tsp .nnay n i8S iy» Dur^a nnij^'';^ n ps?ii 122 iD^nis ps pK// 

.)iT]^ ps ny'»iD n lyaysy Dt2;'»l 1'»X 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ pjT n ^8t iiryi P 'i'J?'/ 
Dyii D8A T^^s — iiy p« '?ttM tt:;^ii2t ,d'»» lyi t'»K t5r?'?§;3n8 n '?8T/' 
/n^ji:^ pjT D'»» in 1:2 isms^ px ,in ivDyi^iiyi px iya8»iyi i'^k t8 T't 
♦o'»ii8 n Di'»B px nx5tr;i n D^yi t2;»t2^ iyi pK 
.bT» I'^K »T»iK m^^p pK n^u^a n lyaya tDiva8'' 
ws px nm r*»p mn t3t2;*»a Doyn ♦n 15? D:^yiS t-^ns iDoi-jni 0811— 
ps Dmo** px lys pv t^8n t)!i;"»:i r"^^ lyn^ 11^:^ itsoyii py-p p§ 

jtDO'>nD Dts^^a in dtij'? iys8 n;Dtr^j n 
PK tDt2;'»n8^ !Dt2;'»n83^ iyT"»K .n m8T /Dnio'» yDoyi:^ n lyoyn — 


I8i<5 Three GiPts 

The court attendant pitied the poor soul and gave it the follow- 
ing advice: 

"Fly down, dear soul, and flutter about the living world. Don't 
look up to heaven, for what will you see in the sky except stars, 
luminous but cold, wholly insensitive to pity? The stars will not exert 
themselves in your behalf. They will not remind God of you and 
your fate. Only the saints of paradise can plead for a poor wandering 
soul and saints like gifts, nice gifts. Such is the habit of saints now- 
adays," he added bitterly. 

*'Fly, therefore, O soul, fly down to the living world and observe 
how it carries on, what it does, and if you see anything of extraor- 
dinary goodness and beauty, catch it and fly up with it. Bring it as 
a gift for the saints in paradise. With this gift in your hand, knock 
up here and report your presence to the angel at the dormer-window. 
Tell him I asked you to do so. And after you have brought three gifts, 
be assured that the gates of paradise will be opened for you. The gifts 
will be effective. At the throne of the Almighty it is not the souls of 
the nobly born that are preferred but rather the souls of the upward 

With these words the attendant of the heavenly court mercifully 
sent the soul forth from heaven. 

The First Gift 

The poor soul flew about, hovering above the living world and 
seeking gifts for the saints of paradise. It flew over towns, villages 
and the habitations of men, between burning rays on hot days and 
drops of rain in the wet season, between silvery gossamer at summer's 
close and drifting snowflakes at wintertide. It looked and gazed until 
its eyes almost popped out. 

Wherever it saw a Jew, it flew over quickly and peered into his 
eyes, wondering if he were about to sacrifice himself for his God. 

Wherever light seeped through an opening in a shutter, the soul 
was there and looked in, wondering if God's fragrant flowers were 
perchance growing in the humble home — ^good deeds done in secret. 

Alas! In most cases the soul retreated from eyes and windows, 
shocked and terrified by what it saw. 

As seasons and years passed by, the soul almost succumbed to 
melancholy. Cities turned into graveyards and graveyards were plowed 

nuntt 1511 187 

:nx5; 18 TH IV to-'A ,nia;3ni /tr^^ti^-tn-iT*! nyi n''K *t»ik ny tD^np 

. ♦ ♦ . D^jni "lypnsrns;^ 
rx T^T itDoyn o^n on^n ♦.♦Dt£^"»:i pip ,is; mnjT ,|in8 '?;dm tK// 

nn n»s t5??J3 tDF**: in I'rj^'ii •'n ,^ii;'*i nu^m r**? ps P'^^'IT "'''T ,D^Knn 

!D''p"»"TX 5?P*'t5rjn lis yaD n — ,i5;^n5?t)'»n i2J ^v t)"»A — r*^^ t'^K ov 

it3oyn5?i iiK ♦in toiiD oy ds^i 'T*t Dny*? oy •»ii 122 in pip tiK to'^yii nyp 
D'»ttnyT "^^D pK ov S8D ,tDiA pK p-'tr; t2;'»'?nyDonK vt< DJJ11 oan^ osrsy 
nmra iV"^ »•»» pK .♦ ♦ ns?"t^ px o^pnsr n isd mniiD 8 ]ni toyii 03; ;T»n}$ 
pi i«'7;d D!?n ly^aij:^ p-^f^ P« T'T t-r'^y^s pK ]S8'?p:is ido^^t tai^n nn PK 

WW ! ]D'»\is?3i n^n I'^K :::^§T ♦j^ptonis nyi 
in t^^ni — nyDn m ,nijri;o im DDsnnj^ri pujn do$?ii n ts iiK// 
ii53n"KD3 D!5n ♦ ♦ ♦ 'i'?5?is l^3ni ^n ,ny"P Ps I'ly'^'^tD n israsrsy m in:s 
WW "yiy^ip5?:\Q''iK n "11$: ,ya5;ins5?^ P-?S ''T di:;*'! n"»b ly;^ t)^n 
,0">in8 '?»^^ ps ni:i»nn d**^ n 15? dsidiz; ,pniTn '»it8 px 

px Dns t3''^S 05? pK 4"ty"t:^ PK DV"'"T2: n i^d ni:ir);D ddit pK ^tj'pyn 
-3?nn itr'»ra — ,2wv bp'^tixi; 8 iiji 111 ,t)yDtr? pK ivqist nya'»i< ,Dn8 
pK is^ntD '|ti?''iix Di^^rii^n V^ Jl^^T yDD3?i:^ n px ibis^i^ii; vp'^^m 
nyi PK DAiyn 0^11 Diyiii''Qt:; oynys'bn wm ^yttit nio jiy^i^T^^-iyo^n 
PK Dpip 11K w ♦ T'^n lyi lis T*?8D D811 ^v^T''^'^ ^T itr'»ii:2 nyD^ni ,DSib 

WW onK pnK n in tDpip pK /tjpip 
pnK n PK D''K Dpip pK IX p'»DDN;n n tD'''?^ ^ir 8 ^vnvr n •»ii 

tiK 81 T"»K n — ,n»^ 8 PS tib^^^ 8 l"in DD81 i^n in idd!5^ oy 111 
-•»'?n vpnap5?;Dt2? od83i :iitDU? ny*?''tDti7 nyi pK totr^'a tDp8ii "^s ,p_n8 topip 

?Q">3itD D'^t^ytt yiyDV8n8a — iy'?y?:i 

-jytD:s:iyS pK p"'iK n pS S8 "^t iDiiinstr? o'?^'>d po-iy;^ winyT"*'? 

WW tDi5?tD'»2i:n8S tiK ipsi^'iyT 
8 T»K tDyas n d^8S '113$'' pK Q'»a»T i^ai8& nytDim im oy t8 pk 

188 Three Gifts 

under to become fruitful fields. Forests were cut down. Waters reduced 
stones to sand and rivers changed their beds. Thousands of stars fell 
down and millions of souls flew upwards. But God was still unmind- 
ful of the one soul which still unsuccessfully looked for a gift of un- 
usual goodness and beauty. 

The exiled soul brooded: "The world is so poor; human beings 
have such mediocre gray souls; their deeds are so petty; how can one 
expect anything extraordinary from them? I am doomed to wander, 
an eternal exile!" 

In the midst of its brooding, a red flame caught its eye, a red flame 
in the middle of a dark overcast night. 

The soul looked about — the flame was shooting up from a high 

Robbers had broken into a rich man's house, robbers with masks 
on their faces. One held a burning torch in his hand as a light. Another 
stood with a glistening knife directed against the victim's breast and 
repeated over and over again: ''A single move, Jew, and you're 
finished! The point of the knife will come out of your back." The 
others were opening chests and drawers and removing the contents. 

The Jew stood with the knife pointed at his breast and watched 
the scene calmly. Not an eyelash moved over his clear eyes, not a 
hair of his long white beard stirred. He seemed wholly unconcerned, 
as if thinking: 'The Lord gave and the Lord has taken, blessed be 
the name of the Lord." His pale lips murmured: 'Tou're not born 
with it, and you can't take it with you to the grave." 

He looked on calmly, as the last drawers of the last chest were 
opened and bags were removed, filled with gold and silver, with 
jewels and all sorts of treasures. He looked on and was silent. 

Perhaps he even regarded their loss as his contribution to fate, 
which had been so kind to him hitherto. 

Suddenly, however, as the robbers reached the last hiding place 
and pulled out a little bag, the last and most secret bag, he forgot 
himself. He was seized with trembling, his eyes glared, he raised his 
right hand to stop them, he wanted to cry out: '^Don't touch!" 

But, instead of a cry, a red ray of steaming blood spurted forth. 
The knife had done its job. His heart's blood bespattered the bag. 
As he fell, the robbers tore open the bag quickly, expecting the best 
and most valuable loot. 

They were, however, bitterly disappointed. In vain had they shed 
bJood. The bag contained neither silver nor gold nor jewelry nor 

niin» im 189 

pQ ,t3p8ns?:\o^m is?)3 Disin m'^y'n jtoiypsys is;i^3?Q n^'i^ r*it^ t5?^ toisin 
,lD''a3?^ I'j^^'^bn 0^1 tni^n pi^D ^n^S^i^?^ t^^st fK ii^o^ii r?n 'i^r'^Dti? 

ti?'»'?ns?toD'»iK TV P» /t3:8?3i3?i t)ti;'»: i^'K lis V^ to^n 15?^^^ *iy:3'''? T-^^ T^ •— 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ isr^isyri iDti;**! n Dijn or'*:;; iik ODn 

-D'»iK' ''n 122 t3XiV '»n -♦r'?? ''iti? iya$?T ^ny'^n D''tr'3?;3 n im /H^ti;: nyi 

,rj>is iriK n pK Dij'pS nyD^'in 8 n^'K tD:^^'?!!? ,'»itj? dd;h;id n •'n iis^ 

♦ ♦ . ♦ Qjii^s n m^b^i; ii^miv^ i^in s ps — dik in Dpip n 

D^-'Dt:; i$rD^"'ii22 8 jDDi^^ pK D3sn ^$?'7 pK ri?pniDti> tpn53?:i5?i2 ^ tD*?iM:n 
D5?a'»'»K pK r^8 n"»K Dim pK ivov^ p'^m'>b'2 k to*'^ loonn OT'nr^ D!.^n 
n57:i5?'» ps ns?oytt ps rst:;' '»! nn tD^'':\ i^io im pk .t"' ,nn iDom// nys'^K 
♦t)n''n px pnyitz; pK lt)o^^;p toiisy Dtryn n pH ♦ ♦ /'icn^? ipn tom 
Dn:i P"'P ♦♦♦122 10^3:^3?:^ i^p^p ^^ i5?oy» Q^'^ to'^^Dt:; iv n5?*T pK 
niy*? n 122 rn iii^a nyoi^ii nyi ps iis;n pv ^p'^iK s?is'?p yam n5?n'»K 
— ijr^iiy^ Di$n m^ /pyAy:^ roisn tDiij:^ ♦ ♦ ♦ ist pjt Dt:;'>5 ♦ ♦ ♦ Dtz;''^ in tain 
t)t2;"»i iy?D Diyn Dyi D'jfD ny^isji iyp'»^^\n tin f^K on^i'?^?::^ — • 15? ddsid 
yoi?'?! y:iin t5?t2?^t3S5?ti? /p-ni? nnp pK t)^j3 Dtz;*'^ 13?J:3 d-'H ois;i pK n'^i^S?:^ 

n5?T p§ i8*?§iti^ yDX5?^ n mBv iv^ ''ii /122 p^n ym Dpip 15; pk 
,n5?n^n pK n^i8::\ t3'»a l5?'?pyT o'^ni? Dsy^tr? ty^ •'n px yiiSDisP ^V^'^V^^w iv V^ — Q''^3 ynyi^o ''•»'?iy*?is; px :i:iii'»22 tD**^ ly'i'pyT 

nvs^ iiSJ^ '»n IS? vi^ it2;sK pK 
iy?22 pK t!;'»iyt)'7yns;n ttoisy'? D122 isynto n'^i^n n ts ,:\i'»'?22i'?s 'ii*:! 
nn ny DoynsQ — yDoito'?8n;^n ois'7 /Voi^y'? o^i .y^^ypyt p^'?? ^ o-'ns 
n piyn D122 o-^ix iy t)"»22 ,p"'ix n D^K in ty^^^sy^s ,nnK iy Diyo^^r 

jpD ^nti;y:^ i? "ly '^'^n .m^n ytoDyn 
PDt!?'»:i Din// 
pS ^siDti^ nyD^n ij o-Jins Dsnsti? ">ntr?y:v ^ ps di^ iS^^ik ms^ 
ps Di'?n oiji v^ oy ♦ ♦ ♦ pDy:^ 02m D^n nyoy^ oi$i — Di^n pmyD'^n 

!T»nji: '?pyT p-'iK Dssnstz; pK y^^n 
toj^ii ijt-T — vpyt Di^T »T»ix Q'^abir^ n ]Din nrnu;y:\ fix .D'^ijD ny 

!yD0iy!2D oijT ,yDoyn oi$i pj?T 
otr;-)! — lo^n^jD Di'pn Don^ix jDjjny:^ niyD nyD"»!i j? lynig: pi^n *»n 
-i9> jtyiiy:^ '?pyT pK pk :!iin'»x pv Dtz;'*! px i"?^:^ V'P ^^'^ ^'^S^^'i'^t ?^v 

190 Three Gifts 

anything of practical value in this world. It had only a bit of earth from 
the land of Israel, earth which the Jew had preserved for his grave. 
This was the treasure which the rich man had wanted to save from 
the hands and eyes of strangers and which was bespattered with his 

The soul catches a bloody speck of this Palestinian earth and brings 
it to the window at heaven's gate. 

The Second Gift 

"Remember, two more gifts!" said the angel as he closed heaven's 
window leaving the soul outside. 

"God will help!" thought the hopeful soul, as it flew down again 
in a more cheerful mood. 

This cheerfulness faded, however, as years and years went by and 
the soul saw nothing of extraordinary beauty. Sad thoughts again 
came to the fore: 

"This world gushed forth from God's will just like a spring of 
living waters and is now flowing on and on through time. The more 
it flows, the more earth and dust does it gather, the more turbid and 
impure does it become, the less gifts for heaven can one find in it. 
People are becoming pettier, good deeds more minute, sins tinier than 
specks of dust, actions ever less visible to the eye." 

A further thought came to the soul: "If God were to weigh all 
the virtues and vices of the entire world at the same time, the pointer 
would hardly budge or vibrate. The world too is incapable of moving 
up or down. It too is wandering aimlessly between the radiant heaven 
and the dark abysmal pit. The adversary and the advocate would be 
fighting over it eternally, even as light contends eternally with dark- 
ness, warmth with cold, life with death. The world is in constant 
motion and yet it can neither ascend nor descend and, for this reason, 
there will always be weddings and divorces, births and funerals, joy- 
ous feasts and fruits of sorrow, love and hate, always, always." 

Suddenly, the soul was roused from its brooding by the noise of 
trumpets and drums. 

Looking down, it saw a German city. Slanting roofs encircled the 
square before the town hall. This square was filled with people in 
colorful clothes. The windows were crowded with onlookers. People 
even lay on roofs or sat astride the wooden beams jutting from the 
walls beneath the roofs. The balconies were overflowing. 

Di^a lin D'»;3 pK p^iK pK D:iyn s^iJayns n^s lynytJ^n Db^ny^ i-^nA iv^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ . Dmst!;;^^ 

!m:r);3 "^^m iija :b;5DM pD 5?PD11b 
.Bi^iti pnu i5;'?''ns D'bs pK nram n Ds^n ip'^^n Dyn dija — 
nyD!2n ir^A 05? .Diyn^ri^QnK iyn;$ Di^ir lyi d^;^ Dijn Tns n 
05; pK ♦♦.or^2^ ti^^bi^rtionx p-'P Du;'*: WT n pK .n?"» pK puj*' pvm 

:15;p2;H:-i5?A S?P'"i5?''iito n pni22 n ]^»SH;n 

t'?^ii 0D^:\ pfl p;$btr?s;AD''n8 ^^V'^'^ ^^ t^ijn bsnp iypn5?n5?b ^ ''iV/ 
IIK 1^5? iv^ 'toin n i5?tii''ii 01^1'^ pK ♦dl^s i^t i^k lyD^ii Dan px Dan pK 
man» nyp''a'»'»ii ;n di5;ii nya'>n»iK nynnD ;pjn8 T^t px n D^ya n-'iDt:? 
•— lyanigim ,itr;Da5;D n n^ii nyasrbp ♦ . . 'td'ti n^Q ^"'x t^^ 13?^ i^rm 
. ♦ ♦ nynyi 12: P1K iD"*^ Dt^'»a — D''t;5?^ ;nnny n — nyp'^n^iDtr; ,mr ^ n 

'pn'^'Si 0^1 I'lK in D'p^n /D'pspi ny^sas:^ n5?T PQ rinny n d'^X) niira n 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D*nyD'':s;ya D'»ip"D'»ip /Dnny:^ d''1P 

-ya T^i< ^'« '^^ ♦♦♦n^ns Dtr^-^a pK 9^18 tDtr;'»a t^^ lyp Dbyn n,/ 
mrDp nyn pK .♦♦n'^nnri b^t<^ n^tosa-'D pK '?»^^ tp''DD'»^ iti^nix ^ai 
8^ T»T D'?:^a8i oy ''ii ^D'i'i^a^iy:^ P''n^^K lynnyi in ]li'?t$^^ in^ao p^tt 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D-'ID D^D py'? ;D'?yp D''^ D*>''p;D$n8n ,D^V^37D2i;a'»3 D''» DD'''? pn^^'K 

pK /e8"i8 Dtr?'»a ^T'n^ Dtr^^a — tiv^'^i i5?p pK .d^jpi n /in d:i"»ii n,/ 
-nms^o /nrnb pK jnnn ,ida pk mainn pjt p"'n'>'>K nsrnnyn I'pyii oy 

♦ ♦ ♦ /9"'a'»"»K /p^a'»^H ♦ . ♦ 08n px Ds^t^^i'''? px ♦ * ♦ n>?inn-nniyo px mi2s^» 

* . . . n5?a-iyn pK iD''^3»8'itD pS m'?ip in )pv^'\ i^a^'^si'pQ 
,(yt2?^Dr?xn8s 8 in D^'^Dunss) ^^^^ 5?tr?Din 8 — S8^8 topip n 
,D8nDD'>:\8J3 n8S n'pB nvi nn8 ly^p^an i5?Dyi yaym3;:iD'»iK '>">'?ny'?8 
95?p 'pis jy8^9 nyT f'i^ t^Day» yDT'»^py3i-p'»n'i8S"'|T''tr-)8Q to^'D 'pis pK 
>T»iK pnaDin iisn '?'»'»d ,Dn8 *iy5yT n t'ik p'»b itz^Day^ nyDstays n pK 
DB^nsy::^ "piS nysyi n lyDaiK ^1V'^^ n !?n o'»n8 n8Dti^ 08ii ^iP^sa n 

♦ ♦♦♦tya8P^8a n lyayt 

192 Three Gifts 

In front of the town-hall was a table covered with a green cloth 
with golden fringes and tassels. The magistrates sat at the table. They 
were dressed in satin robes embroidered with golden frogs and in sable 
hats with white feathers fluttering from shining buttons. At the head 
of the table sat the presiding official, wearing a ravenous eagle as 
insignia on his hat. 

On one side a Jewish girl stood fettered. Near her ten attendants 
held in check a wild horse. The presiding officer arose and, turning 
towards the audience, read from a paper the sentence pronounced 
upon the Jewish girl: 

"This Jewess, offspring of Jewish parents, committed a great sin, 
a monstrous sin, which even all-merciful God could not forgive. She 
stole out of the ghetto on our recent holy day and walked about 
through our pure streets. She desecrated with her shameless eyes our 
sacred procession, our holy images, which we carried about our streets 
to the accompaniment of psalms and the beating of drums. With 
her accursed ears, she listened to the singing of our white-robed, 
innocent children and to the music of our holy drums. 

''What certainty have we that the devil, the impure devil, who 
assumed the shape of this Jewish girl, the accursed rabbi's daughter, did 
not touch and desecrate one of our pure images? What could he want, 
the devil in this beautiful figure? For, I cannot deny that she is beauti- 
ful, as lovely as only the devil can make her. Just look at her insolent- 
ly sparkling eyes beneath her modestly lowered lashes. Just look at 
that alabaster face, which long imprisonment paled but did not darken. 
Just look at her hands and the lean long fingers transparent in the 
sunlight. What did the devil want? Was it to tear a soul away from 
its devotion to the procession? Well, he succeeded. Took at this beauti- 
ful girl!* exclaimed one of our knights, a member of one of our finest 
families. This was too much for us to put up with. The armed attend- 
ants noticed her and seized her. The devil in her did not even resist. 
Why? Because our men were pure. They had just been absolved of all 
their sins and so the devil had no power over them. This, therefore, 
is the sentence pronounced by us upon the devil in the shape of this 
Jewish girl: 

" 'She is to be tied by her hair, by her long devilish hair, to the tail 
of this wild horse. Let the horse gallop and drag her like a corpse over 
the streets which her feet stepped on in defiance of our holy laws. 
May her blood besprinkle our stones and wash off the impurity which 
her feet have brought to them!' " 

SiyDsraso tk ,DsiDD'»a8)3 ps ns^n •»t |2jn ti?'»D d!?i ♦p^sid pk iniNins 

:pn8?3 D122 D'»:3S 1D^)D T^ t)7:iyi1 iy tIK ♦I'^SKQ 8 flS pOB 8 '?T'''J:i 

;iy:ii8A8:i Tan ynyiitr? 8 tosn nyDD8t^ yti?''^^'' "'^ ^8*^ P^^'' ''^ t:8'/ 
,pjT oti^**! '?8T t)^'»p''n8n?3-)8n r-^T o^'ii^ "^n ,]'»'»'?8 t:8^ 08'^'i ^^''^ ynyiit^ 8 

lynaiK pK ,'[5;:^:i8Ay:^;3n8 f»K pK 8^^^^ Ps Dyn:i::\y^D'»n8 in D8n n,, 

yp'>^^\n •nyniiiK p-'iK yD;!:yu;T8s^iK yi'^K d''^ topy'^ss^ tD8n n pK// 
pK AJSTyAnn'? t)'';^ p8n i'^d 08n ny^^^n yp'''?'»M yiytTiJiK Jy•»Dy2^8'^s 

♦ .♦♦P8iw:^ 108:^ n •lyi'^i? ip^'is^oyp 

pD 3i58Ty^ D8T t5£)8W51^K n t>8n ny''1X y:iyD^8^18S yT'K D"»;3// 

yp"''?''M n pD iQs'^P 08^ PJ< iy*T:i*'P ypn^it2;;DiK ,yDT''^py:\ Dim yiynaiK 
0811 .'i'ni^t) nyrn^DiK nyi .'^iii^d nyi D8n ''is ^Do-jm nyii pK ♦wip"»i5 
-'?8t2?'n8Q ps nyDD8^ lyti^np nyi pa to^s^ti^y:^ n iy^i:sy:^ yi n"'ij< tD8n 
8 oiyniiK Dpy'^Dsn tDiz;'»i p8 tonny^ix Dt^'^a in ,^yD:D8t3 on-n oyayD 

Dn8ii ?tD'?8t)u;5;A lyr^ti^ lyi pK "ptod lyi /t)b8ii5?^ iy tD8n 08ii// 
in ly? '?ii!5t3 8 ^83 ''H /p'^tz; ^n t'^k p-'tr — tou?'»a i^^k lyp p?:i5?p"'"'*? 
-yAB8i8 yp"»inyii22 n iyt)i\T ps pnK yp'»'7:i^8it5t:^''ns2:in n d^t — ]:i^}:i 
lyi px PK 0811 D''i3-iyioo8n^8 D8"f tDyr ♦wiy;3nn y:iyTJT yDT8^ 
yi^'K Dyt ♦♦♦!n8iW iy^»p:!it) Dt2;^:i nyn8 nyo8^s ^85 no^'sn iy:ii8'? 
^n inn t)3i?'? pt n jDiyn n r?n lyr^rs y3i:i8^ ,y^8^^ 5?'^*'^ ny^i'^s 

♦ ♦♦!1W8 

ni?5T pQ n»ti73 8 10ins8 /"^iii^t) lyi D^8iiy^ ^y t)8n 08ii pK,, 

jlD8iy:^ D''K VH oy pK ♦ * ♦ y'^oyxsns nyi pK 

pi lytDn 8 'wyt-nii^ isnyAO'^iK m^ J'?^*''''^ y^"***^ 081 t^yt — 

♦ ♦ ♦ . mnstr^D yDOjytz; yiyraiK ps "iyi'»''K 

P8n oyp^a'n83y*?8n n — 08^ nyn iyn''« iyiiy:\ pitz; t'»k 08t pk,/ 
— '?iii?D ny-f /to^yiip tD**! i'?'»s8 in D8n ny -- DS8Dy:^ PK t)piy)D8:3 n 
t38n /Tin v'?8 ps tDp''rny:\98 'lyny^ t3'?8^yi '»''T iy:iyT pn ?'»it8 ni ,Dyn8n 

♦ w ♦ D8nyA Dt2;'»i ntD"''?u^ pv •'n qnx ny 

{pos .^T'Jtt itrrnr on ps tt^8t3tz;y:^ px ,o'?iii^d oyi t"'8 d8i px^/ 

194 Three Gifts 

A wild shout of joy went up from all the throats round about the 
market-square. When the hysteria of wild shouts was over, the doomed 
girl was asked whether she had any last wish before her death. 

"Yes," she replied, '1 would like a few pins! " 

*'She must be out of her mind with terror!" muttered the magis- 
trates . 

"No!" she answered calmly and coldly, "this is my last wish and 
my only desire." 

"Granted! And now, tie her!" commanded the presiding officer. 

The armed attendants went over. Their hands trembled, as they 
tied the black long braids of the rabbi's daughter to the tail of the 
wild horse, which could hardly be restrained much longer. 

"Stand back!" shouted the officer to the crowd in the square. The 
people fell back and kept close to the walls of the houses. All raised 
their hands, in which they carried whips or rods or kerchiefs. All 
were ready to chase the wild horse. All breaths were bated, all faces 
glowed, all eyes blazed. In the excitement, nobody noticed that the 
doomed girl bent down quietly, pinned the edge of her dress to her 
feet, and stuck the pins deep, deep into her flesh, so that her body 
could not be uncovered when the horse dragged her through the streets. 

This action was noticed only by the poor wandering soul. 

"Let go!" commanded the presiding officer, and the attendants 
jumped aside. The horse darted forward and a shout arose from all 
throats. All whips and rods and kerchiefs went into action, whirling 
and whistling through the air. The terrified horse rushed past the 
market-square, past streets and by-ways, and far out beyond the town. 

The wandering soul drew a blood-stained pin from the leg of the 
dying girl and flew to heaven. 

"Just one more gift!" the angel at heaven's gate comforted the 

The Third Gift 
The soul flew down again. It needed but one more gift. 
Again seasons and years passed by and the soul once more sank 
into melancholy. It imagined that the world was becoming still 
smaller, with pettier people and pettier deeds, good and bad. It re- 

"If God (praised be his name!) should ever want to stop the 
world in its course and bring it to judgment, if God were to place on 

5?i'»K o^n to»A n n5?n^K mn j? '»n n isy'^ti:^ pK tS'»i'? oy ^^t„ 

- - nw tp^'?^''n i^TiaiK pyp TD^iDy:^ p^n d-'d 

— rD"'S yn^x D**^ Dp'»rn;DiK 

IT^K Dyn D5;i?'?'»sti? yDjr'?D3; :lojj'?5;a n Di3?sto:iy ,n^n t»k — 

PK i^^ii n^TDxy'? pj» fK Diji tD'^xp pK p?n n tDijrsD:i5? ir'':: — 

♦ ♦♦♦pDSTA n'»'? 122: TK Ds? tJisin ty^ 
n:2 Dim ,D:iyin5;"is nyi Dm:!^;^;?? n^i^jj? ]^^ — 
on DJiyn 5??myD^s D**^ 122 n:i''3 pK oyp-'niKny^KH ix ir'':^ oy 
Ty;2 D^ii ,in5?s n^''ii ps '^Tm Di2i: BV'^ v^:it' v'^^im^ viv^:^^^ osi 

♦ ♦ w iD'^smyi D-'ip f»iti; ]yp 
ts'>iK Dbi$? D1X Diymsrns n5?T nyoi^ii tDma8;:5^p !5?nKii >? ddsjo — 
^'i 12: T»T D:im pK tt d^^tdiz; Dbiy W n5?inyA ^ Dn^rn 05; pK .y^bB 
,t:?D!}a ij D'>;2 lyn ,mvn n t»ik p'^'^n y*?^ ]m nvirin n ps myii n 

yDSt2;"»;Dn>!:Q n "^ii n^rrv Dtr-*: Dpiir^i?! lyTns?:^ ]''x pK ,p'''?n tri-'ix s?'?^ 
D'»S n IX T'^'i'p DS?iiQ D'»iT n 122 T»T D^'^'^sti? 11K B^i8 'p'^tDti; in Dr^n 
Tjb TK ^^T oy — TJib VH in oyp'?''St:; n pj?i^ jt'd ^'T'd dp^tdi^ pK 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ TD>j::i n p^ 7S5?'?ti^ ''t toyii -n^rs ojji ]yii ,nyn Dpjr'^QDas toti;''! 
. w nzDtz;^ n — 5r22'»mryi n ikj:i ov d^h Dpi$?;3Ji:n 
]iK ,Diyinyns3 15?^ n^Dini '?iniiy*7 tDnn:iJi:;D^p ni^D o^t dt;^'? — 
-onK in oy Diijn '?^;3 j? d-'iid pK 4y^ans!i:;s?:is^ psiyi lyas^t dd^^p n 
]y"'ni oy pK n5?^i^» Vb^ ps ''nu;^:^ ^ i'^ik in Dijn lon^rr^ciK pj< .pnya 
nn n'p^ii px ♦nyD'^to pit iDnrsiz; ^iii^^n^ v^k dsi*? m pK ]sr?9 pK 
,D''n» piginyDrn )^^ )om n5?2''X ,pii?;D ny:i''i^ "^is^s djji d:^;^:'^ ip^iti:^ 

♦ ♦♦♦D^Dtr? ps omii; 
5;Dp'»Di'?ai^D ^ p"»i:s$?:io'»n^ piti? D?jn ,ym:irj;a n ,n^tz;:i n pK 
*?»%! Q122 i'»x to^;D pii2? i3'»'?s pK 01s oiyDStr;"»^iii:Q ^^ni pi ^rp^-^str 

♦jrpDniD nyi i^n ik^^ 13?^ n Do-jnu ns:ix:^ pK nin^ p''j< i^a — 

196 Three Gifts 

one side an advocate who would pour out of a white bag rubble and 
specks of dust and on the other side an adversary who would pour 
out his bits and crumbs, a long, long time would elapse before the 
bags would be emptied — so much pettiness, so many little things. 

"But, after the bags were emptied, what would the result show? 

'The pointer would most certainly remain in the middle. 

"With such trivialities, with so much pettiness, what was there 
that could make an appreciable difference in the weight? What? 
Another feather, another straw, another grain of chaff, another speck 
of dust? 

"What would God do with a world in such a condition? What 
decision would he arrive at? 

"Would he decide to hurl the world back into void and emptiness? 
Of course not! The sins do not outweigh the good deeds. 

"Would he decide to redeem the world? Most certainly not: the 
good deeds do not weigh more than the sins. 

"Was it not more likely than he would say: 'Go on, fly between 
hell and paradise, love and hate, pitying tears and steaming blood, 
cradles and graves, ever on and on! ' " 

The soul was, however, destined to attain salvation. It is roused 
from its gloomy thoughts by the sound of drums. 

Where? When? 

It did not recognize either place or time. 

It merely saw the courtyard of a prison. The rays of the sun play- 
fully glided along the iron bars and the little windows and also re- 
flected from the shining metal of the guns stacked-up beside the wall. 
The soldiers were given whips, which they held in their hands. 

Two long rows of soldiers were lined up, with a narrow passage in 
between. Someone was to be driven through the gauntlet. 


A mere Jew of ordinary appearance, with a tattered shirt on his 
emaciated body and a skullcap on his half-shaven head. Now he was 
led over to the gauntlet. 

Why this punishment? Who knows? This happened before our 
days. It might have been for theft or robbery or cruelty or perhaps 
even some trumped-up charge. It was, after all, before our age of 

The soldiers smiled and thought to themselves: why did they line 
up so many of us? Why, he wouldn't last halfway. 

mina im 197 

♦n nn^T mnia r'»i< iiji 12211^::^ i^k ,n;str;3 n s^ns tD-^bS pnn rj< 

"HID pK i'?yDtr;'SS "pis;^ s t^3?ii ^i$t ^lyiDisja pt r-5T "pujt ttn'»i'?SA ,ttKj3i tsiV/ 
Din pK Ti§ px ♦♦♦'?;i3;;d ^ t)'»;3 ,rK 05; ''n ^its ,D'?$ni n tDStz;"';^ ni0"^3 
■"»ir3t:r pK iy^yD*>ntr^ o^n^i; p^r toi^n pS ]^'^^ pK nrao » tb^rtDti; in 'tjjt 
15?'?s^9 yrjT it3'»t2? btii "iwtip nyn — Din ivt)''"»ii:2 ny^r ps pK ny'?5?:3 
?'>T'>'? tD'?;s;Ti ps?T n nyr^K Di5?''nyA pK d"i5?'»i"t5?:^ t)^ijii .lybpyna pK 

iisiiyji d'tjjii 0^11 ,11^115?:^ ?'»T'»'? vw )^b^^^ is^'^pyt n rs nynnj// 

fto'tt in t^K r^Dt^ tn'»^nyA o'lw tD'i'S'Ji '^^^'^j oisj-T// 

nya'^K t3t2;^n^:^ lyp it)'»''p''^''''^P ^''S "^m i^at /1d^'>P'»^^^'?P S^^^its i^i// 

♦ ♦ w ! n'»iDt:; K 

♦ w. nn2J'»tt n i5?a'»K diz;'*:! pyn nnsy n :Di2;^a ?inarin]n is pmx// 
♦ ♦ ♦ niiSs? n iyai'»K t)t2?''a P5?ii nm'»;D n jDtr?'»a t''^ ?ir^'?o'»iX// 

ti>? Diinn itr;'»"n2^ lytJi^n ^^s » ♦ ♦ 0:^^15?:^ iy tsb^n nssfoi^ii •'•'in — // 
f^-'m . ♦ ♦ Di'pa pn-iyD-^n pK pJ^itD 5;pnmi»m .ojjn pK Ds^u^n*''? ^^-p 

''nytDi^n /-lyDi^n ♦ * ♦ onap pK pni 
•»! pQ .n5?*iT 12: Dr'''?5?:\o'»'!i< ]1^^m ^ivw:^ i5?ais t'»K n^m lyt 

♦ ♦ ♦ . ip-'is pS ^ip 8 n Dpsni m5tr^n;D ynynti? 

w iDi^^r n t>t^'»a ,Di8 Dyi Dtr^ii Da5?Pi5?*T n 

tir;t3''*?^ •»•»!♦.♦ pT nyi pD i^8")t3^ n p'^iib'^BW in 15??22 ly'pnyDisayS 5?3'»'''?P 

D^n .tD''D -IS?! ri< ^i^^Din I'ps^u? 8 tD'^D ,nnit:^ pi^'? •»^m pK 

. ♦ ♦ . l^mD ty;3 Dyn '"»nDO 8 tiH// :t:'?5;Du;y:\D'»iK ^n ly;^ 

ypb^air X d'';d ,ai^^ t"iyA8» t&''ix ^»yn tonysr 8 d'';^ ^ir 8 05?sy 

♦IS D''K ]v^ on^'S D8 38P lo'r^^^yji a'?8n iq'>ix 

183 1^B« n^t 57t2;'»D1?2J18S 8 /t:D''''11 13711 ?D''K ^V t)^1p D811 18^ 

181 v^ oy , . . '?ia^''n 8 iti^sK pK .nn'>xi 8 •'2: n^n 8 18S iit^Sk ,n5i:i 8 

.... IDi^x I8i 1^115?:^ 

198 Three Gifts 

He was shoved over and pushed in to the passage between the 
lines. He started to walk. He went erect. He neither stumbled nor fell. 
He received lashes and he endured. 

Fierce anger gripped the soldiers. He was still walking, still on his 


The whips whistled through the air like demons. They wound 
about the body like snakes. The blood of the emaciated body spurted 

Hu-ha! Hu-ha! 

He was half way through, when a soldier struck too high and off 
came the cap from the head of the victim. After a few paces, the 
doomed Jew noticed this. He stopped short, he hesitated, he reflected 
a moment, he made up his mind, and he turned around: he would 
not go with head uncovered. He retraced his steps to the spot where 
the cap had fallen. He bent down and picked it up. Then he continued 
on calmly, red and bloodstained but with the Jewish cap on his head^ 
He walked erect until he collapsed. 

And as he fell, the soul flew over and caught the cap, which hac 
caused him so many extra lashes, and rushed with it up to heavenV 

The third gift was also accepted. 

The saints interceded in behalf of the poor soul and the gates o 
paradise were opened for it after these three gifts. 

The heavenly oracle said: 

"Really beautiful gifts, gifts of extraordinary loveliness. They ar^ 
of no practical use or material value, but their beauty is indeed rare 

TiMm im 199 

*»1T^ naiK ]V^ DijJn 0^11 IJJi :lDD81tD pK tST'bD^^iats? i5?:i^VT n Pi? 

tj'^sn pK r^tz^ tjp^'? iy .♦♦t)t2;'»3 D'?j4;s pK ot2?>i D'?D^nDt2; pK T-^'?:^ t)'»'»:\ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ o'»iK ^n 

nr?"? D^i Dn^ tssjjD pK mmi •>ii dsi^ i5?n r^ ts'-'S i5?tDn n ]ik 
pK ,D2jnst2; pK Dsnst:; in ny:^^J3 ps oi^a o^i pK ♦i5?:\:8'?ir^ n •»ii 

nsnsti^ 12: «T»iK t)t^'»3 Disrn 
!8n-in !8n-in 
s^i8 pstz^'^ttnss D3?! Dsn^n pK T»in 12: D^n'pso n: \:}B'!^'i^ |t)^a px 
-18D 1571 ,oy 15? Dpi5?Di!;n tDnD jraybDy i^a .si^:? pS yp^;Dis^ n 
,5ti:;^'';a T»T PK pK ,niti;r » o;$n iy t-5'7:\ nn s nn on isr ♦ . ♦ i5rt)st2?''D 
on pn pm22 D"»'':\ i$? pK .tz^isjin '»ib'»:^n p-'ii Dtz;''^ ds;ti 15? jdik t»t tD-jm iik 
tD^m pK .n^^iK n Da-'M pK pj?K in Di^^-^n 15? /tD3i"»^ 5?P^J3i»^ n 111 ,di^ 
lyi D'»;a iiji /Dp'»Di'?niiljQ D^'ii /p?n i^d!?ii d^'»:i pk o'»ik pms in 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ DbSS IS? V2 nV tD^"':^ •»1T8 ♦B^p 1S'»1K 5?P'?»18' 

STp^ttiS-* n DSSDSTA pK n;2tr;a n p'>i'?ss;:\i22 pk ri'^ssya pk iy ts pk 
iyi 12J 'T'K d'';d T'ns T"»x pK ,DD^pyA r^t2? s?Don^iK ^"^s 'ITS to^n o«n 

♦bttM pS 3?pD1lS 

ni^nyA ts?JiDii5?:^ai8: t'ik t"»k n:in;3 s^m n pK 
in tnijn ns?"P ps n5?''iD n :tD"'»yA i-'k 18S in pi^n D-'pnx n pK 

!DJS5?s?a niajn;^ im n i^i i'»k 
{DA^tyii Dnjn D'»;ai]ii oniK is?i pK 
^Dti?**: 'n is?;3ip r^ IS ♦♦♦yr^'t^ t:?*''?is?DO'»iK ,nian)a 5?i'>'»i2? naK — 



The Guardian of Paradise — a resplendent angel, an emanation of 
the Lord's radiant grace — came out of the Garden of Eden at twi- 
light. Worried and upset, he opened a window of heaven, put out 
his radiant head, turned with a sad, trembling voice to the setting 
sun, and asked: 

**Do you know, sun, what has happened to Leibl Konskivoler?'' 

The sun was silent. The sun did not know. 

Still more worried, the angel drew back his radiant head. 

And there was reason to be alarmed. 

For many, many years all seven heavens had resounded twice daily 
with Leibl Konskivoler's Shma Yisroel: ''Hear, O Israel, the Lord 
is One!" 

Like silver pellets his ''O-o-one" spread out at the feet of the 
heavenly throne. This "0-o-one" thrilled and buzzed and hummed and 
seethed like a winged host that on a summer's night yearns and pines 
so ardently for the flame until it is burnt and consumed in the ecstasy 
and pain of love. 

At the morning prayer this melody was still heard. But at even- 
tide it was no longer audible. 

Therefore in the symphony of prayers resounding throughout the 
worlds a note was missing. In the orchestra an instrument had sud 
denly stopped playing; a string had snapped and a first violin hat 
been silenced. 

Perhaps Leibl Konskivoler forgot to say his afternoon prayers? 

Would he make up for this lapse when reciting his evening 

The sun sank ever lower. The quiet hidden shadows sallied fortt 
from their hiding places. They crept out of the rocky crevices of the 
seagirt rocks, out of the caves and caverns of the desolate wastes 
from behind the trees and twigs and leaves of the deepest forests— 


cnit^ nyp ps toD^a i»s '?^;:i p-^x D;aip nijiya n57pna'?isit3^ oajr^iiji p'»'? 
D'»n^ DP'»n ,^DM ]iD bi$;D2ri$;D k /D:^!^!^^^ PK Dnj^iny:^ ,D:sy pK 

;d:^5?is pK pT nypn:y'>^nyDaix m ^:^ 

?T'T DID iy'?;s:nvD^^P '?^*>"''? i^:a d^ti /pT ,Dtr?''j iDO^^n 

♦Dtr?"*: DD^^n n jD:^!?iit2; pt n 

♦pnix s^p ipn:i'?8iDt2; pt ix'?^ ns^T d'»s n3;p?n;siK i^a 

♦Ik'pzd n5?T p?n;Dix rj? Don^iK Du^-'i px 

D"»^ I^^^M pn y'?^ :\is:D pK "7^^ '>'>^^2 ttr;**!"! D-'itr; n»si n;23;3 vw 

Di?n o:!DiDi2: n hk,/ p_n in D"»ti:7$;s D-'nti? i5?^iy:3^''T i? •'ii 

pK .D^na px ,DDiT pK nnK// lyi in Dny'?'»ip oy pK ♦♦♦naan kd3 
Diyii ,DKbD nyi 12: Dpiyn pK doi'?:;i onjn ly^yr^'S-ny^n mn» 8 •»'ii dtt 
pS :^uyn iDoyi:i tD"»tt n^'is: pK Diynn pK in Dnn pK n-^H 1:2 i:^'»ixy:iis 

♦ . ♦ ♦ "nnns ^^ tamo^/ 

♦ . ♦ ♦ l^TiyA HD^'iiQ s ivnnyi T-'K iDbyii jrbs ps ^iiisty^in'^i'? pK Dyn t'»K 
1» !5n yanDD J? j-'bs i<: )l^^^n ^''^'^ Ar^si'rs ?•»« n^rDO^rpiis: PK 

•n^TOA D;DiDti?i«;s fK PK D2r>!:'?5yA D^n '?'7^d nyDtzrny 

?nny^ !?n omtr;y-nai;Dti? •'ni^r t:ii^T iy toyii 
oiD^tr; PiTD'pi^n^i;! ^"^Dtz; n ,pT n s§ik ^innyn in dt^*? iypnyT»i 
o'»n8 pnp ''n tiK — ^ttz^'^ijrD'^srnKn ynr'^t ps ty;3ipi220''n^ ,nwi imp 
yDO'»'n f^K i'?'»''n ]ik nynn:\ lis .q'^zd'' i?a tn'?ys n pK iD'^Jiisst:^ n ps 
yDDS-'D n pK lyDy^a pK trjii^i: ttr^-^iiij px iy;D"2i nyDiiK ps ,ninai'»?3 
on^ in ^miiv'?^ px aiu^r t^yn-'x in p'^nst^nss ''''t pk ...iy*7^yii 

♦ . ♦ ♦ QIIS pK 

202 Beside the Dying 

and they spread out over the habitations of men and entwined them- 
selves about and about 

And now the sun had set. Silently, moon and stars came forth 

glittering, to assume for the night the dominion over the earth 

They spun and wove their magic web — a thin and silvery net covering 
the tired globe 

Together with the sun there departed from the heavens the animal 
whose brow bore the inscription "Truth" and together with the moon 
there swam into view from the opposite side the animal with the 
silver braid on its forehead, and the inscription *Taith." 

Soon the gates of heaven opened in awed silence and admitted 
hosts of souls, the souls of sleeping mortals, who come up night after 
night to record in the sacred books how the day has been spent. 

The quills squeaked. And myriads upon myriads of wings rustled, 
some white as snow, most gray and stained, a few red as blood. 

All the seven heavens were filled with a mingled sound of prayer, 
penitence, longing, love, hope, and fear . . . when suddenly everything 
stopped as if benumbed. 

A silvery mist curled itself about the heavenly throne, twined 
and curved and became ever darker and darker . . . 

And out of the mist was heard a wailing as of a dove: 

"Alas! that I have brought desolation to my house! . . ." 

"Alas! that I have consumed my palace! . . ." 

"Alas! that I have cast out my son, my only son!" 

And a shudder of pity went through all the seven heavens 

Silence reigned again, all breaths were bated, as though expect- 
ing a miracle, a marvel, a new tiding. 

But nothing happened! 

From below a voice became audible: the crowing of the rooster. 

The mist left the heavenly throne, the awesome spell was broken 
and dissolved ... the windows of heaven were opened once more 
and the souls flew out again ... angels with bejewelled wings 
hurried on the souls of the lingering, the trembling, the weeping, 
and the frightened. 

Before long there was heard from below the call to dawn. 

Soon the symbol "Faith" on the silver braid grew paler and 
paler. A thin, reddish ray dawned in the east. 

The Guardian of Paradise awakened as if from a profound dream, 
walked over and opened once more a little window in heaven, put 
out his head and called: 

"'r'^tatz; 'i5?p:i^'?3 n^tDtr; pK nin^ ♦122:^?^ v^ lit "»t s^nnj f'i^ d;$ pK 

tQ'>iK tDoyiD ns^nsra^n lyi to-^a rr^n n Din nyo'^^'nis ivi lis lymntr?^:^ 

M^ pK /^iDM pQ ti3?''it3 n pnarjiiti;V''Dt2; in ivij?^^ i^8^ pi< 
tDD^i lybip oijii tt:;Diyz3 $?2ys;8:^u;^:irjK I'iQ ni^ti;a min^ j?iJi^3i pj^i^ 
in Dijjn oy •'Its: '^^^ /^lyD**:! yp'''?'»%T n p^ inmiz^nsD iik »T'n>3; ddsi T»ii< 

nSD t?^n T'lK i?D:i^i:» ^SfDps^bsnjjs pK 5?''n:\ nn'o ,'''':t2; ^11 yoim ^-^^d 

♦ . ♦ ♦ yDp'»Dibs 
,D5?n);:x ps tz;''ns?:\ Dtz;'*^:^ h: d**^ bis ns^ii i3?^^\n pn ybs pK 
f 'pS Dni?"?! :^:i'»b22i^s px ♦ ♦ ♦ pnti^ px :^:n:ivs^n ^^m^Tb ^t^^ajrpayn ,nDin 

♦Di8Dtz;isS ^11 
11K in D'pp''ii v'^sy:! lyai^i'^n ^ ^•'dw in D^p*»ii nnsn-^oD ani$ 

♦ w ♦ iy^$?piit) pK i^'^jrpiid Dis?*ti PK in D'?p"'n 
D'^iD 8 ps ''11 iy;spn 8 in Di3?n "^sy: pymiK ps p>^ 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ fin pj?^ DD8?3y2^ 5iin n^n i^^k d^ii n''^ t*»k •'ni// 
♦ ♦♦♦•ps^ss p_^D Dmm^Q ^s^n TK 0^11// 

''pT ip'»22:i'»''i< pJD ,pT p^;d pnDi^s ^^^n i''X ojjii// 

♦ ♦♦♦ly'p^M pn v^^ iin D^n nia^ni pa "diitw 8 PH 
pn3Di8ii .p^^nigs nvm T-'t to^n r^s ,'?''Dti; i5?Dini Diyii 05? px 

♦ w ♦ rj:i 8 niiti?a 8 T'IK nyi:iii 8 oys^ T»ik ,01 8 T'ik '»ii 
♦ ♦♦♦15?^y^ Dtz^'^n^A I5?a8 TK oy 
♦]8n i5?i tD-'np 03? j'pip 8 paiK ps in Diyniyi oy 
t3228'?s lyT'itz; iyt)sit2;^3i8s "»yT ''^SJ?^ *^3?1 S8 ^^""^ ^i5sn ko3 p§ 
ty?^S m^ir?:i ''i ,^^m pS iyt)2::i$?s n i5?t3im in I3?:i5?sy oy ♦ ♦ ♦ D:in5?s px 
-18S ''1 o'»ii8 Pr lt:;''iiiyiy'?S y:!ytD38'''?nn to*'^ d'^d^'?^ ♦ ♦ ♦ o''ii» P''*^^22 
♦ w yiyp8i^^3?"T »T»D p« yDrnii8o /yt}iyD"»22i8s n /j^op'^DyBtz; 
12: loaiK DS8^p iv^ ''ii toiyn i5?J:3 PK ,:\:i8'? Dtz?'':i Dim ©5^ 

. . ♦ ♦ ni22n 

n'>1K Mll^K// p^^22 iyi 1^5^11 122 13?D8^n pi< 08*?^ 18 toi^'M i'?8n 

-niT'*;^ tis in Dpyii ^8*iDt2? iyD5?'?D'»ii ,i3;ri 8 ♦DonD i5;:iiyn'?n m 

DiSy pK 122 D'»''a ,Di'?n p^'D 8 ps '»'^T T'i top^ni t?^t2;-n5?"P n»T 
jpnir^yiS DS11 pK S8P on 0^118 Dr-^n .biaM r^^ '?15?d2::is?§ 8 "p^^ 8 18^ 

204 Beside the Dying 

"Moon and stars, before you disappear, can't you tell me what 
happened to Leibl Konskivoler ... an old man?" 

In the distance a tiny star flared up in golden array, swam over 
to the little window, and replied: 

"I know, O radiant angel! I floated past Konskivole and peered 
into his window. He is dying, Leibl Konskivoler ... an old man . . . 
his white beard above his quilt glistens like pure silver . . . but his 

face is shriveled and yellow I saw how a feather was placed under 

his nostrils but I did not see it move." 

The angel, the Guardian of Heaven, didn't wait to ask anyone 
for permission but on his own initiative he darted down to earth 
to fetch Leibl Konskivoler's soul 

There would be an unexpected joy in the Garden of Eden. 

So he thought. 

Angels fly quickly — ^but black angels no less than white. 

And when the radiant angel came down, he found a dark angel 
already standing at the head of the dying person. 

Had the dark angel set out earlier or was his distance to our 
abode shorter? Who knows? 

**What are you doing here?'' cried out the radiant angel in amaze- 
ment and fear. "Don't you know, this is Leibl Konskivoler?" 

"So what?" laughed the black angel, and two rows of white 
teeth sparkled in his distorted mouth. 

"This is my soul. I am the Guardian of Paradise." 

"Pleased to meet you!" bowed the black angel. "I am only a 
menial of hell. But let's see!" He poked his foot under the bed of 
the sick person and out came a bag neatly tied. 

'What's in this bag?" 

^'Tallis and Tefillin" the good angel essayed a guess. 

"Hidden under the bed? Nonsense! Sins are hidden!" 

He bent down to the bag, untied it, spread it open, and kicked 
it with his foot — a golden glitter was scattered over the room, a 
golden clang followed — ^gold coins poured out. . . . 

"Stolen gold, robber's gold!" exclaimed the black angel, "obtained 
through fraud from persons less clever, purloined from widows, 
swindled from orphans, taken from charity boxes , . . coins washed 
with tears, bloodstains from human hearts cling to them . . . see, how 
he comes to life if his gold is touched." 

The dying person tossed about with closed eyes. 

ojB^pis Don ni^n 205 

:DiysDi5?yA tJijn pK '?iyD:s^ys Di^j is?mnt:?S?An v^ 
nK^;a "ns?P''t5D'»^ ,o''ni T'X — 
bnyDSJiyD pjT ]''K nisjn pH lyi^s^iiu;^^ s7^^ii''po:i;^? Tin pn t'k 
♦ ♦♦18^ 157D^8 18 ♦ ♦ ♦ i3?^8iiVo^^P '?^^'''? /Dm^toti; IS? ♦ ♦ ♦ apips;::i2!.n8 
08^ 18^ ♦♦♦ns?n'?n pn ^n Dp:i8^n ymb^P ^S?t *i^^''^ tiJ*^ S?o^^n P-^t 
8 CK D8n iy» ^11 ^yw n^n T^ ♦♦♦'?s?^ pK ts^nt:;s?:\rj?K pk D'^as 
^^T n ,iyTp Dtr;''^ lyn^ aijn T'h jDr'^bs?^ nyDsy^T^i n i5?D:m nyiys 

.n''i in 
D**! iiitr;n pv Ds^r'*? i^n D^n /p^'p ps t^/^ti; is?t '1h'?d is?t tiK 
'?a^'»'? 181 ny lyn t»ik iD8t2^5?::^s8^8 *iy t'^k ij322S? ^)^^ ^S? /ts?/2us?:ji 

♦n?^wi Dis?^?ii''pD:i8P 

♦nyp p^ P-n TnD 5?DDns?:\/2i^ |8 toyii os? 

♦DD8itoy:^ ny la^n '>^m 

♦ .♦♦yoim n •»n 3;22i8ii^ ''t — 18^ /Q''D8^^ W^^ Pi^?s 

1^8105?^ pit:^ ny D8n /iy»ipy:\S8^5^ t-'k ik^?:) njrp^DD'*'? nyi T8 t^J^ 

♦ w D:1Q8P122 OO'l^ Di^n IKbD n3?t322:i''D 8 

pyxiv 8 niiK i:!2 ny D8n •»:: ,o"»n8 lyns nnS7t522:''s nn t''k ''is 

.lP8it2;-i5;i /!«'?» nyp'»DD''b lyi in d-)5?iiiii ?8t itsoiD 0811 — 

ny^8ii''Po:i8P '^^''^^ 18^ ^"'K oy 
]2S^'?n p-'X yo^jn nmt^ "^m^j pK nys^nniit:^ "j^t t)S8^ ?08ii t''K — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ b^^i^ ID^^npyr^o'^iK pD 0^118 Q''K 
♦iny-p ps u;^ti:^ pn T'K !n^m vjrm pk 08*7 — 
8 18^ r^ T*^ ,n''iiyn 8 iyii:i8iw lyn dd8^ !ayiy:x:i8 ly^n — 

nyyr i''»8'? 15$^ .ai:n^:;i ps did''S8'? 
in Dpn oy pK .Dyn D:ip:i8np nyto:iiK oid 8 tD''^ 18^ 8 t:'':^ iy pK 

♦P8T ny:iyn:iim8s 8 o'»n8 
?P8T v^ 8T to:^''^ 0811 — 
.Isy-iD iK*?^ nyDn ny-r ^^ii .p^^'sni n^^D — 
ny;2 D'?8n8:i riiiny ?'|D^8n8i tjyn pyDiiK— ■ 
,D''X DiDy px .T'lK D^K D-rrn px P8t Q122 S8^8 in t3P'»n ny tiK 
in OQ'1811 ^8"?:^ nyay*T^8:^ 8 — oiq tD-'Xi onDt:; 8 D''i< D:\:i8^'iyT px 
iy'?iay^ yiyi'?8:^ — l^^ Q'^ ^^•'i^ :\a8^P ny:iy"T'?8^ 8 ^nitDti; lyi nyn-'K 

♦ ♦wO'>iK in ]^w 
-o-JiK — ik'tq iy3:n8iitr? ly^ o''ij< tDSn !D'?y:i-nbn ^DbyA-nai^ — 
-npTX ps ,a'»?3in'» in to^Ti^y:^ ,ni:!^^8 in tDn'»ny:\ ,yAi'?p-t3t2;''2 m DI8W 

206 Beside the Dying 

The white angel stood trembling and covered his face with the 
first pair of his wings . . . through a crack of the blinds a ray of the 
morning sun broke in and fell upon the lids of the dying man. 
The lids trembled. 

For the last time he opened his eyes a bit: 

"Who is there?" asked the frothed, yellowed lips rustling like a 
rotting leaf 

"I," answered the dark angel, "I, who have come for your soul . . . 
come along!" 

'Where to?" 

"To hell!" 

In terror, the eyes of the dying person closed again. 

"Pray, pray to God!" called the good angel. "Repent . . . there 
is still time . . . give up your gold." 

''Shma Yisroel . . ." the dying Leibl began. 

"He will not give up!" said the dark angel and put his heavy, 
black wing over the dying face and under this wing the voice was 
stifled together with the person. 

The white angel retired abashed. 


On a dark, damp midnight, amidst noise, shouting, and turmoil 
in hell, a sharp, shrill command cut through the air: 

"Nachman of Zbarash is expiring ... he used to cut his nails 
without skipping and to throw away the parings . . . more than once 
he forgot to say his afternoon prayers. Who is going after his soul?" 

"I!" exclaimed an infernal angel. "Meanwhile prepare a boiling 
kettle of pitch." 

He jumped up and flew out of hell. 

Infernal angels fly quickly but fortunately so do good angels. 
Perhaps the good angels are further from us but all-encompassing 
pity bears them on 

When the infernal angel came to the bed of the patient, he found 
a good white angel sitting at the head of the bed and speaking 
words of comfort: 

"Don't be afraid of death, poor man ... it is only a bridge, a 
short boundary between darkness and light ... a transition from care 
and unrest to joy and rest " 

But apparently the sick person could not hear; he was upset and 
his flaming eyes rambled along the walls. 

OaB^pIlt 0D131 Din 207 

urn Tsr;^ m »T^ i^pjrii •ly -^n ,yT pK •♦♦'>n tij py'?p.ips?'?&Di'?a sp'»s 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ooi:; 15?^ I^T DQ1811 p"»i« 3;:5?DS'?t:;n8Q !:•»» 

•— ij^^yin oyoon '[nya'»x d'?8S ny ,pT i5?pnm^^ ivi pS '?8it)t:? iw; 

♦nyD'»22 ^n 

in^t2^ 8 D^^ is-'b SDbs?:^^^^ ,S?D;3"'itr;i8s '>i P3?is ^8^ p^ 15?ii — 

w^DS*?! ito'?'»'isn8S 8 ps 
pi 181 i^^a T»K 0811 /l^x ni^'?;^ nvDDy^tz; nyi Dnjrsmy /T'k — 

!Dip ♦♦♦isTJ^ipyA n;3tr?a 

?rn8 111 -- 

!rJ?i8 Qiin'»a f>x — 

♦i:j iriK n pni22 Don d^t i^8s Pnt^^ i8S 

183 px oy ♦.♦nait2?n it) hk"?^ nyun lyi DSn !D8:^ d^i ,Dyn — 

♦ ♦ ♦ .if^^ p«n I'^pDiD in ♦ ♦ ♦ D53s: 
♦18 oDi:^ nyi ds'^m ♦ ♦ ♦ y^tz; — 
pt m">'>'? pK ik'?)^ lyDDy^u? nyi m8T Jp-n 1"»pS;d d'^i toyii ny — 
D8T tDiyii ^:^'»'?S nyt)3ii( px .D'»iQ oyoon pyn^K ^^•»'7S txisnt^r .nyiiti; 

♦tDp'»o!:;nyi Don id'»;3 lyj^sn^r "pip 
♦D;D5?tr?n8s S8 P'''ii52 in Dpn iK'rtt nyoi^n nyi 


^ntr^yA ,ti^''ny:i 112^^112: /DD8i "iv^^^t^ ny33;D8:^i8S ,iyn5;D:!ra'»s 8 P'k 

tbvmn ivp'^mnw Ti^ii; 8 l^n in Di!?:!!:; .Qin'*:^ px nyi'?'»sya pK 
^Ayi n iTC:it2? in mv^ii ny ♦ ♦ ♦ o^'IK t3":\ t2;T8n83iT ps inpimi — 
iir nm''» toyn8s '?8^ P^'i^ totz;'':! ♦ ♦ ♦ •iSi8iipyii8 .t3nys\nynya'»K Dtz;^^ 

?nDt2;i pj?T i8:i t3'>'':\ nyn — iy3ii8T 
TpnaD8P 8 IS '?i^iny*7 D'^n:^ tn'pnn ik^^ 8 18 1^ tD§n it^ — 

♦y'?8^o "^oyp 
♦ . ♦ ♦ DiiT'Ji ps 0^18 t3^'?s P^ nyoaiK D:\inst2? ny 
ytan n iT^H y^n nyn8 P'''?^ 012^ /D''D8'?» yDDy^^tz; |y?'?D Ti"»iitryA 

♦ ♦ .♦ ^n D:^8^tD nia^nn yDoyi:^ D8t ^8^ 'HIIk ps nyD!5ii itrsi? wv^ 
pi^ iy tD8n .iyJ3ipy3^ tayn oap38'ip D122 t-'k n'^an ik"?^ ny-r T8 PK 

jtoD'^nDy:^ D8n pK foytyi^ t'^i? ny ♦iQ8itDy:\ i^^^ ton ^loini 8 D3Q8?122 
8 ^83 px oy ♦.♦D'»iD n8S /tz^my^ nywi8 'tDtr;'»3 in pyntz; — 
n^ix pi< 3^8^ ps w ♦ tor*? pK iD''v*iyt)5{rs ttz^^m r^iyn:^ y^riip 8 ^pna 

♦ ♦♦♦p'''?^ pK n 12: ^asnyat-'x I8 

208 Beside the Dying 

The black angel remained standing near the door and looked 

"Haven't you made a mistake, comrade?" he asked the angel 
of light. 

"No," answered the good angel, "I am sent for his soul, his poor 
pitying soul; you can't possibly exercise any control over it!" 

"But he didn't cut his nails in accordance with the law." 

"I know," interrupted the good angel. "But, on the other hand, 
he never lived a moment for himself. He lived only for the feeble and 
the sick, for widows and orphans, for the sorrow-laden, the homeless, 
the tortured " 

"In our book is recorded how often he failed to say his after- 
noon prayers." 

"But he never failed to help, when help was needed, he never 
failed to comfort, to encourage, and to strengthen whenever wings 
drooped in exhaustion, or whenever gall was about to pour over 

the purest souls, or whenever the last hope was about to set He 

never built a house for himself. He never even repaired the roof 
above his head. He never feathered his own bed. He never asked for 
a woman's love for himself or the joy that children bring. He always 
lived for others. He always put others ahead of himself." 

Black clouds moved across the sky. For a second lightning cut 
through them but only for a second. Deeper darkness descended as 
the clouds became ever denser and denser. 

The lightning waked the dying person for the last time. 

"Who is there? Who sits at my head?" asked the parched lips. 

"I, I, an angel of light, from the realm of the heavenly father . . . 
sent by him for your soul . . . come with me! " 

"Where to?" asked the sick man. 

"To heaven ... to paradise!" 

"Heaven . . . paradise?" muttered the fever-stricken man. "And 
what is life like, up there, in heaven, in paradise?" 

"Wondrous . . . irradiated by God's grace, on glittering thrones, 
with golden crowns." 

"Glitter ... gold . . . crowns," stammered the dying patient. 
"What shall I be doing there?" 

"Nothing. You won't have to do anything. Eternal rest is there, 
everlasting joy, enduring radiant happiness Come!" 

"But what am I to do there?" The dying person turned with fast 
ebbing strength to the angel, "Is anyone there whom I can help? 

DiSKpIS DDin Dl'3 209 

-iJi:§ Dpip tiK i''D w !?n r'^tot^ Dni^^2 ii<^?^ i5?2rn>i:iw 15?! pi^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Diyia^n 
♦IK^^ tP''DD'>b DS?T iy D:\nQ nnn ,niyD rp Dt^-^i Doisn — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ifD**:!!:?^^ ^As?i n pi '»S"'?y Dti^'^i Dijjn iy — 

nss ,5;pi8ip pK yDsnti? ikd i^^ ♦♦♦t^n^r^yA w'^i in i^d vn ^p'>22r^K 
.... 5?DnyDs;DiJjs ,yD'?:^^mj?D ,yDi^DxrQiii;s ikd ^D-'i^iiT* px nii^bx 
-n^D nnr^ D^n -ly '^ij^ '?s''*n ^innt^nics fK iin pK niiK i^n — 

. ♦ ♦ ♦ Db3?Q 
♦tebyn tsc^rjay DDi^iy:^ Djjn tj?^ lyit ^D^ysn^s Dt:;'»:i 'piS^ P''P "i^^ — 
,m^i IP'^^Bv^p 12 pK tp'»2nxn 122 .pcnD ix toynxs t3ti;"»a 'p^d pv 
5?DDm n D^isTy:^ D^n '?k:\ n 111 n-'D '['^UDyi^s^iK tyjiyr ^^•''?s n 111 
♦ . ♦ n^^Jiit^^iKD rx ,DD^?^y:\ nn D^n .:^:iiayQ^n yaxy^ n 111 ,tDnn^D n^t:;a 
/DDm^S t)t2?''a s^p ns?^''^ liiJ^ 0^1 ... D''isy:\ tDt2;'':i t^'in pv in D^n ny 
rDDiT^A tDti?'':i '»na p-^p i^n DSKtr^n*''? p-'p ,Dyny:^ t'^'ti totr'»i in oyn im 
'^r'li » . ♦ nyi:iK IKS r^K liij^ ♦ ♦ ♦ DSJjny:^ tot:;''! nyiiiv ps nm pv t'ik 
..♦♦in njjs nyoyn tt3*?^?:nyA ^y Di^n nyiix y'?^ 
vn s 'T'lK ♦♦♦^;D\n n^n-'x p''m pK in iy?22 ip^^n yn^iit^; 
/in '[y?]^ nyDoys is:i pK it^ijj'^iKD Diyii ny iJji .r^3i ^ l"in •'n DTjatz; 
.o:ip^;$ii yiyDxrs ,ypn n ]yDJ<Ti2C in lo^^^ ny:\iy i^n 
♦Dpyiiy:^ ddia oyi 'pij:^ iD^^y*? aix D^n r'?^ '^3?^ 
nijD n pyiQ ?oasjj:pi22 t*^ Drr lyii ?"n*'^ !?n ^i pk nyii — 

-iyp''DD'»'? Diy^s^ p'»'? pJT flD /li^'?^ nyp''DD"'b ^j; ,l^K rT^ — 
n'»;D D"*^ Dip . ♦ ♦ !Dp''ti;'y:^ n/^ti^i fin 1^:1 ty^^:i p''b pjr pS pK . ♦ ♦ k"''?^q 

nypiKnp in D:\yiD ?pn^ 111 — 

i)ni^ n^"]^ PK 'l'''i"i» ^^^^ Qis — 

"^ith: •'II pK :rn pK Doi::^ nyi iJji Db^^Dt:; wpryp ♦♦♦'?^^^ — ■ 

?t3n^7 nV'P 1''^ ''^^''n p^5 Dii^T in uny^ 
. ♦ ♦ Tissn K03 pD pKb::^ pK ,D^Knt3u?Kn i^m odisja ps ♦♦♦ di::\ — 

♦ .wDyp n «i''i^^ tymp y:iyib^:i d'»d 
'?5?ii 01^11 Jiiji DDi:^ lyi D'^^KtJtz; ♦ ♦ ♦ ty^^'i'^P ♦ > ♦ '^^^^ * * * P^^^ — 

ivp"»t33'»^ p'»n^*'x ,n pn^'-'x fK m^i ...'{'w^ is-i^i ui^'^a Doyn — 

210 BBsroB THB Dying 

Gia I raise up the dejected, or heal the sick, or feed the hungry, 

or lave lips that are athirst, or seek out the lost? That above all 
was happiness for me!" 

''No, not that!" answered the angel with hesitating voice. 
"Nothing of all that is to be found there; no one will need your 
help there." 

"And what am I to do there, O angel, there where no one needs 
my soul, my heart, my tear of pity, my word of comfort, or my hand 
to lift them from the abyss?" 

The dark angel heard and licked his tongue in glee. A smile 
of derision stretched his lips from ear to ear. He opened his mouth 
and two rows of white teeth sparkled in the dark room. 

The angel of light sat distraught, unable to answer the dying 
person who continued to ask: 

"What, O angel, what am I to do there?" 

And the good angel turned to the window, looked up to heaven, 

and waited for counsel from above But heaven was shut; no 

word, no beam of light, no ray. Clouds raced past, ever darker and 
gloomier. A shadow fell on the face of the angel of light, the sky 
was leaden, angry, pitiless. He had never seen such a sky. He 
trembled and was afraid. 

Meanwhile the angel of darkness approached the bed from the 
other side. 

"You had better come with me," he whispered to the dying 

"Where to?" 

"To the realm of your heart's desire ... to the unfortunate, the 
hungry, the parched ... to the weary-hearted and the tortured, to 
the lost and the accursed, to those forgotten by God. You will not 
be able to help, but you can suffer with them, feel with them " 

"I go! I go!" cried the patient with his last strength. 

And the white angel left empty-handed. 

03S3^pix Don n!?n 21 1 

nyi m3 pxy*? iD'»;3 in D-'m ?pD di^i T'j^ byn o^n lyn? •— 
,'ia^\m2rD'>iK yis^^ssy:^ /tsb^rn mi ly^sni ^t di^t f'x n^^?^ Qiis: o^'Ik oon 
-'»i'?'i8s ,is:yi IS irb n yp^'Dt^^iiji rlP^'Dyr IDS ypnsrr^nn rib^M iir 5?p:i8np 
♦ ♦ ♦ fiynj;^ p"''?^ pj^ n^i fK oisj^ tw^iiv^ PK pit 122 ^lyi 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦n'?\T r-5^ 1^*^S:^ tot:?**:! nyr'^p layn tDii^i /"ii^n^S tDtr?**: Dn^i fK o^i 
n;st2;i ]!^d T»nn lyr^p 111 dii^t ?nx'?;3 ,iid diisjt t»k '?yn oijii pK — 
rj» Dt^'»i /r^^'iK ri< *iy^^ s^P'^^riujani r-^;^ Dtz;**:! jDtr;**:! yi^n pb ,Dti;'»i 

?sn:^ ps 
Dp^r^^n pK :\ais n ens top^Dti? pK Diyn n^^^ nyDDy*?!:; nsri 
♦ ♦♦nriK IS iriK ps ^•'i^ pyn-'X Q^JK TY m*'''^ '?D'''»;3tr?-pnn » ..♦in 
-2ja'>D nyi pK T'lK i2J:''bs p''22 yoi^ii nm^ ^'^n^r pK ^''i^ oiji disj? 15? 

'^V IX Dijii tot^**! cm pj< iK'?^ nyp''DD''b nyt D22n Dnyin3?:s px 

Dl!!: O^'IIS Dpip pK 13?tD22;iyD D122 CIK T»T D^^m IK*?^ I^Dn ^5?^ PX 

nyi rx iD^'?t:;nii;s 1^:1 ...d^i i? pK n^^y is ton^ji ps mm pK '^^nt 

,t)nyD''22n;H:s Dnr?^n *iy ♦ . ♦ fytyri 'o^i^'^i '»itn: ^ij^ pv I^S^ o''^ tD^n ny 
D12J nn m^^m 1^« 1^^^ n^DDsr^ti; nyi in 0221:^2 ybi^ii nyi d**^ 

,tor?T iyD'''»m lyi lis D^rn 
♦oon Djn pj^^ iy ^^•'11 n'^D t)"'» n$;o5n Dip — 

?pn8 111 — 
"DS?*? ,5;pny:\nn ,yDy^p'»^:\»iK m^: . . ♦ uoi^ya n^^n pji 111 di^t — 
,yiy-)'»i'?n8S •'T 1^ ,5?D^$?DS^nKS pK jrDu^'^nn^s mss . ♦♦ yp'»Dt:^ni$Tpnax 
i5?n;$ ,iy35;p t:t2;''a iDoyn p^yn ♦ ♦ . yayoyn^s tois::^ pS n i2r ,5?iytD'?i8:^ni8Q 

t)DJ?np D"'^ o'>ii< nypiisip *i5?T tDsn p:^ i^k !^n t>k — 

♦t)iyn yp'^T'''? to''^ pyiiii: fi? nx'?;^ iyD!?ii lyi px 


As is well known, it is incumbent upon every Jew to fulfill the 
Torah in its entirety. Whatever part a Jew fails to complete in one 
reincarnation, he has to fulfill in the following, and whatever weak- 
ness he is guilty of in one sojourn on earth, he has to correct in the 
next — ^because the soul must return to the seat of the All-High 
whole and sound, pure and undefiled. For this reason, human beings 
who fulfill the entire Torah are removed from this world before 
their appointed time; their soul makes its exit from the body 
without pain; they ascend to heaven without experiencing purgatory. 
Saints can complete their earthly assignment in one or two trans- 
migrations. Ordinary persons may require a hundred and more rein- 
carnations and there are some who have to return again and again 
until the end of time, yea until Judgment Day, when the defiled 
souls are haled for sentence in the valley of Jehoshaphat or Jezreel. 

But let us not go so far afield. I merely want to relate how a 
person can be forced to undergo an additional reincarnation because 
of some triviality, some slight error, and, as is customary, once a 
beginning has been made, one falls and continues to fall ever deeper 
and deeper. 

Once upon a time there was a saintly person who was about to 
complete the sum of his reincarnations on earth. The soul was 
making ready to take its flight to its heavenly home, to the very seat 
of the Eternal from which it had originally been hewn. It was a 
soul purer than the finest gold. Room was already prepared for it 
on high and there was a hurrying to the gates of heaven, a rushing 
to give it a proper reception ... but in the very last second the 
festive celebration had to be cancelled. 

The saintly soul in its final transmigration had been embodied 
in a person who was easily satisfied, who got along on little, and 
whose interest in worldly pleasures was negligible, an ascetic, who 
devoted his days throughout his entire life to fasting and learning. 
His dying, therefore, became, alas, an ordeal of the most painful 

]D'>'»ra pK ^5? Tv:) ,^i:^'?'>::^ p^K pK dais ^k iv o^^^ o^i pK ;tD''"»ii22 

a^'^p^ iy;iyT 0^11 n nj;ii ^ynn^i pj< ♦py'?s ^ |jj ,:s?^^n ^ tii< ny'pj^s ^ 

-b"»:^ ■'•» 11 ^ D*'?:) ,bu'?"':\ 1 "^^ k d''^ i?:^r 1^:1^? a^^n^^ i^o'^n^ nnpn-Din-'n 
nyii '^A'^i:^^:) ,t3D^7y:\ ii^K *iii;s Dt^^'^a ,]^p ani it^n i^ddi^is k ;n'>b^^ 
,nnnn ^s ^lo ^y t'lyn bri^i:^^ D:i?n u?:i"in p^'K Dt^'»i p^ ,nns$i a'^^ys nx^ 

''•n ,l^''''22nyT T-'i< ^'''^'1 T^ A^^^^ '^^y^^ T^ V^ oyi pK Dt:;'': n»s:i 
Di:;'»niS^A x Tin ,d^v''^'''''?P ^ Tin "pn^n ipnyn^K i^ i:^ ^is:?^ ^ t^iaip ly^ 
n^rs'^a pK lys'^a pw iy^ a^Ks ,d^kd iv^ m 'T'^k nyp'^at:^ lyi ^11 pK 
-bn 5?rj?T pj?T a^'biz;^ asi^^n^A a^n pns is?D''n:^ ^ px ^avn m'^i 
,D''^n TH 122 t^?bSs''n^ a'^^WA piti? a^n nr^m n ♦a'?yn ly^ t'ik D'»'?n 
,tj'»''pm i< •'11 pn — ni$iiy:^ ap^ny:iD''iK t^'k n i^^kii ps ,-n23n kos dix 
n 12J as*»i^ ly^ px ,yi^ii K p''iK pit:? aDK^ 13?^ pK ♦♦♦ib^A j? •'n 
"lyT I'^K nyn;$ a^iyii — r\f:im $?m n pjt n'>iB''b'2p}:i /'p^dm pD n5?''ia 

♦anvatz;y:i nn}:i'>ii; n 5;n lya^sy'? 

;ayi^n psno^ k /'it-ar^// k lyiw pn^ i^t t^k bi:^'?"':^ la^s^^ pK 
D'»n''iyn pK loyw .ntn a^iy ps lyiis?:^ aya ajna ai2;'»: a^n o^n ir k 
,aDJi;ny:\ T-K iks at:;''! nynnyi v^ imiB k — r^'' ^s pK ;a!i3?^y:^ pK 
n$?i D^^ii 4yiiy:\ n'T'as yi3?iit:; ^ 'ly^n /aD^Ty:^ t'' aiti; pv i^b ^^^1 
PK p"':\ pK H/DtJ!;! n in ps p;$^D''iiK a'piiiisTA at:?"'! tsiK Dit:?n ai^n ^n 
at:;''!njj:^ lij! is^ ^^i^n t^ janayay.^ a^n nn ^1371 .p_nK i5p nyt)22!''s 
"3;:\ in a^n inx oyiy*' pK laKny:^ atr''! pyb p'^n pj^ n^n T'k lany'pyA 
at:;''ni$:^ 1^! n^n t^ xmt$is:k a^n n^n o^-r .nii^n~iK'?^ ta*'^ a'?:^a^T 

214 Thou Shalt Not Covet 

sort, because the body refused most stubbornly to release the soul 
from its grasp and to descend to the dark grave. 

The body complained: "Why, I have not yet begun to live! 
I have had no share of what is due me on earth!" Each organ put 
up a fight against the angel of death. The heart said: "I have not 
yet begun to feel." The eyes argued: "We have not yet begun to 
see." The hands asked: "What has been ours?" The feet lamented: 
"Where did we go? Have we ever even ventured beyond the four 
walls of the room?" And in a similar way all other limbs fought 

The angel who was sent for the Zaddik's soul had to wrestle 
with every single organ, with every single vein, with every drop of 
blood that coursed through the flesh, because the cells held the soul 
as in a vise and he had to pull the soul out, even as one pulls a 
noble rose out of the surrounding sharp thorns — The suffering of 
the dying moments was so intense, the separation of the soul from 
the body was so excruciating that the Zaddik in the very final instant 
could not endure the torture and with ebbing breath, after the last 
rite of confession, he emitted a groan, a groan of envy. He envied 
those who died an easy death. He coveted such a death for himself. 
There was no time to repent or to atone. Since, therefore, he had 
disobeyed the commandment: "Thou shalt not covet!" — for a Jew 
may not even covet an easy death! — the highway into the upper 
realm faded away, the portals of heaven were closed, and the soul 
was forced to undergo an additional reincarnation, during which it 
could correct its error, its disobeying the commandment: "Thou 
shalt not covet!" 

Profound pity for the erring soul was evident throughout the 
heavenly realm. Part of the heavenly host was even wroth at the 
Angel of Death for his not having delayed a moment so as to give 
the Zaddik time to atone. A single possibility remained. Earthly 
travail could be made easier for the Zaddik. He could be given a 
life so full of blessings that he would not have to envy anyone. He 
could have his every want satisfied to such an extent that there 
would be nothing for him to covet. Furthermore, an easy death 
could be assured him. 

The Celestial Adversary listened and smiled Not so easily 

would he let the Zaddik slip from his grasp. 

iiann »> 215 

lis m'ra is^no n5?'» tD^ia ns?ii8: nyij?^ d'*;^ nnx n^'' tj'^^ iyb:^:i8i tonDy:^ 
tDijn iy pK ,t5?::^i8Tix d'^d '»n n^t:;:i n iD^ijny:^ dish r*?^ '^'-'^'^ j^'^''^^ d5?i 
pK ♦ ♦ ♦ i5?:iyi ysnsti^ it2;^Ti2t pD vm v^vt-'^ 1^ ''11 ly^^^D-^nii; Dn;^^^ n 
D!?n Dmo** n pK ,0''^^ '»it^ i5?iiy^ n^t^^i m'^ii'^ ps njr^j i5?i t^k nj^^a'^'iy'r 
iyD22s^ 15?T t^K t3i$n pn^r nyi ts ^piSDt:? •»it8 «ii:\ ps n^t:?: n iT'^tz^sij 

n tsPW ^^P^ m^ ^^ jnKa"»p ps lyii^A t"»x pyip lyi pK ♦pDy:^ pjrip 

-5;:i Dt2;''2 1'^itr; pk JiiiDoi^nsD iv^ ^''IK pd is: n^wn di^22 p*»p pK id-'Id 

n iy:!ia83ij?2s p'»iK in ty^yr — ,idoi'?ai8S to"*: d^^id pn:i ^ ib-^m in 
tDTi»5?:^ i3«n ny pK ♦b;3\n ps n^'^it: n 'io^^t:;i8s pni22 D^n is?^ pK on^n 

/n^mn «■?// px 

n^'?^ on T*^^ tD^ny^ '?n'»xi8S i'?''^^ p^n n^y^ "712; x'''?^s *iyi ps '?*>''d 
Dt2;'»a Di^22 pv pnir ayn ,yAn 8 lo^^nnKs Dtz;**: in D^n ny 0^11 ,nii^n 
P8^ ny:^an3i pnx oyi big:? ty» ,mnsn ^d^ .onr^n ♦pD 122 n2wr\ ]iy:^y:^ 

i!sr o^n tsiijn Dtr^^^n^:^ d'^k in ^»t oy jpjt Kip;:i Dy:i^"'p iy:iyp tot:;'': fiK 
.tDi^i^Wi^j Ti« Q''» 13??^ tDijn m^ pm^ 8 P« ♦poi'^n^s 
S''^ 15? t35?ii DD!:?'? •'ITS m'^: ♦ ♦ ♦ t)'?D'>'»»t:; p>^ ini-'pyn lyn oy Diyn 

!tD38n ny-r ps tt^'i'D'^ns 

216 Thou Shalt Not Covet 

And so it came to pass that the Zaddik was reborn on earth. 
He was reincarnated as Reb Zanvele Purisover. 

And who, pray, was Reb Zanvele Purisover? 

A Jew — the first among his peers! What did he lack? Absolutely 
nothing. In learning, he surpassed the Rabbi; in singing, he was 
unequalled by the cantor; in reading the Torah, he outdid the scholar 
from Lithuania, that breeding-ground of scholars. He had a wife 
of rare worth, children of unusual talent, and an income more than 
ample. His house was the finest in town. From it emanated the 
most lavish donations. Attached to it was the nicest Succoh decorated 
with the richest variety of citrus fruit grown in Palestine. Whose was 
the loveliest Esrog in the most beautiful silver box? Reb Zanvele's! 
Who the most honest arbiter and the wisest counselor? Reb Zan- 
vele! Unlike others, he needed not to aspire to any high oiSGice in 
the synagogue. Why, all officers solicited his opinion before taking 
any action of consequence. And even the sexton waited for his nod! 

On workdays no less than on holidays Reb Zanvele sat con- 
tented. His eyes sparkled beneath his large forehead and reminded 
one of a true sage of ancient mould. When he opened his mouth 
the words poured from him like pearls. His appearance exuded 
majesty: a white curly beard, silver locks beneath a round barret 
of marten's fur, a silk caftan with frogs and silver hooks, wisdom 
and beauty harmoniously combined. 

Surely, the last incarnation? So it might well have been, if not 
for the Celestial Adversary. 

This antagonist appeared one day in the disguise of a newcomer 
to town, a young man from somewhere or other, insignificant in 
appearance and slightly hunchbacked. He entered the house of 
worship on a winter evening at prayertime and sat down near the 
fireplace. As you may well surmise, Reb Zanvele invited him to 
his home for a warm meal. The Zaddik was a most hospitable host! 
The hunchbacked stranger gladly accepted the invitation. Between 
one course and the next, there was as usual learned talk. A son of 
Reb Zanvele or a son-in-law started the conversation, became in- 
volved in a difficult passage of Talmudic law, and all eyes turned 
to Reb Zanvele to resolve the difficulty with his usual deep insight. 
Reb Zanvele smiled, he first conferred upon the guest the honor 
of saying grace after the meal. The stranger led the group in prayers. 
Then Reb Zanvele proceeded with the interpretation of the passage. 
His explanation was so clear, so lucid; he seemed to expose to view 

n;:3nn k"? 217 

lyaij?'? ?D'»x D^ys 0IJ11 11K ns;s ^ im^m it.^ y^K «t»ik — iv 8 

px ,5?i57T'' in; '?''n-nt:;K w Pi< ♦'^^^^ ttz;'»iit)'»'? n^s nyiyoyn ij id 8 ny 

pK pK /Hnii yDo:i37^ ''T D'^n^i: d^"':^ Pin pa iik m^oxi; pK Pin ^DOi^?^ 
''''^ny'?^? pK Dnnni^ t)'»;3 ts?:^^^!^^:^^!^ ,n3io ^ddi^?^ n li!:*iH;s t-'K pin 
lyT r^ *iTn lytDDiyti? nyi px oy^^ii pK ♦^xitz;''-fiK ps utt'b yi^ii^ 

!pj?iii: Dti?''! nyoKn DbKp px dikh p^"? nisy pjt t^ lyiD D^'Kn:^ );ib^ v^^:, 

i^^:;^! m^ PV in Din prn pjT ]s 
r?n iDDi^b p-^iK n pK winn^n b^i nninn ^3? j?^ynrjT n in Disn 
15^ D^D^ pK ♦DDn tt^'>Dr?22i^D ,]n?^K iJ? 1^2 "'ii pis^toti; ]D''n:i n^t3aix q'^k 
yoini ^ nyo'^v K "— ly pk ir^D^y?:) nyp'^E^ k pK t?i^B in |d^^ '?''1^ d^t 

n'?n:ii mm — Diijn p^K d-'^o !i:s?^p^n ^n^rn^n pK d^p^'idd t)^;^ psijp 

♦ ♦ . * nnn Qipian 
,|57TOA •»itn: d'p^ii oy ^jjn ! ? ^n^n n^D^^^b i^t i$?Dn rw ,in dd^i 

•'US jniiK in? ni^s in D'757totr;iKD pK n^i'^vn lyi '^j^^ in: njr D-^n 
15? d;21P -pmiysru^ Dti^''n?:\ ,^i5?P'')n k i^^q^ ,r^:i'i^ ps iKJ^nyAiir k 
Di?n in Di^yr pK p_nN; u?m;on-D''n pK sn^^i nm*'^ 122 ddki 1^1 n5?t>:i'»n 
pn:i5?t)t2; DDn 'ly ♦yis;t;:;'D5?n nnx ^nbv'^^rjii n d''K Djms:^ anon p ♦iit^ik 
♦]5?a Doy ♦nyti^tDyn nnx pr'i'^nirjT n is ,^i5?P''in 0^1 nv to'^n la^miK 
n pT «; ♦mm ,in t)^^Dt2;i^D ^iv^ Diyi iD^nix d^t pK "^dj?^ p-'K It2;'»ii22 
lyiSPitz; 1? i^ t^ mi^ in Dr^^'pti? ,m t3^'^^^ ,D5?t*'K t^i: '»22 ,Dyb5?iirjT 
♦pjj;^ DDyn 122 r'^i? pit2; Dsrii n^ .ty^^iirjT n 122 p-'iK s?'?^? in ti:iyii /K-'i^id 
nniK lyi ;]t2;D:yn |D'';d miK Djn isdid 'pinn^i t^k ,t)^D'''»;!Dtr? ^'^yiirjT 'i 

•^IT^ nS:^P •'ITU? ly DIMST PIST tIK .piJT flS tD2'»\T y^TS^II^H^ ^ pX ,9^ DIT^DIiyn 

lyto^ni px lyDi^'?^ nyoini is; onx in D^rn oy r^ ^in to^is;! oy t^ ,pn 

218 Thou Shalt Not Covet 

a broad and smooth highway leading on and on to a white and 
distant horizon; he seemed to beckon his listeners to enter a sled 
and glide eflfortlessly into infinite spaces. Sons and sons-in-law sat 
with souls attuned to his words and completely entranced. The 
hunchback sat in their midst, his eyes glanced sideward, his thin lips 
curled in a sceptical smile. Reb Zanvele noticed him and asked: 
"You disagree?" 

"Absolutely!" came the insolent reply. 

"And why?" inquired the host. 

The hunchback stated his reasons and a debate began. The 
stranger cited Talmud and Talmudic commentaries; he hurled opin- 
ions like burning coals and like pointed darts; from here, there, and 
everywhere, he thrust in analogies stinging like hail. His back 
seemed to grow more hunched, his eyes more gigantic, and the 
wickedness in his eyes more glaring. 

The words glowed and pierced and surrounded Reb Zanvele 
as with a hedge of burning thorns. The sage felt himself compressed 
into an ever tighter and narrower space, unable to escape or to 
catch his breath — His sons and sons-in-law were also confused 
and unable to come to his rescue. The all-encompassing hedge moved 
ever closer. It seemed almost to touch his body. Reb Zanvele began 
to feel faint. There was a pain in his heart and he breathed heavily. 
He had to get up and go outside to catch his breath and to recover 
his composure, for he sensed that basically he was right and that 
the hunchback was merely using clever tricks of debate. These tricks 
beat down upon him like hail but the hail needed only to melt and 
all its force would be gone. Nothing would remain but a few drops 
of water. If only one could collect one's thoughts! . . . 

It was a wintry night. As Reb Zanvele went outside his door, 
the market-place lay blanketed with newly fallen, sparkling snow 
and the sky above was dotted with thousands upon thousands of 
radiant little stars. Reb Zanvele breathed in relief and his mind 
cleared up. He suddenly sensed most vividly how the hedge of 
thorns, with which the hunchback had enveloped him, wavered and 
shook and staggered on die snow in the market-place. On close 
scrutiny, he could perceive that the hedge did not form an imbroken 
fence but that here and there gaps were in evidence. At these open 
spaces, authorities were beckoning to him. Rabbinical interpreters 

ii^nji K^ 219 

,D''pDisi c'tz; im tz;''^ 8 "^^^ ^ ^^^ ^""^ P^ nyp">in nyi /iy d;^^:! 
pK /ipsti? yp-'s-'stz; D^^ ''11 4'?'»ip ypniy:isnn d'';d ''h nnno d'»;s Dsn^n 
nv DOP811 .pn:nyi pK .'^ii^^n 8 ''H Dn^*? lis pk 8*^ ps rirxi to'»X5 d^!2? 
!D0p8ii ]vm n pK niyt^n d^t pk ,iop8ii d''k i^n p'»ii» n pK nyp^'in nyn 
tD^ya iy PK nyp^ss^st:; nypn:iyiyin bt$^ 8 0811 n^iT nytonyii n pK 
y^yiirjT n tiK nynyi ypnayayin ps d'^iis 8 tD''^ '»ii ly'pyiiain n D118 
Dti:;'»: Jims t3i2;''i ;D'»n8 tDt^?**: nv^iv pK iyji:sy r^8 d''K tonyii oy t8 .tDb-^s 

Oy jp'^D^ynS? T*'!^ nyil D^5?T''K n 0''^ in n ]1K ♦ ♦ ♦ 1S83 1^ C3yD8 D^T 

in Dpn D"'K 01*18 D''ix n Pi'J ♦n^'^n 122 tjti:;*>i nyrv ly^ymin n ddip 
p» 8 l'?''s 18 t^^'^'^n 5?'?yiirjT n pK .ni^^ Q122 nyD^yya pK nyD^yyi r'^S /p-?")8 
*iy pK nyiiu:; Dyt)8 nyi D'»x tsnjpi oy tiK ,:i8t3''nis;i8n 8 /nyin-ntr^^in 
-8:1 IS '1S8S IS QytD8 Qyn '?o"»n 8 n^tD ijn n8s ^'^'^"^^ t3^"»:^ ,«inH in Da'^'^n 
n ny T-'K tJDyiy:^ t8 nv d^'»d tb"»s Dyi8''T jnyin-niu^r bD'»n 8 t^^iP 
tDS8^p ny T8 ny38?3"is:np v^ 8 oysjr i^i vt< ivp^^n lyi t8 ;y^yiirjt 
-^831 D''K pS nyit '?8t oy .p"':\ys jti8t ^:^8n nyi T8 /'?:^8n 8 tD**^ •»ii ^18^ 

!pj?T 3t2;"»;D n8:i in ti^ iy nyD8ii — t)t:;^i 

!•»« 5?*?yii:sin n t8 pK ♦1^11^3^ oy f»K DD8nyDini 8 /Di^stva •'11 ,px 
u^ns 8 tD-'ja pi8» iyi DynyjionK wm t-'k n-'D nyi i8s Ty)aipyA0'»n8 
108''^'»X5-»'?^^ tD^prSy:^ P8n '?;3M r^ pnx pK ,'»'':t2; tpn'?p:i''S nv^v'?^^V^ 
ny!5iS D'^K fK oy iiH ♦ms D;3yDy5;:i&8 t>8n y'?yii:jin n pK ♦lybiaiyatz; 
n tD'»» i2?axi ,u;ina iy nynyi :ia''^xi^S3 pK *m^ pH n8'»*^y^ iyi8^P P« 
o'»K tD8n ^lyp^in 08*7 nyD'pyii ta'^tt ,iyaiyT ps d'»is n '»ii ,iriK yayr-'K 
j'»'»it2^ finx pn8?3 PK D'^K DII8 in tD*?p8tr? pi< in t)^p8ii .is^iiy3izin8 
n T8 /Ons ysa8:^ vv t^^"^^ t-'K q'»is n t8 .Dyt-iyi pK is in Dpip iy pK 
.oypDiis 5;:iy§8 t3i8T PH 8t tD8n n t8 nytoiy lo 8 pK tDp8nynyn">K vvi 
joypDiiS n i^n iy'»"»Du; D5? ''n /^ini uyr iv pk /D'^k in dd8i nyt:!-ni pi< 
IS lypi^ii •'n px ,nz5nDi ,u;iitt 8 i^Dini ^1^1 ,pois 8 tDi8^ 'P83^ 8 8"f 
-n8S 8 'Q''*is yty'?8s S ^''^'o ,5?'?jnirj?T :is D'^x jsn ^n ^ly^n:!!^^ 18^ d'»8 

220 Thou Shalt Not Covet 

were calling to him: *'Zanvele, the hedge is compounded of false- 
hoods and delusions, come our way, and we will lead you out into 
the broad highway/* 

Reb Zanvele smiled and proceeded in thought on to the broad 
highway opening upon a world of possibilities. He recalled an ap- 
propriate saying of a learned scholar, a wise interpretation of a 
famous Rabbi, a solution suggested in Rashi. His ecstasy grew. He 
traversed the entire Talmud and its commentaries — everywhere a 
free world came into view. He would show his guest! . . . 

Everything was now as clear as the clear snow. AH was now 
as radiant as the radiant stars in the heaven! He was so lost in 
thoughts of Biblical lore that he failed to notice how his feet were 
crossing and re-crossing the market-place, going on beyond the 
square, traversing ever further and further across the snowy jfields. 
Soon the town and its streets lay far behind him; no longer was 
any house or even rooftop visible; no fence or boundary loomed 
up to impede him; on and on he went and everything was as white 
and radiant as in his own mind. 

Suddenly he stopped short, trembling in all his limbs. 

A dark cloud had suddenly obscured the sky, extinguished the 
glistening stars, and cast a gloomy shadow over the glittering snow. 
With the change of hue over sky and earth, darkness also invaded 
the mind of Reb Zanvele and he lost his way both literally and 
figuratively, in the snow and in the realm of thought. He suddenly 
didn't know in which direction to turn 

On looking into the distance, Reb Zanvele espied a bit of smoke 
curling up towards the sky, a sign of human habitation nearby. 
Frozen, exhausted, crestfallen, he walked in the direction of the 
smoke and arrived at a poor, dilapidated inn. He entered a smoke- 
filled room and remained standing at the door unnoticed by anyone. 
Behind the bar he could discern an old peasant woman, half-asleep, 
amidst liquor and sandwiches. A moist cold wind blew through the 
broken window-panes. On one side was a fireplace where dry logs 
burned and crackled and flickered. Tired and cold, he was about 
to go over to warm up when he noticed that all the places about 
the fire were taken. Half-drunken peasants were sitting about with 
tin cups of whiskey in one hand and a salted herring or a pickle in 
the other. They toasted each other, these peasants. Their faces were 
aflame. Their eyes glowed in love and pleasure. Every once in a 
while, two would bend towards each other, they would kiss and 

nann v(? ill 

n y n nn ua^D^yi iy px ly^ysi? ik D^yn ^ ^msni k ,id^ ^k didv)21k tk 
8 Drjn ♦it5\TiN:Q o^-r pK o^n D^n pois i y : y ^ ,D:^^Ty:\ •»iTii: D^n pjj:^ 
pK ♦pDiyi HKn njiti;^ D^jn iy pK wi^nDi ^'"'tz?! ti;n'»3 rx di^ t2;in''sn 
yins K DiDy^iK — D^pDisi ti"^ ifi^'^ yyn ^jj^ in: ^^i ''itj? D'T'Si^sti:; ny 
niS*?? •'iTis: v'?^ ci''X f'K oy ♦ ♦ ♦ !nmK Dyi ^fTini piu; D'^i? d^ii ny ♦ . . Dbyn 
!'?;sM pK lybian^Du^ ypjJi:^ai n •'n p^s^n '»it8 r^8 /''''itz? lyi^^P "i^t ''ii 
m;3bisr n pK nnt2;n;3 ^yi pK dtik d^^:\ iy •'n •'it^ t^ ,Dtr'':i d^p-'s iy px 
.p-)»D to-^ix pK \?i'm Ts'^y^^ pmx p^< tMij o'»5 •'T n^K p^iD "^im .nninn 
pQ ,pi^:;d ps Aai^*? pitz; t^is^ njr pK ,'''»itr; piyn'^K lytoi^n px nyoi^Ti r^^ 
X\ti ^xai:;^! ijji pv ps ^v^n v^p ]is ]S'''»22 ]^"»p piti? D5?t iy» ,o'»nii; D^Dt:; 

,Y'Sy^^'^ 8 1^ .Q"'12: 8 t^ n^ys lyms IS'^IK ''^at:^ pK DnS toyiD iy ,Dt2;''11SA 

♦m^ pK ly^ymm n i^n •»'n ,niann pn^prs pK or?n n^jbp n^K i;^ T'ik 

8 D''» ,bD"»n nytojiiK p'^iisiKs :\a'>b:2i^s in D^n ]p%r\ lyiyiiti:; 8 
iytD'»nn 8 pH ^ly^TiiyDti; s;pnbp:'»Q n n^i^y^ IV^^^ tt2;8^3?^o"»iK ^8?^ 
l^iK PK .''^w tpn:is:i8'?^ sy^r DnyDxrsi^s P^ tDr'>^y;^ in D^n its^tz^ 
lybyiirjT n 1^:2 n^^W ^PiitD fK my pi< 'p^M tD'^D ty^sn^^ /r^r^^^i'rs 
vw Dytr^ni^*?^ "^y '^''^tr? oya^K ny toyTiyi ,Dyti;n:i8'?3 iy — pk ni^ pK 
♦ w pj?K '»ii px D-^ix •'•n xn'^'^i x^w tjc^ii iy jKmo nyi px T'ik 

D'?:^ay'?u? T'n "ly^yiinyss ^o'^a k •'n .]D!}n ps ,ybyii:iin n ,iy Dyrnyi 
ipnyay*? ^p^totz? x pa p^o 8 fx oy t^ ny D^'»Dt2;i8Q ♦'?^^^ nyt3:iix in 
I^SDyDis^ nnt:;: ly-r pS iin it^'I jt>d px Diyo8):)n8s ,n'''^'is'i5?T ♦5iii:;?'» 
-t:?Dynp nyayony^s^ ''ly^yi^ 18 1:2 to^ip pK i''ii oyi i^i ny d'»'»ji ,in 1^1 
nyn ^J?n 98 in D'^ytotz? pK moti; iyDnyD'>nn83 8 PK P-n8 '^y tj^ip ♦ytt 
oyT i5n •'11 ,t)yT px '»it8 'ly to*>^ati:; jDtz;*'! d-'X topny^8:2 lyrv *|ix ^t^d 
pK ^D'^'p^y yD^8 18 tD'pttyni ,pyo!?ni8S px p:i8*it3y:^ iy^''K ,u;''Dpayt2^ 
,iyo8^ 8 o-'ix pK pj?x d:\8"' P'^itr' y:yA8^tr?yAD'»ix to*'^ nyD^rays n iin 
lP8:ip pK tyiyin pi''ix pk px ,pi''ix i8 t^^'^tott? Din 8 18 *^8^ ♦tsm iyD^8P 
b^ii /lyiiy:^ t'>x ny ^11 ,Ti*'nDy:^ px T'^ ♦iy^:\:3ym y^ypnu nyp8'?9 P8 
pi^iK nn8 lyDiy y^8 t8 ny:38 ^y toyriyT ,'[y^yi8ii28 l^'t .p-'i^i:!: ny 
iy'?Dy^n d*»^ ,ny^i9 vr^T^ :ib^n t^^n Dn8 PK Dn8 ♦iy^m8Q iy:iyT 
-'»ni3: nyi pK oypny:\iK nyi8 :^:myn yiy:!r'?8TyA p8 toa8n p'»k pk ]^i^n'2 
pK ,ty;38^9 yiyn •iy»'»2s n p8 .py'^s n .in 122 lypant) -jn px nyo 
i2i in d:^^''3 ^8J3 y'?8 pK .nm pK DS8ti^3'''? ^8& 1'ot^^ ''n i^a p^ix n 

222 Thou Shalt Not Covet 

shed tears of sentimental tenderness; they would drink again and 
would again nibble at another morsel. 

It was then that Reb Zanvele, who in learning surpassed the 
Rabbi, who in singing was unequalled by the cantor, who in reading 
the Torah outdid the Lithuanian scholar, who had the finest house, 
a wife of rare worth, talented children, the nicest Succoh, and the 
loveliest Esrog; Reb Zanvele, who was the wisest counselor, the most 
honest arbiter, and the most generous contributor to all charities; 
it was then that Reb Zanvele lost control of himself and, standing 
in the midst of the inn in a coat as stiff as a sheet of tin, while the 
wind stole about him and froze the perspiration of his body; it was 
then that Reb Zanvele in his heart of hearts envied everyone of 
these peasants who sat beside the warm hearth and drank whiskey 
from tin cups and bit into pieces of salted herring or sweet pickles 
and talked profanity and vulgarity. 

Then there began a new series of reincarnations. 

Tiann K> 223 

n^s is?:!")^'? n^D^rn m^p5?:\ Diijn o^ii y'?j?*nrjT n t>^n d'?^;^^ px 

Di8Dt2ryj^ i^i$n 0^1*1 P'^^T^D pK ,5r;3tr;D5?np P'';d pK pna5;'»''Dt2; px p'?8ny:\ 
t3y5:i:^y:\nyDin8 )^^i y'?8 in D^n t3i'>ii m n^^tr^n ,i57'?a 8 •'ii d'^k t»ik 
pK y!?3?ii^^^T n D8n D'i'is^DyT — ^Tj^b is^'ik o'»'»iit2; d5?t d''X DnnsyairjK pK 
l$?»5?*i8ii D^-^3 '[DyT5?:\ T'>K 0811 n$?''is /'i pS ny*' is?iw Kip^ n8n ti''D 
-ys'?8tyA p'»tDt2; 8 tD'»^D p'»nn8s ^^ds*?! ps tz;'"* iyp:iiit35?:\ D8n 08ii /pi''iK 
♦ . ♦ ♦ ns-'pii'i — Dnnya px spiy:\iK n^ron 8 i5?i8 i^^njrn nyi 

♦D'»'?n'?'»A ]^Si niitz; r-?i 8 ]i'»inyA:i8 in D8n oy pK 


In times of depression, everything falls in value — even learning, 
the best of all wares. Of the Yeshiva in the town of Lashwitz, there 
remained not a soul save the head of this school of learning and 
a single pupil. 

Reb Yekel was an old lean Jew, with a long disheveled beard, 
and aged extinct eyes; Lemech, his favorite pupil, was a young man, 
also lean, tall, and pale, with black curly side-locks, dark, burning, 
sunken eyes, parched lips, and a trembling, bony throat; both with 
bared breasts and shirtless; both in rags. The teacher shuffled along 
in a pair of peasant boots; the pupil, who had no socks, was forever 
losing his oversized shoes. 

This is all that remained of the famous Yeshiva. 

The impoverished town sent ever less food and ever fewer invita- 
tions for free meals — and so the poor pupils scattered in all direc- 
tions. Reb Yekel, however, had made up his mind to die here and 
his pupil wanted to perform for him the final service of placing 
potsherds on his broken eyes. 

Both, of course, had to put up with hunger rather often. Lack 
of food resulted in lack of sleep, and this combination of foodless 
days and sleepless nights gave rise to a longing for Cabbala. 

Either — or! If a person has to be up all night and starve all 
day, he may as well derive some benefit from this experience; he 
may as well rise via fastings and flagellations to the point where 
all the gates of the world open up for him, with all the mysteries, 
spirits, and angels. 

And so both teacher and pupil had been studying Cabbala for 
quite some time. 

Now they sat at a long table, all alone. Others were through 
with lunch by then, but they were still before breakfast. This was, 
after all, nothing unusual for them. The teacher, with eyes half- 
closed, talked on and the pupil, with head supported on both arms, 

♦l^ii< — nnino 5?t)D5?n n -- nmn i!?'»S8 Db^s tt)!?2: s^tDsy'^iz^ n t>k 

yt2;n5?"»i9 183 8 18^ ta^'ip DSSf^rtr^ n5''t2;''"ti?8i W jostds"? 7''i« yT"»a nn 
♦ci '»'7 |1D S818 l^t!;n$?D0it2; n t'?8S tP8T 18 T'^'?^^ oyi ;^ii"'Dt:;' 

!nSi'»t:;"» is?t)^n8:i "in rs p'^'^ny^^ nx 08n 

py:i57^ ,105? t^pwn iyp'>r'»ii '?8» ^^8 to8n b^v^^ yD^yn8")8S D8t 
,pn8t)t:^ 8*7 v^^ ^"'ii 'isrris 'i'Pr '^ !p8*iP5?2: Dmns-D3?*i8 n t»t lyayr asrtD 

p"»r'>ii d;dip py p'»:i'»'»ii pS nyi^iin '?8^ 8 T^^ ITj"? 5T'>a •»•»? iik 

!n^ap i2f pti^n 8 — toy tD**: px tss'?^ tD"»i DDy:i y2::8:^ rs ,i§8'?tr;' 

,AyD v'^m py:i5in pK toDya y2s:i8:^ ii^t t'ik ty^ «in8T — 1^^^ njaiiD 
,D'»Si:i"»o D"»a Q''n'»iyr) ;]ni t2;tD85 ^8T /P8n ]su 8 psiyr tr?t38D ly)^ t8^ 
pK ninn ^nnio to''» tD^yn lyn pS 'ny'»itD y^8 iy:iysy t2^tD8:3 in i'?8t 

i8i 13122 f»x ns?** ^~^3i ♦r^'?8 y^'^'^i^ /tz^'^t) p:i8'? oi^^t ^•'t pn i^is 
■t!^8i lyi ♦i^^'iJ?^ t3;i'»iiiy]i 18*7 ly^iyT ''n ♦p''tDti?n§ n8S 18^ t^« ''n ??n::i8t3'»^ 
T»iN tD'^8^t2;y:^'^yt3:nK t)2:n T»^'?n lyi jDiyn pK p'»iK n Doi^'?n8S na-'tr;^ 

♦t)iyn tiK B8P p-'tt D:yn yT»^s 

226 Cabbalists 

"In this, there are many gradations," said the teacher. "One 
person knows just a bit, another half, still another an entire melody. 
The illustrious Rabbi of Blessed Memory knew an entire melody 
and something in addition. I," he added sadly, "have been deemed 
worthy of but a single scrap, a bit so tiny." 

He measured a little corner of his withered finger and con- 

"There are melodies that must have words. These belong to the 
lowest grade. There is a higher grade, a melody that sings itself, 
a melody without words, a pure melody. But this melody still re- 
quires a voice and it requires lips through which it emerges. Lips, 
however, are, as you well know, something physical, and even the 
voice, though it belongs to the nobler aspects of the physical world, 
is none the less physical in essence. 

"Or, shall we say that the voice stands midway between the 
physical and the spiritual? 

"At any rate, the melody that needs a voice and is dependent 
upon lips, is not yet pure, at least, not entirely pure, not wholly 
and completely spirit. 

"The highest grade of melody is singable without a voice. It is 
singable inside, within the heart of man, yea, in his very entrails. 

"This is the deepest meaning of King David's expression: 'AH 
my bones utter thy praise!* In the marrow of one's bones that 
melody must resound, which is the highest praise of God, blessed 
be his Holy Name. Such a melody is no longer the artificial product 
of a mere creature of flesh and blood. It is a part of that melody 
with which God created the universe, a part of that soul that he 
poured into the world 

"This is the melody sung by the Heavenly Host. Yes, it was 
once sung by the illustrious Rabbi of blessed memory." 

The discourse was interrupted by a disheveled lad with a rope 
about his hips, a porter. He came into the House of Learning. He 
put down on the table next to the teacher a bowl of cereal and a 
piece of bread, and said in a rude voice: 

"Reb Tevel sends this food for the teacher!" He then turned 
about and, on his way out, he added: "111 come for the dish later!" 

Jarred out of ethereal harmony by the coarse voice of the porter, 
the teacher arose with some difficulty, and, dragging his big boots 
along, he made his way to the washstand. 

£l'»^aiptt 227 

unjn ^'T •'nn nyi ♦♦.]n'»:i t^rasi^ S lyr^K ,p'?8n 8 'lya^-'X ,^p'»DU? 8 

P5?:^y:ii2i: ny d^h) t^ ♦ ♦ ♦ !'?'»sir?i:^ 8 tD';a i'?'>s8 /pJi^:i |xa8:^ 8 mjrpy^i 

♦ ♦ ♦ o'»n:^ "'IT8 tD8 /5?'?ys'»s 8 i2{ mDT n w^p a8n (pnrnta 

tp^'ixyA nsTtDi^ii t58n pK nv:^:i'»s ins^ ps ^s^s 8 iDD8)2y:!is8 tJ8n iy 

18^ T">x 08T * . ♦ njTDiyii ]2^n ntt D8n in"*: 8 W^i^^ tk 05? — 
0811 ]wi 8 .♦♦nrni njTDyn 8 ^8*18^ m o? ♦♦♦nrns 5?pnj?T5 8 
niST in**! 1 y n i8:i !p:^'»:i 'i$?:i''n 8 — ^jron^rii 18 "i8^ 'r'''?8 T»t DJim 
"185 /p'*'? tiK iD"»n8 t)"*^:^ 08T v^^Sfii 1in ^s^b pK ♦ ♦ ♦ "?!? 8 P8n 18^ 
nv'?yT"»K 18 TK oy ;i'?''D8 '?ip D8T pN mr^m i8"r 15?:ij?t ,it)0'»'»tDt2^ 

pK ni'»ann itr;^nx rs^^yiA ^yi «t>ik d^^dii:? ^ip 081 t8 4i^t t8^ 

tjijiiyn 0811 .'rip 8 tD'»» in anyn O8I1 pA"»i n5?T — '-^o ''H 550 18^ 
rv t)^: 18^ * - r'*^ 1^^^!^^ t''i< ^^"'^ 1^^ 'pn t:tr;^:i 18^ t-^i^ ,is"»^ n p§ ^8 

TT man oy ..♦'pip 8 18 ^^^ Tt mm n5?n8 P^''^^ *iyn»H ns?^ 

♦ . /'ni^mr\ '^n'lmv 'pS// nsroiyii o:i^m in pD no nyi fK 08i tD8 
— p:^**! nyi pJT nn8'7 ^3^8^ ')V^^^'i T^^^ n5:a'''»n n ps in8» oya'^K 
itz;n 8 ps p:^'*^ nyi D**:! pk o8"7 mn inn d8::^ n8s n5t:; ijrDoojrn nyt 
pD pbn 8 V^^ T'»K 08^ !p:^'':i iSDD8itD5;::^onK pv rx 08i /Dm 
t38n n5? 0811 nntz^a n^?! po ,108^1:^8^ t)^yii n D8n t)8A lob^rii d'^/d ,pA'»3 

• ♦..TK px t08Wiin8 

IV lyT ty:^aiTy:\ D8n '»it8 Jnby;^ bt2? k^'t^s n Di^n '»it8 px 

0118 Pnutz; 8 t)''^ r^ai** nyDny3'>itr;^5?22 8 Dp8nyn5?a'»K tD8n ^i^"*^ ^V^ 
'n^'^im t^^niian-rT'n pi< iy^ip5?:ir_n8 t^k ny n5?:^5?it3 8 — n^y"? ''t 
na^t^'»"t2;8n py*? ^"'to p^^m tD'»na '?p'»t)tr; 8 tD-j^ r'^^ *?d^^ 8 Dbyotr? 
px "ipy na''t2;'>-t2?8i D5?t ^P't:^ "^W^o 'i// jm8TS?:\ 'rip 28i:x 8 »•»» pK 
T'K 'pyii nyDyst:?// jinyAyAiu: ,pnay^'>:\o"'n8 ^P^^ .o^mynyi-'K in mn 

"!'?o'»t2? lyi 183 ly^ip 

,y'>a8?!5n8n nyDy'?t)y:\ in ps ,'?ip-iy::iyntD P8i:^ oy^ l^n ,0^8 
yom:^ n pn:isy'?tr;D83 'T"»x px ]n">iny:\9'»iK nyw nS'»ti:;^-tr?8*i 'lyi in t38n 

♦tti:?8ii in ni'»3 dix iyAa83iyM:2 ,^^vtiXi; 

228 Cabbalists 

He continued his discourse while walking, but with less fervor 
than before, and the pupil, glued to his seat, followed Reb Yekel 
with keen ears and burning dreamy eyes. 

"Alas!" continued the teacher with a sad voice, "I am not deemed 
worthy of comprehending even at what stage this takes place or at 
what gate on the way to heaven! You see," he added with a smile, 
'1 know the flagellations and the purifications that are necessary 
for this purpose and I may perhaps hand this knowledge down to 
you today." 

The eyes of the pupil almost jumped out of his head, he opened 
his mouth to swallow every word. The teacher broke off, however, 
in order to wash his hands for the meal. Then, after wiping his 
hands and saying the proper prayer, he went back to the table and 
pronounced with trembling lips the blessing over the bread. 

With quivering lean hands he lifted the steaming bowl; the 
warm vapor circled about his bony face. Then he put down the 
bowl, he took the spoon in his right hand, and warmed his left hand 
at the edge of the bowl. Meanwhile, he crushed with his tongue 
against his toothless gums the bit of salted bread over which he had 
made the blessing. 

Having warmed his face with his hands, he wrinkled his brow, 
drew back his thin blue lips, and began to blow on the cereal. 

Throughout all this time the pupil had not once taken his eyes 
off his teacher but, when the latter's trembling lips ran to meet the 
first spoonful of cereal, a sudden pang seized his heart; he covered 
his face with both hands and drew back into himself. 

A few minutes later another lad came in with another bowl of 
cereal and bread: 

"Reb Yosef is sending breakfast for the pupil!" 

The youth, however, did not remove his hands from his face. 

The teacher put down his spoon and walked over to his disciple. 
He looked at him for a time with pride and love, and then he touched 
him gently on the shoulder. 

"They brought you something to eat," he roused the immovable 
figure with a friendly voice. Sadly and slowly the pupil removed his 
hands from his face; the face had become still paler and the sunken 
eyes burned still more wildly. 

"I know, teacher," he answered, "but I won't eat today!" 

"The fourth fast- day?" asked Reb Yekel in ama:^ement. "And 
without me?" he added pretentiously. 

n^^aipa 229 

p^5?ii r^ iVK 0^1 nrm 8 nsD o^ii r^ ^r-'t n :kW}:i tot^^:i h'^dt "'i 
n D'»D D'»sn''o n ^^D'^'^^t^? K D'^D IS riti; ny ton ,dd^t itj^ip oi$t nytz; 

!py:\nyn'»K mi^n 
i2t ^'»i» 0^*7 ]d;s t>'?8n iy ;0''iK triK n ly^t:; ]yi? r^'pn ayi 

ypmyD^'X D'^tt ,DD8» ]iK tr?*»D ms pm22 tD"'"':^ /'U'^^T iKt?// d:\8t ^^:iyn 
yi8B n ♦'?o^tr; n nymiK iy on'^'^n D:i5?n yn^T ypmyD-'^s to'>^ 

y*?8:ji n 18 ^^1^ "iV^ ^^^ ^^ t3ti?Dyiipyx i^iiyi .bow pS i:ixn r^ tja^n 

Dyi pK pistot:^ 15? Dt2;D"''»:jp ,t);i5?n n d''/0 d'^^b ot$i t^^ynKnyr^i^ 

!TT8'?a 18 Dn^'M *|ix TS'''? yi8T ys'^^i"^?^^^! ''"t ^y;D8n^s d*»x ^i^tDti^ 

|t)t!;i5; oyi iD8'?5?:^3:^yp8 t-'X 'p'^i^ pnnyD'»x ornn q^t nytr?n px ♦dt^'?^:^ 

.p''ixy:\rj?>? )tm V^ r^ ^^^ P5« ^^V^ ^"^''^ ^'^ Q'^s ^^"^ 
bo"^^ K 1^:1 tD'»;D r^^T* K 1^:1 ly^ipy^r-nK ?•>« Din^ Dir;^ n^s 8 ri« 

,bopH Dy-T Dnny:^38 r^ 3?*?^ *i5?T TK o^^n n t3^\ny^rj?x iy 
."^ip ly'p-Trj-iS 8 to''^ Qn< ny Dpyii ,ioy tDSKnny:^ nn D^n ly^ — 

l^r^n iriK 57ay:!i8'?^5?5inyD:nK n px m'^m nyoK^s i^p t-'i^ D'^as d^i pi^ 
imnn toy t)t2?'»2 '^yii T'K it$i nv tonysDiy rnn ^o^^m T'K — 

♦J7''0ayDJ?1S 8 t3^^ 122 nj? ton ?'T'^ ]^ pX — 

230 Cabbalists 

"It's a different kind of fast It's a fast of repentence." 

'What are you talking about? You — and a fast of repentence?" 

"Yes, teacher, a fast of repentence A moment ago, when you 

began to eat, a thought flashed through me... to sin against the 

commandment: *Thou shalt not covet!*" 

Late that very night, the pupil woke his teacher. Both had been 
sleeping opposite each other on benches in the House of Learning. 

"Teacher — teacher!" he called in a weak voice. 

"What's the matter?" the teacher jumped up frightened. 

"I was just now in the highest gradation. . . .'* - 

"How so" asked the teacher, still somewhat drowsy. 

"It sang within me!" 

The teacher sat up: 

"How so? How so?" 

"I don't understand it myself, teacher," the pupil replied in an 
even weaker voice. "Unable to sleep, I brooded over your discourse. 
I wanted, above all, to know the melody. In my great pain at not 
knowing the melody, I began to cry . . . everything in me cried; all 
my limbs cried to the Creator of the Universe! 

"At the same time, I practiced the prayers of purification that 
you handed down to me ... a strange phenomenon: die prayers came 
not from my mouth but from somewhere inside of me . . . beyond 
the control of my own will! Suddenly, everything became so bright 

in me I closed my eyes and nevertheless I felt light, bright light, 

lustrous light within me!" 

"Yes!" said the teacher bending over him. 

"Then, from all this brightness, I felt so good, so light, as though 
I were without mass, as though my body lost all its weight and 
I could fly." 

•Yes! Yes!" 

"Then I became cheerful, lively, full of laughter. My face re- 
mained immovable, my lips did not stir, and none the less I laughed... 
I laughed so pleasantly, so heartily, so joyfully." 

'Yes, yes, yes, in supreme exultation!" 

"Then something in me began to himi, it hummed like the 
beginning of a melody." 

The teacher jumped down from his bench and suddenly stood 
beside the pupil. 

D^>2lpa 231 

ta'>iny:^:i? Vi^n n-'K tsni nyns y^n ^ . - niitr;n-n''a5rn » ran ^^'^ — 

m^nn k^ t>ik r-2T ix i5i3? ♦♦nini\T s D8n$?A t»k s^n ,105; 

♦1p;$wij?T DS835?^s^iK nn'»t2?*>-t2?sn i)^i T»t Disin ?rK ois'^t — 

ny^siiti^ 8 w t)'>» T»D'?n iy*7 D^n /'»n .tou?**! r'>'?8 D*»ni t'k— 
rx oS-'DiSQ T»)3 T»K n^n /iSij'i'tz; Dw$r:\ Dtr?"':i n^n t^ ,DnsrQD:i5?5rA ^ip 

D^n oy /..tyi^ni p'^inpa^ iwa oyr to^'^i lyp t»k o^ii ny^: o'»n:^ igs 
!D^iy '^y 1:11=11 nSQ Dmiyji fa^n Dnnx y'?8 jtomiy^ ybv; Tn r^ 
-ynya'»K *T»?a D^n i*»k d^h .d^siis n dd^?^^^ T'K s^n r?myT 
lis ... p'»a'»''iiyi">K oysy 18^ ,^'»i;3 id'»» otz^u n^t yDy'pnyiiin 8 - ♦ py:^ 

...!P'»DD'»b piSDti? njrn /P'»dd'»'? ly^n ,p'»dd'»'? lyiw i'»)!d pk oy pK 
.nn'»t:;^"ti?8i nyi ix in m"*"*! !D8 — 
oy •..DD!?'? ''ITS /tsn ''ITS toD**^ oyT pfl H^iiyji t;3 pk i^nyn •—^bs typ TK T8 

D'»3B o^T - * p'*i:i:iiii .pnyay'? ^p^Doi"? n«w:^ 1^^ r^ l^^iyt — 
. . . »D8'?y3^ 18T a^n i'»x pK /Dtr;'»i i^iK |9'»'? n ,Diny:i tDtr;u n"'a in Djjn 
•DD^^yA pnnm nts .p'^s^nsn '»it8 ,di:\ '»n8 .ton ^n^ pK 
mm'^ii; 1in?a !D8 id^ itD^f — 
riV3 8 tiS n-'MJij; 18 '»ii /DanayDi •t*^ rn oysy D^n i^anyi — 

.... DanayA 

*?«» 8 tD^» T'»x 11K pi8a r-?T pD iy:^3nstr;y:iS8i8 t'»k na'»trr'»-ti^8i *iyi 

— :T»tt^n Di^a lyiiyji 

232 Cabbalists 

"Well? Well?" 

"Then I heard, how it began to sing inside of me." 

"What did you feel? What? What? Tell me!" 

"I felt that all my senses were closed and shut tight, and some- 
thing inside of me was singing ... as a melody should be sung, but 
without words, just so " 

"But how? But how?" 

"No, I cannot I knew it before . . . then the singing turned 

into . . . turned into " 

"Turned into what? What?" 

"Into a sort of playing, as though there were a violin inside of 
me as though Yone, the musician, were sitting inside of me and 
playing melodies at the Rabbi's table! The playing was, however, 
much better, much nobler, with still more spirit, and all this without 
a voice, without the trace of a voice — pure spirit! ..." 

"Blessed art thou! Blessed thou! Blessed!" 

"Now it's all gone," said the pupil sadly, "my senses have again 
opened up and I am so tired, so very tired, so-o ti-ired, that I. . . ." 

"Teacher," he suddenly exclaimed, clutching at his heart, "teacher, 
say the last Confession with me! I am being called. Among the 
Heavenly Host another chorister is needed! An angel with white 
wings! . . . Teacher! Teacher! Shma Yisroel, Hear O Israel, Shma- 
a-aYis • ^ .^' 

The entire city, every individual in it, wished for such a death 
for himself. The teacher, however, felt that this kind of death was 
still inadequate. 

"A few more fast-days," he sighed sadly, "and he would have 
died still better, being kissed by God!" 

D"'^aipa 233 

♦ . ♦ ♦ U . ♦ ♦ U — 
i]vyvi )T^nvm "T*^ V^ tj^n 05? ^11 ,Di3;ny::^ T'k nisn iKjns;! 

DyiiD T'»K i^nn . ♦ . ddito:^ T'K si^n lyns * ♦ . tot:^''! typ T'K ,r'': — 

• w ♦ ! nrinn 5? » 8 — '?ip Dit:? 8 18 '^iP 8 18 r'?8 P^ mrami is??:^ 18^1 
in ]n8n oy tv^bn i^t pny'iiD dd8^ Jpyn8 ?^8 t^'K ^:ii2it — 

! . ♦ ♦ T)S ♦ ♦ ♦ •'ITS /TJD •'ITS n''?^ •'ITS V2 T'K pK /D-'tZ^in ^'l m§^n pm^J l''^^ 

jn8n nn2 pn:is83:i8 T't /Iid^a -jnt^^^A 8 DS?t:s8i ny tD8n — •»m — 

rai i-'an ♦ . . !'?3i">'?q yoini to-'iD ik'?;d 8 iD'^ysiss '?ny:^rT 8 n^y^ b^ K-'biDS 

i8:i 'tD'^iD 8T8 itr?DiiTO:^ in t)8n tz^D^yja r^JX ''n ^D^Dt^; yxi8A 08^ 

♦p'^rni i8:i v^ ^n"»t^;'»■t2;8'^ n8& 
rnp'»tr?ia// tmst^tr^y:^ V^^ "ly t^'^Si'i '"iv tJSSDyip ,a'»n''ayr) i8S 8 18^1 


You would like to hear a melody of Talne? 

Perhaps you think it's a trifling matter; a person has merely to 
take a melody of the Sabbath's closing feast and sing it? But it isn't 
as simple as you think. 

A Talne-melody must be sung by a large group. Community 
singing alone can do justice to it. 

You want to join in singing it? No, friends, a Talne-melody 
can't be sung with the help of Polish Hassidim! 

You have no idea, not the slightest conception, of music! 

I am quite familiar with your musicians, your cantors. You call 
it playing, I call it screeching; and when you sing, you sound like 
chickens being slaughtered. The religious melodies emerge from 
your throats so strange and wild. As for your marches and dance- 
rhythms, they are even more savage than your manners and your 
gestures. You call this music Hassidic! Well, we had Hassidim of 
a different sort! 

Where do our melodies come from? Perhaps we inherited them; 
perhaps they are native to our district. In our district of Kiev, there 
isn't a house without a violin. A respectable child or, to use the 
expression more common among us, a father's child must have a 
fiddle, he must be able to play. 

You want to know how many men live in a house? You merely 
have to look at the walls! The number of fiddles hanging there 
tells you the number of men. 

All play: the grandfather plays, the father plays, the son plays. 

It's a pity, however, that each generation plays its own tunes, 
each plays differently, each has its own peculiar style. 

The old grandfather plays Sinai-melodies or such synagogual 
chants as Kol-Nidre, Shoshanas-Yakov, Gdi-Kshur-Yodaim, ^tc. The 
father, an adherent of Hassidism, likes to go all out on the strings 
in the good old Jewish style. The son, in turn, plays from notes, 
plays musical selections from the theatrical repertoire. The melody 
varies with each generation. 

nn DD^T ojr '»'n ^it8 otr^^^a nyn^ t^k 05? !i5?:\inD8a fiK nniyo 
!lS?^:n D^K Titt man ,ds ana ns^ii iyA:nT5?:i ti^ ]wi lyi'rsD nyi 
Qn'»on yti:?^'?''is ]i§ n'?\n nyi d-^^d nynna ,r:i n-'K tD'?'»'n i§'?5?m5?DiiK 

mr^i !•»« n^rn'' ]"p ,nmi pp n^^i tD^n n^x 

Dtr;^a /in D'?s»n:i oy !D"'aTn yny!?K ,DnDT-'»'?3 )^it^h i^t lyn t»k 
n ib"»Q8 nyiyn 5?to^'?^ipy:\ •'n i2}k ^•'k uom i5;:^an Di^n px ,Db''Su^ oy 
5;irJK /It2^i8a 5?-)S?i^K im . ♦ ♦ -T^''irn:nt:?jD onis t-'k 122 i^iDii? D''in^a-''a"»o 
,d:\8^ 't»k mpnyn pK myun ny^-^K "''n ns?i^*»ii 1^:1 t57:iyt "t ?iy^p8T8P 
. ♦ ♦ iWTon ^mi8 t5?:i3?T n:iK 122 ♦ ♦ ♦ iniT'on fK 05? 

ntirsK pK ntr;n'»a pit^ oy DXiip nt2;QK ?nr:\a p^n n •» ^ iyi8ii ps 

lyby-T^s 8 18 ^''^ PK T'»K Daw i^iiy?? nymiK pK 

01D80 8 i]m^p yay pK d:\8t 15?^ ^n 'iyi8 t^''P t^^'^nan-'ryn 8 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ l'?'»si;:; lS?ayp n;^ ,j?'?yT»D 8 P8n nzD /•n"»p 8 

n T>iK Dpip ?mi3t2; 8 122 nyny;^ 05? di5'?o:8» '?s'»ii ,to'>ii d'?'*!! T'K 

. . ♦ ♦ pT ny-T 

.tr?iyn38 D'?'»str; ,orj?T in t)'?'»Qt2; nn ms?'' D81i n^'^ 8 18^ ^''K os? 

nyniiT8a vb-^Qii; 

8 :p8T ytr?"»am •'IT8 iyT8 D'»:ir:i-''ro D'?'»st:; yrn iyD'?8 "is^t 

/lyDinvpT lyn nyr'»Dt:; itr;np-Dn 8 pK I^t D^'»:^ys /t2;t3i5?tt n5?t:;n"»on 8 
nyD8ytD ps 18^ P'Jt^ D'?'>st2; t^tt iiD8i ps T»itrr tDb"»st2? 

!p:i^a nyi f»K ^iT8 /in i5?T •'11 'n8 

236 Migrations of a Melody 

What do Hassidim do, when they have no whiskey? They talk 
about whiskey. To sing alone, without group accompaniment, with- 
out the inspiration of community participation, is impossible; there- 
fore, let us talk about music. 

Music, as you know, is really something great. All of Talne used 
to look forward all week to the Mlave-MalkCf and the essence of 
the Mlave-Malke was its characteristic melody. 

Everything depends on who sings and what he sings. 
With the identical bricks you can build either a synagogue or 
a monastery, a palace or a prison, even a poorhouse. With the same 
letters of the alphabet, you write, on the one hand, the mystic words 
of Holy Writ and, on the other hand, the greatest blasphemies. 

With the very same sounds you can ascend to the highest stage 
of religious fervor and commune with God but you can also descend 
to the deepest pool of hell and wallow there like a worm in the 

A letter — is what is read; a melody — is what is sung. 

To illustrate, just take a happy, catchy tune, known as a Freilachs. 
This can be sung at a Talne Mlave-Malke on the night of that 
Sabbath which commemorates Israel's liberation from ancient Egypt 
— a happy occasion, bringing to mind acts of piety and deeds of 
goodness; and the same catchy tune can also express the joy of a 
lawless bird in a boundless world! 

A melody burns, aflame with love, drenched with love; but 
ah! love has many gradations: there is, on the one hand, love of 
God, love of the universe, love of Israel, and, on the other hand, 
love of self and love (God forbid) of another man's wife. 

A melody wails, a melody weeps, but it may be, in the one case, 
a wailing on account of the serpent and the lost paradise, and, in the 
other case, a weeping over the destruction of the Temple and the 
exile of the Divine Presence from the Holy of Holies, or else a weep- 
ing over our Jewish poverty and degradation. "'See, Lord, the state 
to which we have been reduced," laments one melody, while another 
melody laments that a beautiful woman is unwon. 

There is a melody full of longing; but what is the object of its 
longing? In one case, a soul longs to return to its divine source, and 
in the other case, a toothless old dog longs for vanished youth and 
the evil passions of years gone by. 

lira X 111 ^ir^^'-ii ^ 237 

nS l^lD D 7 S? 1 ?|SaS'in '?0"'S ^ Db5?D OS? T^ ^U'^TOn W^ DISH — 

lyia js?p ,a^i^ lis ins 8 1^ ,ninn t^ ,rb8 n^r-'K ty^rr ♦..itsisin 

. . ♦ ♦ nr:^:i ps I n jr i n"'J3 t^yn ;Dt:r"»a 

rs'^^s ^ nyDD'»i'?p s pK '?itz; 8 i^^Dti? J5?^ i5?P ^a-'SJ y^yr'^K n d**^ 

!t2;"tpn a: "18^ pi< rHC^M 8 PK 

osjiT ,'?nDnb ,]iK minn nnio 1^?^ tonintz; m^niK y^yp-'K n D'^a 
-0D5?n nyi 122 T'ng ly^ lyp ni^ip ium'^'^H n d^^d pk !niDnp''i3s: 5?dd5?i:\ 
n^nnn '?iKt2;' i^n Bi^i^ lyp is?^:> pK ,-nipni pH nnn^nn ps nm^ i5;d 
ivm^'^ V^ Dyi^ii 8 •'11 Di^T in ns?^'?^*!'^ PH 
JD"'^ DJirt i^D ''ii pri e: joy Day^^^ 1^^ ''11 — bimn » 

j;pnm''ti;-nntz; nya^ijD » pj?T oy typ j'^oD^^p^ns// i^ "p^^"? dds?: 
n pJT i3?p oy pK jD*»5iD"a*'t2;s?a pK nii2S"»D ps nn?2"»t:; ^ — n:3^^-nn'?^ 
iD'pyinpsn 8 PK bns ay:yD5$b5?^D'»iH m Ps Tns 

t3i;2 -ly v^ Dp''niy:\o"'iK — "nans ri22i iDin./ ypiniD ,D:i5?nn pri ij 

ts-'iK ,tz;m |D''i^ m*»''ii i^^r-'K n^i ^Drni p:^"^^ k ,in d^jj^p ii:^^^ s 
-n'^n innin ^m .nrDtzrn ni^:^ tik — is;D*'ni2r ^ ;n5r"P D$?:i$?n'»ibn>j:s 
iy mu^p ♦♦♦''unrw hki// ♦ ♦ . ! ni'?D'»tr pK ni^T ^^iiim tix ,t2;^p'>^^ 
n^Dns'» K PK i^5?^5? ti? /DPni p:\*'i ^ i^: p^ ..*ppi lyi ,tt 

ny Dpiya o^ii 12 n;$a jDS8ti?p::yn d^;d ^i§ p:^''^^? 15?^kiks t-^k ojr 
nyob^ m 'op^V^ oy pH ,t2;nit:; vh, 12 pniis n»ii:;:i 8 Dpaya oy ?pra 15?^ 

!y*inn:ii:'' p:iT» p^^ n^^ 5?A:ir 122 r^2r t^ s"?:) 

238 Migrations of a Melody 

Take, for instance, the song: 

Red Dovidl once lived in Vasilkov, in Vasilkov, 
And now he lives in Talne; 
Red Dovidl, Reb Dovidl once lived in Vasilkov, 
And now he lives in Talne! 

Singers of Talne intone this song and so do singers of Vasilkov. 
When those of Talne sing it, it is a real happy Freilachs. It pours 
out in glee, it is aflame with joy. But when those of Vasilkov attempt 
it, the same melody is imbued with pain and saturated with melan- 
choly. The difference is caused by the kind of soul that the singer 
incorporates in the melody. 

A melody, as you doubtless know, is a sum of sounds or, as others 
say, a totality of tones. 

The sounds or tones are derived from nature. A person does not 
invent them. In nature there is no lack of sounds. Every objea has 
its own sound, its characteristic tone, sometimes even an entire melody. 

There \s a tradition about the harmony of the spheres. Ever- 
lastingly day sings unto day and night unto night. People and birds 
sing. Animals, wild and domestic, find utterance in song. A stone 
makes a sound as it strikes another stone, metals resound, running 
water is not silent, and what a variety in the tones of a forest! 
A forest needs but the slightest breeze to sing as quietly and as 
sweetly as a Wallachian melody. Furthermore, does not the onrush- 
ing locomotive, that monster with the red flaming eye, intoxicate 
us with its wild song? Not even the silent fish are wholly silent. 
In an old book I read that certain fish produce a musical soimd: 
they swim to the shore at times, beat with their tails on the sand 
or on a stone, and rejoice at the sound. 

Are nature's tones few? If only there were an ear to catch them 
all as in a net, to soak itself full of them as a sponge soaks itself 
full of water! 

Tones alone do not, however, make a melody. A heap of bricks 
is not yet a house. Tones are the body of a melody. The soul is still 
lacking. And the soul of a melody comes from some emotion of a 
himian being, such as love, anger, pity, vengeance, longing, remorse, 
sorrow. In short, everything a person feels can be embodied in a 
melody — and a melody lives. 

pri s ps '?^^y^y k 239 

T)Kp>''DKn pK — n^pb^DKii r» omiyj tt^n bin n 

t)'»:^ ]V^ 0^11 n?D!2;a nyn r>^ oy TT oiiyii n^yn pK !nnint2?-ni» 

♦ ♦♦!pA'>a pK 11^ IS 

ny35?tD •— PST 
nsrrv T^'K ''n j5?nD i$?t p5 ii?^ to^ajri *i5;ayD n njris ^'J'?'^? ''"^ 
pt ,'?i? K D^n r'?^ .ni^ip pv tDU?''! D^srS y5tD ny-r pK pK /ts?nnD t)tr;"»i 

!p:i'»a l^is:^ S nS2i tDtr;'':! a-^ix ,:\3S^p D5;ayr'»K 

niiDnni npn ,iwt ^p'^d pk ]t2?Dij?;D ♦♦♦i»t nm ]2t$n ^..nb'^b^ nb'^b 
05? TS njrosii ♦ ♦ . t):\r'?p b^^v^ ^m^^p v^'^ S IS V"^^ S . - ni-'tr? psT 
IST ny m:i''T ,'?t)rn ]tooa5?'?P Q^-^s nVsi*» S torjn jotr?^: oy mn^w ,t3Q'»i'? 
nyi-»T»n n — bm"? isa n pK ny^s^*i ton ,]b'>m ^inm is /ny'?s'^i'' 8 
TX D-'D Dtr?'^:! n Di'»it)Kn .dq-'i'? n ts /P''1K 3?pniy»s'?s-D'»'n n d-^d 
T'lK tn-'A ,t5?TyA nsD t)^s IS rx T« ^sn ^t:;''^ y^aiDt:^ n i^'^ss ?:^iSTy:^ 
p§ t$?;2''W nso pK D^^Dtz; r^-^^ ^''•'D ♦nriia ^ip s T'T ?is o*»ns 'i'S^ S 
pK p^'Dtz; s T1K 'i^ST r« 1P$? ''T D-^^ ]B^bp ,^v^2 D1X i:s tDi^x iij: t)r?x 

-D-^ix m^ip •'T 'rsT 03? nr'iH ]s PSn is^i n^S^ 13?^ ^ni'^ip p-^rni 

iDsntz; s ''•II isstrJK ,ry^ S •''^T 1SS3 
!Dt2;'»:i p:\"»a t^^p is:i t''K p'^'rs ^y^^srt: pS 1^2 
!Pin pv Dt2?''a 1S5 PK '?:\'»2: '[9''in s 
in^m s 1S^ Ti»T ^V ni:^'':^ pS nn ny-T Dtr;^y !•»« ost 
,t)SSt:^ai'''? r-'t jt2;tDiyD s po '?''Q5?:^ S T'ltr; ?•»« pri s pS nj3t27:i n pK 
^i,j5 ,yi;j5 _ -^yx ,ntoin ^tz^-'iypiyn-nsn .n;3pa ,D'>''p'»'?5?TDi^b ,nS22 ]i^t 
.Dnv^ pra n$?i px ,pri s TK p5?:^r_ns ^y tS? t)'?''^ ti^Dayja s osii 

240 Migrations of a Melody 

I believe that whatever imparts life must itself be alive. 

I insist that if a melody fills me with zest for life, if it gives 
me new vitality, a new soul — then a melody lives! 

As proof, take a melody and cut it up, sing it upside down, start 
with the middle and then continue with the beginning and the end, 
well, do you still have a melody? You have the sum of all the 
sounds; there is not a single tone missing; but the soul of the melody 
is gone. You have killed a living white dove and beneath your knife 
the soul has vanished. The melody has died, only its corpse is left! 

In Talne, it is as clear as daylight that a melody lives! 

A melody lives, a melody dies, a melody is forgotten, just as 
an interred person is forgotten. 

Once the melody was young and fresh, bubbling over with life, 
but in the course of time it became feeble and aged. Its heyday 
was over and its strength departed. It became sick and senile. Then 
somewhere it breathed its last breath and the earth knew it no more. 

A melody can, however, experience resurrection. 

Suddenly someone happens to recall an old melody, suddenly it 
swims into his consciousness and breaks forth from his lips. Involun- 
tarily, new feeling is put into it and it lives as almost a new 
melody. . . . This can be called a reincarnation of a melody. 

Perhaps you don't grasp my meaning. How am I to convey to 
a blind person what light is? 

Let me try. You like stories and so I'll tell you a story about 
a reincarnation of a melody. Listen! 

About fifteen miles past Berditchev, just beyond the forest, there 
is a little town called Machnovke. In this town there was once a 
fairly good band of music. The conductor of the band, Reb Chaiml, 
was an excellent musician, a pupil of the great Pedozur of Ber^ 
ditchev. Reb Chaiml himself did not create melodies; he was not 
a composer, but he could take the compositions of others, interpret 

]iri 8 pfi '?'\7.y>:k ^ 241 

ir"''?^? Dnj?"? ,nvn ^ int^n 

Di^n ,u /«iiD iD'»^ n'pnnn n D::^in i;s:n^*7 pK d-'d n o'^nj? i^ns i:}B^o 
i^np'^'^r^iA rv T-^x D'?yD Djr ,ni^ip jrb^j n-'K Dijn b3n-io^ ^P^''^ s^ ^''^ 

!p:^'»i 8 ps pDnn 8 ,n^ ^ p^ii^rA t^k oy 
!Div^ P^"*^ 8 T^ ,tr;^ti?3 inn vh ya'pKD pK 

'>n pri 8 toDirnsD •[y;^ pK ;Dm8Dt:? p:\'':i ^ pK ,Dnyb pp: ^ pK 

nsypitr? ij DDy:ii;{i;£i iy;D 

^^n pyb ir^ns D''^ ipa**! lyi /lyiiy:^ "p^d s iy v^ ti;nD pK :;ai'' 
-sij tDijn iy /n^ny:^ DDi^iitz^y^s? ^5? tk d!:?:!^ nyi d'>;d ♦ ♦ ♦ Disnsii?^:^ ny 
PK '?Dnris5? ♦ ♦ , iy:i28Wo^iH d'^k ly^yt mms n pK Dr:^ pjt Dny'^yii 
ryny pK DDi*? lyi pK pjns i^in nyD22yb pjT PK i^nyi ♦ ♦ ♦ n^iiJ?^ "ly 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ! lii'^Ki — ii^^m Dp'>Dti^n;t?s 

is; pjns Q'^K pK lytt t)P'»'? pn:ib''ii Dt^;'': ♦ ♦ ♦ ^8'^8 '^'i^ t'^s T^ toor?-i pK 
♦ • ♦ ♦ Dns?'? pra lym 8 Dy;DS pK ,nDti:?a yi^i 8 '^''syA i?: 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ p:i''Ji 8 P^ ^i:^bn 8 piti:^ ^k d^t 

l'?^^22ny*T T~^K T'K ^yii ri'*'? 18^ "T'K D8n nrt2?y;D ?D811 T'K dd^-'II 

jDiyn ♦♦♦pri 8 ps '?''^^'»^ 8 1W1 nt2;y^ 8 

8 iyi8i8s t'»K n'?8ii P8^ ^^8:3 /Hytr^Dn'iyn ny^aiK '^rj^D T's-im 
T^vmp ypnnu?pt2;'':i 8 lyny^ t-'K ypn8^S8^ oy*^ PK pk ;ypri8^D8?:3 b^i;im 
PK nyi ,io*'%ny3i ny tD8n '?D'''»n n nyny^n ptr?Kirtr'8n nyi "i^^ n^t-'^s 
nyi ♦T;D'?n 8 oiynyu^tomyn ni^sms — D:8pma 8 ps nnn 8 tynp 
Dtr?^a T'»K ny :t)0'>'>n 08"r /DUira ps ti^nn^ p'»p lynyr^ tJti^-'a pk b^D'^'^n n 
t2;;D?D ,tti?DOT*i8§ T^^^ Q'5^^^ '18T 8 n''SO''iK 18^ n8t3n83tt8P P**'? ]5?iiy:^ 

242 Migrations of a Melody 

them, elaborate on them, put feeling into them. Therein lay his 
musical talent. 

Chaiml was a lean and unimpressive figure. But, when he began 
to play, he was suddenly transformed; the lowered eyebrows were 
raised slowly, the quiet deep eyes radiated a halo of pity over the 
entire face. It was obvious that he was no longer in this world 
and that, while his hands were playing of their own accord, his soul 
was winging ever higher and higher in the world of song. Often 
he would forget himself and begin to sing, and his voice was like 
that of a clarinet, so clear, so pure. 

If Chaiml had not been a simple pious Jew, almost a simpleton, 
he would not have suffered privations with his eight children in 
Machnovka. He would have played or sung in some theatre, he 
might even have been by now chief cantor in Berlin or Paris. 
Berditchev produces quite a few people of this type, however, people 
like Chaim Simpleton who stay at home and are dependent on the 
credit which the local storekeepers allow them month after month, 
advances to be repaid from some profitable wedding somewhere 
at some time. 

Well, one day a really rich wedding was in prospect. The richest 
in Machnovka. At the house of Berl Katzner's widow. 

Berl Katzner himself — ^his spirit may come in a dream to strangle 
me for these words — was a great usurer and a still greater miser. 
He was even too miserly to eat a decent meal but would go about 
and pick up the crumbs left over by the children. Moreover, the 
man had a heart of iron. 

Before his death, almost in the very agony of dying, he called 
his oldest son to his side, had the account books brought over, and 
pointed out, with a finger already turning brown and blue, what 
installment was still unpaid. He then admonished his heir: "You 
must under no circumstances allow additional time for this payment. 
Do you hear? By the obedience you owe to a father, I forbid you!*' 

Then he called over his wife and told her to hide the copper 
utensils hanging on the walls. "Once I close my eyes," he said, 
"everything will be gone with the wind." With these words, his soul 
took its flight. 

He left half a million! 

His widow, as I mentioned, was about to marry off her daughter 
aijd wanted to do so in a hurry, because she herself was thinking 

]^y^l i? PD !?iat>^a s 243 

mi5:\ lin ritz; toijin ovi pK jDanjpyA ny ts^n o^-r — fisn rx P"»''^iin8 

"y:^^^^^ P'^n^'^K n :t^;D2yj3 nyi:i8 t8 ^8^ n^iw D^rnji^s iy f'K /i^'^stz? 

D^n i^D ♦D-'as p8^n pyn^'i^ nu^nn pD pjti; yn^K ]8 i'?8SyA t'^k iriK 
/p''^^ l"?^©^ tDiyn y:i!2T nyr^^n r*'? du;'*: ny t^'k 11122 t8 mm lytyr^ 
♦ .♦m^nn Dbiy pK T^n ^T^n on^ n^i3? 13''^d ni^m n pK ,tt po 
D^n 'pip 8 PK ^T'lK mrt in''%n:8 PK ioyai8fl T'T is; dajt^q "p^^ b''»D 
♦ ♦♦♦pn '»iT8 pK 18"?? ''IT8 ,Ds?n8^p 8 — mnv^ iy 
,Dr) 8 toy^a ,!?•» iyDit:;s n^^iis t^-'p wm Dt2;'»2 ^D^'^n 15;-? d^8^i 
t)b8'^i ^^ ,Vpii8^S8^ pJ< iy'?i5?"T:i'^P tDD8 t^"*^ Dbynps?:^ Dtz;''^ in -15^ d^8''1 
-y:\ pn"i8P it2;sK pK nyDsyo 8 PK |57:\iit5;:^ i^it^ t3'?">str5;:\ rs^^iy pitr; 
in pD D*'n8 pit:^ d'':i D!5b y 1 m r 8 ^8^ ♦ - tn8s ^22 p'pis?:! 8 PK PS'i'^ 
PK :^a8^ n''ti?'7n mit$:i, pK D''\n lyi pK in Di^n Din '?^'»''n .iiytr^Dniyn 
18T TiD 0811 minn yt:;'»r)nn-'?57^ 8 ps P^ti^n "?$? lybn'^yiwrjetz; y'?8 

!|in '?8» 8 
lys nn2 px !nainn 5?ti:;n''n:\ 8 dd8^s?:^ Dpais in D8n obswT pK 

♦ni^'?8 Diy:x8P '^ly:! i^s .ypii8i38^ ps 
-)yo'>n^ 8 P?ny:^ T-'K ,pr^ip i''^ nv '?8t i:^i37ii /p''^8 •iy:i2:8P 'pnyn 
Dt2;*»a in ns? D8n p_n8 ^''i^ V^ n^n^oyiri 8 W — I^^P 8 .p^^'iy^S'Ji 
Diyirp n 18:1 iy^ypt2;np pi^'pp pn p'':^Dn8 ^^V"?^ *i3? .*.]57:im8s 
it:;D:iyD is?t mTiV^ ^5? to8n p8n nyTr?^ i8 -♦py 
,pT pDto^j? D3?T 122 IS? tosn ^nco:^ i5?i p**^ px Dy^s /D'^id p8s 
nyr^a'^Q 15?8'?^"57^8'?^ 8 to-'D ]8 torjii ]ik nyD-^n n iw8'?'is?'t in DO'^-'n 
iDi^tr^ron ny DJi8t /pni8'?8^S'/ P^ J^t38i PV 0^8^28:1 toti;'*^ t^k oy 111 

"!58"Tin'>3 mnn iDonyn 
nysip 08*1 p'?8n8::a to^ny:^ pK mm 08"t pnyAix iy i38n 18^^ 
r'78 T'^x nv u:\8T .^^^'iK 18 ^22 r^ 18»'' :t):i8^i nyT T'lx I5?:i28ny::^ m^ D811 
!0''n8 n;:)!!;: n d-'K t*'J( Dyi d'»» pK — "npsn 
!t8'''?''J2 P'?8n 8 yP8t3 iy t)8n DT8^ynya'»K 
,ix D'pi^K n pK ,na»'78 ''T t3D8» iyDS8t3 lyi niinn ,m8W '»n 
pD 38*18 'T'i< T'»x p-^Dtr? 8 ^in^tz; 8 nn P8'? T^'ii'J P'''?8 T'T 'p'^ii n ^ini 

244 Migrations of a Melody 

of a possible match in the near future. A stone had been lifted 
from her heart, she felt rejuvenated. 

Ghaiml, the musician, also had a daughter to marry off and he 
too was waiting for the announced wedding as for the coming of 
the Messiah. 

The widow, however, got an idea that she wanted to call in 
Pedozur from Berditchev. 

Why? There would be in-laws from Kiev, connoisseurs from 
Kiev; she, therefore, wanted a new El Mole Rachmim to be played 
at the wedding ceremony during the veiling of the bride, a new 
melody and not the hackneyed one. A wedding, which was to cost 
so much, would cost a litttle more — and may die guests from Kiev 
open eyes and ears! 

Chaiml almost died of chagrin! 

The entire city was up in arms. Chaiml was well-liked. Besides, 
everybody pitied him — such a poor Jew! A compromise was effected. 
According to its terms, Chaiml was to play with his band at the 
wedding, but beforehand he was to travel to Berditchev at the 
expense of the wealthy widow and was to gtt from Pedozur a new 
El Mole Rachmim, 

Chaiml took the few roubles, left the greater part for his wife 
and children, hired a wagon, and was on his way to Berditchev. 

And here the story of the migration of a melody begins. 

Isn't there a saying: poor men have no luck? Well, just as 
Chaiml drove into Berditchev at one end, Pedozur drove out of 
Berditchev at the other end. He had been invited to a Mlave-Malke 
at Talne. The Rabbi of Talne was an admirer of Pedozur and was 
wont to say of him: ''Divine mysteries are contained in Pedo2iir*s 
melodies. What a pity that he himself is unaware of them!" 

Chaiml ran about the streets perplexed and distraught. What 
was he to do now? He mustn't return home without an El Mole 
Rachmim — that was absolutely inconceivable. Nor could he con- 
tinue on to Talne nor even wait at Berditchev until Pedozur came 
back, because the sum at his disposal was limited. The wealthy 
widow had given him very little and of that little he had left the 
major portion with his wife. Naturally, he was now worried. 

At this critical moment, as he paced the streets, his attention 
was drawn to the following scene: 

lira X po "p^t^n X 245 

n 'r^n ,Q'»a'»5iD i5?ii5??P .D''inin» nyiiy?p P-'t i'?yii oy ?pn ntt^sa 

iW *ny"iiy?P ''T I'^iJT ii5< /iDOisjp iij::i 'rijT ,"?•»§ -^it^ do^p 05? masrt^^in 

-yA a"»^ ny'^n d-'K mn isrb ns^^ny:^ 8 )ir$'\m T'lx t^'X DijDti; r« 
ya ♦♦♦irni< in? it*' k tik m:i;ann j? dj^;'?^ t-'k 05? px ;i5?'?»''^n .Di^n 

/p^DSisji^i; in ny bi^T niinn lyt nxs n??:! ^y'bys^p nyi d'»d '?);3'''»n ypi^u 
-nyn rp in tDt^"? tm nis 8 D:^in •— ^yia^"? n to''^ mm oyi Ds'^yn 

tain pK ps '?;3*»''n Dn^Q J'^tZD tj^n t8^3?i8 18 '^VBV iy» tD:^8t "^n 
DM 18 tom myi58 1^7 PQ t3*i83 "Ji^sms px .iiyt^Dmyn pv pj?i8 
!ns'?^'-mi'?tt n-'iK yi'?8t3 pv tt3yain8S t3''« ly^ tj^n tip:ns3 myt:;Dniyi i^q 
nmo,/ ♦ni2rmB ps itabsny:^ p'l^m mn 'P'»ii i^k dp^ nv^"?^^ ny-r 
,18^ 8 •18^ t^^ oy !D'»ii3i'»:i yam t»k ]pv^Vu ^^^^ ny tjaybs /^nnnn 

//itjt2;"»a ^n DO'»ni |['»'»'?8 "ly ©8'^^ 

♦108:?^ •*"! pK iyD^oyAS8 18 ''ii t3n8 T'T D-^m ^»*''»n ,k'?''» 
tDtz;''! -iy n8t3 "Q^»m k*?^ bn,/ I8 18 n8s?2'''n8 ?pu ny '?8t 0811 
nxrns V2 1^1811 iy^8 y^^^t: p''p n83D8i Jpyp T*T tjyii tD^yn n — 
nT3A n mii^isin ytoasyiy^iD^iK mn iy — tat:^'':i "iy lyp /lyjaippm^i: toyii 
no 8 *iy t)8n mm DyT m8'?y:^nyi''« Pk pyw D8ii'"P''a^''iT n'*^^ t>8n 

ny2{ i'?''ii yp8t3 ny D8n 

jyayxo pD 8T8 08^ V^ iy ^ytiy^ nysi'?s 

246 Migrations of a Melody 

Picture to yourself a beautiful sunny weekday; a woman appears 
in the street, dressed in her Sabbath finery, or, to use the expression 
current in Berditchev, arrayed in honey and vinegar; on her head 
she wears a strange high hat with long, unusually long ribbons, the 
gaudiest ribbons imaginable; in her hand she holds a big, white, 
silver tray. 

The young woman is followed by a band of music. The musicians 
play and the woman skips along in dancing gait At times, she and 
the band stop in front of a house or a store and execute a dance 
on the spot. . . . The music lures the people of the entire neighbor- 
hood. Doors and windows are jammed with onlookers. 

The music plays. The young woman dances. The gay ribbons 
fly through the air. The tray glitters and glistens. The crowd shouts: 
"G>ngratulations! Good luck!" and throws coins in profusion. The 
young woman, dancing on, catches the coins in the tray. The coins 
sparkle and resound in unison with the rhythm. 

What does it all mean? Just an ordinary occurrence. Berditchev 
is a Jewish town. It has Jewish customs and this is its way of col- 
lecting a dowry for a poor bride. 

Chaiml was acquainted with this custom. He knew that the 
women made up their own dances and that Pedozur himself com- 
posed a new melody for each of these occasions. That was his con- 
tribution. People came to him, told him of the bride, of her family, 

of the match in prospect, of the poverty He would listen in 

silence, with closed eyes; often he would cover his face with his 
hands; and when the entire story had been told and silence pre- 
vailed, Pedozur would begin to hum a melody. . . 

Chaiml knew all this. Why then did he stand there with mouth 
agape and ears wide open? 

He had never before heard such a catchy tune, a Freilachs which 
laughed and wept at the same time, a melody filled with both pain 
and pleasure, a song in which sorrow and happiness were com- 
mingled and melted together, an epithalamium really fit for the 
wedding of an orphaned girl. 

Suddenly he leaped into the air: he had found what he needed. 

On the way home from Berditchev, the driver took on addi- 
tional passengers. Chaiml didn't object. The passengers, among whom 

pra K pB '?)%y»> K 247 

-pnyay^ va$?T^tr?i8D pD Dy:\3yt3D nyi^yi y:^i8^ ^yiiis'? d'*^ ,p'»B'»x 

♦rsD 5?n5?n^n ,yo!?ii yo'»n3i 8 n tD^8n D38n nsi r^ 

.pniX38tD D'»n ^ni^ii OS*? PK .t'?^st2r pK i;3T""»!?3 i8:i tr^'A 'i'Si'ii Qy^ 
8 18S isn8 '3iit3i2^ 8 18S "J^T-^^3 n D^tt S8 T*t n D'?yDti^ '?8J3 ^'''i^ 
tiS ltr?my» 0^18 tDsn pm;^ n , . ♦ Dn8 ?S^i« ^2fiyD 8 t5D8?3 PK .D^^^p 
♦ ♦♦♦S8P T^H S8P — • t)^8*^sy^^8 t?W lyt^^ciys pK n^ts ,|t)in ybK 
in ty^bsyx nynaya yD'T»'78P ''t ^I322a8t3 'i'ni^'n D8t .tj'p'^str? pniD n 

r8t: px pJi8 ''n t3383 11K nyDiix tosasD ^a!5ii D8T jniynD^ d5i8ii px 
♦ ♦ . . Dp8t) ni22 IX ty^r'i'p px i^^-^^n niyntDD n — 

D8n px tD8t)tr yt2?nr 8 t'»x iiyt2?Dmyai jD'>"'p''r'»'?p 8 ^oy t^x 08n 
• ♦ . m'?^"^^^^''' T'J^ ty»$?aixay;a8Ti22 :^mi t»t ty^ fx '»it8 ;D"»:\ni'»a ytr^n?'' 
ny'?P lynini n t8 .do^iw d^h ny ♦Anrtt ps dd^iw t^^n bi^D-'^n 
;ti:\n Dyr»i 8 ^^^ oy^y *i8Q t)D8?3 1"'?8 iisrms tix .r^yo o'»ix in 
pS D-'X C3'?'»''2J*iy'7 ty;a /D-'X lis tDDip lyD !iyiw ri^wr:^ pjt pit^ t^x o^t 
D'»)a ,pn3:^!5Titr; ,t)iyn ly ♦ ♦ ♦ m^i pe ^iiTtiy ps ,nnstr;;3 "t^x pa .nbs lyi 
px ,t):yn n t3''D D'»iB oyi in ly tD^yDt2;i8s ^^^ '?^''t) .pnx yDD8J2'^8Q 
. . w pri 8 ty?2nn 122 nixms 18 t3i''"»n /'p^'diz; Diyii oy .Dpnjy ty^a t8 

px '?^iD yayD8 ta'^a ly d'>*»d^ ly^ 08ti /tDDiiiy:\ *7^''^n o^n ?^8 08^ 


;ty;D8n2{ orni px ^38*? oy ^t^nyny^ i3tr?''i ''D:Dy'?*»nQ// 8T8 18^ t:8n ny 
-:iyD8n2f ,Dt2?"';Dy::iDnx r'^S 'P'''?^ PX "^nixixn .r^uyn •'X nys '»x in d'?''D oy 

!n:iinn 8 on^in'» ^yn^x fx ♦ . ♦ i^^^s^^y^ 

!'Ti8T •ly 0811 D8n iy tfyi^insti^ynyDiix iy px n'»'?xi'?Q 

--189 lyDuy^iSnx n'?:iy-'?yn iy-r to8n iiyt^^onnyn ps pnn86pni2: 
,D''rajs 18"^^ px .iy2"»i^i8s "'"t px ,oiyiiy:\ Du^-^a d^x D8n '?tt'»'»n ,iyriti; 

248 Migrations of a Melody 

were musical connoisseurs, related that, the moment they entered 
the forest, Chaiml began to sing. 

He sang Pedozur's Freilachs but somehow it had been trans- 
formed into something different. The congratulatory theme of the 
bridal dance had been changed into a real El Mole Rachmim. 

In the midst of the quiet rustling of the trees there became 
audible a melody soft and sweet and gentle. 

Moreover, it seemed as though the melody were accompanied 
by a vast but unobtrusive chorus of singers, the trees of the forest 
rustling in the breeze. 

Gently and intimately, the melody was lamenting, invoking 
mercy, pleading as a sick person pleads for life and health. 

Then the melody began to sigh, to implore with short outcries. 
It sounded as though someone were beating his breast in repentance. 
It was reminiscent of the Day of Atonement or of the final con- 
fession of the dying. 

The melody rose ever higher and became at the same time ever 
more abrupt, with more and more discords, as though stifled by 
tears, as though cut short by pangs. Then followed a few deeper 
sighs and a single sharp outcry. One cry only! And now another 

cry And suddenly the end — complete silence — somebody had 


Again the melody awakened and mounted in intense, burning 
exclamations, which fled, pursued each other, became entangled, and 
united in a single outcry to heaven — a funeral lament. 

In the midst of the dirge, there emerged a thin, childlike voice, 
tearful, tremulous, frightened. 

A child was saying Kaddish! 

Then followed images, visions, numerous thought-associations. 
These were gradually transformed into sweet, heartwarming melo- 
dies, which comforted and consoled with such kindness, such self- 
sacrifice, such firm faith that happiness and goodness reappeared. 
Life again seemed worthwhile. The will to live was reborn. Hope 

The listeners almost swooned with emotion. 

"What is it? they asked. 

"An El Mole Rachmim" answered Chaiml, "an El Mole Rachmim 
melody for the Katzner orphan." 

"It's too good for this purpose," they replied, "but the world 
will pick it up, Reb Chaiml, the guests from Kiev will be enchanted." 

IIP! N li6 ^la^n K 249 

♦lyaan is p"»inyais 

j)f'?"'Dtr; 8 -)8:» /yo''n:^ 8 lytom D'?8n ,DD8^y:!^ T't D^n ,pra oy-r pK 

♦ ♦.n^8ii PK iyD*»''n n Dtr'»ny:\ p8n 08*t .Dniit2?)3 r'?ys8P 

-D'^iK ymp D"»;:3 in tuyn i:^ .i^ssn 12j: i8 1'^^^^ '^5?^ toa-'^i i8nyT 

?'»n''ii ry^y DA8T ''X nis''3"Di'» oy PK 

8 D811 .^ip oi^T tonyii nyayD8'i:iy2J i^yii p-'K pK pK n^D^n ir$i 
Dp^nynyn-'K Dmo^ ps "'H ,\:p''mivi nnto ps ''ii ny^yonyi^s? '?8» 
» ♦.♦lyr^'X rnt:;y:^DnK *iysi8t^ 8 /t22§n nys-'D ysybD? isnyi — 
vn rv^V — ^'toii? ,Q8 t2j:83i pK oy T*T t)oin :\r^22i^£3 pK n5?D'»m2r 

♦ ♦ ♦ . pn8t)t:?y:\ 

,yD^\T pK pj?i8 P'lti; D^8s iy P^ 'T1K nyuLni in tjpyn p:^^:i nyr 
oy ,in nyto:i8'?s px P8^ /iy?^s ty-^ntz^y:^ n pK ♦iy'»nt2;y:\ ypnayiyna 
in-'ii^ 8 1^:1 ''11 — • '^y^8'' 8 .'»ntI?yA-bD^^ 8 onyii 
PK ;Vip tz?nrp pn .pi 8 D'»n8 t)»^w n-^ii*? nn lo-'ja pK pK 

.^P8*^tr?'^y^ P«^ pniyD''2J ,D8a oy 
iii'^p 8 t:A8T tmp 

"y:^ -lyoariD rn^vm /nmin nyr^Dtr 8 pi< ^y^''^ tD'>"»A oy pK 
. » . lyns'py^ yon-p'>si8nj:iyn8n .yon px nyn-^K Q8T:^i8^ 1^'*:^ d8ii typ58T 
,u;Di-nn'»D» 8T8 t3'>;3 ,D'''»pDDi3i 8T8 tD'»» pK ♦ ♦ ♦ pJK tonyi oy .DO-'nt) oy 
t)oi'?:)i oy jon nyoim ,di3i nytoim Dnyn oy t^ .ia"»i^:\ iDoys 8T8 »*»» 
imn in o'?*»'n oy .fny*? in to^'^ii oy ♦py'? ix nyoini in 

.tu^tjay^ n ly^tz; lyayt iy3ia8:^y^o^iK 

♦''n i^^yis loy t "> k o811 •— 

tK nttin^ oiy32J8? ^8S ^Q^'^n n onySDiy /'d^'Dhi »*?» *?«// 18 — 

tt^yn n i^i .pA-^a lyi msy is ^''''t inySD^y A'^m ''813 Dtz^u — 

...♦P'»3io''iK t'?yit t)!^*? lyiwp n ^'?^''''n n .iywiB8 tx wyii 

250 Migrations of a Melody 

The guests from Kiev were not at all enchanted. 

The Katzners did not condua their wedding in the old-fashioned 
Jewish manner, and for their audience the El Mole Rachmim was 
entirely inappropriate. 

The men of Kiev preferred to dance with their ladies. Why 
worry about traditional ways or moral observances? Above all, why 
an El Mole Rachmim? To be reminded of the old miser? 

Why, if the old miser were alive, the bride would not have 
gotten half her present dowry or a trousseau of such lavishness and 
the wedding itself would have taken on a different appearance. 
Why, if he were to reappear on this day and see the white dress 
of satin lace, the precious veil, if he were to notice the wines, the 
cakes, the varieties of fish and of meat which loaded down the tables, 
he would instantly die all over again and not as easy a death as the 
first time. 

Besides, who needed the entire ceremony, the elaborate veiling 
of the bride — old, foolish customs? 

"Quicker!" shouted the Kiev crowd. 

Poor Chaiml. He stopped the band. With fluttering heart, he 
drew his bow across the strings. Ordinary folk began to blink with 
their eyes, tears were coming to some. Just then someone, a guest 
from Kiev, shouted out: 

"What's this? A wedding or a funeral?" 

Chaiml pretended not to hear and continued to play. There- 
upon the guest began to whistle. 

The man from Kiev was an excellent whistler. Having caught 
up die tune, he whistled it correctly but in an ever faster tempo, 
with ever more abandon, with ever greater savagery. It was, how- 
ever, still the same melody. 

The band was silent. One heard only the contest between the 
moral violin and the impudent whistling. 

The whistling wins! It beats down the bow! The violin stops 
weeping. At first it groans a bit, then it too begins to laugh. 

Suddenly, Chaiml breaks off. With tight lips and blazing eyes, 
he jumps over to another string and begins to play still faster. He 
wants to overtake the whistling. 

No, this is no longer playing. The violin emits broken cries, 
wild outbursts. These hurl and curl themselves about as in a whirl- 
wind, and everything seems to dance around and around: the room. 

]irj K ps ^nt^s; K 251 


♦tJOSBy:^ Dtr?"*! d'?iy uss D?n n"»»m «*?» *?« •istt pk 

d'»a T^*?? y^yoy^PD^ o'^^n o^i lyt px p'»tot2?D''iK oai^n ny "tst itD^ny:^ o'^as 
,ltr?'>">'?s pK iti?''S n ,pi^D n .tyii?-!*! n lyr iy '^^t nT''^^ oyr ^rsti; 
,pnsi3U^y3i ^8» 8 18^ i^jT ny D*?^"!! ,iu?'»t) n t»t iDyin oy yDbyn nyDit>< 

nynS •»n DD!5b •'its tDtr?'»i pitr? pK 

yt3^8 . . ♦ o^pyisa yiris:^ n ^yi^^yiyx y^sis:^ n ly^ nnsi o^ii px 

♦Dbiy nyiiy?p nyi to^Jitr? nyinitr?y:\ — 

is8^p:y:i8n d'»;d .y^byssp n D^yDtry:iS38 tD^jn ny !'?»'>''n ny»yi8 lyi 
piiz; tDisjn D'?iy lyDOiijns nyi * ♦ ♦ oy^nDO n nya'^K p'»tr;D^DO oy-r t^'ixya 
tD'»]i 8T P« — P5?it) pitr? lyrn '?'>'»t3 i^n ;1:^^ik n o'^tt iy'?tDa'»s p^iny:\a8 

j^nt^y:^ 8 ,iyiiy?p 8 /lyi^^K 

iy Dn^M nyDi^n Db^'Sti? tiK pn:nyn DtL^'>i t»t tDD8J3 '?»''''n t8 iik 

. ♦ ♦ . isi^s is; nyiiy?p •lyT /i8 

-yA pitr; t)8n ny ♦♦.'?'»iii ty»iiy:)iO'»ii< i^i^ ny DSi^s ^iSi^s pK 
^•lyTrwysi ^8?3 8 os'^i 't)Si?s iix !n"»nn3 d''K tDS!}S px pr: oyn os83 
. ♦ • niri Qyiy:^''*'^ oyi r*?8 P« ny"T'?'»ii ,ny2yD8^yaD'»iK 

nyi w'>m nmbi:^ 8 ^8^ in t)nyn oy pK ♦'?>tot2? onr?'?! y^ys8P n 

♦ ♦ ♦ , iSi^D t5xin»-niTy ]iD'»tt bT»s nytr?'»'?8")8^ 

Dr''ii '?"7''S n !p'»tr;D'»tto oy^ nyoaiK tD:;^8"* ^V nsn rx t&rD d8t P>< 

•T^'»ti px ir'? y:iyD'»m8S tD-^^ .top8nynya'»K D''"»n D8n Dy:ji'?s pK 
18 tDa''%T pK ymDO ny*iyii8 18 T»ix ^y^i'^K ny tai^rnstz; p'»iK ypnay^yna 
ilSt^S D8T ny ^"^n P8''^y^''K ,i'?'»S3ti? IS nynrntr^ya i8:i 

po o'»n8 t)S-i8ii 'i'TS n iiynya Dtr^^a 'i'?'»strr p'»p v^^ t^« oy ,p^:i 
iy>m pK .T'T iS-)8iT '»''T pK ♦ ♦ » ♦ m'?ip ypn'?8ii:'i .jmt^^yA y:iyonya08 1^ 

252 Migrations of a Melody 

the orchestra, the guests, the bride on the throne, and Chaiml him- 
self with his fiddle. 

This was no longer a Freilachs or an El Mole Rachmim. It was 
not what we call playing. It was a dancing craze, an orgy, an 
epileptic fit. 

It lasted until the string burst! 

"Bravo, Chaiml, bravo!" the Kiev people shouted. 

Was this their way of paying tribute to the old Katzner miser? 
Certainly not! 

A few years later the melody found its way into the theatre, 
perhaps with the aid of one of the guests from Kiev. 

What is theatre? Rationalists in former days used to reason that 
theatre was better than moral tracts and more effective than printed 
sermons. You probably look upon the theatre as something swinish. 
We claim, on the other hand, that everything depends upon what 
is played in the theatre. 

This is what happened in Warsaw: 

The theatre was packed full, row upon row. The music began 
to play. 

But what kind of music? 

Something noisy, uproarious, a confusion of tongues. It was 
Chaiml's El Mole Rachmim, but in place of the Wallachian melody 
a medley. The instruments chased one another, drove each other on, 
lashed each other. 

A tumult, a banging, a whistling. Not a thundering, no earth- 
quake, just noise! Were demons skating across the Arctic or were 
thousands of monsters tearing loose from hell? Terror took hold 
of the theatre. 

Suddenly, the bass-viol entered the scene. He acted as if he 
were angry. He seemed enraged. What was happening? It was 
all pretense! It was obvious that he wasn't really angry. A peculiar 
little fife jumped in between the angry notes. Like lightning, it 
streaked through the orchestra zigzagging and laughing like a circus 
clown. Ha! ha! ha! and hi! hi! hi! The clarinet rushed after the fife 
and what gyrations that clarinet performed! It spouted defiance. 

Now at last, three or four violins came to the fore. They played 
a strange sweetness, like the longing that floods the senses, like the 
demon of desire when honey drips from his lips. Their playing stole 
into all hearts. It flowed in like oil, and like old win^ it intoxicated 

pra K pB !?n>n K 253 

. ♦ . ♦ bT§ m t3'»^ p'i's ^^-j^n ,^iDtr; in «i''1k n^3 n ,dd5?:\ n ,y'»^ys;ijp 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ tb:gb-K:^ni rbm-nb^n nypnn^it^;^ i^^ii 8 ^oy v^ n^AW^a pn 
♦tjss^sy:^ Dijn y^ntoo n t^n ,t)iy''nirA :^i^'? '»its tDitjn sy pK 

n lis Dyr-^K inn anon i^ ,p:^^i is?^ t^K on;^ iis'» srDS?'?^^ r« 

nyosyt) T»H T-^iJ? ,tJi^^ i$ni$??P 

'T'j^ !^n5nb "HDDn rr'u^K^,, ni^Q n^irpiistiti^ ,iqo-ioi;2 8 n^s iyo5?n pk 

♦ . ♦ nnn •»n hd^d px nyaxyu t^i; ,''Ki*iii? m^i 

to^^stj? iy» oijii ,Dn pK Tt Dias^n oy ts ,i5?d d^^t nm i^s 

JiyoKyD pK 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ yti^ign pi< pitr? oy T'^K ijniy:^ 

♦l^''St2? 11$ Dn'»%T pni» n ♦s^p n"»iK s^p ,b^^ pk lyDijyto dj$i 

?pniD n D^'>st2; oijn 

!lPSip pK in 
lypjn Dt^^a /Diym oy Dt:;^: . ♦ ♦ ds!2Q oy pK ds8'?p ds? ,di5?iii oy 

o;$i ini D^yi t2;''nyD''2i: s '?d''118 Q'l^nn ps niyi nrn iymf»itj in 


-^'^2 IV ny Pi< os?3 PK tjt^i^si'ps^ lo^n i5?i pJi^ in DDr?i dj?:2i^s 
D!i?'»2 nn tDiyp^n 15? T8 /to'?"'D 15?^ w^^^ — i»i ^oiji T-^K oi$n ♦in di5?t 
T'PVBW "^1 l^n D'»'?Q 05? /i5?mix D:\riS3t:; ^i5?Dr?D 5?n^^ i^ pK ♦t)2jn5? 
!^i:D■80-lS^ ^r"? inm ]8 ps 15?dd5?'?5?a ^ d^^ ph r^=i 8 P^ P^T^n tD**^ 
-i8bp 15?i ri5? mt3 Q'»t;5??3 P« n^S^ V^ ^'?^-'^ Dsrn^'pp i5n pd"''D"'»d pk 
!0'»5?Dn'? D5?i t:;ini to*?''D 15?» '15? toiD o''5?i3n^ Jt35?i 

li'^Bii; on naitt?^ pK ♦♦♦^ts i''S"ini o-'iii? t5?^^'nt2? du?i5? ini2J8 pK 
t):n 05? i5?n ,5?in-i2S"' i5?i ^ii /p^'?^ miKn n ^n on n:nt2?;3 /bT's n ,''n 
n}?22i5?n n pk .i^'^sti; o^i ,pj?i;s in toi^i 05? pK !'?''i^ ps p'^ai^n d'^k 
ipjii i5?tD'?^ '»ii Dii3"»ti;i^D pK '?;a'>ia § ''I1 pJin; oo'»'?S oj? 

254 Migrations of a Melody 

The theatre was passionately aroused: all mouths were open and 
all eyes sparkled! 

The curtain rose, revealing two characters, a prince and a princess, 
who both sang. 

They sang a text that inflamed, words that darted from their 
mouths like fiery dragons. Hell burned on^ their faces. They jumped 
towards each other like devils. Their embraces, their kisses, dieir sing- 
ing, their springing proceeded ever faster and became ever more 

The whole theatre was wrapped in this conflagration; a deluge of 
fire swept over the entire gallery of men and women with hot per- 
spiring faces and wild glaring eyes. 

And the theatre joined in the song en masse. 

A sea of lust had overflowed. Hell had been let loose. Demons 
danced, devils waltzed and circled furiously. 

Pedo2ur*s bridal melody, incorporated in ChaimFs El Mole Rach- 
mimj and helped along by the man from Kiev, had now attained this 

stage of degradation. 


Is there a bottom to an abyss? 

The Yiddish theatre met disaster. The princes returned to tailor- 
ing and shoemaking. The princesses became Cinderellas again. The 
theatrical melodies were reincarnated in the hand-organs. 

Our melody is at this stage almost unrecognizable. 

A tattered rug lay outspread in a courtyard. Two men in flesh- 
colored tights were performing acrobatic stunts. They were assisted 
by an emaciated pale child, whom they had kidnapped somewhere. 

One of the men held a ladder between his teeth. Quick as an 
arrow, the girl climbed to the highest rung, jumped down from there, 
and remained standing on the shoulders of the other man. The first 
acrobat slapped her on the back, she made several somersaults in the 
air, and came to a halt in front of the courtyard public, her hand 
outstretched for a contribution. 

This too IS theatre, theatre for common folk, for servants and 

Playing under God's heaven, expenses are negligible and tickets 
unnecessary. Nickels and dimes were thrown to the girl, she did her 
stunts so well, poor child! 

Beads of perspiration dripped down her red painted face, pain 
lodged within her sunken eyes — ^but the public was unaware of this; 

]«; T»T irjii^n oy pK r^iitjnn^s lyn tr^iK Dtr^iy in ds^m kji pK 

iiv^rt ^n pK /'ns'^D-nn// jj d''d "I'^^^'P" ^ — '"'t,/ 8 PH ny,/ 

,-)y^y:i2; px i)^iv^^ yb^ t)^n ,iy:^mst2? d^t pK iy::^:n o^t ,in tti?ip d^t 

jrnybs:^ yiicaijA n n^D^^D 5?22:ka o^i i"*!!:; D:iyin it-^b Dya'»K pK 
-jj^D i'?''ii pK ly^'^asD yDmt:;iis;s D:!2%Ti5n n tD^;3 ,ni5p:i pK onDT d^d 

!D:yn3 Di:inn ^ — tDi!jwo'»iK in Di^n niiKn nypn:i$;:i5?nn ps d** » 

♦ ♦.ni$i pmyi^D 8 IT'S n'7nn-'»D»^tt ,]^m^ onir^ 

!D^"'l llj;-*!!; p^p d^H ]btS^Q 1^1 

tD*?vDi2;5?Apm:ji; in p^n nia^a-nn n ;]i;siw lyrjat^ pK isrooitrr pmx 
PK pi^ns;:\ ^:^^i:\d i3?:iyT a'»air:-nyDii;yD n pa 5?d:ij?;» px .)V^^^p ms 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ oypiHi^ni^tr; 

•'nix ♦.♦n*»'in 1^ n^iK D^n9ti:;y:^o'»iK dp*? i^jim nj;:iyD^-)p5r:\onK i^ 
y*?5?T'»» 0^5*?! Disiyijicij^ t^ t)''D ly^^nisj ,]:22ip p8» n'''?;!jpnr?'? pK nyay^ 

P^Dtz; Dnr?^! pK /S^is iDi^i ps D:\inst^ pK '?s8Dtrr iDODyn ]V2 T»n8 

DTiitr^tt 185 Jt^!:?"? yi'>^Dy::^ n8s "iyto8yto 8 18^ /iytD85?D 8 1^i>5 t^^k o^r 

ipoin pK 

yi8i 08T .p''2:aip •»n8 05? t5D8?::> ''t px ioij?im pK Diy'>ni2J iy» DSnsn 

-5?Arj?x n ri< .D'^as id'?8»3?^ tD'>n ps n^x i5?in o^mtz; p8itD ypn 
D;3yD8 n jD^iy nyT Dtr;**! t)5?T d8t ^8^ — 'ly^: 8 myni p^iK yay'?8S 

256 Migrations of a Melody 

she breathed heavily, the public didn't notice it; the public saw only 
the beautiful acrobatics, the public heard only the beautiful music of 
the hand-organ. 

The soul in the emaciated body of the poor kidnapped child and 
the poor melody in the hoarse tinny hand-organ, both groan, weep, 
and twitch convulsively; both beg for salvation. 

Pedo2ur*s melody was, however, destined to be rehabilitated. 

Moving from house to house, wandering from city to city, the 
acrobats dragged the child along, until she fell sick (may no such 
fate befall you! ) . This happened near the border town of Radzivil. 
There they left the sick child behind a fence, while they themselves 
crossed the border and were gone with the wind. The child lay half- 
naked, feverish, with black-and-blue marks on her beaten body. 
Pitying people picked her up and brought her to the hospital for 

the poor She recovered from typhus, but left the hospital totally 


The poor child now went from house to house, from door to door, 
begging, begging. .. . 

She spoke very little. She could not beg with words. She stopped 
here and there and waited. If nobody noticed her, she began to sing 
to attract attention. She sang the melody of the hand-organ. 

But what did the melody now say? 

It begged pity for an unfortunate child. 

*' Wicked people stole me away from a good father, from a kind 
mother, from a warm and comfortable home. They tore me away 
from all that was dear; they used me and abused me; they threw me 
away like the shell of a nut that has been eaten. Pity a poor, poor 

And the melody pleaded further: 

"It is cold and I am naked. Hungry am I and there is no spot 
on which to lay my head. Blind am I, blind!'* 

Thus the melody pleaded. This was the first stage of its ascent; 
it induced people to be charitable. 

In Radzivil there lived a Jew, learned in Biblical lore. He was 
by no means a foe of Hassidism, but he simply had no time to travel 
to a Hassidic Rabbi. He was forever studying the Talmud. 

lira K ii6 Viri^'^a x 257 

p^n ^toisiotr; i2r iD^Dti; ]is pnn5?T:i8ii /T"»in i:s t^in ps pna^^n jns?"^^ t^^'^'J 

ypiSip Dij-T '»n p^n Di^T ♦n^5?i:'i lyi i^n '?"'iim;s;i i^k 15?ii5?:^ t-^x 05; 
1^: :ii8:'» nynns n^yia n 157:15?? ]ik d"»122 8 iv^i^^ DTig:'?5?n5?a''K iiv 
1§''ix :\5?*?tr; ps p'^^sr ys^^i" 5?:iis:'?=i t^''^ tD5?pK:i n'rsn n'?5?Q 1S'»ik di'^ii D5?t 

irn i? pK P5?^5?^ 05? VH ,21?*? 
t:7-Tpn pK pis;iD5?:\ pK p'»in57:\Q''iK ii^p oij-r p^n di^*? 5?P''Tr)ia»m 
'?SD"»st:? pa 05? v^ D'^n^ py; ,ois'>t) ^ irp oi^i D^n iD^;N:n57:^o'»iK ♦ ♦ ♦ p-n» 

•T'D pQ ,05? D'*'*:; T'»"in n fin po nrp 5?^5?i« ois^ t)bD5?n "lain^s px 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D'?t35?n pK n'^D 122 

wi5?'?to5?n Dti;u n5?t)n5?ii tD'»D t5?P n ♦..Dt2;'>2 t^ivi n d5?;d3 px 
t5?:^an i« n ids'^'ti ,du?'»: n i5?» t)5?tn5?T jtDi^ii pi^ s^ r3?^n5? in D*?5?t)tr^ n 
!5?pji8^ii$t2; i5?T PQ T"»j< pra 'lyi pK . ♦ ♦ nym5?T •»? "p^t 15?^ '1'^^''^ "I'^x 

?pA"»i n5?T T^i22S: t^M^T 0811 PK 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦irp n5?^p'»^:\DiK 18 nss mimi iTf ^5? t)5?a D'^^am 

-i8n 8 ps 4t:8t3 it)i3i 8 P3 Dyna^5?:\o"»n8 T'^ t^sn ]^mv^ yDDy^^tr;// 

!n'>%T 15?D8T pK n5??25?1811 8 pQ 45??S8^ 15?P''22 
-o'»n8 PK D2{:u5?:!iD'»iK ;tDi:\ a5?'?8 PQ lon5?:^D^n8 1^^ tD8n i5?;o„ 

!oii i5?i5?05?:)i5?:^o'>iK 18 ps '?8t2? 8 ''ii Pi8ii5?:^ 
"nrp D5?18 '05?^S 1» *i»s nii?:)m,/ 
:tn''l 15?^ T^T D5?a 18^ pK 
D5?-r )m . ♦ ♦T^ix r^ pa pny:\nn ;D5?P8i ''^^^ T^ P« t3^8P f^x 05?// 

''!ixn5?-T T'K pa ir^n px ♦ . ♦ Dti;'': "T'IK T'k a8n t^'''''?ixnyi^i8 m S8P 
nm» ytDt2;i5? P-?t iyii5?:^ f»x 08n px ♦tto5?n5?A ]^:k'>:l nyi D8n •'IT8 

!tn5?^5?:3^ Tip^i^ n"^^ 1*in t38n 15?» — n^n8 

n3iin?a pv i'?'»S8 vti^ 15? ♦ ♦ ♦ n^*? » nr 8 I5?ii5?:^ f»« '?'»ii''n8n pK 

OU^'»l D!?2S PV D1t2?S3 D8n 15? *18^ 't3tr?'»i •'K1118 P^IH VP ''[5?115?A D''! 

!DD8tti8S t3t2;'>a vnm n t38n 15? - ♦ n8S "^^ mnv^ 

258 MiGRAtiONS OP A Melody 

His great fear was that he might neglect the study of God's ways 
with man. 

He was even afraid of being disturbed in the House of Learning 
and so he sat at home and studied ail day, while his wife took care 
of the store and his children were at school. 

Often the thought would come to him: 'Terhaps I ought to 
travel to a Hassidic Rabbi?" His Good Spirit must have prompted 
this thought. What did his Bad Spirit do? It disguised itself as the 
Good Spirit and answered: "Yes indeed, to travel is desirable, but 
there is still plenty of time. First this volume of the Talmud must 
be completed, then the study of that volume must be undertaken/* 
Meanwhile, months and years passed by. 

Heaven wanted, however, that this learned Jew, or Lamden, 
should get to the famous Reb Dovidl. 

This is how it came about: 

The Lamden was sitting one day, studying as usual, when he heard 
a song outside of his door. He became angry with himself: 

"If a person sits and studies, he shouldn't listen to what is going 
on in the street before his door. He should concentrate on his 

Unable to avoid listening, however, he stopped his ears with his 
fingers. The melody managed to steal furtively between his fingers. 
He snatched his long beard in mounting rage and stuffed it into his 
mouth. Biting his beard, he continued to concentrate all his senses 
upon his study. 

In vain. The melody was still there. Indeed, he heard it more 
acutely. Suddenly he felt that it was a female voice, a girl singing. 
He burst out: "You harlot! Get away from my house!" 

The melody went away. But, miraculously enough, though the 
singing had stopped, he still heard it. The melody was audible within 
his ear, within his soul. He forced himself to look into his book; he 
wanted to compel himself to finish the chapter. In vain! His soul 
became imbued ever more and more with the melody. 

He closed the Talmud volume and began the afternoon prayer. 

Alas, he could neither study nor pray nor concentrate on any- 
thing. Like a silver bell, the melody rang inside him. He could not 
stand this obsession, this torture. A day passed, a second day, a third 
day. He found himself succumbing to spells of melancholy. He tried 
fasting. It was no use. He could not rid himself of the melody. It 
kept him up nights. It prevented him from sleeping. 

1ir: K ]i§ t'nt'n k 259 

!Ds:ny:\ j<ii;d ny D^n nun '?it3'»n nss 
iy Dr^y'^Q ,l^r:i''b pS pr ^d5;d Dt:?"»: t2?*nDn-n''n v^ wk b^i iv^ 
n ,t)'>">'?p T»K A^to tx:>i::\ ^ D22n nr?n d;s;t {D'»^^ nyn r^ l^^i'^y'? Pi< 12?''^ 

^ni^^5? l^^S ^^Si^ jp''5?i K s^p r^ '[y^'?QDnn '?ijd n: d'»k mv^Q ov 
nr 15?"! Dito DISH ♦t):^istyAi5?t3:nK anon p niton^^'' ivi Q''K to^n oij:t 
niST •»XTn^ ,'»rT'iTKD\n?3 :t)iyDDi3? px 3tD-is'' v^ T'T ny t)^ytoii?ni3:s ?5?in 
,Knso53 •» T ipn^y "nynS tiki ty^ jDI^s iiji t-^x ov n^:i m^s '^S^ it? )V^ 

:ntr;y^ ^m V^ ^^^^ 8 tDiynnyi pK .Dny'? iik ^n^'? '^V'^ 'T^ ^v i^^'t ^^^ r''^ 

0^11 ,D8:i rn DIJ11 ,ns?n w>i ]v^ r^^i mny^ t$?» V^ tort ty^ ts 

!min nyi r« n^'^'i ^t^i qiiUT )v^ nn toita n'^D nyn ni^s 
•»! t)'*^ in DQistDti^nsD pK ny D»$n jD'HijD n^s^ 1^1 tonyn ny 
ny:^r5 n iv^m ,)ni^ t^n^s lynis in ViV^n pri nyi .ny'»i>5: n iv^r^ 
^-)«a y:^aii:^ n oys d-'D ny i^si^d ,p'>2 iy» -]^i iv toiyii ♦in iy ^nn 
nv tony'? ma d'^^ nyoini iy Dny^ injjn n pnioi^n tiK ,r-?i» '?'''i» r^ 
'ID'»;d r« ny&istz; ^^a 8 o^n d'^x tDiyn ny .s^ tDt!;^5 tot^'? in"'n ly^ 
K vw iy tan !D:^in '?t'»id 8 — nt2;xn '?ip k vh oy t>!: ny D^^'snyi 
♦ ♦ ♦ pyii8 P^'^i *i5?^ tj''^ if^in pj?» pa pvm in^^^n :^ip k Tii< ^'''^^8 ''nu^y^ 
-lyT nyD-z^ii onyn iy px /Dtr^-^a T'»it:; D:iin ly^D — KII1 nt2;y^ 8 — 1^1 
rx ny topip m3 tD''^ !nat2;i lyn r« ^^inx px p^^s d^x in mrt pra 
!t3^'»3 D'''':^ oy ,Kmo nyi to'^D ly^yiiDnn in ny ^"»n ma tD-'tt ,pj?n8 *iSo 
.... pr3 iD'*;^ ny^piS p>? ny'^is '^ij^^ 8 d^'t^ toiyn n^ti?:: on^^ Dy-r 
— . .nnrjs lyiiiXT in D^ytJt:; pK ^im *'t ny ddx^^ks 
-^n 8 '*^^ i^^'^iim riyiiiH:^ tDt!;'»:i .lyny'? t)tr?''i — tot^'^i lyn^ T^P *i^ 
iD-^ix Dtr*»i oy xab^n u;D:y» lyr !pra ny-r d'^k pK D:^rVp ^py^:^ nya 
nyom 8 nyD-^nix k ,]i8t3 k pyii8 tD'»'':\ oy !iyx n^s cm t^;^^ to^-'A ny 
— Q"»n'':yn tao^s iy ♦♦. p-ns nmntz^-ni^ k pj< Dtr'': ny?t2; d^^s ny — 
i^n D'»x tjpyn ny nnyii tdq Dtr?**:! )W2 oyi typ iy itotr^n tos'^yn oy 

in^^ti:; ps DD8^ 

260 Migrations of a Melody 

Now, this was happening to a person who didn't even have the 
voice to chant the afternoon prayers in public, who never uttered 
a single musical sound, who was accustomed to recite the Sabbath 
songs, substituting in place of the required musical intonation a page 
of the Talmud. 

Obviously this matter required an explanation. ^'Satan's handi- 
work!*' he thought in complete dejection. 

Well, he would now have to consult a Hassidic Rabbi. But his 
Evil Spirit asks: "All right, which one? There are many holy rabbis — 
who is best? Who can really help?" The Lamien pondered and hesi- 

A hint from above hastened his decision. 

It happened that just then Reb Dovidl of Talne had to flee and 
in his flight he passed the town of Radzivil. 

You're probably familiar with the story of the secret information 
lodged with the authorities against Reb Dovidl. I tell you, Talne 
deserved this punishment. Talne should not have taken Reb Dovidl 
away from Vasilkov. It should not have disgraced Vasilkov. It should 
not have ruined the town's prosperity. All inns were forced to close, 
all eating places were devoid of patrons; the people of Vasilkov had 
to subsist on a pittance. Now the tables were turned and Talne itself 
faced ruin. 

Red Dovidl had a golden chair with the inscription: *'David, King 
of Israel, long may he live!" Informers gave this inscription a political 
interpretation and found a hearing in the Czar's capital. We Jews 
know that this was purest slander and that *'King" is synonymous 
with "Rabbi." But try to explain this to the generals in St. Petersburg. 

As a result Reb Dovidl had to flee and, passing Radzivil, he 
stopped there for the Sabbath. Our Radzivil Lamden could thus attend 
the Rabbi's repast at the close of the Sabbath. 

The Evil Spirit did not yet acknowledge itself defeated. When 
our Lamden came in and saw at the head of the table a little Jew 
of diminutive size, with an immensely big fur-cap, beneath which 
silver locks of hair fell upon a small face, when our Lamden did not 
hear a single word of Torah, his heart sank and he thought to him- 
self: "Is that all there is to it?" 

Reb Dovidl had caught sight of him, however, and said: "Sit 
down, Lamden!" 

In a second the Lamden's faith was reborn. A glance of Reb 
Dovidl had penetrated to him and set his soul aglow. 

li:x^3 K lis >ia>"»5 I? 261 

-iW W nss nm;D r'^P ^toaj?^ iy Din ,Di8:n o^ii tt^myja i? t"»k o^t iik 

.'I'^m f^K n^:^ s^ T»T n2 D'bijS tix 15? ddsid V']m ntr^sr^,/ 

?n»B T''it2; ts;» T1D 131X8 ts ,t»t dd8t 

81 T'»K D'^pnsj ?rn8 111 18^ ']18S '8*^ tyinnx** nvi iya8 msris 

♦ns?*?? 125 n^*? •^^ t8 tDi^M ?p8n n'?i5?9 
♦p^iK tiD pain 8 18^ ^5? t))3ip8a 
lya^K n8S PK r-^T ipi^ TDD lyabst) '?in n iii< ,nti;5?» 8 T'T t)D8?a 

♦ . ♦ . ^^11^181 

,1!?K T»i< :i8T P8T PK ♦''K1118 i^x toc'^ii ni*'o;3 lyi pS ntr^yjD n 

ly'pin n •|yi3?ii:\o''in8 t)Sn8iv:^ t)tr''»i D8n iy» ntyii5?3i t2;iiy 18 t'»k 03; t8 

PV pJT t2;^'>5» tDDn8iy:^ toti:;''^ D8n ]v^ mb^i^ v^p p-^S tiK ii8P'?''D8ii ps 

IP81W /iy:3^3 ,ii8P'?'»D8ii 08^ T"'K nnmi nnn pK m^^v 

)VW ov^u^^V'ip ''1 0118 PK 0118 ;t)D8»i8s tV?^ t)8n i5rrj?nDD8:^ n 

♦ . . ♦ 15?^ip57:^ /QD'»^5? K*? /''n t^ayt on*? 133 ly !ti8ii5?:i *?t)a 

iniin T»ix Diyii 5?i'?8t3 pK iy» toiott nn 81 
:pios ttDnpy?D'»iK 18 tD-'D ,^iDu; 5?ayi'?8^ 8 t)8nya D8n ^m 'i 
t)a8'?t^ oy pK yp''t)'''?89 8 psiyi Dnoi» p8^ !D''pi ''n '?^iii;'> n^a 111 

.... maiyoys pK 18 
18:1 ♦♦♦p2i*i ''a'?'^ 1i<^ :nrnna lyiw rx oy t8 40''''''*^ i-^d ,k^'»;3 

!mniyt)y9 pK t^8iy3y:t ''i oy ti?tDi^Di8S '»''^ 

,'?''iini8i v^ ^^^ ,p'»in8o:3iii ^ly t3'?8n ♦pJt ipiy n;^ 'phi 'i ,'?'?3ii 

jniiiyo tr;*?!:; ai2r '?t»^ d'''»:\ p^*? iy^''iini8i lynaiK p>< 
tiK pji8 tottip ly nymii< t3tr?'>i 18^ iy28 T»t on yin-ir lyi 
Dyt iy» ^ti^-'D D5?n 18 P'''^^ ^2:n y'?yir "p^-^b 8 yp8t3 ^y'^yir p'>'?p 8 t^yr 
i8n ynya'rn t3'»» 'p^^JiDti; cn^i 8 18^^ '0'*'^'^3l 8 18^ o'^'^^S "^^^ t^tz?"*: 
. . . tDtz;"': nun r^'P to:^8T iy» rpn^rii^iit^ ort ly^ !D'»is p-^iK d''X i^8S 08'^^ 
♦ wn8n 08*T .p?3^ Qyi 'yp8t) q^'k tD^8SDi8 
♦n)3^ lyi ly tDD8it3 ?i83^ Pi< 05? '^^^ o«T 
.pD^ ,T»i ryt tw 8 t^'':^ px tynyi pitr? d^k t)8n ^111 'i 18^ 
DB8sy:^ P"^^ t)8n ly ♦lynipy^i nn 122 pitr; ly vr^ ynn inij<a pK 

!n^t2;a lyi i^n ptDy:^ nn 8 pit^ o'^k 08^ oy ^P'''?^ 8 o'?^ 'i 

262 Migrations of a Melody 

You have probably heard of Reb Dovidl's eyes. Greatness, holi- 
ness, strength emanated from them. 

And when Reb Dovidl said: ''Sit down!'*, room was instantly 
made at the table for our scholar. The Lamden sat down and waited. 

And when Reb Dovidl continued: "The Lamden is to have the 
honor of singing a melody for us," then the Lamden was overcome 
with consternation: he — and a melody! 

But someone nudged him: "If Reb Dovidl says so, youll have 
to sing." So he had to! 

He began, alas, in a trembling voice; he barely stammered the 
beginning of a melody. What was he to sing? Well, there was the 
song of the poor orphan. He did not know any other. He trembled 
and stammered and sang. The melody was again transformed. It had 
the fragrance of the Torah, the essence of the Holy Sabbath, the 
embodiment of a scholar*s remorse. As the Lamden sang he sensed 
the soul of the melody, and with each moment he sang better, with 
greater ease and more freedom. 

Reb Dovidl, according to his usual custom, joined in, humming 
quietly. The others noticed this and also picked up the tune. The 
scholar, inspired by the crowd's participation, abandoned all restraint 
and now he really sang. 

The melody soon began to flow like a lava-stream, like a river 
of fire . . . and the waves beat ever higher and broader, ever more 
intense and overwhelming. 

The room was too small to contain the melody. Through the 
windows, it made its way into the street. A sea of flaming holiness 
gushed forth into the street, and the people outside cried in amaze- 
ment: "The melody of the poor orphan! The melody of the orphaned 

The melody thus attained salvation and so did the Lamden. Before 
Reb Dovidl left Radzivil, he took him aside and told him: 

"Lamden, you have shamed a daughter of Israel. You did noi 
understand the source of her melody. You called her a harlot!" 

"Rabbi, how can I express my remorse?" asked the Lamden. 

"Unnecessary," answered the Rabbi (may his memory be blessed! ), 
"instead of remorse, it would be better to atone by doing a good deed." 

"What good deed, Rabbi?" 

"Find a match for the girl. See that a dowry is provided for her." 

inn K lis !?n^n i? 263 

D^S jjj 17;d^ on pit:; iy;3 D38J3 /in yV'^ ^^^^^ "^^n n rs tiK 

♦DISn pK TT *15? D22yT .U^"»D Di^n 

nsTDi^n d:\;^t ^nn n m PK 

• ♦ ♦ ♦ pA^a 8 pK — 15? n'?'*» 
DAjn /Do^^n ^in n ts {5?22'>''!?s pk pit:? a''K d:\:i[3;^15?t rj?^ iija 

onis t3''ip D^^SDt^ 15? PK ji5?t3"»:2 8 t3'»a 18 '15?:i5?:i /t^n^'M ly pi< 
ijn Dnon t^ ?n^b 15?t /tyjim 13? '?"'ii 08"^! pi< ♦pv^ 8 ps n'rnnn 8 
px ,D^a8t5t:? PK /Di5?tD"'>2 15? ]m !Dt2?'»a 15? t5?P nyi^S r^P Jp^*»^ onain'» 
nn 8 pit:^ t)8n 15? n5?i5?ii8 18 i5?oi^n i"'itr; di5?ii pr:i i5?i pK .DAin 
♦ ♦ ♦ 11^^ 8 T** 8 ps n5nt2;n iiniM 8 to'';^ ,nntz; nt2;np pD np'':'' 8 /nnn 
5?n 8 0811 18 toi'^M pK /p:^''a D5?i .ti^^ i5?i /15? d^p-'sis?! pn:35?^:in pK 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 15?:^:^ 12^ 15?mS pJ< 15?D5?2 
t)''Mi5?'?'»Dt^ ,li?t DA5?'?s i5?r^Dti:^ iLn "»ii /^in '1 18 t^n-'M id"';d pi« 
15?;s8TU 0^715? ]t:)''^ ♦15?d:iik ds8^ 11K Di5?ni5?i Dbi5? is?i /i5?^ii:3i25i5?D:m 

n pQ 0''118 18^ pit:? T'»K 15? I15?i:3 8 to:\'»1p 15? .T>1X n^'? 15?1 T't t32^M5?22 

!5?p8t3 DJirt 15? — a'»'?3 
8 •— nia-n-ini// 8 ''ii ion 122 d5?22i'?s 18 T'T ds'»m ppi i5?i pk 
.15?D5?n 118 15?l0^nn r^8 P8'?^ 05?'»^8S n pi? ♦♦♦T-^D 15?pna5?»8'?S 15?1^Q 

n5?pna5?^8'?s Pi^ i5?pm5?r?& r'^S 
lin in Do^ji 15? ii« /SiDti? p8 w piti:^ li^i**! a5?i t5i5?ii 05? 118 
pS n** 8 pis 08:\ pK T»T toon 05? pK !ii5i8 08:^ pK 15?d2215?3 ''t 
PK d'?15? 15?i tosii DDint2?ii ^nnn pK jnt:;np i5?pni5?r?s ]^Q ,nmip 


Jinn on^DHT* i5?i iinn DniDiiT* i5?i — 

♦T'18 n^*? I5?i pK pp''n I5?^ip8::i tD8n inn i5?i 
-5?A pH Din 8 P8 15?12n5?:!ip5?118 ^111 '1 Q''K tD8n 118QP5?118 118S 

♦15?D15?11 189 8 t):^8t 
n !'?Kit:;''-nn 8 lyiw ti^^'^'^n^a tD08n :d:^8W ta'*^ 15? t)8n ,n^b — 
lDii5?3i n iD08n !i5?iiy:^ t3t:;n pn^ pv inn i-'K pS ti:?iit:? 15'»ik i30'>a 


♦n^*? I5?i in t:5?a ,«t>ii5?i n^wr\ 8 ^''^si 'i''J?J ton — 

264 Migrations of a Melody 

And now, listen to the aftermath of the story. 

A few years later, long after the girl had married a widower, whc 
was a learned scribe, the discovery of her origin was made. 

It turned out that the girl was a granddaughter of the ok 

It happened that the Katzner's son-in-law, the man who hailec 
from Kiev, once took his wife to the theatre for an entire evening 
And on that evening their only daughter was kidnapped. 

It was now impossible to reunite parents and daughter. 

Her mother was no more among the living and her father hat 
long ago emigrated to America. 

pri K pS >ia>^:i K 265 

?'>ai /mix'»» 8 nss 0811 — 
miirtt yD*»n:i 8 pk n'?3-nD:iDn ,nainn '?t';3 d8t 18» 

jnt?ytt 15?! pD Dr?T yo^ms n tDiyn nnis px 
D8nyji niinn :ii8'? ritz^ ^^n ^t^js 08i t8 nywysti; n8'^ yDy'?Dy i'»k 

!0'»n8 tD)31p n 1^^811 pS n81iy^ ^S115?3l Dt2?iy tStt T'»K .iSlO 8 P'?8 18 tD''» 

18 ony^ssp p'?8 Q^T T^'K ^T'*^ 081 t8 /n"»ii5;3io'»ix in iD8n oy 

twm ^iT8 T"»« nt2?ya n px !'?i?'»r'»K 
ni^ii tD^tt t5?^:i83i5?^ ^^^ 8 l^'T T'^K ,nsii5;?i? ist nyrjt djt^k nn 
•»"»T iv» D8n Din8 Qyi yps^ pi< .to3ii8 122^831 8 TiK r-^i8 'ivmv^ V^ 

*..nrp yp^xr-'K 081 t)5?5i]i5;:i?sni8 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ tDa8P?^ t^ti;'*^ ri^ )V^ tD8n ns?DD8D "'i ^n iay:^S8 ^i^^ 
3138^ ritr? v^ iyD8Q in px tony'?^^ d**! 3ia8'? ritz^ t38n lyoia n 

♦ ♦ . ♦ 5?pnytt8 PK lyiiy:^ 



When Reb Eliezer-Chaikils departed from this world, the follow 
ing note was found under his pillow: 

*lt is my will that my children shall continue as partners in my 

"After my death they are to have a gate made for the Jewish 
cemetery and the roof of the synagogue repaired. 

"My unmarried son Benjamin (long may he live! ) is to inherit 
my books; my other sons and sons-in-law got their books when they 

"My spouse (long may she live! ) is to have her own quarters in 
the house; let her take in a poor orphan, so as not to be lonely; let 
her make her own Kiddush and Havdalla and do her own house- 

"She is to share as an equal partner with the other heirs. 

"Moreover . . ." 

The rest was illegible. The note was apparently damp, when put 
under the pillow, and the letters had become blurred. 


Reb Benjamin, son of Reb Eliezer-Chaikils, wrote a more detailed 

"Now the time has come when I am about to return what has 
been entrusted to me by Him who is the keeper of all trusts. 

"A human being is ever in awe of the Divine Presence and His 
judgment. I go from this world, however, without sadness and with 
absolute faith in the God of Mercy, who will do with me in accord- 
ance with His justice and His great compassion. 

"I know that what has been entrusted to me has been stained in 
the course of time. It has been spoiled. It . . ." 

Let us pass over his confession and his moral precepts for his 
children, and read on: 


♦'?iu? pD 187 d:s?t IDDn 

♦minn iy-r 12s onso pnp3?A pi^n 

mTp p8» r'?8 in bist n ♦r^i? pt Dti:;'»3 'p^t n -- hdiit' y^nis: m 

♦D'^tr^w 5?^;^ t)'»D T-^^:\ p^n n "r^t p^n i^// 

a^Mn^DDi^s Q^as 8 v^ ^t^mp 0^7 ;iT^^ Di^ps;:^ D-^i 15?^ tD^n i^d 

♦Dp5?;35?:^s^ in iiisjn nimiK n p« ,it^'»p ns?to^iK ^im'^n m-^'^in 


jinnt2;yA "lyD rw Dijn ,iit o^pi^nnty'»'?K n ^v^'^i^ n 
tnyiMstss r-'t riDiT nnpn "^yn t»k pk toi^^^ n iy;Dipy:\ t^k d^ ni\^// 

j|!}T is;!^? minps jr'pii; oi$*n /Oyn )MpQ uvi 
,t)S3t^'»D pJT n^s pi< iy»is;i p'*'? pJ?T nss in dpyiti? tz^Di^^ ^ tiK// 

pjT tD'>i^ tiK /pin nnti;^ n'»is'? pt) n**^ to-'D d^ii ny is ,p:m Dim 'pk 

"i^§ n*»» i^n Di^^2 nyi n5?n'»K t*»k pnps oijt t^ ^o^jni T'k px./ 

ny-rrp n iks idid oy-r pK t2;s:2n-p2ti^n d^t n5?n'>K ps^b^t "t*^ 

n5?tJim py*? px 

268 Four Generations— Four Wills 

*'My feet are growing colder, my mind is becoming more and 
more confused, and yesterday a strange thing happened to me: while 
studying, I dozed off and had a dream. The book dropped from my 
hand and I awoke. I knew immediately that this was no ordinary 
experience but that the call had come for me, . . . 

"Whatever was in truth mine in this world, I shall be leaving only 
for a time and, when the full span of years shall elapse, even to the 
number of a hundred and twenty, it will follow me and I shall be 
deemed worthy of seeing it within the holy splendor of the Divine 
Presence — ^Amen! May this be the will of God! 

"Whatever does not follow me was never really mine, and God 
is my witness that I leave it behind without any anguish of soul. 

"As to my wealth I leave no will with regard to its disposal. I am 
confident that the members of my family will either live together in 
peace and harmony, or else they will divide up in accordance with 
right and justice and nobody will in any way try to take advantage 
of another. 

"I ask of my household, namely, of my wife (long may she live! ) 
and of my sons and sons-in-law (long may they live!), that diey 
deduct the tithe for charity twice in the following manner: Imme- 
diately after my death, they are to make a generous estimate of my 
possessions, movable goods, household furnishings, office equipment, 
promissory notes, unsecured debt due me, etc., and they are to make 
the first deduction of one-tenth the estate's total value for the benefit 
and salvation of my soul and they are to distribute this sum among 
the poor. 

"Of the remainder, namely, of the net inheritance, let there be 
a second deduction. Let each of my heirs give one-tenth to the poor 
in his own behalf, just as it was customary for me to give of all 

"On both occasions, let them add to each tithe three per cent to 
make up for any possible errors in figuring. 

"Both tithes are to be given as charity for those poor people only 
who are not related to us. 

"I leave it to the judgment of my heirs how much to give to 
poor relatives, but none of such contributions are to come from the 
portion designated for charitable purposes, because money for charity 
is not meant for enjoyment and, if one gives to relatives, it is like 
giving to oneself. 

niKiis TD — nnn ts 269 

T8 /18T STDy^nmiii 8 is^^toy:^ T»tt in ojjn idd5?:i ]ik .bn^iStt nv^ 

a^n T»i< rx /t)38n lyn iis ]'?8syjio'»n8 •t*^ f'K noo d^t pk ^m^bnv^ 
m ,130813 t)t2;^a T^K 05? T8 /ty:8t3t2;i8S na^n nsn pK ,D9835?:^S^ii< T»tt 

TS'? 08^ /D^yii "lyi T1K 15?1W r-'» ^J^«3 T-'K 0811 081 pX// 
11K t)iSTiin iya">K iyDipD83 i-'d t)»ii 08t ;di^22 8 T'lK ny:i''X n8:i T'K 
nmipn n^Dtz^n una i5?t 1:2 )n^ nait t'k byn d5?t d"*;^ n8'' p^:2:i8ii2J 

ip2{n nT» p ,p8 — 

.tr;srn^:;i5r mti; 8 18 'i5?^''K o5? ^8^? T»k t8 .oo'^ni d8:^ i *>•' k pk .isnw 

t^a T»K nya^K uti^^a hkii^j pv t»k T8^ nM^^^v V-^^ T'IK pK// 
i5?-i8 '1S»8T12J nii'pu^i Di'^u^a py^ ibjni •'n 15^8 'i"*"^!:; '»n'»a-'':ia ts .moa 
,t)yii n»*7i8 n8S iS^i^^K pK nwr •'S-'?yi pT •>s-'?5? i^'»^D5?22 in I'pyii ■'n 

♦tin q'»'?5;d Dti;'»a /Di'?t2;ron 

P8» ^n i'?8T ni"»DS pj):3 18^ na^i^ j1^'-^t ♦it2;s?J3 '?8J3 ''^n^^ T-'t t:;nDtt i'?8t 
S'PS pK /D'»ba •'IT8 px ,n'»a-'»'?3i d'>'?d'?dd pK n'?m 13?^ po pn^s pat:;n 8 
'»iiat2?n *?» ptz^Ki nt2;y)a pyAS8i8 1'^8t PK 'iai ns-'rya main pK .nnDu; 

♦Di^'?-5;»5?n8 l'?^^^^^ px z^nttti;: pp^n'? 

^wn** in ps pitr; ,D0^^n 08i /totz^yi lyi ps ^n i'?8t i8Jii5?i'^ 
pS itr?5?D p5?Ji IX t5?iiy:^ v^ :\«ii'»tt pj;a "'ii •'IT8 'in 18S ''^itr; it2;y» py:\ 

.D!5'?-S?Dyi8 I8S P Q^ 'Him 

nytt8t3 jnKiab t2;'>^tr; 8 P-n t»oi» •'n i'?8t rintr;5?«J s^T-^a pS ns?'' 122 pK// 

♦pau?n v^ w^)^^ nyiD in ^n p8n 

-yDyi8 y 1 » y 1 fl 18S npis py:\ ''n t'?8t niit?y» s^T-'a n pit// 

♦D'»3iip 183 totr;**! pK /'r'^iia di^'? 

t)t2;'>a iya8 'PP 1:12 ^S'»ii p'»ii p'»^8 ^n i^yii n'»3iip 5;ttyi8 I8S// 
iy» T8 PK 'P-'T n:na m'^i ]V^ ni8i npis ps toi ,npix lyi pa 
,1 •» t layjiyA 0^811 t5?«i '''^'^ T-5'?^ t^'» ;D'>5iip yDiy83 ^''^ 

270 Four Generations — Four Wills 

"On my tombstone let there be inscribed merely my name, the 
name of my father of blessed memory, the date of my death, and — 
nothing more. 

"I beg my sons and sons-in-law not to devote themselves entirely 
to the vanities of this world, not to vie with big business, because 
the bigger the businessman the smaller the Jew in him. Let them 
not enter into extensive commercial transactions nor scatter their 
little capital to all the four corners of the earth, because God helps, 
where he wills, and a little business can prosper as much as a big 

"This admonition is meant primarily for my dear son Ichiel, 
because I have seen that he has a great longing for wealth. 

"I beg my children to continue the custom of deducting each 
year before the Jewish New Year one-tenth of the profit of the 
preceding twelve months for the benefit of the poor and, even if 
(God forbid! ) there should ever be a loss, let them nevertheless give 
charity, since the loss is doubtless a trial sent from heaven. 

"I beg them most urgently to study every day at least one portion 
of the Gemorra and a page of wisdom literature. 

"Let them travel at least once a year to a saintly rabbi. 

"The women should read in Yiddish Kav-Hayosber as well as 
the Tseena-Ureena on Sabbaths and holidays. 

"On the anniversary of my death, let the men study Torah all 
day and the women distribute charity — privately, without public 


When Moritz Benditsohn (a son of Benjamin) died, this docu- 
ment was found, written in Polish: 

"A telegram is to be sent to Paris and the funeral services are 
to be delayed until my son arrives. 

"I bequeath ten thousand as a trust fund, the interest of which is 
to be distributed each year among the poor. 

"I bequeath ten thousand for a bed in the new hospital, on con- 
dition that the bed be named for me. 

**During the burial ceremony, charity is to be distributed. 

"Contributions are to be sent to all Hebrew Schools; the teachers 
and the school-children are to follow the bier. 

"A learned scholar is to be engaged to say Kaddish for me. 

"The tombstone is to be ordered abroad in accordance with the 
specifications which I append. 

nwnx TS — mw t§ 271 

]vm^ nv^ ^4:^ ,122npo'»iK Dti?'»a "iv^ is?tt ^t$i na^^tt p)a >t»ik pS// 

TK Du?**: in i'?8T ^n /OttyT"»K n io'>tt rt yrj?^ ny^n to5?n t»k pX// 
o^n ^!m ,Dnnio j;o'»n:i Kpm pr i^yn tjtr?^: ,'?5n D5r:i''K iii3J!5'iis: is:j8^ 
rv PIT tDtz;'': in i'78T "»n iik nr ^yi lyiy^p vi^ nnio 13?t nyosn:^ 
yms i^iK Dbs;:^ '?D''a 015?^ |D^nst2;iii:s Dti?^: pK /DI^ii ^5?t ps tDDyu^s?:^ 

♦DnnD'';^ 5?o'>n:ji pK ''ii yr"»'?p px iy?Dipain8 

-SIS pi< ^ni'';^ QSi tD'?s;n tbijT ^nrp yrjia ts nT^i D5?n t»k iik// 
♦t^i^b-s;^^^ ^8& ")t2;5?» mm i^^iSJi oyiis nitr;n-t:?;$n nss i^"» oyis?'' l'?^^t3 
13^11 oy Ti^ px .pjT Dtr^^a mm pv ,Di'?t2;rDn /'^s^ k d^ii oy t» pK 
Dyn oy ^!5n .npix i'?'''»D T'lK '>n i^^T ,prn ib"»§8 ,Di'?tr?i on ,pJT b^io 8 

— ♦ly^^l in**"? ir?T lis p-'Dl 8 pJT •»K'T118 

.ninsn "pd*? ,:^istD 1^3 :\»t3 tyny'? i'?;?! -^n ,*irn T'K dp np"'y ly^/ 

♦n^Dn-n'»tr?xn n^y ii? ,q'';iq"^s-'?5? P>^ /Kim ds'?! 8 
n^** PK big:;^ p^K t2?D^D ^n 'i'ptfi tn^S// 

♦niD-Di'' pK nat:; "m">K"ii 
]'}^m » nmna pJT poiy ]v^ b^i Di^n^*» lyn pa ^^'o oyrK pKv 

/nnoa fD^D — np'^y lyT jHpn::: py:^ ]'?^i w^m n ,:\sd 


,mi3p iyi D-^a pisn pK mi^s p-^p y^Dsn^ybyD ^ ip-'E? b^i )v^^^ 

♦lyDIp Uyil pT 13?T T'»3 

oiy^r^ns o^-r jpjns nisr^T/ t-^K n;:3^'?-tip i^ T'K t:^ mf»iD p7S,, 

.tyzD^i P-5?3 *T'''^5 pyi"^ i&ny:^a8 '?8t oya o^t 

t3'»a Dn^j^JD n jpjni? nninmD'?n y'?8 P^^ Tiiaii ip''ti? bt$'i iv^^, 

♦n"»ii'? nyi 18: v""^ t^8T iy*Trp n 

n''a 183 P8T '?8T 15? 'Pr^a"? ^ ^'''m ny'T8 'P"**? » inn '?8t 1^^// 


l^yt3ti;8a tyJ2 '?8T /ip-^K 78^? i''K 0811 *?yi8tt 05?^ tD^i'? ,n52r» n,/ 

♦i:i8^o">iK px 

272 Four Generations-— Four Wills 

"A sum of money is to be set aside as a trust fund for the specific 
purpose of keeping the grave and the tombstone in perfect shape. 

"The business is to be called 'Moritz Benditsohn's Son/ 

"Regarding the ..." 

We omit the balance-sheet of the estate, the list of debts to be 
collected, and the good advice, how best to continue the business. 


"I, 'Moritz Benditsohn*s Son,* leave this world neither in happi- 
ness nor in sadness but because of emptiness. 

"Aristotle uttered profound wisdom: nature hates a void. 

"The world is a stupendous machine. Every wheel has its specific 
function, its separate purpose. If a wheel is spoiled or is used up pre- 
maturely, it is no longer a part of the machine; it makes the transi- 
tion from something to nothing. 

"I cannot live any longer, because I have nothing more to do on 
earth. I am fit for nothing, because I have lived my life. I have 
drained to the last drop all the joy apportioned to me. I have con- 
sumed and used up everything that I needed. 

"I have been taught a great deal but I have not been taught how 
to live without consuming life. 

"I have nothing in the world to keep me back or to hold me bound 
to life. I have never lacked a thing that was of any value for me. I took 
everything without a care, without worrying, without effort — as though 
it were mine for the mere asking: things and people, men and 

"All the men smiled upon me and yet I did not have a single 
friend; all women liked to kiss me and yet I could get along without 
every one of them. 

"I inherited a fortune and it grew and increased without my 
effort, regardless of my will. 

"It grew until it outgrew me. 

"My heart often wept within me: 'O, that something were lack- 
ing! O, that I were compelled to do something!* The doctors recom- 
mended for me: walks, games, sport ... not life but a substitute for 
life, a pretending to live, a pretending to work, Ersafz. 

"Many lands have I seen but none that I could call my own. 
Many places did I admire but to none did I feel intimately attached — 
I played with words as with balls. 

niKiis n^s — mw TS 273 

♦n522D ^n tD^'tt n5p Dn iDb8m22§'»iK in t»ik i5?;D5?a b^t 
main n ps iinti^n ds;i im i^v^i^^ lis ntt"'tt?i n i^ri'^K n^jl? n'»)D 

18S Di:?'^: D^S?ii lyT lis pyii8 ^•'A /lit — i8Tt)yi:i$;n ri^J^' 'l^X// 

*t)^Viy'? tDrj?s £D8n 11D81 n j^D^Dons I5?ii?:^ fK ddh i5;o^n:\ 8^/ 
yi5?'TiiT8S r-n t)8n bi);ii o^nir ♦i3'?yii n fK vm^ yDy'^pyiti? 8'/ 
■98 t38n ov W8 'P181189 "^isri 8 toiyii ♦pyiisr tm:iiT8n tin ,D5;m8 

D^-'A ,rti^8?3 iyi lis 0''118 V^"?^ OS? D-'n ,t)1^2J lyi '189 orjT D$?ni83?i 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D ti^ *> a n 8 :^ r^^ 18^ I'lS iynn8 oy 
T»x ,iiD 122 0811 Dtt?''a 81 28n t»k ^ini ,p5;'? Dt2;"»a nyA:iy'? i8P T'K// 
lS?p:»ntDyao'»iK n8n t»k .tiay'?y:^98 o^i'^a :i8n T'X "^ini ,Dtr;'»ai8^ i^^ :^''1d 
DU?ips7A0"»iK pK ios;:iy:^s''iK 4S?ii5?:^ Di3?ti^83 pk r^ 0811 nni pi8:^ oyi 

.DS'i8iy:^ n8n T»x 08II r^8 
081 iy:^r^ti;rj?N m'^i pK py'? "i^i ,Dnybs?A lo 8 T'Ja mn )V^^^ 

.tDnsr^^A Dt2?^:i T»» t5?a D8n tnj?^ 
,lD'?8nrj?K i^;3 ^8T O8I1 /O'rsni is?t t»ix Dt2;'»a ii<t rv :i8n T'^^'/ 
T)D i^a p8n '?8t oy ^^'^vm t^^^^i W PP i**^ t38ri ov *..Tt^ ix n:j''2ix 
lis ^11 — 0^318 18 '^Brnmv 18 '::^18t 18 iy?3i:iy:)i Y"?^ S8n T'K -Disni 8 

....]V^Mn ipsn 
♦ . ♦ . 1S?'»11S '»1T8 /iyi5?» •»1T8 iiwiv^ ''IT8 /P8T ^1T8// 
Dtz;''! ir_nD ip'»xi^'»K p-'p n8n T^ m ^^^T'*mv^^:i i"»» P8n y'?8// 
Dtz?'*^ yp'>sr'>x rp n8n r^ iik ,Dti:^ip5?:^ ny:^ T»tt p^n y'?8 ;i38ny:^ 

♦ ♦ . ♦ t)sn8iy:^ 
in ^"iv^n PK iop8iiy:^ D8n oy pK ,D:it2?n'»y:\ t»k n8n m^i^Si 8- 

♦l'?''ii pJD 18 n**^ 18 
♦10p8iwi5?n'»x t>;d D8n oy T^^n ,iDp8iw D8n oy,, 
T^ '?8T /I'^ys oysy n-*^ ^8^ tyi^ri d8i i**^ pK Drmy:^ D8n dS8 
-'>str; ,n"»S8St2; :pnt^yAn8s i**^ P8n DnnDp8i n pk jPd 1 n ;3 oysy 
t)t!;^yss:i 8 'py^ ps ti8:^8iio 8 18^ ^PV^ PV tDir?'»: . . ♦ t)n8so /lymy*? 

* ♦ . ♦ Dyii8 yt)t2;'?yQy:i rpy*? 
li?» Dtz;"*! ?•»« p^xa"»'»x pv pK /iyTy:i t'k n8n io 8 lyi^iy*? pk// 
Dt!;'»a Dn8 P^2jr'»K p^*? :28n pk ,Dnyi:iiii8ai i^k n8n iyt)iy lo 8 ;iyiiy:^ 

. ♦ ♦ . ^Tbv^ 

274 Four Generations— Four Wills 

"I changed peoples and languages as one changes gloves. 

"The whole world was mine but I was too small to hold it in my 
grasp; my hands were too small to embrace it; I was no world- 

"Whatsoever I might have been able to conquer, came to me 
ready-made, bequeathed to me by others. 

"Everything was done for me, everything was bought for me; 
whatever remained to be gotten, my wealth got for me. 

"Everything — the smile on my friend's face, the kiss of red lips, 

the Kaddish for my father At best, I overpaid, but I never learned 

to give of myself, to sacrifice for others. 

"The little things seemed too petty; the great things, too gigantic; 
and nothing seemed worth living for. 

"I die because I am barren, physically and spiritually. I have 

nothing within me that lives and that creates life I have long 

been lifeless, I have long been without the zest of living; now I have 
become completely disgusted with everything. 

"I have been treated as a peasant treats a pig; I have been 
fattened. But the peasant, when the hog is sufficiently fattened, 
slaughters it, I am summoned to do my own slaughtering, however, 
and I haven't even the courage to refuse. 

"The arsenic is on the table; the last drink to make me drunk; 
the drink from which I shall not emerge sober. 

"Shall I leave word behind about my wealth? What for? My 
wealth was my misfortune. 

"Is there anyone I want to thank? 

"No. I paid everybody for everything. 

"Yes— even for this last drink." 

mxns Ts — nnn i">d 275 

-i^'»^ rv n^n T'K i«:s ,^1^1^:^ p'^s''''^^:^ T^K n^n tDSisti? no 8 rx// 

r^ ,wm r'»'?P 122 V2 r^ ^^1 ,]m wm t-'K Db3?n 5?22:s8^ n,/ 

♦ ♦♦♦miNip^A D"*:! T"^ n^n it:;iynKn 
■5?:^ D^n:^ pitz; r^ n^n d^t ,iti;iyni?n mis:p^:\ d^jjiii T'k ojjrn pK,/ 

♦ ♦ . . tDTi$'?y:^'iyn''K vw T>^ t^D t)^n 0^1 ,t^mD 
-5;:\s^ i**^ ly^ D;$n r^K ,n^iiyA pDs;:^ pyii D^rj^ iss t'^k 'pbS/, 

. . ♦ IQ^b ^D^n tis trip "i^T ,a'»^iD oir^nD is^'Ik ^s'''';^!^; m — yb^^, 
,py:\ 11^:1 ;D^jj22y.^D'»iK oyB3? 1^^ T*^ s^n D^DDDyn ♦ ♦ ♦ iD8t) p^: t2;np i^i 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Dn:^*?^:^ Dti;''^ T'^ ]V^ Dijn o^i ris^P^iyti^ 

♦ . ♦ . tyii^^ Dtr^i T''^ p^^ 12J oi^n 1^: pK 
jHDti?:! ij?T D''^ •'iT^ ,nn p''^ ^im npy |K r^ 1^^ ^^-?ii /Sistoti? T'K// 
ny^ Ti^ ♦.♦p^^ pnys^^ PK tny'? ^i§t o^n Dt:;''^^^ 'T';d pK n^n T'k 
fK 121228 ;tny^ ps DtT''':! n^sn pv :\3Kb pitz^ si^n T'X jDt^'': r^aijb pit:; 

D^i^p ,tD57s :^i:i5?:i di^n inn o^i m ^i^-'is in 1^2 ♦ ♦ ♦ t3s;$tDU75?^ T»d 
nw n n^n T'^ pk ji^i^p t^''^^ t»^ ^^t t»k ^y^ dd'^ti t*^ jdj? 1^ 

wp^ijs 122 Dtz;'':! ,Dtr;'»: 
T^ tojni 0^11 pai?iDy:\ nytj^y^ lyi jt^-'D p'^m D^^Dti; p''2s?t2;i8 m// 

♦ * ♦ ♦ pi^D3'»:iDnK Dt^''5 pit^ T^^ b-'ii T'K pK ,ni3"»t^i^ 

1!5^ TK Oljt ?D^'n 1^:i ?py^1K9 pJ?D pyil p^H^ D^S^ T»15< ^ItJT/, 

♦ ♦♦♦isnw p'»^:^^i>? 
♦ . w D'?;s:2rH:i w^b^ i^S y'?^ a^n T»i< — p**:!// 



My heart is with you. 

My eye cannot have its fill of your flaming flag. My ear never 
tires of listening to your sonorous song. 

My heart is with you. Sated should every man be and his home 
flooded with light. Free should every man be, free to fashion his life, 
free to choose his work. 

When you clench your fists at those who would stifle the free 
word in your throat and still the burning protest on your lips — I 
rejoice; I pray to God to sharpen your teeth. Yea, when you march 
upon Sodom ready to rend and tear, my soul is with you. Sureness 
of your victory fills me with warmth and makes me drunk as with 
old wine. 

And yet . . . 

And yet I have my fear of you. 

I fear the oppressed who are victorious lest they turn into op- 
pressors, and every oppressor sins against the human spirit. 

Is there not already talk among you that humanity must march 
like an army at the front and that you will beat for it the drum to 
keep it in step and pace? 

And yet, humanity is not an army. 

The stronger forge to the van, the more sensitive feel more 
deeply, the prouder wax taller — will you not, I ask, cut down the 
cedars lest they outgrow the grass? 

Will you not spread your wings to enfold the mediocre? Will 
you not shield with your arms the indifferent? Will you not protect 
merely the gray, equally shorn herd? 


I have my fear of you. 

As victors, you could turn into bureaucrats, doling out to each 
his bit as to the poor in a poorhouse, apportioning to each his work 
as to the imprisoned in a prison-pen. Then you would annihilate the 
creator of new worlds — the free human will; you would stop up the 

ir-2K ,Dn^n !51S nr-?K T-^K ^^n 0^11 DOnS n t3D5.^n •T'K TJ? pK 

T'X t3?ii px ♦p"'2: n iSistr? T-^K ^i$T ny ,d;s:^ t»k d^i ;t»;3 D^ns — • 
D^ia niat^i pjia D'>'»:\ ,]025nai^K oy d'?"'1i pk dhd itD'?;^: pnK o'T'tz^n^^ 
DJ^^ynsii pK ^is T»ja t)D8)D /fi^n dtdd •t»k ts ,to^'>pn5;Dn n ii>^ n^-^» tD'»tt 

♦ ♦♦.IJSJT pK 

♦T-5K 18S nns t'x n^n ii^i m 

"invm^':^ "»n tiS i5?:»yp 05? ♦i:^n o^ii 5?:jy:^:i^ii22i^:i i^UQ T^ PV^^ T^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ttDi^Di p5'?tr;Das;j3 ]o^vp dpnin iy:i:3'»ii2:»n nyij?'* ]m /n3?ii 
''ii n'»t2;i8?3 niST D^^Mtr^Day^ n m ^T-^i* l^^^'^i^s: ^^"^i i5?J3 torn •'2{ 
?:^5?ii fS'^ii^ tr?i»;D on tb'^str^n^s n'^K oyii 'T'k pk d:^^d pk ^•'^ni? p-'K 

-»os?a'?tD'»ja 15?T "iVTH ^r'?s yiyi^K tD'»n3t2;i^D wi •t»k D$ni ''is 


♦T-5K nss T'D DDn^s T»K 
,10'»n pJT ny'» l'?'»^tDiSD'»iK jnv'ii yD8ip«'Ti''S n 'T» K tD^yp ny:\n o'rs 
n^K oy^Jispy^ "^ii ,t)5?ai^ pJT ]iT tDosr^ixsij: jt2;^pn pK Di^b-5?^^'^^ '^^^ ''I'l 

— 'lD'?yi1 5?!?1 pQ 15?S5?tI?8n D5?n 1P''^''Dn8S tD^II 'T'K pK ♦^^^I^DSP IVt 

280 Hope and Fear 

purest well of human happiness — individual initiative^ — the power of 
the one to face thousands, to stand up to people and generations. 
You would mechanize, yea macadamize life. 

You would be busy with regimenting, recording, filing, and esti- 
mating, with prescribing how often the human pulse may beat, 
how far the human eye may see, how much the human ear may hear, 
and what dreams the longing heart may indulge in. 

With real joy I see you tear down the walls of Sodom. But my 
heart trembles lest you build on its ruins a new, worse Sodom — 
more cold, more gloomy! 

True, there will be no homes without windows but the souls will 
be shrouded in mist. 

True, all bodies will be well-fed, but spirits will go hungry. 

True, no wail of woe will be audible, but the eagle — the human 
spirit — ^will stand with clipped wings at the same trough beside the 
cow and ox. 

Justice, which led you on the thorny bloody road to victory, will 
leave you and you will not even notice it: in that respect victors and 
rulers are blind and you will be victors and rulers; you will sink into 
injustice and you will not even feel the morass under your feet, for 
every ruler feels sure of his footing as long as he has not fallen. 

You will build prisons for those who will stretch out their hand 
to point out the pit into which you are sinking. You will cut from 
the mouths the tongues that warn you of those who will come after 
you in order to annihilate you and your injustice. 

Cruelly will you defend the equal rights of the herd to the grass 
under their feet and to the salt above their heads, and your foes will 
be the free individual, the savior, the poet, the artist, and all who 
strive to ascend beyond man. 

Whatever happens, happens in space and time. 

Space is filled with what has already happened, the existing, the 
firmly established, and therefore the fossilized and the petrified, the 
now that should and must perish. 

Time is change, transformation, evolution. Time is eternal birth, 
eternal sprouting, eternal blossoming, eternal tomorrow. 

pvitt^ PK ^iniVDKn 281 

yopiyaiSQ oisjT ta^n :^y;D 05? niDi'rn » lijs o^jn iii< ny'^iK ]i?t i5??3$?iie:9 

rv lYiSnin yrjT T»ii< dVhjt t»k ,i^myi di5?d'»:{ lyn^j nsn pja jono 
!nyiyt3xa''S is; /nyt3'?5?P ^ — ly'i:! t)t:?u ns?:^^^ TV 'tayi^^ 
t'?yn bsya pK ir$i j]!?t Dtr;^a nytDiiras^s l^ iv^''^^ pv I'^yn 05? 

.... n^tim tin ub^yiiai^i^ 
...nyAiin ibyii ibyt ^isja /pJT Dtr?'': i:\jj;d nyiy"? pv osrn 03; 
-tz^myD 'lyi nybn^j nyi ijja /'iy;3yai8S ^ii^'>i ny'»ix t'»''p Dyn ^ntryji^^n pv 

. . . . opij irD'>;3 pK ip nyi D'^tt 
IP"»Diba fix iP'»n^-T ts-^ix D'>*''?3i8n ni^K Dijn oi$n D^'>p'»DDyiyA n pK 
tyiyt is:iyn jipiy» t)t2;'»a 05; oyii t»k px ^ps'^igs ii^x d^ti Jin 0122 :i5ni 
n'»x pK .155T lytz^iyn pK nyan Dyii ^''K px /ia'»'?i nytr^nyn itK ny:in 
"lyuaiK saiT on i^-'s Dtz;^ ayn n'»K pK ,0'>v"'tDDyn5?a;aiK pK lypan tayii 
-ya Dt^**! T">x IS? l»T-'?3 nyt:;iyn nyiy'> t»t d^'^s Doys . . . o^s yiyrx 

.... tb^Q 
n tpnt3^o"»ix i'?yii o^jii n n»D ly^in n"»K oyii itr;"»2y3iayQya px 
10inD*»ix px ....Dpm TX p^yii is /Dan:^s^ on T-?x |pj?ii i>r d:i8«t 
0^11 n nsQ tyay^Sii T-^x i'?yii oigin ty:\ii2c n 't»x Dyn ny'?r?» n iis 
.... '|DD''n8D 12J ^''V'^tJDyiy^iDix nyi^x px ii^x dix ,iy^ip t-'x t » 1 I'^yn 
nyn 11B :^ 11 p ^ d d y t 8 :i " l ^-' "? ^ •'t tP'>T'»Di8§ n'»x Dyn D^T'»n:!i 
px /S^p T'X nya-'x y'p^t dix px cs yn-'x nyoaix iti^:k m^ y-nsiDD 
ny7i'»§iy y^»"»3ya ,]tr?iDiyttiyn'»x ,tyn^Tma'»x yrns :pj?T t^yn mnQ ynyrx 

.... ny'puDav ]ix iyt)Dn nyp'>biy /toysijis 

.... Di^2: px D'n i^x Dytii^yA /Oytr^yA oy o^^^ yb^ 
px ,yDoys /yDS^masDU? 0^1 ,yiyyt^y:\ P'lu? d^t t'»x n^B p'»ix 
Ti» px nnsT D«;n ID 3 !5 n nyi .yayn-^nSy^ px yDnyii'''?Ai»s oi^i nyanyi 

.... p''nyD3ix 
-S'»ix yp'^a^^x 0^1 rx n ;D'i»p^nm» ,d>j?i n ^r^iny-ray^^s t-^x di^x n 

.... piijD nyp^a'»''x nyi — ty^^ns-^ix .txijnstr; 

282 Hope and Fear 

And when the morrow, toward which you all aspire, will have 
become no longer the morrow but the now, you will be the defenders 
of what is, the defenders of what was, the defenders of the withered 
past, of the lifeless forms of yesteryear. You will tread under foot 
the buds of the dawning morrow, you will destroy its blossoms, you 
will pour streams of icy water upon the flowering heads of prophecy, 
vision, and new hope. 

Today is reluctant to die. Every sunset is bloody red. 

I hope, I pray for your victory, but I fear and tremble at your 

You are my hope; you are my fear. 

pvitt^ P« :^2iiVSKn 283 

px niDi'i'n ,mK''33 pS sypitooi^:^ n «t»ik i5?oi?n d^h:p ts^^^itsti^ ton pK 

n^D *iytD'»s; p^i; T^ pv^^ T»K ns:i ':^''T nyi^K i:r nsn T'i? ^^''ii r^ 

♦pyntz; pj^ Din n-^K .r^ma^rs^n pj;^ Din th 


I toss about in bed. A thought plagues me and keeps me sleep- 
less. It moves about in the maze of my dreams, as I try to doze off. 

The thought is: We live in space and time. 

We can control space. If we wish, we stand still, and if we wish, 
we move and change places. 

But as far as time is concerned, we have to move, whether we 
wish to or not. Why, even religions are on the move. 

Space has four directions: we can move forward or backward, to 
the right or to the left. 

Space is a surface, a plane. 

Time, however, is a line. It has no right or left but only a for- 
ward and a backward direction. 

Historians turn backward. They reach with their imagination as 
far back as Adam and Eve and see these ancestors of ours walking 
about naked and eating grass. 

Prophets or visionaries, on the other hand, know only the opposite 
direction: Forward! They jump into the future; they leap right on to 
the Messianic Age, to the angelic little boy who will some day lead 
together wolf and lamb. 

Both historians and prophets are exceptions, however, strange 
beings who content themselves with a figment of the imagination 
instead of real life. A promise of life cannot be accepted as a sub- 
stimte for life itself either by the masses, God's creatures, who plod 
on step by step, or by myself as one of them. We want to live. 
A fleshpot enjoyed means more to us than a sweet promise of milk 
and honey. 

My eyes are half -closed as I continue the thought: 

Why do we not walk and ride in time? 

As far as space is concerned, we do make constant progress; we 
come nearer to perfection from day to day. Once we walked, perhaps 
even on all fours; then we learned to ride; then some genius dis- 
covered the wheel, so we harnessed the horse and drove; then came 
steam and conquered the horse; now electricity is challenging steam 

OTIS'? m 015?D8?D piSiy:^ 8 jDyn ri< mis T')D msn TK PK-- 
n>;D l^'^n n'';3 I y *»"> d tz; n'»)a i'?''n :|i:;i5?ns:n i^a ty» tsrp m^ o^i 

♦riS;^S Dyi ItZ^-'ID :TT TID 1 A 5? 11 IN; 2 

♦ftD^^T •T'S tj^n D18 '^y^ pK 

♦Dpi'''? T1K DDDy"! ,pni2C pK IN^S V^^ WVP T'Ja 

.oyn^S 8 ,:^:i8s?3iK t8 t'k di8 "in 
8 "18^ /Opa'»'? iiK DDDyi r**? 8t3t:?''a *int)t2; 8 tk D!?2r n n^a8 

♦tDa\n 8 liK mi8s 
p^nnyi ynsDiss 15?t t)''^ pk .pniir dik tt WP nypn8t^o^^ n 
IDS? ]ix ^vp^i v^^JtiMv; ^n i$?yT pK ,min iik m8 T"»a pni2r '?8?2 8 ''''t 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ T81A 

Di2r nsn8 ^8t3 iD''n:\ lo^ry'? 01:12 ^nb:^ ,r-5i8 tDsaipisr nyi i">x "78?^ 8 
]ix n'^sii mm nyi r^5 ^pyDtr?iT'»n 8 t)"»» tDn"»s d8ii '?^^^'' Qyr"''?p 

."[yD8Ti2r os$;tr? 
T»T tMi8i 11K ,i^Diy;3 ytr;'»'?n5?D0'»iK ,iy»8io''iK *iyn8 15?W n 
,p^8S 0D8:^ 'nya8 .py*? \:it$^m^ py"? pS T8'?n5D'»'»T 8 t)''^ nsranyi od8 
'PST Di3?")^:^o''ii': to**! ,t^ 11^ '^''^io ^-^^ tono d'»'»a D811 5?08?:5 5?o'»i")2i n 
11K ,pv^ I'p'^ii "T*^ ?D8ii n**^ ♦ ♦ . 5n-5n5? DVT i^"»iis ,">n tt2?'»m ,r-^T 057 
iy;3 05?S5? T'^K tr?^'''7Q S8t) pa :^:iny:n5r n ♦py'? tS'»i8 "bopyii v^p ^^'^1 
. ♦ . ♦ p'»:i8n ri< l'?'*^ PQ 3iiiWS8n yon n •»n Diyii 
nn r^yis T^ tiK ,t)D8J3^8Q n'?8n iy:iyT p^i8 ^r^^ 
?Dt?s nyi ]•»«: t)tr;'':i t ^ 8 S pK tDtz?**! i''^ t y'>'» a 08I1 "J8S 
^yiy^ip'?iD ^'»tt ns^ii ,T»T n"»^ t5?^p'»iiDa8 ^tDi8 ^V^i i2m'?'^:ii^ 0811 
'T'lK I8i tDDi^^-^s pK) iy:\:83iy:^ td tya^rt ^8^^ 8 .:^8t) inr :\8t5 ps 
081 n^iDiv tr?tDi5r«J ^yon 8 D8n ♦id ^j 1 dis iv^'\pv^ I8^nyi ^o^s y'78 
t| » 8 "T nyi lyttipy:^ T^'X !n iJ s 57 ^ P^ "J*iyS 08*7 t3:i8Sti:^5?Aix i*'^ p8n ^8^ 
tayi DyD'»x'»iapy'?y •»! to!^nDtr;8^ ds^k nn sr s 081 t):in8i t38n iik 
ny'p-rs '''7 •'I1 7y?'?s I'^yn *T'?3 px /TS"»tt?Dsi'? i5r» ts'^n Tains !D:\n pK fi»8T 

286 A Trip into the Future 

with increasing success; already we are building airplanes and soon 
we shall fly like the eagles! 

As far as time is concerned, however, is there nothing that can 
be done, no progress that can be recorded? 

My lids are heavy as lead. They droop, leaving merely a small, 
narrow slit. The thought continues to plague me: 

If I feel cold in this climate and have sufficient money, I can 
escape this weather. I can change northern darkness for southern 
sunlight. I can substitute summer for winter. Or if I have the desire 
and the money, I can have spring or summer all year long. I can 
listen to birds singing uninterruptedly and can really be happy all 
around, by moving to a warmer zone. 

But supposing I feel cold in timef there is no escape. 

In time there are no wheels, no steam, no electricity, and no 

Besides I cannot even remain still. I must move forward, and 
I must do so step by step in accordance with some outside will. 

It is impossible for me to go back with the historians, back to 
the generations without white starched shirts. 

It is equally impossible for me to essay prophecy, for prophecy 
has been in bad repute ever since the destruction of the Temple. 

I do want to speed in time, however, I do want to increase my 

I drowse off, thinking that where there's a will there's a way. 

The important thing is to will! All depends upon a person's 
will-power. I will. I will with all my intensity, with all my heart. 

And suddenly I do speed on. 

At last! No more need to grow bread! The earth has ceased to 
be the property of lords and nations! Chemistry makes bread out of 
weeds and we are competing with the weed-eaters — the jackasses. 
It's a pity to intrude on their preserve, but what can we do? Such 
is our world! For centuries they ate while ti^e starved! And now the 
wheel has turned. Chemistry now gives us not only bread but also 
meat and fish and poultry and herring. Or rather, the taste of these 
foods! The fat belly has disappeared, the oversized stomach, and all 
the rest of the flesh that man had to drag along for endless centuries. 
We don't eat. We just drink. In Paris, people have even stopped 
drinking. They just inhale. The foods enter through the nose. The 

t3i?2 nvi VH VTin n 287 

!D1^22 lyT pypmn: D^l rp yHSiy TP ?D1^22 1^*7 D**^ 1Jj:i 

D^i nyniT 8 i5?^§ rir'pns ir nm 8 ^^^ l'^ 18^ '^"^v^ s^n pi< T'k 
— nm pD ^yiip T^ pK /T'l^ tot2;'»:i Di^n /i5?^57^'»''S n ps :^;i8Ty:^ 

-Da8 122 ^11 8t3t^''^ f'H , D 1^ 22 I^T t^K Db^P '^"'^2 T-^K Oy T8 n^TS? 

-Dsib rv pK Ds?t3''nDpyby pv /«i^8T pv nn^^ PV JSt^t^**! 

♦ ♦.•J8'?8a 

pyiign pK ,pyii8n T*^ n;D T'K ip^Dtz; tsi^^n tot^^: i^d is?;^ — p^c 

]y^p57 T'D ,n^P^i^ to^''^ T'^ T^ W nypnis;Do\T n D-'tt ,pmx 

nnn pk mp-^m-n-^^ lyi d^t jtot^;^:; T'IX r^ m P8t nwn: pK 
»tn''^ny:\ p^? niK'»ni d^t toa^^n n pK iy;iS5;ii i^n ,n8T t^ wn^ ^ii^i^v^ 

ib'^n T'S^ r^n^ 1)^1 pK n 8 s '?''ii T^ 

oy^:^^^^iif^ ^iT8 Dt2;"»:n8^ t^^i? ov m .toDsitD pK pJ?K ^^m pi< 

T>K /'?''ii i^K pH .t^'^ii ps 38 tD:\ayn r'^^ n ^ 5? 11 18^ n^8T P?^ 

.fi^n I'^m P'^xa ,tDsyip y'ps t)''» '?''ii 
♦ . ♦ ^83 T»K — Aa'»^22i^s pK 

n D8n Diyn$;:^s'»m p^^ ♦Dt^;''! D^^nn pv iy^ Pi^ ^0P8ii os? lo'^ii^ 
DS8?3 yn^yD n ♦♦♦nyp^ys pH a^'ms p3 did:p'»k D8t 11?t 122 -rnj? 
•,•7 _ -ij^Dyisnsrnn n d^^ 18^ n^^^iPU^P ^^^ P^ nynn ps mil 
D^m b-r5?'To ,13^^11 8T8 n^^^ ^^^8 ly^ 18P 08II 'i'?''S8 nu^ni 8 ♦iy'?T^*'« 
D"»n3 it$i Dt^'':j pK !Diy:^:iiny:^ n *» ^ pK p^w ^n mn n8'' i^tonsriim h'^t 
,:^riyn pK brbm P^ /^^s pK t^^-'^s T'm — rayD n naix Dn p^'?8 
nyn ,^TO™'^8^ t**^ T'H i5?n8'i^ '^^*T "im ♦psm p8^t2;y^ D5?t n8i — DO^^T0 
Dj?! tDsy^t^y:\D8i in D8n D8II tz;'>^^9 p'^Dtr; ypn5?n''K 08t /in'?5?'^^ 
♦p;priD n-'ia 18^ 't5t:;^5 toy 'T»a pK ♦na8:i8 18^ n8' ^ytDiyT:!^ itrDiy^ 
vnB^ n ♦Dpybti:; lytt i^i .m^^i T»m pitz; ly^ Dp:iniD Tn89 pK PK 
,a'»iDtr; d-^^ iy'?ypyT y:i^''^p P8it3 iynay*?:i3y n -18:1 pnn pj?i8 1^'''':^ 

28S A Trip into the Future 

Englishmen carry little bags of powdered food under their noses, 
above their mustaches, and inhale whenever they feel like it. The 
mouth has not yet been entirely closed up because it has been found 
useful — for complimenting women, for flirting. 

Love is free, without envy or jealousy, without problems. 

The man does not have to provide for the woman, as in the 
twentieth century, nor the woman for the man, as in the thirtieth 
century. Each person has his own little bottle of fodder and inhales. 
The woman does not, therefore, have any special rights over the man 
and vice versa. 

"And you, who are you?" 

"Yes, you?" 
"I am the coachman!" 
"The coachman?" 

"Yes, I drive the wagon on the highway of time. You want to 
come along, don*t you? Forward? On to the future?" 

"Yes, to the angelic little boy at the end of time. Put on speed!" 
And we rush on. 

"In what era are we? What is it called?" 

"It has no name as yet. It has not yet come into being." 

"Quick! Onward!" 

Human beings are rushing about like poisoned rats and crying: 

"What are we to do? There are no hungry persons to feed, no 
famished persons to revive with a drink, no naked persons to clothe, 
no sick persons to heal. There are no unfortunate, oppressed peoples 
or individuals whom we could pity. 

The cows give milk but there are no calves to suckle. 

All creatures live and die in a natural way, in their due time. 

All people sustain their lives from their vitamin bags. Death still 
occurs but people die only of old age. 

Life proceeds in complete harmony with nature and death comes 
in complete harmony with nature. 

Sickness is unknown — ^but people do age. 

The organs shrink in the course of time until they disappear, 
gradually, simultaneously, according to MetchnikofPs method. 

t3!?S nyi I'K Vt1?1 K 289 

'n tos3^Dtr;i8s Dt2^''3 tsasA r^ W '^''^ ^""^^ o^^ ^'''J*^ pi< ♦'^''T t»t d^p'^ii 

]ix ^Diyiiim^^ iiDOp^:s2:s;ii22 v^ '»n /Sr?!! disjt Driest:; ts^ nsri D'^a 

— -. — ««. — «- — --. — — —. Diypiss D''! pK ]m ny^ 

?T^ — 

?n /;$"» — 

n57t2;Dip in — T« — 

?i5?t2;Dip nyi — 

!|^ n!?nt3 •'?ps?Dt2;:T'»n fto'^D b;jnr Qyr"»'?p D122 ,;$•»— 

♦ ♦♦♦"I5?^^s t;3 px 

. . ♦ . li^ns?:^ n''i^y^ ^^""^ W Y"'K ''T ^^^'^^ 15?J3S:i rv 1^^ t^^n ''^ — 

jir~nt2; pK rj?D 5?tD;30ii!;3 •'n ons pm22 pi< ]m ts^'i'? ttrtDisTD pK 
p-^p ^to'^Tin pp 122 -^n ,5;pns:\:in p^^p is::^ i^D'^i tm toiD 01511 — 
i?p:i8ip V''? 'tT'''?P8=i 12^ ytD^p^:! pv ,pant3 8 d'*;^ tp'^iipm is yp'^Dti^i^T 
nyn^ nyp'?3?s .^^^iP^'^ti^iy^ rp /py^P'^^^Jaii^ PV "i^^ «to^'>a ?t'?^\n 122 

?pi5n IS nin^m ,itr;DiyD v^'^sr'^K 

♦ ♦ . ♦ 8t5ti;''i lynyt p*»n is n^s'?$?p pv pi< i'?'»^ p'»:^ "»? ''i 

!t3r?s ny-r is n$?^'T*^»^ — tDiigtDti; pH tDsy'? r'?^ 

lyb tDin^ti)^? pn^tJt:? .y^S??yt ps pyb o;$t t)»5?n pK toay'? r^8 

♦ . ♦ ♦ t:'''»pi3^8 P9 ^'1*?=^ 
toiistotr; pi? iiD8i m to''» S'»:8«i'i8n lypmyau^^is 8 pK osy'? r'?^ 

♦iiD8a 15?^ tD-^zs y'»a8J^*^8^ nypn^yDtrbis s P« 
.♦♦nyD^y 183 ,t)''''pa8i? PV 8t3ti:?''5 
S^8 r\^ ni''Wi8S Q1S fn pj?i< iST'?^ n in is^iitr^ di^s iyi d**^ 

.yi8t35?f3 oii8P*»:iti^t)j?» tD'»i^ — 08^3 V't^ V^ 'tD!522 r'^ r« 

290 A Trip into the Future 

No organ disintegrates before the others, dragging one down to 
a premature death. A person leaves this world without pain or 

An harmonious life and an harmonious death; no troubles and 
no ills; body and soul vanish together. There are no living souls in 
dead bodies or vice versa. There is no will greater than the possibility 
to realize it and no possibility without the will to realize it. 

There are no discussions. The themes have gone. The opinions 
are of no interest. The voices are colorless. No anger, no gossip, no 
jokes, no witticisms! Once a humorist, Sholem Aleichem, happened 
to pass through. He was invited to a meal. He read from his works 
and all — yawned. 

In the course of time, yawning became contagious and developed 
into a universal chronic illness. 

"And how about the angelic little boy?" 

*'What do we need him for? What can he do? The wolves, the 
snakes, and the other wild beasts have been exterminated; even the 
pious frogs have been electrocuted — ^may they be blessed in Paradise!" 

"The earth itself has not quaked for a very long time," one of 
the elders was about to complain when he was interruptetd by a 

I turn to the coachman and call out in fright: "Drive on, for- 

"What*s this? A market or a fair?" 
"God forbid! Who ever buys and sells?" 
"What then? A coronation?" 

"Who remembers coronations? Let us go down to take a look." 
The street teems with people. They tell the following story: 
Once upon a time, when the Jesuits were driven out of France, 
a member of their Holy Order drank so much Chartreuse in his 
great sorrow and anger that he fell into a deep sleep near the barrel 
in the wine-cellar. He slept on and on to this day. Deprived of 
Jesuits, France decayed more and more, just like Spain after the 
expulsion of the Jews. The land wallowed in filth. The soil of France 
quaked and was seized with convulsions. It turned into a mountain 
of ashes and then into a wild steppe. Now, one of the yawners 
wanted to dig a grave in order to bury himself alive when, in the 

ui's 1VT ps vtm i? 291 

Vi^^i '»n D'»'»t) pK s^ t3ti?'>a Dn3n yam isd DinsDti; vbi. r^^ r? 

♦T"''? 1^ ,:\jjD''''ii "IS ,57'»as»nsn ]'»x pnstot^ pK y^JSJ^^JSn t"'K py*? '»n 

"^V^ n 0*?^ *iyoy*i]i tb-'n rv Stotz;*': /Dnypnxs tD"*:! iik /^ia p'»id s r^ 
ISP 0S11 A^s^iSQ rv st3^^:i ♦.♦i'?'»ii IS to^jv^s^^^y^ pp tk /lo'^v^sr'? 
T^^v:^v 5?D'?»STyA:s .yayo'^snyrirjK r^p s^^''^ Pi< 'HS^ii D^-^sny tDt2?'»:i 

n5?i''K ASD"»"»ii !•»« in Don 0S11 
rv St^ti^^a jHS'^^J?^ ioy:\iSs toi"»^s n^T t»ik pk Dr?x lyi t3'»)3 pK 

. ♦ . ♦ t)^vsy^^5?^ IS i'?''»i 

-'»'>ZD n ♦na^i'i^")S£> iya$?T J? ;d 5? D n js^''^ T^^^ tyoipon r'P P^ 
,t*7yns:i r^*? ^n^^j rv ♦s^ss ts ly^^t^tr? n pK ojr^iyDrK is IJ^^stt lyjiau 
v^ D3^^5?"£ai'?tr? /'^SS'i^r s toDS^^^ T'^ tDsn ^S» r^i< Jr*'*' t'"*P 'Osstz; rv 
11K 1TS'?5?:\ Dsn iy ,t)i^x^s» 8 T'^^^ n8^s:\rj?K q-'K dsh is?;^ ^nsQS^^^^n 

♦ ♦ . ♦ tn'zvinv^ — s^'i'S 
IS ^p:ivip ypnap5?t3u;as IS nsw^^ l^syajiA osi t-'k di^x ns?^ tD'>tt 

♦ ♦ . ♦ t3'»'»pas'ipt)'?yii 5?r*'»5?:\bs 
^^ppytDti^afn iD'^tt bnv ost T'»i< in pK 
iy:^:xs'?t2? n ,n'?5^'n n ?is'' y^sisiitr yD'pyn is ^tiiik ns? :^''it3 osn i2s — 
♦ ♦ ♦ tDyD'»r-)Dp5?^y lin ns'i'^s?:^ D5?Ainis?T iy:i5?T nrn 5?t'?'»ii ypnys^i? n pK 
!psn ''"'T i'7St n57"P IP'^DD'''? S ^t::^^'!© y^i^iS n i'?"»Ss 
nya'»''K in Dsn ;Dn57D''2jyA Dtr"»a :^as^ '>its rit^ tosn i'?''S8 'ny "»"r •— 

♦lit55?^ n^V3^ S t)sn pH .ps^PSS tD'rs'^^y^ tor?^ S^d^s n pS 
,1S ai-no jpyiu; d'»;3 o'»ik ^n pK nyt2;t>ip D122 in n:iyn I'^i^ px 
__-_.----.—.-----------.-----.--.---- ns?Dini 

?in^ 8 'OS11 — 
!D''a DDnpiss iy?a Pi< t3'»i Dsnp lytt !D\ns3i DS^ — 

?5?'»x8:iSi8P ^15?*^ oS'^'t — 
.15?? r^'r^ss^s ^''J!:>S'? JlD5?:^*isS int^ i^d dsh ost TIX — 

.lt!:^D:i5?;D pS tD'?;D^ii dsa n 

;3?tOD'»12;5?^ s D^'>'>22n8S 13??^ PK 

tosn .TJnpis^s ps P^nj?-* n pntDsr^onns t^sn 15?^ ts .'i'SJa 8 
jyiD^St^' tj-^tt lypanDy^s in .t''^ pk ns^^ "iss .yp•»'?'»^^ n i^b iya'»''K 
l^nist)yV s pK ^y'^yp r^ 083 d'-':i I'psay^'^'iyT^^S ^v t-'k nyiis-'tr^ s 
-y^ pK l^ssy:^ impiS-iQ fK iD^ny** is *m^ ip^'orjn is'»ik f»n m"?^ 
nas*? DS"T -nr n pnDy:iDms mn iy» ts oyn is^ r^^^Q^ '''n 'l'?8S 
tDsn s»8^P 8 'V^n 'nytD'»22 8 mn imp^s^S jriJ^tr? pK ns^^^ T'f tDsn 
n ps nyr'^K tosn t3X'»K .syoo s '':i2 ^m :^i8:2 8 — PK tDBSsy:^ T^y ''"t 
11K ,psn:\8:i D''\'Tiypnyay'? px nsp s PSi:^o'»i» d'tsiw in i^^yaya osn 

292 A Trip into the Future 

course of digging, he found the Jesuit. He immediately brought his 
specimen to town, where it was revived by means of drugs. 

When the Jesuit awoke, everybody surrounded him and asked 
him whether, in the ancient days of the Jesuits, people also yawned. 

"Yes," he replied, ''lords yawned in England, multi-millionaires 
in America, and others of like ilk." 

''How about the rest of the people? Ordinary folk?" 

"No! I think not!" 

"What did they do?" 

"Before the ban on the Jesuits, people everywhere prayed, praised 
God, sang hymns." 

"But that's not doing anything! Idlers all? What?" 

"People rejoiced at the rising of the sun at dawn and at its setting 
at dusk. We called them poets!" 

"We have no dawn and no dusk. The electric sun at night gives 
even better light than the sun by day." 

"Then there were concerts for charitable purposes." 

"We have no 'charity,' we have no poor people." 

"Organ-grinders played in the streets." 

"We have push-buttons. One touch and you hear a song; but 
since all can push and listen — " 

"Oh," interrupted the Jesuit, "I remember: we had poor people, 
who got a thrill of joy on a cold winter night when they put out 
a foot from under their blanket and then pulled it in again!" 

"We have no cold and no winter. A single temperate climate 
prevails over the entire globe." 

"There is one thing more I recall," said the tired Jesuit, "Fll tell 
you, but first — a little wine." 

"You mean wine-dust to inhale; here it is." 

"Soldiers used to parade through the streets, preceded by a band 
of music, and the people used to run after them gleefully." 

"What were ^soldiers' ?" 

"Men dressed in uniforms, armed with weapons!" 

"What is meant by uniforms,' weapons' ?" 

"Give me another breath of wine, because my memory is getting 

After inhaling, his memory returned and he explained every- 

"That's fine!" said the crowd, and soon soldiers with uniforms 
and weapons blossomed forth. 

tt!?s iyi pK vtm K 293 

♦ ♦ ♦ . t>nyt)ii^5?^Q*»iK n''H ly^ t)sn isTiiyi^ 
-^118 a'piy iv':im 15?T D^K Dijn ,DSii:s5?:^s*'iK in t);$n n^ •'n iik 

?pt>y:\ fS?^ D^n 0^11 — 
il^iay^ y^8 pK 15?^ Di^n r]wi)iT "'t iDi^niKs dish T^^ lyT'^x — 

toss: 1^3 pT ^t2;nDpy^y n ♦d^ii^ pv pK pi^^ pv p^n •T';^ — 

♦Ipym yp'»D57Db^iii n^s iDiyx:!^? tyiiy::^ T»ik i^^yt oy — 

!t3i^^-5;;3ns PV ^Dt:;''! t^^'^i npn^ p^'p pi$n i''?3 — 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D^'»i3ti;y:\ pi?::^ n v^ tn^n D^prnyD^p — 

n^a .mm ^ T'T Di5?n 05? pK ,pm X — iy^S57:iP t^^n ^''^d — 

♦ . w n^n pK ipm lyiyp y^s 'pi^ii 
t:\v'?s D^ii y;35?i;s i^iiy:^ t^ijrro :D?iTr ny^i in D^KDiyi ik — 
D1S 8 '[pyDt2;D'»n8 DD8nj?t)rii iv^b^P 8 P^^ '^^^^ 8 ""M /P'^^^nKs n''bi22 

!pm2J p85rjn8 p^ m^i$p i^n "i^d^ik lis 
'nyp''Dy»^D''» p-'X nyDm p-'p pK t3^:^p pv mix i^n ij^'^n — 

'^yiVD :d?1Tr I^DnyD^^I^S ^1^^ '0^^^ /T'K p^^l^?^ OJ^S^ l^JI^ — 

!Di:\ ,tpy?^t:? qis n''iDi2;pj?ii ^o'^n k — 
,pni^ t)''^ r'^yssP 8 ''^T n^s ^P8^ ''^ px p'':^Dnn P3?^s iyi'?yT — 

,Tns D''^ p'^i^^^^ ^^'^ mv^B Dbiy nyi p^5 

!D3S^1183 ,D*ip'':i« pH pt33?:^:2^ — • 

?D3S^ii83 t)rm T'»K 0^11 ]iK ?Di^i'':iiK m'^m o^n — 

♦1811!^ Diyii t:;"»i5?D5?'75?:^ ]i^^ ^^jii .pj?ii py^u? k i^5 i''D d**;:^ — 

px m8?2'n3?T r'?^ T^T D^n iy px .tpy^u? i^^ I'^nn a^x to^n 13?^ 

a"»^ iv:'7VT n^T'V:^ fss^^s ly^yr y^i^ ]i^? ,D^iy nyi d:^8t ^ton — 

nyny:^ PK |5?;diisd"':31k 

294 A Trip INTO the Future 

The so-called soldiers marched in the streets and yawned, and the 
onlookers yawned with them. 

"You are lying, Jesuit!" 

"No, Tm not lying . . . but these are no soldiers." 

"They are parading in uniform?" 


"They are armed with weapons?" 

"Yes, but— " 

"But what?" 

"They have not shed any blood and they have on their faces not 
a single martial trait!" 

"Shed blood!" the people suddenly began to shout. "Stab, shoot, 

"Whom?" asked the general. 

"Us, all of us, shoot — but don*t yawn, shoot!" thundered the voice 
of the people. The people are the final court of appeals. 

"Shoot!" commanded the general. 

And I awoke. 

oi's m pK ynj?-i X 295 

,DD5;Dt2? iiy^-ir"? P''in3;;\as :\:i^'?2{i^9 p'piss o^t d^h iDiba lo-^nNis -. 

♦t)S^D5;:\Q*»iK T»^ n^n T'k 


A Jew of my acquaintance sat down near me in a Warsaw park 
and asked me why I was so sad. 
"Graetz is dead," I answered. 
"God's will!" said my acquaintance. "One of our townsfolk, I 



This question, which ninety per cent of the Jews would have 
asked in his place, is a measure of the abyss into which we have 

When I informed my neighbor that Graetz was an historian who 
wrote the history of the Jewish people, he commented: 

"Oh, history!" His voice had the same ring as if he were told that 
somebody had eaten a dozen hard-boiled eggs at one time. 

Just as I was about to get angry, he continued very naively: 

"And what's the use of history?" 

"You are a Jew?" I asked. 

"I think so," he smiled as if he were thinking: "More so than 

"Do you like Jews?" 

"What then, I hate them?" 

"You know that Alexander the Great met on his victorious march 
an entire kingdom consisting only of women?" 

"Of course I do! The story is to be found in En Yakov, I believe, 
or possibly my teacher told it to me at school." 

"You also know when the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom 
of Judah became separated and the Jewish people were divided into 

''When? Why do I have to know when? The whole story is to 
be found somewhere in the Bible." 

"And what happened to the Kingdom of Israel?" 

"The Kingdom of Israel, we assume, is on the other side of the 

iin'^n 8 jT'' iSTT t)D8;2 mm rn inn — , 

05;pTO^83 15?T ri< tot:;''i Drill lyii -fsmm IH^'^t^ o^t dii?u i^p ty^s^n 
Dti:;''! r^8 toiyi t^^yn ps ?:^:ix lynsr^^ii lyi T'l^ m^^i m^^b is?ii ^niD 

?')i8^''t:;n iyt:?''D8*iP80Dn8 lyi 
irp 11K S!5ii ib''Qtr;i8s Kpin ot2;'»: is??^ n^8T ,]nrbp i^i ^nmm 

♦ . ♦ ♦r?iiD8it) lis DS?:i''t^ n ns?n''K t^^s PK r-'^ i^ 't^S?^ ypoi^Pt^^^'i'^ 
122 pb^s wiv ]is 3?DD^tr?s;:^ n ,r-'T i:s2 r^i:^ ^ P'»r^ii t-'k i^t 

,pnt^yA D^n rn:^ o^ii n^^m 't*^ rs toiirii p^i; pj^ ts |ik 

jDt^iy ly DD8^ 

t2syD$? Diyiam^n d^^ii ^5? 11'"?:^ /^ip Sts d'';:i tiK !5rn^DD\i !8 — 

♦^853 8 ^""^ "ly^^K yDi^n t]byii22 |oy:^y;^a'»iK mn o^ii 
j1i?83 P8JI iy t):\3?iQ ,0'»n8 D^in lyi lis iy?^ :\riSDtz; t»k t8 iik 

?yn8t3DM lyi |is ty^ D^n o^ii piK 

nn ixs ly^ ^D^'n 8 jtDiyi iyp*'K '»ii ny d^pd^'-'di^; nn ddn;^ — 

?T»K n^n Di!?D nyn •'n — 
lis wi T-'^ T»iK iQijiw^i D^n inpiD 'nnD3'?8 t^ /t)0'>"»ii tk — 

?iyni^ii s^8D D**^ nri^ v^im » ni:iins2 y?D8o 

It^J'SK fix /npy''-ry PX 'T't DD8T /18T fK Oy IfK O^l Ti^n^ 8 — 

♦D'?''''Xiy'7 -nn pK •'ni -lyn n^j^s oy D^n 
-y2r nn p^n ^Kit^'' JniD*?^ pK nn-n'»i niD*?;^ tyii ,do'»'»ii ^''K — 

♦ ♦♦?n8iiy^ '»"»iis: PK p^^S tr?"'T^ TK rs lyii ?d'?'»'»d 
♦piDS fK D'»'»t3t2; nt2;ya n . ♦ . ?i5;ii to-'ii i:s n'»» :i"»id d^ii ?iyii — 

298 On History 

'*And what happened to the Jews who were expelled from 

"They fled in all directions." 

"And how about those who were twice expelled from France?" 

"Where should they be? Some must have gone elsewhere and 
the rest must have found their way back somehow. Is that so im- 

"You surely know what the Jews have suffered and are suffer- 
ing to this day in Persia, Rumania, and " 

"I don't know about Persia but about Rumania I often hear, in 
the synagogue, newspaper reports which make my hair stand on end!" 

"Do you know anything about the Crusades?" 

"Ask me something funnier!" 

"It isn't funny at all. Don't you know that because of the Crusades 
thousands of Jews were killed, entire communities were wiped out?" 

"You must mean the massacres of Chmelnitzky in 1648?" 

"Do you know anything about the Jews of Morocco?" 

"Morocco? Never heard of it!" 

"Would you like to know?" 

"Well! To know! What is there to know? Another variety of 
troubles? People behaving differently? Believe me, it's the same world 
everywhere. I thank God that I don't have to bother about the 
world's troubles. {Pause, Sighing:) But tell me, you read newspapers, 
is there anything new?" 


"No," I turned to my neighbor, "no, you don't like Jews." 
"How so? Because I don't give money? I haven't any to give! 
The rich Jews have, so they give." 

"I don't mean money. You see, a normal human being wants to 
know everything about a good friend or relative. If you meet a rela- 
tive, for example, whom you haven't seen for several years, you don't 
get tired asking questions, one after another: how he got along all 
the time, what he experienced, what his wife and children are doing. 
If you learn that somebody in the family was sick, you want to know 
what kind of sickness, how long did it last, did the patient suffer 
much, what doctor or what faith-healer cured him. If a doctor was 
called in, did he prescribe a red medicine-bottle, or a green one, or 
a plain white one? If a faith-healer was consulted, did he merely 
pray for the sick person or did he envelop him in smoke? Your 
curiosity, however, extends not only to matters of such great im- 

VttD^tt^p pyn 299 

ianDy:io'»n8 tj^jn i»a w'py'n n?' ''^ iwpy:^3M8 iy:j?T in tiK — 

?s?'»a8S3tr^ lis 
. . . ts;!j'?5;x in tsfiyt "jn — 
?T-?npi8-iS lis ^8^ ^ni2r pnuyj^o^'n^ D^n ]v^ o^n n iik -- 
Dtt^n n 11K /?yii8 r 5? ^ "1 5? '»Knii8 T'^K '?o^a » iim ^n i'?8t in — 

,ois rn D^jn V2 iTJb 11K /itD'»^y;; p8n nr o^n Do-^ni i'^k — 

? . . . y^iy^n 
*?8'3 »^8 lytt to^^^s^iyi y^jy^n pyn ;Dtr?'»i t»k cm did pk — 

nynB8P in i'?yDt2? b:^5?:i 1ik i8n ;oni8 "ht'Sxh/, iis *?iti; tk 
tovBv I'^K Dcni " 3? :^ *» 2r X ^n p // iis iik — 

?"5'?xn->Ktr?ii// 11K — 
i]wb 8 ")8S 081 T'K 0811 — 
iS-?8 /5'?2i;n-'»Kt2;ia n iin t8 .t3t2?''n8:\ oomi n"»K iiz^iip-iitr;'? — 
Snmi 3nn ni^Mp yxa8^ ,)'l^^^n tDyAiny:^ it"* lyoarnD i^riyt ,y:\'»22mp 

»pv»x o'»p22'»:i'?y;DD ,n"n nw ^ktii8 ^r**^ i^jk — 
?oyss? "T^K t)0'»ni 8P8^8^ TK nr lis — 
!D-iyny:^ Dti?**! , P"' i ?8?8'i8tt TK — 
?T»K tD^811 P''ii t) "? 8 'Ji V ^ 111^ -- 
oy ?nnx yT8?!3 5?iyTa8?Di8*7 !•»« 08ii li« fiom 182 -- 
T»K . . . V y 11 r'» K aiD5?»iK — T^ t)a'>'»'?:\ ?isik w^is 18 n^K D-^n 
n'^K nr$i m^t iik orsn 8 18^ r^ •ytns) i8iy*T oyjn8S'D t8 /D8:^ p:i8"t 
?o!?: i5?oyi in Dnsrn 08ii r:)iiiDi?2: 8 18^ toay*"**? 

.2^^ Dt2?'>3 IT'' t)8n n^K :ptr? p» 12: T^ :.i$i — r"»a -- 
lu^D^jT n !Dtr?'»3 n8n'D ?tDU^''3 D^yoi r^p a'>:i i"»k ?n'»8i"8ni 8 — 

!^n 11^:^ — ii8n 
T8 .Dirit^a 8 lis f»K y3D n n'^x tjyr .r^ p^;a 081 t)u?'»: — 
-)"»it t8 ♦Snp 8 'T^ii'is It^n 8 oam 18 18^ toin 0811 r'?8 lo'^ii '?'»ii iv 
tjnyii /i5?T5?3i t)**! 18'' ysy^tDs; ritz; t)8n 't»k p'^yii 5np 8 'i'tr?^'? dSjtid 
0811 /iy:^i8^y^ tD!5S ny-r iya'»x d-^k ^k oy •'ii ^pynSisron^ t»)d Dtr^'^a i'^k 
T^K .p8» lyi^V »i^-^T ami im 0811 .t):\yis *t»k ;iD3s?'?y:ii5?n'»K D8n iy 
ny t38n '25 ,0811 ^''IK 10'»ii •T'K d^'»ii ^ityiiy^i pa8ip irwtnn iiS ry»y 
^x n80P8T iyo'?yii ,t)iynya m^ oy :ii8'? ni mnv^ Q'^no*' yoni^i 

300 On History 

portance. If you see an acquaintance of yours in a new suit, you want 
to know how much he paid for the cloth per yard and how much 
for the tailoring. You lift up the flap to see if he hasn't been fooled 
in the lining." 

"True," smiled my Jewish acquaintance, "there is no denying all 

"Yes," I interrupted triumphantly, "as far as your brothers all over 
the world are concerned, however, you don't care to know how they 
are getting along! Your brothers have been suflFering for thousands 
of years and you are not interested in finding out what's been hap- 
pening to them all this time. From this I gather that, when you usher 
in each month with a prayer which includes the words *A11 Jews are 
brothers,' you say these words with about as much faith as the words 
'Next year we'll be in Jerusalem.* " 

"But I still feel that I love Jews!" 

"You are mistaken." 

"Can you prove it?" 

"Yes, if you'll answer a few questions honestly." 

"All right!" 

"Do you like all your relatives? 

"Not all." 

"Why not all?" 

"What a silly question! If a relative of mine opens up a store 
right next to me, if he becomes my competitor — as though there were 
no other business possibilities elsewhere, if he creeps into my insides 
and takes my customer — my bit of bread — from right under my nose, 
why shouldn't I hate him? Or, if I have, among my wife's relatives, 
a drunkard or a confirmed atheist, do you expect me to like such a 

"And besides these few?" 

"Besides them? Yes! I like all the relatives I know!" 

"How about those you don't know?" 

"I can't tell. For example, I have a first cousin in America. I 
never saw him." 

"Then you don't — "I tried to suggest the answer. 
"I don't hate him but I can't say that I like him. After all, I can't 
even picture him to myself. Try to like the hole of a doughnut! I 
don't know him!" 

vviT^n pvii 301 

totr;'»3 D'»K D^n ts?^ ''^^ ^y^p^s n fi'>iK 1^:1 toa-'M *T»i? ;t3'?ynyTJ?at2; 'ps^ii 

♦ ♦ • ♦ A8'?i5?Daix is'^ii^ Disi^y:^ 
♦iyi5?p*>'»b Dtz;^i T'K lyp o^T tT** nj?T D^D^'»Dti; ,nDK — 
/T»K 518T / 1 y n •» in Disn TX t8 PK ^]^n^l r^ T-^^^ T'^ '^^s z^*' — 
ITT DID •'n D'^ 0^11 loni Dt2;'»n8:^ 'T'K D'^-'ii zDb^ni I5?2s:i8:^ i^t tik 
12? Dti^^a i!!j< D'T»Dyn3?D:s^K .ins** is?d:i!^id vw )tj^ *iyinn ynyi^K tjj tix 
♦15?tr?y:\ "»n d'»^ t'»k Dr?22 ny:!ja8:i 15?^ pK o^ii .io'»n 
^Kitz;'* bs D5?// m ,jy:^3m5?^ t'^k nyDi^n T'K i^^t ^W^i Ps PK — 
*»n niii3 nyiyp"'^ nj?^ d**^ n-'K da^t it:?Diyn"t:;nin-t^Hn ps '^on'^n^ 

l|T'' ^'''? 3i8n T^ T8 D18^ '?''S T'K T8 pK — 

♦ . ♦ ♦ D:\8Ty^ DS^j^ — 
yny^Dy H'^iK ly'pny 'T'^ DiysD:is? 18^ ,'irj?*no''ii< T-'« ^5?ii T'K — 

na — 
?a^nnp ynyi?x n-^b Dis^n i^k -— 
♦y'78 Dt2;'':i — 
?57'?8 Dt:;'»:j D^n I8Q — 
py: in DD8^ nnp 8 orjtt t8 pi< iDr^yns n'^K o^n T'K c-^n — 
T'lK onno^D tabvQ oy T-^'pri /S8n T^ '''n D5;rit8 Dpiis nno*'^ 8 1**^ 
p9 mip Qyn o'»n8 'T'^ Dom ,r-n8 ^5?ii r« 'T'J^ t^^'^'ip '^'^s^n 13?t 
IS?^? ♦ ♦ ♦ ^P-'T m'^i «ait2? pv D-'i^ T»x 'p^t — '?''iJ2 ps ID^n nvi ^n^psriiy^ 
nnu^-'p^n^ 8 iyi8 '^'^^''^ 8 snp 8 — ^22 osi^n ps — n^n T>i< T8 

v-^i ym^ pK -— 

iW T^ P^S?iT D''3n? 5?^8 J8'' — ''^T pn8 — 

wvi^'^i mvp 'T'K 0811 n pK — 

PK Trpn5?DD57iit£^ ly'pni^b 8 '?ti;^'? a8?i T*^ JtDtr;"'^ T'K o^^ni — • 

♦ ♦ . nvm t3tir'»:i p-'iK n n8& ^^8^ PV P^ri t>k ^vp'^'ivm 

nyDllH D"»K T>K P**^ ♦ ♦ ♦ yp8D Q'»K T'X D8n — 

DU?'»n8:^ "T*^ Q'J* t^P TH T8 ♦Dti;''^ T^^* ^^"^ ^^^ '^^'^ ^^'-'Q ~ 

!Dti;''i Q''X ivp T'K T8 /'?:^''^2 8 pQ 18^? 8 s'^^ n8n n^^t3ti;'i8s 

302 On History 

"But Jews in general you do know?" 

My neighbor looked like a mouse in a trap; he wriggled hither 
and thither but I did not let him escape: 

"I take you at your word. You don*t like Jews in general because 
you can't picture them to yourself. They are for you like the hole of 
a doughnut." 


*'What*s your business?" I resumed. 

"Foodstuff!" he answered gloomily. 

"You ve lived on this globe about fifty years?" 


"All right, forty-five! In your lifetime you ve come to know close 
to two hundred Jews. Of these you reject about half: those who are 
lacking in piety, those who have a different brand of orthodoxy, and 
those, of course, who don't pray at all — atheists! To the flames with 
them! Of the remainder there is a considerable number you have no 
use for: one happens to be your opponent in a lawsuit, another is a 
competitor who takes your heart out, a third once spread gossip about 
you, a fourth is the fellow to whom you owe money, a fifth has a 
wife who quarreled with yours. The few that are left over, well, per- 
haps you do like them." 

He was still thinking, deliberating what to answer, and I struck 
the iron while it was hot: 

"Liking presupposes knowing! To like Jews in general means: 
to be attached not to twenty or thirty Jews but to the entire chain of 
generations and to the entire present generation which is scattered 
and dispersed throughout the world. A people is like a cone." 

"How so?" 

"Well, picture an ice-cream cone, upside-down. On the top point 
is our patriarchal father Abraham. The further down you go, the 
broader and wider the cone. Don't think of it as a perfect cone; mice 
have nibbled at it here and there, the cream has oozed through at 
one point or another, the wider the circumference the more cracks 
and holes and disfigurations. By the time you g^t down to the base 
of the cone, to our generation, seas, deserts, and lands divide us. To 
like Jews means to like the entire cone from top to bottom. To like 
Jews means to know them in their entirety, to understand them, to 
contain them in your heart, your brain, your blood." 

?1'»K Diyp b^M ]1V pK — 

ps ^1^11 .]iv bb^ nvi Tb ^^-^i D^n th ^t^ :^^t .ibi^Bi^B — 

!(ypis) '?r'»n >!; 11D is^ J? 'DtT'^n nn^^n rP ^8^ ^''K Dis:n it^ '?^3 
tiv s tD^-rasin ^T'K :^5?is ,0^11 t)'»;D — 

tp'^ssis nis^ 8 D'?y'n nn JT»ix ]^w Dnsr*? T'K — 
ny toijyoynnijD !p'»:2nys px nrs — 

lyoKTi pK n'pKH 'T»>< DS1K11 •»•»! ps ♦♦♦IT'' Diyiiin •»ni2: i? njrmyyi 
nyi? n^;$tr;-^'^*^^ "^^s '^"^'^n p^t 0^11 n ,DnS t)t:;'»i lya^rt o^ii •'t — ir?nJ!: 
nyi^s t^K !Q^onp''SS ♦ ♦ * t)u;'»n^:^ lyiiiiji o^ii n DD$n;3t:^ i$;n ♦ ♦ ♦ Dijrpiss 
is;*! «T»iK DDiijii pK bo-^n n^stz; 8 n^i n-'i^ D;:i5?i Dt^sr^i lyi ps ♦ ♦ ♦ 15518 
pK uDnp — mnip^i^P ss n5?tj''''ii2r ns?^ .Designs i^ •T»i< Di^n Djrr^K tD''}3 :132^ti 
myr piys D5?t ,d:\;sw ^Diyii 8 ii^x T'IK Dijn nvtom nj?i n^rnyb 15?*t 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n"*"? ^TJ^'^B I'^tf^ D^n /Di^-r t^ni^^n 03; '?D'»n ,Dtr;yn n ♦ ♦ ♦ D:^np 
jrn *i5?T i^'K irjK 0^1 1'^JDtr; t»x pk i^i oiybp nn ddj^ioi^d ny 

♦ ♦ ♦ D'^njrs pK to'^nstrsr^r vh 015:11 w tp''Di!?n 1^2^^ oisr px ,min y^s ps 

♦ ♦ . ♦ oianjp 8 •»ii fK p'?^D ^ 

?nyD!:?n o^T T"»K 0^11 — 

D^'^'a s^ns D^ii nrn^ Dn1n^?: — '|i'»ix nypn '?tD''n i? •»ii pjt ^^t — ■ 
Dtr?-)! iy'?t)3r''K fK ♦ ♦ ♦ lypiis: ^D\T nyniii^ ♦ ♦ ♦ lyo'^nn pK n^^i^'^nn r'?^: 

♦ ♦ ♦ mrs n iy» r'?^ T*^ Dt:?'»'»'?sy2: pK in D'rijsstrr lypnyri o^ii ♦ ♦ ♦ Dsy^ 
,lsyDO in p??2r ,tn57DN:n inn 'w^'^'iw i^p'^'^d 3?i57T'»trnii:D nyn^iK itr?'»n:i 
57Si»:\ n p^n n***? :DD''\n ]iv in^n n-*^ — ♦ ♦ ♦ nyniy'? in tD-^nstz^isS 

304 On History 

My neighbor thought a while and then commented: ''No doubt, 
history is interesting! ** 

"It is more than interesting," I told him, ''it is a necessity. It is 
part of the foundation on which rests all Jewry, the entire cone. 

"You see, we are an ancient people and yet, in this respect, all 
other peoples are much wiser than we are. Not only the European 
peoples, who write, read, and study history; not only the Romans 
and the Greeks, the cultured peoples of antiquity, who guarded their 
history most carefully; not only the more ancient Egyptians, Medes, 
and Persians, who scratched their history upon stones, walls, pyramids, 
but even the most primitive peoples, the savage tribes, appreciated the 
importance of history. 

"There are wild tribes in Africa and America who still go about 
naked like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; they still wear as 
ornaments of beauty brass rings through their noses, seashells in their 
upper or lower lips, leather bracelets on their feet, horns or feathers 
on their heads; they grease and tattoo their naked bodies with colored 
figures; and yet these wild savages already know that history is a 
necessity. Since their men are always busy with war-making, fishing, 
and hunting, their women must keep in mind everything the tribe 
experienced and must relate it on every suitable occasion." 

"Perhaps such is the custom among the idol-worshippers?" 

"And how about our Torah, doesn't it start with history?" 

"So says the Biblical commentary of Rashi!" 

"But still, what's the good of history?" 

"You have children, haven't you?" I answered his question with 

"Yes, in accordance with God's command." 

"Who is wiser, pray, you or your child who is just about to go out 
into the world?" 

He became serious. 

"The eggs always claim to be wiser than the chickens." 

"But what do the chickens say? Will you trust your business or 
your capital to a boy of six or seven?" 

"Of course not! Do you think I'm crazy?" 

"Why won't you?" 

Tf^iT^n PV11 305 

yp>D'»''i 8 T^K oy /Da8D5;i5?t3a'»K •»ii ns;?^ .d'^k T'K :\^t ,t''k oy — 
,l»s DS?T v^ ,is?i5?T iijT pK /pbujs ^b^ ]^ iijT ty:i^T n'';^ ^I^'K d^t 

•'11 v^T^n 'iT'*'^ iDMj?:^ p^n o^ii is^p'^ys yDy7^;'»i3?^ :^d^^ n ,pn:^ n 
"DM n^^n pijn ys'psrn /niarois /Dnssia i^'^s^ 1^: Dt2;'»:i ;3^p pK ri-'iK ij^: 

/tojrpsi 0118 T ;$ 1 ir^^ sp^sr^s Pk srpnss r« ly^^ii^ti^ S7i^^ii ''t 
r^ 137^^5?i yaytz;^?^ P5?ii ^'>'>pi'^w 18D p^iD jpi^-p ri< nini qt^ ^n 

nr''T myp n T'ik n5?T3?s-'?p'?S5?:i i5?is iy:iij?n /Cs n n^m iDsr'pD^in 
D'^ja 5?Di''bt:;8:a /tii:^''S :s?P'»m8s ^''^i^bs d-'Id tDi?itD8tDD'»iK pk nr?'? D^rp^^ 
!p'»to'»'»i px yni$tDOM ts /piu; p"»"»ii ii2;t):5?^ yi^'^ii "^i i'?''S8 pK ♦dd3?s 
nr^S"* PK p8D"t^"'Q /^p D**^ t^r^un^s P'':2''''K i$?:i^t iy:^^ n ^r?n *[ik 
"15*7 pi? Diy'ppis?:!''^ o^n D8t3u; m D^ii Y^^ IVP^V'^V^ is?ni^ii n Pi;d 

?yDD"»tt?yA pD tDti;"'^ ,iij t»t idi^m d^ii ps nun n p^n: — 

?S?DD^tt;s;:i n /Di^S n ly;^ «ti8;t 0^11 122 pj;: — 
tD'>^:ii osn 73"»p nyi^it i^^Tilj: 1 *» k ,iy3i^'?p n^-^^^ t^yn t»k ,t"»k lyn — 

-op5?T ps '?:^2r 8 15PiitD5?3i 'T'K tjyii •»x ?pst oi$n nyrn n lyajj •— 

♦ ♦ ♦ ?ttDSyt2;s;:i nr-^K /py^n^s ir-'K i^** pn 

wi2;'>i 0^11 18© — 

306 On History 

*'rd soon have to go begging." 

"Why, can't a six-year-old conduct business?" 

"Of course not! He has no experience." 

"For the same reason, obviously, a newlywed couple aren't given 
their dowry immediately and in full, because business requires ex- 
perience and the young man hasn't any." 


"He is therefore given an older adviser or an experienced partner." 

"Probably. Do you think ordinary Jews have no brains at all?" 

"God forbid! I don't think so. I'm just asking. Please tell me: 
do children grow up and in time amount to something?" 

"Of course! If they see the world, if they get experience, if they 
can distinguish between good and bad, then they have acquired 

"You see, a philosopher said that yesterday is today's teacher." 

"Do you have to be a philosopher to know that? Why, every 
school-boy will tell you that the world," — he heaved a sigh — "ex- 
perience, is an expensive teacher." 

"But experience means remembering, doesn't it?" 


"If, God forbid, a person falls sick, as in typhoid fever, and forgets 

"Then it's bad! He'll have to start all over again from scratch. 
This actually happened to Reb Sheshas." 

"Supposing that a person, God forbid, has no memory whatsoever, 
supposing he is born without the power of memory?" 

"Does that happen?" 

"Let us suppose it does!" 

"Then it's really bitter. Such a person cannot learn anything at 
all; he can't grow wiser even if he becomes as old as Methuselah. 
Without memory experience is impossible. 

"A boy of six with a memory can be wiser than such a person?" 

"Of course!" 

"Right. You must understand one thing more. Not only an indi- 
vidual but a people too must possess a memory. A people's memory 
is called history. What is true of an individual without memory is also 
true of a people without history: they cannot become wiser or better. 
Where can a people derive in bad times experience, advice, and self- 
confidence, if each generation with its joys and sorrows, virtues and 

Vtas'tt^V^ pvil 307 

?]-)■»& t3tr;'>i toD5?^5?A r">p typ '^r^ar pn5?''Dp5?T 8 /^k oijiit — 

iriiu;p •»it8 Du;"*: pb^Qip Dyn 15?d d'':^ D-^as 8 nynn^?! pK — 
P8n iy?a T18T ty'^iisn miir *?r?n ,ni o^^ o'''^"i8 ^^^ 8 t^k Dt^"»a pK 
!nyS8 ]iviK tiyto5\i 119 Dt2;i57 v^ ]^^"i)^nv lyi pK 5?p^ap8*is 

riT8 '»K1118 — 

.«init2r n5?tD'75? 18 'YV^'* 8 Dy:'»n8 n8s odit lyD — 

*?Dur r^P ^8> r^ti? T-'K tT' 5?D0819 i^n T8 /Dr'';^ i^k lonon-p — 

15?18 '1^^^< ^5?^ T^ '*T'^ t):^8T ^8-^ ♦D^'>ii8^ P^ T*s« JDi^ptr^ron — 

n8115?3l Diyil l^D ,yp^DP81S Onp iy» /D^yil 8 t35?T ]V^ T8 rKTO8 — 

♦D-'iK in iy» Dany*? /f^K DDy'?::; d81i ]ik dia 0811 
Dn T-'X :^8t5 is;p*'DD5?i n5?T T8 ^m^'^v^ D8n n8D8'?'*s 8 'i**^ t^srr — 

iyp''0p8l3 -081 D'>">n 'PDiiirmn 8 ?n808'?'*s 8 lyj^ 'T18T Dj;"! T»1K — 

nyny"? n5?nyt?D 8 T''K (SS8 ny Dssn) Dbyii •»! 
?tn3T p8n lytt n^D ,in dd8t /yp''tDp8"is i:j — 

♦''KT118 -— 

^oiQ-'t) 8 T'lK ''^tz^ttb /pi8iP toiyn .Di'pu^ron nyi^^K lyn pK •— 

?1^'?8 to 3? A 183 P^5 
yayp-'K 081 . ♦ ♦ n'»a-nb8 PQ p^"»ni8 15?^ ti;o !DD5?bu? 3?p8t3 t^k — 

♦13811^^^ l^t^tz; "1 18T tD8n 
ny ,Du;'»a in3T r-^p '^8^ t^8n /t'?22'?-KiDnn nyr'^K m ^t^k "^n pH — • 

?pl3T 18 18^ n8ii5?^ n^'i^iJ?^ T"»K 
?iy"7 T»T DsyntD oy — 

4yny'?D'»iK ut^'>ai8:^ T't IVP nyi'>iT8 ;^8A "^n n5?D"»i '»Knii8 rx — 
pnsT 18 ♦ - IW on^^iriD r?n i'?''D8 ♦ . ♦ nyii ny:^'»^p ^^''i ^8» P^*? 13?P 

♦yp"'Dp8n9 18 T-'K 
tQ-^K -)8S 'ly:^'*'?? P-?T lyp P13T 8 tS"*^ 18'* DPVT pS '?^ar 8 PK "- 

Pi<n'n8 — 
-18^ t)tr?''a T8 .p'»tDt2?n8s 18T "T^K DTiD n5?n8 18T P'^x n-'K oyr — 
T^x pn3T op'?8Q 8 P^ JPist 8 P8n nn8i P^8S 8 l^ii< 18^1 'tr?my» 8 
t)t2;'»2 p^8S P**? W — P13T 18 tr?Diy» 8 "'ii — yn8t30''n 18 !yn8t30M n 
PK yp'>Dp8*i9 lywi P'?8S 081 ^8t iy:i8ii PQ ^n^ii "ivoya Dtr;'»i ,ny:\*'^p 
PK nnx 5?rj»T tt'^ia "in my'' t8 /pn^n px mxy ,Dr?x nyt)Dy'?tr^ ly-r 

308 On History 

failings is cut off and cast away, or, as the proverb goes, out of sight 
out of mind?" 

'Tou're right," said my neighbor, *'in bad times we lose our heads, 
we are like a herd of sheep; whoever wants to, whoever puts on a 
front , becomes our leader, our spokesman!" 

*Tisten to me, buy Graetz's Misery of the Jews!' 
''But where will I get the money?" 
That question I had to leave unanswered. 



We want to speak about poets, about the tragedy of man, and 
about the last act of this tragedy: death or salvation 

Other peoples have the sun behind them; they proceed from 
evening into the night. The ancient Greeks and Romans tell of a 
golden age in the past, which was followed by one of copper and one 
of iron. Modern peoples also look back to a savior who redeemed 
them. Our Messiah alone belongs to the future. He still has to make 
his appearance, and not solely for the benefit of his own people. 
The whole world must be judged and redeemed. The entire world 
must be liberated from the tragedy that now inheres in human 


The tragedy of human existence is to be found in Koheleth. 

The hero of Koheleth is Solomon, a king in Jerusalem. In his 
youth, he sang the Song of Songs, the song of women and love. 
Golden youth faded away, however, and in the shadow of life's cool 
evening, Solomon, King of Jerusalem, became wise and incorporated 
in Proverbs his advice on how to live wisely, how to live calmly. 
Night gathered about him; old age arrived; and, standing on the 
threshold between life and death, between being and non-being, or 
between the transitory and the eternal, he cast a glance back upon 
the road traversed and asked, why? Traveling over the long path of 
years, he constantly gave birth to new desires, buried these desires, 
and went on; he constantly envisaged new goals for himself, achieved 
these goals, and went on. 

After experiencing everything, he still lives on without knowing 
why. He can no longer love; he has lost all desire for wines and oint- 
ments. His palate no longer craves aught, his eye has nothing new 
to see, his ear nothing new to hear; and still he lives on. Life is 
drawing to a close, and all that he has gathered and accumulated he 
will leave behind him. 


,Di?22 iyiyi^;$:\ nyaytyiiy^ » lis id">^ii pn:i PK ny;:D'»n v^b^ ''t 4^-518 
lyiyr yaiyiisitt n ;trj?x pK njrssip ps di^x n ty^ipy::^ fx 05? nyD'pyii i^a 
nig:! .ly^ipyA Dtz;^! ^}$i VH mtr?^ nyniix 1^1 ;'i^i$'\m Dr"''?5;AD'»iK pit:? 
t)sti?''^3?:^ -♦P*''?8 P"?^^ P-'t nj?s i^a Dt2?'»a pK lyx^ip to^i^r n^sn ny 

♦n^np in pi< i5?J3i!y:^Q^"ii< to^n ps?'? p^^t2?DayD lis yny:\8nD n 
o^-T ton-'tz;!! 'T'tz; — m:kv pj?T ;D'»'?t2;n'' pK r^'^asrp i^ ,n;D'?t:? ■— n^jrn nyn 
I'PV ps pist:^ pK px ,in Dti;y^ d!:\t' y:!^'!'?;?:^ ♦yn*''? pK iv'ns ps •T'b 
•'iTJ? •'11 ,ni:2y tD'':\ pK :\i^p ,D'»'?t2;n'» pD ri-^ayp nyi .nia^ti; di^^ii t):ni^ 
,18 D^ip nyio'py n ^toD^:! n 12^ d'p^d oysstr; 4337^ 12c p?n ,ps?'? i2r iii'rp 
trjT '[tj:;'»ii22 ^inj;^ ^m^^i pK pj?'? itr'^m '?yiit2; nyi *i^ii< pn:ir''t3ti7 ]ik 
K ny Dsn^ii .tD^v^'*''^ PH to'»''pDyb:\iy:\i8s W^^"^^ ^V^^ ^P-^t diz;**:! pi< 
pniy'»n ?08ii 18^ jtD:\37i5 P« ^yi*t Dyiy:^:i^:i5?:\nyn'»i? id-^ik pms p'''?n 
fD'^iK ^n'^'i^y^ iJ?:MniK'?i8s yi^i "pis:^ 8 0811 ny to^n ,:^yii pix^ tnya^K 
,iyTp i'?^^: yi^i '^s^ 8 0811 T'T n8Q AV:^^^^V^ nv^n^^ px — p8i:^8n ayii 
D3y^3?n3?n^K r'?8 ^y i38n •»it8 pi^ -1^:^:18:^^:^ nyDr?ii pK — toD^jni^nyT 
r)Tb Viii;'^^ ny^ pit:? 18P "^^ ♦oisii i8:i tDti?^:i DD-^ni pK ,r^8 18^ tony^ pK 
t)tit;'»a pit2? tJiSDy'? oy /^^^'in p''p px pj?ii pv t3tz;'»: pit:; q''K Dpsr^ti? 0$; 
tDt:;"»:i pitr; D8n ns?''iK p_n .is?! 122 o;$ii loti;*'! pit:; Dujn ri'^iK pjt ,t3?^i:^ ly^ 
-ly 0811 r'?8 081 pK n^T Dpy py^ o^T pK !Dny^ iy px ^n^n 122 0^11 
"n PK ♦P'»::^pyii8 pK — P8^*iV3'>x -ly Dyii D'?^8ty:^i8 PK ]n'»^py:\a8 t38n 

312 Poets, Books, and Readers 

Moreover, he has lived not because he wanted to and is departing 
not because he wants to die. The will which brought him here and 
leads him away is beyond his control. In his heart was implanted 
desire for the world, the urge to build, beautify, increase. But it was 
not for his own benefit nor advantage, since he goes away and leaves 
all behind for others. He is forgotten and those others, who will come 
after him, will again desire, again work, build, beautify, increase, and 
again go away. Their successors, in turn, will make use of every- 
thing and then they too will depart and be forgotten. 

The earth abides forever. The sun rises and the sun goes down, 
and hastens to the place where it arises. All the rivers run into the 
sea; unto the place where the rivers go, thither they go again. 

All that was will be. All that departed will return. Man alone 
departs and never returns. He alone pursues a mirage, beautiful when 
hoped for, valueless when attained. Life without a goal or purpose is 
horrible. There must be some goal, purpose, or logic to whatever is 
eternal but this is known only to the Ruler of the Universe and not 
to mere man. Man is exploited. Man is deceived. On the threshold 
between being and non-being, during the transition, after having ex- 
perienced everything and before entering on death, Koheleth-Solomon 
is overcome by an overwhelming fear of the Eternal, fear of the Ruler, 
fear of the Exploiter, fear of the Deceiver, fear of the Master whom, 
despite his own will, he has had to serve and obey, in the mistaken 
belief that he was following his own free choice. Man is a slave 
living in fear of the Eternal!— this is the final terrible conclusion of 
one who lived for himself, who avoided committing himself to any 
cause, who had no goal outside of himself, and therefore ended with 

This is the man who loved women but reared no family, because 
he failed to see in reproduction an aspect of immortality. He did 
not believe in reincarnation. He was certain that he was not his 
father and that he would not be reborn in his son. Sulamith was his 
amusement, his worldly pleasure, and not his wife, not the mother 
of his children. 

Koheleth is Solomon, the King of Jerusalem, the rich king, the 
wise king. He is unlike Alexander the Great, who wanted to conquer 
the whole world and could, of course, never attain his goal, who left 
behind him not merely crown, sceptre, and subjugated lands but also 
a testament laying down further steps to be undertaken. An Alexander 

IV W ^VT li« Ta oiJT n'$^Ti ")Vi 313 

D^'K to^n 0^11 '[^''11 nyi fK d-'K nyo'^iK ipist^tr i'^w 15? ^1^11 Dir;'': 
pyAy:xr-n^ n^K D^n ^^^3? ♦pyns rs?:^")^ a^'i^ toil's iik DDSiaiS?^ "jynn: 

^1^11 jD'^x n'^'piis m^^i ^D'^K I8S Dt2;^a pK >n^05?^^^^s .ny^yt^iss /ly^'H 
♦nyii toyi^iss toyii iy pK .yis?i2i? 183 Dni^^n oiji pK ^pyii^ to'^n iv 
nyD!5ii ,iDoi^:i nyDini t'pyn d-'X 113:1 ly^ip I'^yii o^n ynyn:» n tiK 
iytDi?ii pK — pyoymss pK ps?:5?t2;i8Q ,i5?*'n .pynis lyoi^ii 4S?:^:i8'?i82 
•^n pK ,]ms2 r^8 e^'t t'?yii ''n ^m IV^^P l^s^^n o«ii ^ PH ^p^Apynj? 

Drj?u; pK lyDiiK D^'^:^ pt n ^T'IK to^'n pt n :p''3'»^i< pk ans r'^S 
♦pni22 ty^ip px D'' on iD-'ba pi^D pK ]nvom ;TiH lyDi^n omsJ^ is 
.ypn3y^^:\pyn8 ot$i m^p pmst ,pj?T i^^ ^ lija oyii iyiiy:i vh oisjn r'?^ 
piS pyn^ to^'»:^ lyr^K "ly /lybixiyn^D t^k lyp'^K ny n^i my t''K p''S'>^K 
-yA 0^1 fK p^tz; ♦Dn^iy:^ nm D^n r^^?; pK ♦pnn m'^i ny^ T'ltz; to^ip 
,^^2s i m P^^ o;$i toai^^s ny^pyiti? ♦yiy^^iipsi o;$t ts'i'Diyn ,yDfi^n 
DD'>*'ii 0^1 nyn^ ,ip'»n'»''i^ pyi pK pJt n^ pn^^ pK pyiius .b-'S^ .p5?ii:s 8 18 
181 ^is?*^*^ t:;'t)iy^ lyn .Dtr''»i do'''>ii ti:;Diy^ nyi ,t3*)'»:^yi 0811 ly^r 18^ 
ti^J^iis 'pyiit:; lyT T'lK p« !Di8iy^ 18^ tDiyn t^Diy^ nyi ,tD22iwo''ix 
^D-'iD n8S PH tny^'iya-'K r^8 1^81 :^i8nyn"'K nn:i ,pJT Dt^^i pK ii?t 
jtDT^r^yn 0811 ayn ^8s .ip^^-'-'K v^^^ py^t^ yiyiMy:\^iK n d^k to'?8S83i 
ayi 183 ;tD-)8iy^ a''if^ t38n 0811 ayi n8s jD22iiy:^D''iK i38n 0811 oyr 183 
ti2t D^ib pDy:\ pmyDtz; pK tyin t)TiDy^ /pm^*»ii Dt2?''i /tD8n iy pbyii 
nyi n^ tDi8ny^ !]^8S'i83 nyiyp^K p-n t'^k 08t t8 .pmyi*''>^ ai8'?'i8s 
wmv^ nyn tony*? ip-^T^t^ v^^ pyn^ px ,t2;Diy;3 lyi fK oDyip 8 /tz^Diy^ 
-)8s tony^y^ t38n d8ii oyi ps tDn8ii ysy^pyntz; yD^^y^ 08t t-'H d8t pk 
^^"is pJ?T tD8n 0811 /Ptii3n8s tDt2;''i tnyb oyiyr^K p''D in t)8n 08I1 /in 
.t3ny^ynys'»i< '?'»::20iny^ tin lysnyi mn PK tosny:^ toii?'*! in ivom 

^ta'^iny:^ tDtz;"'! y^^*'^8s PV T^ PH tDn'»^y:\ lynini t)8n 08II nyr t'^i? 08t 
PK t3ti!;''i t)S''"»^:\ ny .tDt^'^i D^'»p''n^*'K rv Aini8'?StD'i83 'is?! pi< toyr pK 
n'^D^iti; pK ny t^Ln Dt2?"'i tjyii pt pj?T pK nyD8s p-n tDtz^'^i t^k ny j^n^n 
nyDiia n t5ti?^i pK pjt tjt^;^! pK ,nTn D^iy pJt ,oiiyA pj?T lyiiya vh 

nyni"»p yim ps 

nyM^p nyT ,riyp lyDin nyi ,D''^t2;n'» ps riyp ly^ ♦n^'?tr; t-^k 0^1 
)ni tDyii px tt'pyii n ly^yirjK 'i'ni 0811 pipi^ niD3^8 tiu;"*! :riyp 
pi< piip 18^ to^^i p8^^^:i''» tDyii 0811 .p^nnyi Dtz;^! ^8^ PV '?"'2J 
nyDini 0811^^K112: 8 inn 181 nyiiy'? yiy3n8ii^^'i^tDiiK pK nyosyxo 
Tii< v^ 081 PK ♦ ♦ ♦ IP'^'^^V tDtz;**! tDysns P-^t '18P V'^P'^^ •too3'?8 ;pt) 122 

314 Poets, Books, and Readers 

of Macedon can never complete his work. Koheleth is even unlike the 
earlier Solomon who prayed to God not for wealth or personal happi- 
ness but for the wisdom and the integrity to dispense justice to his 
people. Such goals are not attained and certainly not outlived. Human 
beings with such far-reaching objectives do not feel that they have 
accomplished everything and do not ask why? Human beings who 
are embedded in eternity and who are integrated into an objective 
that reaches out unto the end of time, do not ask why? Koheleth- 
Solomon is the tragedy of the person who stands alone and has no 
thought outside of his own desires. He must outlive himself and must 
end as a brood of winged desires which have bitten into worms and 
perish together with the worms. Koheleth is the tragedy of the self- 
centered person. Such a life spells enslavement to fleeting desires and 
evanescent goals. 


If I am a slave, born without my will, compelled to live, and 
doomed to depart upon command, leaving everything behind, why 
then should I also be condemned to suffering during my brief stay 
on earth? 

"Because you sin!" answers the moralist. 

The last words of Koheleth are: "Fear God and keep his com- 
mandments!" — there is a lord above you whom you must serve and 
who punishes if he is not obeyed. 

Job obeyed. Why then did he not escape punishment? 

Job obeyed. He had a wife and children, sheep and kine. He led 
a quiet honest life. Suddenly this life was destroyed. 

The Book of Job depicts for us a happy prosperous person, who 
had seven sons and three daughters, seventy thousand sheep, thirty 
thousand camels, five hundred pair of oxen, five hundred asses, ttc. 
It depicts a man greater than all the great of his land, and withal 
a modest, pious, god-fearing man who eschewed evil, and yet . . . this 
man loses everything and, in addition, is stricken from head to foot 
with boils and sores. The great, famous, pious Job becomes the 
smallest, poorest, most unfortunate of human beings. 

Why does Job suffer? 

Koheleth is the tragedy of life. Job is the tragedy of suffering 
in life. 

Why do we suflFer? 

yD!5Ti pD tt:;t3a5;jD ♦Dn5?'?ynya"'i< m^'^i pyii ib'»22 ynrs /DD"»n:^")5?T ^^^^ 

]^)^^§ px ,Dyai8 nyp'»a^'»K nyn to''^ tsaym^D ,D'»"»p'»a'»'»x nyn D^a n^ian^D 
18S py*? s PQ y''iy:^8itD X fK nSnp px n^bv ♦o^jn i^a jDt:?'':i "i^iUD p**? 
0^8 PDti; iar?'?a pK p^r^n^a-'x in ti;d nn itr^Dij?;^ D5?J^2rr"»K ps ^in 
IS?'*^ pK p-^ansD nviv^'i pK in pijn oijn '?r''Q-t5?:\:n:^:i8'?^»3 ps ooyi 
o^T ♦TT "iss las'? Qj?3is yny:^8itD n pk d^t .iy?a8Ti22 d'^k d-^d o^'ik 


\2'>'>m T^ pa /in''iayA i'?'»ti pj^ i« i^'K lyii ,t3ay:p » T'K pa pK 
it^Q — p8'?n5?a*»x r'?^ px .DCM tvD lyii ,p'':^pyii» T'X m px ♦ps;'? is 

?ni^'? 1^^ T^ ^iS^ o^n 

. . . n^m vnmjti mi x^'' ONn'rKn ni< n^i nio :di^ii 0225?'? os7n'?np 
,t)D«nt3U? nya^pyn pj< Dor-r n p'pvii i»n 8 nn n^ra^'K st t''j< oy 

♦DA^^sy^ ^sn arx lya^ 
aim ♦tymDiS Dt2;'»:i f]t$iii]i; n ny f^K i^t px ,t3:i'?8S5?A to^n Svk 
pK ,D*T»syDi P5?^ ly^ns? .^''Dtr? 8 jDsny:^ lyirn px n^^ ,n5?irp iik 
p''syan .nyDayts im pk pt pn .p^^W onyDwys: tay"? 0^1 v^ Jir'?si'?s 

nia 081 P'''?A 081 18^ t3*?yDtr ''1T8 — 0''1ia 8 t3S8tr?D'T»11 8 PK T5?^P'K 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ srK 

ny PK 15?^:^ pK ♦5?o''n3i 5?^8 PQ *i5?oyi:!i tyw:^ pk tr?Di5?» nyi pK 
,tt3''W3i 0Da3?'?t!? D8n 0811 nyp''Dai8Sot38:^ 8 /18J3 ny^ns 8 48?^ ny^"'t)tr; 8 
181 ia:nyT px n8iiy:^ oyi^ ;n'»i'?*i8S r"?^ tD8n apx *-*^8^ p-'K pK 

IDIK"*^ 8 t)''^ nS'tW t)Dl8'?SyA O-'D T'»a B8P PQ nj? T'^K :^r'?Sl'?D ;p381p 

n57D03y*?p i5?i n8W^ T''K 5PK *iy;3nD n5?DDn8a n5?o'»nA •lyi pK ,r8T0'»iK 

♦ ♦ . .^5?t50D5?'?p'»'?aDiK nyi n5?Down8 "^yi 
?5rx DTJ*? 0811 18S 
.lay^ pK ]T^V pQ — 3i"»K jpy*? ps yny>8itD n t-^k ii'?np 

?iy» ]:iT:i^ 0811 18S 

316 Poets, Books, and Readers 

Man is a reasoning creature. He sees that his own acts are pur- 
poseful. He tries to be honest and moral. He cannot attribute his own 
insufficiencies to the deity who created him and the entire world. 
God must be just. If God created pain and suffering, then these must 
be just and well-deserved. Pain and suffering are possible only as 
punishment for sin. The Hebrew mind cannot view them in any other 
light. The Greeks see in the phenomena of life the effects of gods 
disporting themselves or quarreling. The Persians have Ormuzd and 
Ahriman, the former a god of light, life, and happiness, and the 
latter a god of darkness, death, and suffering. The world is an arena for 
the struggle between two deities and therefore a conglomeration of 
light and shade, life and death, joy and pain, love and hate. 

All great gods have evolved from little gods, and the little gods 
from still smaller family-idols, and the family-idols from amulets. 
If families grow into a tribe, the family-idol of the most prominent 
house, the house which rules over the tribe, becomes the tribal-god, 
while all the other idols remain mere family-idols. If tribes unite to 
form a people and if peoples merge on a common territory, then the 
gods of equally strong tribes or peoples are of equal rank. Yet, even 
if one divinity happens to get the upper hand, the others still retain 
godly rank. 

The Hebrews did not merge or mingle. Eliezer undertook a distant 
journey to bring to Isaac a wife of kindred flesh and blood. In Egypt 
the Hebrews lived in Goshen segregated from others. In Palestine all 
foreign peoples were to be destroyed and the Hebrews were to have 
no contacts with these outsiders. While the Second Temple was being 
built, all the foreign women brought from exile and all the children 
born of them were banished. Minute infiltrations of foreign blood, as in 
the case of Delila or a beautiful captive now and then, were unimpor- 
tant. Single drops of foreign blood were assimilated. On the whole the 
Hebraic tribe retained its purity. The children of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob were a people that lived apart, a people of unmixed breed, 
adhering to a single God, who evolved from a deity of a family, a 
tribe, a nation, into a universal God. 

A conflict between divinities thus became an impossibility. A 
single God is the source of good and evil, light and darkness, joy 
and pain, love and hate, life and death. Since the one and only God 
blesses and curses, he must bless the good and curse the wicked. 
Since the same God rewards and punishes, he must reward the pious 
and punish the sinners. Since the same God bestows life and death 

-^VW in PH iin Diji nvtasn 1V1 317 

.imw^ 13^^11 n5?i TH D-'K Di$n o^n dij:^ d^t pmtz^n tiv-^i idsk^iip^k 
DD^i^A pT •'n ]n;D ,t'T''»'? pK ii^s isjjtz;^^ iv D^n iik ♦DDisrn^:^ tin ti;^ ^^^ 
nin i^s fj^^iDt:? o'ps i5;'?:\y^:) i;s::i tsriyr pjs pK t^^^*? *Dnn^§ pK 
"in n pK D5?T nni^ lyT ♦p^Dtii^isD ^^^1 "is^yisyn ny^ 05? w '\divi^^ 

nyi ;p'»^:^ ps ,psr^ pS ,DD''b pD d^a lyi t^k ns?Dti^i:&? ^i^i ji'^^mnK 

nvi i»S siyis '»i v^ D'?yn n ♦n^'''? pK u'^id ,D'»'»p'i5?t32jn''s ps iyD''nis: 

DD^b ps tDtz?*';^^?:^ D'?yn n pk nynnyi pK n5?to5?3i •'nisj n ti^'^ns: DintDti:; 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ o^n pK 5?n'»'? /tr^*? PK p*''?:^ /D^'id pk pi?b ,]t3isti; fiK 

pD yr^bp n pK ,5?:i'''»'?P Ps jDpsii5?:^D''iK is^^s^t n$?tD5?:^ yo^n:^ 3?^^ 
m^^ ^ oT^'^m^ PQ t)iyii ♦iD^bi)3>i; ps t225?:^pin n jtis^iipin v'lV^V^P 19^ 
DD*'n:\y:)i .DSDti; pyn'^i^ tonns?^ 0^11 t^in ps ,nn p^n^ pD r^?:^ 'i^i di^ii 

trjbn /ii^'? J? pK o-^iK lyp^ys in tu^'';^ pK jpbijs J? n^''^ P^ i^^kpis 
lyp^jys yp-'tosnp T-'^:\ ps PK ly^StJti? 5?P''t3Dyip T-'^:\ ps iyD$?:\ n 
12J d;dip 05? pK t):i8niv:i''''K ''^ ly^^''^^ t3::inp oiDODyn jp'^Dsyip t~^^^ 

ty:^iS?in i2i s?p-n 5;Dini s ddsd it5?'''?k ,Dt:;'»i in it:;''^ nyyinyn n 
■s^ nyyinyn n p^'? an^^ia pK ♦Di'pa pK t:?''*'^s p*>^« pD mm s ipnx^ 

ai?i ]5?''n ai^n ♦lyttip totr?**! :^:iiTi8n pv v^ ''t d**^ 'pst ty» nypbys 

n^''^! 8 pD .Di'?^ i^yns pQ iniw^j:^ ya''^'?p -tsnDi^s nyirp 5?:iyi''n 
5?P"»2j:^^k xp^^T^^ t3u;'»i i$;iyT ,p'»"»p'''?5?3i:ii: ]yj2i:k nyi pK oiKin-nD"' pi« 

Dsy^ 0^11 p^«D 8 oy P'K jap5?^ px pns"» ,DninK ps n$?irp p»k ojr .V'"^ 
toDp^ii DSSI1 D§:!i ip'»sr''X-p''K pJT D**^ ^Di*?! pn ps p^p i«; jdj^t^^k 
n^D^?:^ ^yi PK 8T ♦t3^:^t5'?3?ii D122 p^^S pK DistJu; ,pin ps ti«:\ is ps 
,yr"»a o^T ni s?t3n 0^7 oni8 DJDip tJis:^ p-'K ps ♦15?'?:^5?^^ik omDti? 
♦D'^iD pK PS?*? /O^n px 5?n"''? /Dnio** pK nni ,t^'»nyD22rS n •'H Da*'^ d^t 
PR 5?Dn n itr^Diya iy n;^ }t)'?'>t2; pK totz^tDi^?^ m^ nyp'>22:^^x-p''^ 'ly'^ 
IS n):5 jDs^iDtz; px Dp'»'?STt)r?'? t>ij:^ n5?:yp''i< n5?T ♦^DDy^rt^; n p^-'t^; 
tsy^ on Dis:x ny5y:^"»''K lyT ♦3?P''*Ti''T n isi$iDt2? tix 3?ans n ip^bvi^i^"? 
-n5?n"»ii oyn d'»id ps ip''DDnsSoD?:\ nv^ PS?'? py:^ ny ^i8t ^tsnu px 

318 Poets, Books, and Readers 

he must bestow life upon the righteous and death upon the blas- 
phemers. The Hebrew God is moral. He expelled from Eden because 
of sin, because of transgressions against his commands. He toppled 
the tower of Babel and destroyed those who wanted to storm his 
heaven by force. He flooded with a deluge the entire world when 
it was steeped in sin. Man is sinful, so sinful that God often regrets 
that he created man and the world. He regrets that he has to punish. 
He has to, because he is a righteous God. He would not have de- 
stroyed Sodom, if it had contained a single just person. He taught 
Noah, the most righteous of men, to build an ark in which to survive 
the deluge. "I do not desire the death of the sinner," he says through 
the mouth of Ezekiel, "I punish him so that he repent and remain 
alive." A person satisfied with life reads logic into it. If a person, 
on the other hand, looks for justice in life and fails to find it, if he 
sees suffering without sin, pain which he cannot justify as punish- 
ment, then he experiences the tragedy of Job. 

Koheleth is the tragedy of life, so-called happy life. Job is the 
tragedy of undeserved, purposeless suffering in life. The final reaction 
of Koheleth to the problem of existence is unmitigated fear of death, 
falling on his face before God, and concluding: man knows nothing; 
he must live and he must die; and as long as he lives, he must obey 
God's command, because this is all there is to man, this is the purpose 
for which he was created. 

Job's conclusions are not more satisfactory. In Job's dispute with 
his friends, who seek for some sin in hirh and do not find it, who want 
to justify his suffering as punishment and cannot, God's voice inter- 
rupts and God's own answer comes out of the whirlwind. It is an 
answer which clarifies nothing. It can be summarized as follows: 
God is great, strong, and eternal. Man is dust in comparison, and 
dust is all human reasoning. Who was present when God created the 
world, measured the earth, spread the canopy of heaven and set the 
stars therein? Who feeds the birds beneath the sky and who provides 
for the wild beasts in the forests and on the rocks? God must know 
what he is doing. Hence, fall on your knees before the great Un- 
known, whose justice is undiscernible and whose wisdom is unfathom- 
able, who may be punishing for sins we know naught of or who may 
be testing us. If we endure the test, we shall be higher in his grace. 
Job received back doubly all that he possessed. 

The problem of life and suffering is, nevertheless, still unsolved. 

ivty^ iV"! 11K V^ D>?i n)^^:^''! lyi 319 

IIK QmtD Dyi iyn''»; Dnyp ny ♦D^nyA ]ni u'^isjd d^^i ^^jd nan i^s 
;^»'»n t!2T t'»K rip D"*a T»T lorjmni? D'^ijiw p^n 0^11 n DyDD'»an»Q 
nan rx typiiT5?3i:r?x VH n tjrn ^Dbjrn n 'piiJa 15? to'';^ tor^'psn^s )m 
iy 01511 ,A38n d;$a did dd;$ pn;a ts /P''^^'*t -^m r]i;^iv^ istt f^K pnin 
T18T ny 01511 ,:^a8a Q'^K DID oy ♦isKtz^s^a u^Day;^ d^t fix D^yn n Dijn 
PK lyiiy^ D'pisj'iT Jt^ijix nyDDyiy:^ ^ m iv br>^^ ,tid ly ;iDis:iDt!; ti;d pk 
-ya on ,tm ]iK ♦Diypyr^nyn'^K Dti;*'^ ono ny D^isjn ,DnD i''X lyDoynyA 
nys'»K 11K iy»''ii^isiyi''K /p8;s nn'^n ^ ny Daiy^ ,di^22 tjt tk iDop'DDjn 
1!2T rx D^ijT ,^'^'\^ oapnan D^T Dt:;'*! :\:iii;^i>i;s t»k .'?n;:D Dyi pybis: 
pK ♦pr'?! py"? pK pD nait2;n '?^t ny ;D''k *i^iDt:? i^k ,^Kpm^ ly^;^: 

DD1T ♦t2r'»AS^ 1^3 l^:yDO'>Dpy pt iy D'?Jjn\n*'^^1^ P!^^ P^ tl^Day;^ n^T T^K 

n:in iij; it'''? "^^ 1^5?^ ,Dti;"'i wvi^n PK pyb ri< D^'»p''i35y'iy^ *^5?^S "iy 
T»iK D-'X ]'»« in Dpyii — iDD^nDJi;s n^iDt^ ob^ Dt2?*»2 lyp ny o^ii ♦pjs 

♦arK lis yny^ifejinD n 

iy^p'»'?A ,d:\1!Jtp or^Dt2;;3^K ,DyT lis ^iny*? ps ynyjisiD n fx n^np 
ayrK 1^:12 ip^oyxjpyns Dti;''^ ,ip^DonDix pa yny:\i$*iD n — arK ♦pyb 
py-it:; pisii d-'id DiyDDayy:^ pyb ]is oybn^is nyn 'T'ik d^h n'rnp ♦py'? 
Dt2;'»a o'>ni t:;Day» nyi tD'^as p^'iK Di$a nss in iDiijii D*»a ,\2''^^ p^s 
.Dijny^ ODiS::^ Idm — Day*? iy idt-^3 pH ,]2i^m tid pK py"? ti;d px 
PV i:j Dt:;'»i ♦]Q»tr;i5n ny t-^k oyi is bi^n .ti^D:iy;D ly^sjijj:^ nyT fK oisj-r '?ini 
Dn3n yam pK ppK ]^'^m ms'^n pK inrjt ddip iD^D'piryi ynyoyn 
]T^i n ip'>Di8QDDyi |'?ni oisjii rDt:^'*^ ]yj'»Dy:^ pK lan d'»k i^a pn 01511 
p'>'?» DUja ♦pJis ytt^'Dt:? ODijA in Dti?">tt .Dt2?''a lyaijp pK n^iDu; nnx 
oniA *Dt2;"'n<jA ny mt$i p^t i^a ,D-iyQDay ny /O-^n^ oy-iiDtr; pD DiysDiy 
pK /i'»iDi2; D-'K i:\yp t"»k tr^Day^ lyn pK .p'»n''''K pK pn^Dtz; px ny fK 
D^n ny lyii .lyiiy^^ t'»k nyii nii5Dt2;nii;D iyoy'?t:;DiyxD nyi t-^x n^'iDtr; 
pyDtz? n .D^'nstz^yr^onK btt^^ ayi ,iDO^»yAonx my n .piiitr^^n D'pyii n 
o«T Dn«t-i8:s pK ^^^n pyi^i'^i^ '?^''^s D5?t Dpjsti; nyii pK ?DxyTy:\rj?-i» 
♦DID iy 0^11 ny DD-'ni onon-r^ n^ys is'^ix iik i^«;ii pk n*»D yi'?'»ii 
-yA pjt OJJII ,pa8p8n)aii< p'^nji pyiD ]b^m ''ap ^yT Ti« I5?t3ini ]ix 
Dtz^^a niiK pD 1I5P D'»Mai'?p p-n 01511 ,iy'7::iay:^i22 Dt:;**! nam fK D'^^p^'DDy-i 
nan yD^yts i^q ^Q^^m m^ m ,pj?T m oy ayi^n 'PS^i"^ iyas;Dtr?i8Q 
D'»''Dtr?8n ri< ♦taims dija t» ,pjt inK t^p oy ♦Dt^^^'a •>"»! ps p"ii i''^ 01511 
pmx DDIP81 5VK n^aya pjt pK nyoyn ny Diyii .iins n u^Day» lyi 
pH lay*? ps Dy'?ns:is o^i nyn« ♦ ♦ ♦ DKnya D<jn ly osii r'?ti ,D'7B«-r 

320 Poets, Books, and Readers 


One generation passes away and another generation comes but 
the earth abides forever. If man wants to be of the eternal, he must 
be of the earth. Out of the dust was he fashioned and unto the dust 
does he return. If he seeks to go beyond the earth, if he builds a 
tower to scale the heavens, the languages are confused and the builders 
scattered over the earth. For man must find his fulfilment on earth. 
He can do so by reproducing himself, by being reborn in his children 
and children's children. This is his eternity. 

To rule over a bit of earth, over a land, is therefore the greatest 
happiness. To have children and grandchildren, to hope that tribes 
and peoples will spring from one's loins — this is the most beautiful 
dream of eternity 

A person lives not for himself but for his people, for his descend- 
ants. Immortality for him means that his family, his tribe, his people, 
can live eternally here on earth. 

Moses, who at God's behest, led the Hebrew people out of Egypt 
and liberated them from slavery, guided them across the desert to 
the blessed land and envisaged for them a paradise on earth: 

The blessed land of Palestine is to be their paradise. It will be 
a land flowing with milk and honey. Man must work on this land 
but work is not to be a curse for him. He is to have Sabbaths and holi- 
days on which to rest. Not the master alone shall rest but his house- 
hold as well, the servants, the cattle, and the earth. The earth is, in 
addition, to have a Sabbatical year. Every seventh year shall it be free. 

Every man is to do his own work and have his share of the soil, 
which is to be divided equally among all. For, the earth is God's earth. 
God sets the boundaries between peoples. The land flowing with milk 
and honey he has assigned to his chosen people and no person can 
cede his share of God's earth to another. Every Jubilee-Year it must 
return to its rightful owner, to whom it was originally allotted by 
God's hand. 

God's people shall be free, owing allegiance solely to their deity 
and to the laws proclaimed by him. Between God and his people the 
tribe of Levi shall act as intermediary. The Levite shall serve the 
Priest and the Priest shall serve God in the Temple and interpret the 
Law unto the people. He shall teach the people, answer their ques- 
tions, conduct their sacrifices, intercede for them, and pronounce for- 
giveness for their sins — but only their sins against God. A priest may 
not forgive sins of man against man, unless the person who has been 

im"? ")yt TIN 113 0^1 nvtoDn 1^1 321 


D'*'*^ 115? 15?T pa n^itotz; D122 nv tJDip -ns; ny-r pS t^^v ps my nyi 

''If IWi /p-ns biDM i^K in Disst:; pK oyiiD ^ iy to-^n pK /pni2r ny 

my nyi iyn'»K D*»ny2: pK Dintoiz^y^: lyin n pK Di2;"»)Dy2r pjjistr 

V^ nija pK tz;Diy^ ps ya»:^s"»iK n iD'^'^Dii^sa niy n l^^Si^s Dy-r pK 
ly-n^'PDiav pK lyirp pK ,pT»inyA i^: pnayuu; pK ,:^ii>ri8'?flDn5a nyi 

lynrp ;p^^:\ yDoyiJi oign iit^i s lyn'^K tjsjjtrnyn n lyanyi v^ 
nyooayti:? lyi — • lyp'^ys pK lyasDt^ t>ik :\aiayDsn n /'nyia"»pD'7i'»p px 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D^V^^'^'^x lyT Ps Di'^n 

T'K o^T ny wpDi^''P Pi< nyi:i'*P i»& /P'^ija n»s Day*? trD:iy^ ^ ♦ ♦ ♦ 
— pbi$si D^T ,Qi3;ou? nyi ,y'>b'»;DN:s n jt:;D:iy;3 ps^s lay'? yp"»n'»'»K o^i 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ iiy lyi ^''iK iiy"? pn^^K lyiijp 

,Dn2ja pD p'pijQ D^i p"»isyA0'»n8: ly^^a od^a pk o^n ois:n nti;^ p« 
im i:it? ]Du;D3yny:\ di2J syDO ny^**^ oy t^i'^s ,DQii;t2;DDy:ip pa D!5-)Sis:n 
nis:^ lDii:?Diyay:^ DyrK my lyi T'IK n5"t^ 8 Q"'K isa t)»i'?n 

♦1^''^ pK p'»i«n t:'')^ DD'»'?3 Disn i^s"? 8 P-^ wyn oy 

♦pjT Dti;''^ ii'ra pv d^'K "t^t Dynnis n i^i ,t:?D:iyD lyi ti^ luynns 
pj?T ni?;a r-nny;:^^^ pJT nija n^n n^s '15?ii i2J D'>nit)-D'»;D'> pK a^nntz; 
,nD^at:? •T»K 1^5 mn Tiy n ♦♦my pjt nxs pi? '»s pj?T n^a ,De>i:t2;'nyrT 

n^' yms yDyan oiji 

TS /tD^T'^Dni^a y'?8 iu^'»ii22 Diyii my n ♦in -iiNia oynny: nyiy* px 
-yi^i n D'pyDt:; D^Di /iiy n fx OD^a my pJt n'''?i8s tDtr?'»a i^p iy:i^'»p 
tD^^niiyiD''ix pJ?T Dnijtnsa iy D^n -ras^ yoDyi o^t nyp'rya itz^nis ixyi 
:lDynDS^ tot:;'»:i p'»n'>'>H i*»ix p^^m:!: oyn ly:'*^^ isp iiy dd^a tix ^p^r^a 
oD^j^ pa 'pin •'a-'?y n D^n o^ii n*'nn-'?ya T'K 122 nbm n d'>'»:\ 'rnr 

rytysi o«t ♦id^ji f^x -)ytr;iyn-p^'?8 i^i ♦r-'t oy biijT p'p^a ms ^ px 
oy-r tD^nija '^i'? iyi ♦''1'? lonti? D">^Dt2; d^a iix p'pss t^'^i^^r ♦d;sj;\ pa t"'x 
0^1 p'i'^a oy-r d-'ix dp'»'? px '?aayD oyrx t3ij;:\ t)inJ!:n ins iyi px .tna 
nmnp yim nnpK> fx px p^ia yim D-iyaoiy px a'»x i^ny*? px ryty^ 
-Tin n n-'ix ,tyzD^i oDnja px iin •»i "^miD d-'X t^'X px a-^x iss aya px 
py:\ya3« lyns m ,miv^ ^ n«TO:^ a^sivy:^ rx -a^i^ pyp iiji v^ 
nss ia'»'?yA a^jn o^n iyi na ,ya-i»iy:^o'»ix o^in ,yaa'»iiyA o^i ns?n 

322 Poets, Books, and Headei^s 

injured, robbed, or deceived receives full restitution and compensa- 
tion. The tribe of Levi, which is to act as intermediary between God 
and his people, is therefore to have no right to own property. 

The earth belongs to those who work it. The spiritual aristocracy, 
unlike the Egyptian upper class, will be unable to despoil the people 
of its property. Nor will any ruler, king, or court be able to enslave 
the populace. 

God is the supreme ruler. No abyss between rich and poor can 
develop because every fiftieth year the land reverts to its original 
owner, every seventh year all granaries are open for the entire people, 
and during the intervening years provision is made for the poor and 
needy. Even if a person's fortunes decline so that he must hire himseli 
out for work, he may serve only six years and on the seventh is agair 
free of servitude. 

All are equal, all are brothers. 

The original inhabitants, who sinned before God, are to be ex 
pelled. Amalek, the worst of these, is to be exterminated. 

One God, one Law, one people, and one land. The stranger it 
also to enjoy liberty and fraternity. Love your neighbor as yoursel 
and love the stranger. Remember that you were once a stranger k 
Egypt. Let there be the same law for all. The stranger is to be ex 
eluded only from the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, for he was no 
redeemed from Egypt. 

Thou shalt not steal, kill, covet, avenge, or hate. If your brothe 
becomes impoverished, assist him. If your friend's donkey strays, leai 
it back to him. Be merciful to widows and orphans. '1 am the Go 
of widows and orphans," saith the Lord. 

Earth, yes — but on earth justice, holiness, brotherhood! Th 
curse is to be removed from work. Suffering is to be reduced to 
minimum. Life is to be sanctified and irradiated by love. 

Eden on earth! 


Thus did Moses dream his dream of an earthly paradise for h 

He never set foot thereon. 

For forty years he led his people in the wilderness, so that th 
servile generation that toiled in Egypt might die out and he coul 
bring a free people into this land. But only in the dim distance coul 
he discern this land that he envisaged in his Utopian dreams. 

nVtV> "^Vl V^ 1in DKT OVt5Dn 1VT 323 

,Dit)3r"'K T'lK t)D5?"i r^'p oijT ii?s tj^n d^a itr^'^nsr pK i?'?^S it:?'»m D'»'»t3tr? 

]ti?'»iix Dan:is^ rv ,r-?T dii?**:! Dyn 03? pK ... m^ t'^K lytr^nyn is^'r 

nt:;y^ px ♦nxsDi nna^'U? /top"? — di^s ny22:i8^ 15?t ^s^^i'^x PK .57^8 nss is^ 
ny torT n^"* DpvT i;s::i ,tD''ipi8S Dynn^j: r_n n;D iiK lyii d'^xd px .•'ny 

r^K .'pyTs;3i p-'X ,D^Di p^'i^ ♦tDpyDy:^o'»iK — n^jDony nyi ,p^»v ♦P'»")t5 
t)'»Mins nyi lis iti^m T^^ tDjrii n^ri^yns lyi px ♦^a^^ p-^K ]ix p'?^s 
0^7 n"*^ n^n px p-'bN; in "^n lan p_n n*''? n^n ♦DSN:t:;iyin2 pS tiK 
I8S Y)^m P'^K 4VTO^ Dns» pK 'ii3D'»n *iy7;DynD 8 ts ^payiy:^ ♦n?ayiQ 
t5tr'»a '?''''D pv nyittyis lyi ISP D5?T P5* ♦nos tnip nvT nyo-^iK ♦$?'?^ 
♦n^iiy:^ DP'>'?5?3iO'»ix t:u?">:i anx^ ps t'^k ^v ^IV^V^ 

Dpu pv tix ns^y^ toti?**: ,p'»'>D tDtj;^ 4=i''ii to^^i Doyii n iix 
t3yt2;ni^'?nJi:Q tix ♦d''K r^^ 'Ci5?i^ n5?inn pJi D'ns^ii px ♦P-n Dtz;"*: 1^M^ 
px ni:^^'?^? pyp p-^xi^n^niita m pK ♦sig; q''X oy n^s ,'?p'»k 0*7:1^5 pJi 
"S:\s^ px ♦D^:^ d:^^t ,Q'»;3in'> px mi;D^8 p6 d^:\ m pa T^ ♦D'>;air)'» 
w D^:^ p-H T'^x p'^''^i px DnjTTjiTsrriSiBJ tsri ,p''^''^^ tix pjr ido"?^! loiy^aiT 

n^y 1^1 n^ix t)S8U7i5?Tii=i PK t3''V'''?'»''n /D-'V^'tDDynya 'i^i — 115? 

♦tny'? D^T D'^ijiDtr^is;! D^^i:t2;n'''? d'»» px Dp'»^'»%Tni?a 
n*iy w T1X ny"P 8 


ny"t:^ 8 P§ Q^^n DST p'?8S p-n n^s tD^i^ny:\ ntr^ o^n •'its 

♦ ♦ ♦ my ly^ n^'ix 

,tyTy:\ D^"»a iny n tj^n ly 

pi8DU?D"»ix ^8T oy ,syDo px p^^s pJT Dn">Dy:^ iy o^n n^** p''22iys 
ny Dyn p'i'^s '-^'is » ♦Dn22» Drnyri D^n o^n DDy'i'tz^y:^ yti^-^DDy^ip o^n 
•73H:'? D^-r oitaini iid n^i u^n p'''?8 1V T»ix nyn^ — '7^8'? px n''Srj?i» 
.... ]yTy:\ jrix yp'^DDr?;^ n »•»» di"?)! oyn to;$n ny '^^^ ^yDybnysnyp n t)-»D 

324 Poets, Books, and Readers 

All of his dream was not realized. The part that was realized did 
not long endure. 

Amalek was not exterminated. The seven original Canaanite 
peoples were not all expelled. The chosen people did not live separate 
and apart. 

God was not their sole ruler and the priest did not long function 
solely as intermediary between him and his people. 

All did not obtain a share of the earth. 

There was no end to the wars against the Philistines and the othei 
tribal groups in the land. 

The Hebraic people demanded a king to conduct their wars. Th^^^ 
king brought in his wake a royal court, military heads, civil war, anc 
other social ills: poverty, servility, hunger, distress. 

The boundaries between properties were shifted and the largei 
estates swallowed up the smaller ones. Families were deprived of lane 
and divorced from the soil. The priests became fat and dissolute 
Barterers found their way into the Temple. Holiness was desecrated 
Unity was dissolved. The bond between God and his people wa^ 
broken. Blood and disgrace covered the Palestinian earth. 

Meanwhile, surrounding nations waxed strong by the power o 
the sword and little Palestine became a bloody thoroughfare betweet 
warring armies of foreign nations and, before long, the arena fo 
their battles. The Hebraic people were driven forth, exiled from thei 
earthly paradise. 


It is not only individuals — ^peoples too cannot live merely fo 
themselves. The whole world must be redeemed. If justice mean 
redemption from suffering and pain, then justice must come to reig 
over the entire world. The prophet replaces the effeminate king an 
the fat priest as the leader of the people's soul. The prophet undei 
takes to preach to the whole world in the name of God and h 
justice. The amulet that was once the God of a family, the God c 
Abraham, and that afterwards rose to the rank of a people's Goc 
evolving from a God merely of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to a Go 
of Israel, now loses his own name, whereby he was distinguishe 
from other Gods of other peoples and other lands. Human lips ai 
forbidden to utter his name, for he has been elevated and enthrone 
as the deity of the universe. Such a deity is in no need of a nam^ 
since he is the only God and his rule extends not alone to a sing 

iyt5?> nVI PH 113 ONI nV^Tl 1V1 325 

Dt2;"»i T*Ji< '?''^tD n3?T pi< n»ii5?:^ Q'^ip^ t"»k Di^n nysj^sa lyn Dti^-^a 

♦p'?^s rj?T )m D'^x iti:;''^ t?ist:tr?s?::^ ins 
♦ .♦♦tyttipsi lis? p^n y!?» Dti:;^:i 
iyp'?yD ynyi38 ri< D'»nt2;''bi3 d'»;3 'lyastotr^y:^ !•»« rnp nyp'»n'>">K lis: pK 

nas^ pK 

♦ ♦ ♦ nian^» 5?ain n^s ^8t oijn /D:\:i8'?i8S i^'^ayp » Dijn pb^§ o;$t pj^ 
nyina nyi ^tnsnopip n ^T'ln nyi if^ii^n in Dijin riyp p'^tt ly^sns pj< 
.tD'»ii pK n5?:^3in ,t)§8tr;DD5?:ip /tD"''»p^vii8: j1T'>'? y^ij'»2^^o 5?V8 "'n t)'»;3 iix /Anp 
-'»'»K pK DiD:ir''K )'^'»m iX5?:ij?iA n n^'JW ivw Dpii5?An5?a''» pK 
n^D px ^v'^v^W 0^7 did:i:\''''X jrcinri o^i D^n tyr^ii^t^ri^s pi< /OitDn 
PK p'»S'»iT ]ix p"»oyn5 pj^ ms? "ly'^n pQ 05?'»'?'»tti3;i ns^^y^i 15?:i5?t iimw 
-p'»b'»\T Di$T n3?^i:i3?n m P-^ns in uom bs;^^^ pK ♦ina nyi pi^jiw 
p"?;^© pK m^ iiv'^m niin in ^o'^^y^s :\:np'»i'»'>K n ,DD5;iit2;iSD dispi did 

ms? n DpyniNiS Tis:^^^ px Di*?! pK /OXS'tq 
tjnyii li^V inr^'^bp 0^1 nn^ntz; nj?^ T'li? ns^pVys lopNin onK pK 
ns^ px n5;p'?5?s 5?i^j?iQ pD trials 5?tr;n5?^np it^'^ns: Ajni lyp^Di^n » 

-t:^ pS /p'?i!jS DKJl D1S?11 innD^SD pK /|t5DK'?tI^ si57'»n nj^iD yi5?i8 "'T ns3 


. ♦ ♦ . lay'? tD^^i p'»^» in ikd lyiyp nypbys t'^^ — l^toiy^ n^:i Dtr'^i 

.D'?y'n n ns?ii Tiia tJp'byAonK 
-DynyA n n;D ,pj?s pK n^^^ PS :iaip"»'7Dni? n D'>'>p^DD5?iy:\ pk pk 
-yns PK i^'^iyp ttz^nynini ps diis iSnK pK ♦u^yii nyn nyn^'i? it:;-)5?n i3'»'»p"*t3 
i^§ Dpn^nss 0^11 K'^na nyi nyi3'>^5?:\ n nyn'>K Ds^t^iyn n D;:)ipN:a pD ip'»D 
nyi 122 D'^v'^tDDynyA pj?T pK Di^iA ps iv^^i D5?a"»K DT^n 0^11 ,D'?yn nyi 
pD Dis;:i nyi ,DSA"y"''?'';DKS nn n^S^iiJ?^ ^^^ 8 ^''^f 0^)1 Dy*?i»N; nyi .tD^5?ii 
■y:^ Dijn 0^11 ,d;$:iop^^s 8 ps r^n nyi 122 irDtr;y:i i^nyi pk .nnnss 
,'?xnt?'» ''H^x 122 3py''i pn22'» ,Dm38 ^^'?K ps tDntz; ny'-^^y:^^1i< a^T ds8» 
i:?n "iv^n ViV^^^ P3 38 D''5^ ^^""^^ 08^^ lVJi58:i Dy:y:i'»''K pJt ib^n oyn 
Di5Pn8S toyii 7y;D8^ ^^TT *n'''?n8D iyi:iy'? ym:i8 tii^ nyp'?ys y-iyna8 
DD^My:i Diyii iy br2^^ ,iy^ip Dt^^:i •|S'»'? p"»p nwK '?8T iy t8 .nyii 
ny ^im — Dt:;^: tytt8^ W *V^^ ^^ o^jii ,D8:^t5^yii D122 t)rnpy:\ pk 
18S tDti;''! tiK ny D'T'r^n n^s*? p'^x lyn^x tot2;'»:i px n5?p'>22:i^*»N lyn pk 

326 Poets, Books and Readers 

land. His law applies not merely to one people. The prophet speaks 
in his name not to a single tribe but to all tribes. If the prophet 
refuses to go to far off Nineveh in order to warn a foreign people 
of impending punishment, if he flees from God in a ship, God's 
wrath pursues him, endangers the ship, causes the prophet to be 
thrown overboard and the fish to swallow him. 

"All who speak in the name of the Lord are chosen," says the 
prophet. Chosen is the Hebraic people for the one purpose of pro- 
claiming God's word to the world. Chosen is Zion so that from there 
the Law shall go forth unto the world. Chosen is Jerusalem so that 
from it shall spread God's word unto the nations. 

If, therefore, the Hebraic people are scattered and dispersed, if 
they suffer in exile, the Divine Presence accompanies them and suffers 
everywhere with them. Canaan is too small for God's children. The 
Hebraic land is to spread through all lands! 

If God is the God of the universe and his people a world people, 
dispersed to all ends, then the Redeemer must come not to one land 
alone but to all lands, the Messiah must come for the entire world. 

Here ends the dream of mere earth, of blessings and curses on 
earth. Here we verge on heaven itself. 

Here begins the greater dream of everlasting life, heavenly para- 
dise, resurrection. 

nvtv^ iyi px 113 DKT ,ivt)Dn iyi 327 

,t]'»t2; 8 n"»m D^:\ igis iy ds'>i'?d:8 .i^iDt^ n3?n ngs iy:i5?*ii8'ii ^^^^ P^9^ 

,'q;^q -lyi pj?K Q'K mi'>i'^ ,]ni^ lyOiJII pi'J 

n5?T tDAi$T — D^'»^iii5?no'»ii^ i3?asT ]y^8:i om^ V^ isn o^n y'?8 

♦D^yn in 12: DI811 Dt38:\ p"':\o''n8: *?8t D'''?t2;n'' tis ,D^yii ij;t 

t)'''':^ Mb^ pH Dir?^ pK D'>n3?s pK D'^nsu^j?!: p'^ss d^t dijtti pk 
Dyii p''^p 122 ♦iy?38n22 ni^5, i''^ q'^h d'»d tDTJ?b )m d''?:) d'»k to'^tt ni'^Dtz; •»! 
iyn'»K tD^nst:?^?:^ T'T D5P1 11^^ 081 lyn^ /is^^^V ot)^:^ iss 15?^3 P-5t 

to'»nsu;y2J 8 P^tiB pjt di^^i PH D'pyii nyn ps d8:x i^t tD8:^ f»i^ pi< 

♦Dbyii 15725^8:^ nsri 183 n-'ti^^ 8 

ps?i 1ST PK ii^D i5?i ni5? i5?i ps mbn isi n'»iK pitz; mvn 8^ 

♦ ♦♦♦pj?i8 '^^M pK in n^stz; TD ♦♦my i5?i pD 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ D'Tittn-iT'nn /ns?"P jPS?'? W'^t'^^ pa Di'^n 8 1« V^ t^n^^M 05; 


Our program is education. We want to educate our people. We 
want to transform fools into sages, fanatics into enlightened human 
beings, idlers into useful, decent workers, who live by labor and there- 
by benefit the entire community. 

Our enemies speak of all Jews as parasites, criminals, rascals. Our 
detractors say that the Jewish brain is a rotten weed, the Jewish heart 
is made of flint, the Jewish skin is in a state of decay, and all our limbs 
are crooked and lame. 

Our chauvinists, on the other hand, maintain that Israel is God*s 
only beloved child, that his cradle is faith, his pillow is trust, his swad- 
dling-clothes are parchments from Solomon's Temple. 

We simply say: Jews are human beings just like all others. We 
have our good qualities and we also have our faults. We are not Gods 
and we are not devils, but merely human beings. We hold that human 
beings need education, need to learn unceasingly, need to grow daily 
in wisdom, goodness, and refinement. 

Although we Jews are, by nature, like other peoples, nevertheless 
we do somehow behave differently, because our historic experience 
has made us different. We have had as our schoolmaster — the Galuth, 

We owe a great deal to the Galuth, a great many virtues but also 
a great many defects. In the millennial struggle for survival, especially 
in former ages when all other peoples expended their strength on 
murder, destruction, and oppression, we concentrated our forces on the 
one objective of survival: to hold out, to endure beyond the temporary 
hardships. Every force grows and expands to the point where it comes 
up against a greater force and then it bursts like a bubble. Our force 
will not encounter any force greater than it has already encountered 
in the past. This explains why so many peoples perished, while we 
survive and will continue to live on and on. 

Throughout our exile, our conscience has been clear, our Jewish 
conscience has not been responsible for a single drop of other people's 
blood. If the fanaticism of other groups bespattered with mud our 
flag, we washed it clean with our own blood. 

♦cnij nniD k iisnyi ta^ip >'?3 as?! pK /T»t n^js pyn 
^(oypiitj^Q) Vr^-^XDi^n T>K IT"* '^^s "i^T t^ 'l^St D'»K:iit2; 5?i5?n:iix 

.nti!? ]^H onp — Dn5K 5?^k rx .dp'»d5?'?i^ti 

w tz^ip^'M-JT'n 

3ii8:t3 py t)''^ /tyns?'? pn:i3?Dt2; ,p?''n in iSisi ttr^ms?^ px ♦tt:;t)ay;D nij:! 

nyrjQ px nyoyn ny3i'»'?p pyii 

p^^s i3?niix fx 1JJ7 tix ,ii:;d:i^^ y^s •»n T-''?:^ n''^ piyt vson 

10 8 nisja ,rT]^j7^ ID X .ID K iyp:i^TiXD 122 i**^ p^H m'?:^ Dyi 
pii ,113^22 *ii^s lo^sn ,tDr?ntot2;Dnny'? tpn^'^toafiD oyi rx ♦i*»ix maiion 

-D''iK ,]t)^»nD'»iK n^m ,ma^nD «T'1X 02211^1 pK D'?^ii;Ty:i nim3 i'>^ pujn 
T'»3 /i^iK'? •»iTii: DDpi!:n toD^ip 3? 1 5? •» -tDi^^j yDDy'rtr; n pi^'?nyi''K /p'pn 
DDsnp 1 5; T 1 a 1 K ,T^'7n:is^n k •'ii tDisj^^SD px nynyDyn:^ k T'IK tosyno n 
"iVP^V^ 10 ^ 13?^5?^ nynnyi -pyntD toti^'^a ^lynjrDynA pp H'^ix V^^ ^3?ii 
,p^n''''j< py^ i'?''ii pK isy^ 'T'^ iiJ^ p:^ax:^y:^iyDaiK 

nyniiK n^ix /tD'»ny:^ iyTi:iiK T'ik n^^ ]n^n ,ni^:^ r^ 15?iyT r^ toi^s: 
-:ix tD^n DT"»toKnKDnyp^yD nyi jidi'?! n^y-iD pi$iD ip-'^sr-'X rv "n^n^, 

330 Education 

But just because we are in Galuth, just because we are eternally 
unhappy guests forced to eat at the tables of other peoples, we aspire 
all the more toward one world, humanity is our holiest ideal, and 
sheer egoism compels us to the purest love of mankind as a whole. 
For, we rightly feel that as long as universal love does not triumph 
over envy, hatred, discord, and war, we shall not prosper. Hence, our 
constant prayer is for peace on earth; our hearts are like a sponge, 
receptive to all the newest humanitarian ideas; and our sympathy goes 
out to all the unfortunate, all the exiled, all the oppressed. We have 
been truly dubbed apostles of mercy. 

Moreover, since nobody wants to care for our interests and we 
ourselves have always had to provide for our needs, since we have 
constantly lived among enemies and were never sure of the morrow, 
and since our means of sustenance were ever scanty, we gradually be- 
came accustomed to worrying, thinking, and saving, we learned to 
keep a clear head, to husband our resources, and to grow on cliffs 
without rain or dew. 

Besides, since we had to battle with our minds, solely with our 
minds, and never with our hands, we have become more spiritualized 
and more delicate ... 

We need education. Education means light and clarity. We want 
to sift our cultural treasures and distinguish between what is ours and 
what is alien to us and, above all, what is good and what is bad. 

It is not our aim to educate the few and to call upon all the 
others to accept them as authorities. We want to educate the entire 
people, men, women, and children. Let each person see, feel, and 

Our God is close to everything. Our Torah is no longer in heaven, 
waiting for a Moses to bring it down to earth. Learning must be open 
and easily available to all. 

We want to educate the people. We write Yiddish because we 
have about three million people who understand Yiddish only, but 
we do not regard Yiddish as sacrosanct. 

We do not want to shut ourselves up in a, ghetto voluntarily. 
Assuming the greatest possible emigration, subsidized on the grandest 
scale, several million Jews will still have to continue living among 
other peoples and will still have to engage in business and social rela- 
tions with them. These millions of Jews must be citizens in the lands 

rim^^n 331 

,t:;^D n^ns ^ r?n pm^Dti? toy i**^ ^i^n mb:^ r« IWt 'T'^ '^i^ii pK 

pT-?3 /p-^T nsn Dtr?''! toyii )^T'?'-wm'^f:i n tm"?3 tn: ,|'?''Q 'T';^ bi^n !yn"»b 

pn:5?Di!; p^n 'T';^ "p^^ii /inigT Dtz;*'! n^iK n^s ^''n *ii?r''p '^i^n pi^ 
■5?:i D'»Kaiti^ tt2;''ii^ pnajrtotz; p^n n*'^ '^i^n ,r'''?8 P^n i^^n T'U? in dti^s?:^ 

D5'''nipii2 Di^s "lyi to'^^a nn n*'^ ]n^n ,D22y:iyi:\KS pniiyDt:; lyiiyt ni'^nD 

p^n D:syn n '^i^ii 'PntJti;^:^ Dom iyn:iK d'^jd ii$:i p^n i'^^ ?!5ii iik 
'im T'K yn''iiyi p8?3 i'?''ii n'';^ idd'»'? ,:\an'?"'n n"'^ pin;i :i:n-?b''n ♦ ♦ ♦ 

♦DDS^'^t:^ 0^11 PH 't''K Dn 

-y'' nyirp pK lyni^ii n5?:iy^ .n'?''^ ^''^ l'?''''^ 1 22 1 ^ ^ p k p^ijs dijt 

rx t)t2;'»i ritz; f'K nun n5?n:iiK ;Dy^8 i^r m^r^i fK m^ nyniiK 

!p^ )iT li^Q ri< toay^^ ny' 

IT'' is''V''j:> yp'»:3^''H 181 I'^yii r^D^^ y D y 1 :^ n t)^^ ,y''228iP»5? ^ y to 
.'[nDrKtz?;Di Ht;^ry3iD -^n d''^ ts^n itid p8 njrpbjrs tti:;'»'n22 t5?:i''iii l^ribn in» 
^p^.^'pinSD ^n ^11 nyiii?^ n px iyn'»n pjt ]m pr is'''?''^ y?'*^'''^ ''^ 

332 Education 

of their domicile; they must participate in the life of the people in 
whose midst they remain. 

We have strong sympathy with the adherents of the Hebrew 
revival, insofar as they aim to spread a knowledge of Hebrew litera- 
ture and to encourage Hebrew writers, etc. 

We want every Jew to know Hebrew, so that he does not forget 
the Bible. The Bible is the treasure of our faith, of our nationality, 
of our ethics. We must see to it that every Jew has the Bible not only 
on his book-shelf but also in his hand, heart, and mind. We want 
to live on forever, but we cannot foresee what will happen unto all 
eternity. Times change, days and nights alternate. Tomorrow we may 
be facing new and greater tragedies. We shall then need the Bible 
to give us strength and courage. 

It is not enough that our ethics have stood on a higher plane for 
thousands of years. Each one of us must feel and know why and in 
what respect our ethics are superior. It is not enough for us to remain 
Jews because we were born Jews, because we were reared as Jews, 
or because our rabbis and religious leaders tell us that it is good to 
be a Jew. We want everyone to act on the basis of firm convictions 
and not on the basis of hearsay. . . . We want everyone of us to know 
what the lofty ideals, the concept of humanity, the ethical doctrines 
are for which we are sacrificing ourselves. 

Hebrew has an additional value for us: 

An individual is not a free single dot in the universe. He is a 
ringlet in the net which is spread over a certain spot on the earth. 
The net is his generation. A human being is also a ringlet in the 
infinite chain of generations which reaches back to the Patriarch 
Abraham and extends onward to the end of time. 

The Hebrew language, which Jews in all lands understand, is the 
belt which holds together all the ringlets and prevents their falling 
apart. It is the cement which binds together our scattered units. 

The Hebrew language also holds together the ringlets in the chain 
of time. It links us with Moses and the Prophets of old, with the 
creators of the Talmud and with all the great luminaries that once 
shone in our firmament. 

The Hebrew language knits us with the pyramid-builders, with 
the warriors who shed dieir blood in defense of Jerusalem's walls, 
with the martyrs whose last words at the stake were Shma Yisroel. 

bijT oy /"IS?? T18T 15?^ KioiD) p^Dis? ^5?na1^^ pa ,DyD^^8:i^''22»a lynaiK ps 
PK nsn pK .D:i8n pK i^ik i«i ,p28it^ pK i^ja Dtr;'»a ,np ns?'' '-^:3 pj?T 
oy ♦i5?jyDyiJ?a i:i Dti;-'! PK p''n'''»K pK /py*? pn'^-'K |'?"'ii n'';^ ♦♦*mD pK 
T)a lya^p pii^;3 ♦.♦ddj?^ px :^5?t) in iti^'^iD oj? /1di^2: n in tti^nta 
Di» 'pDar) D^T 1^,1 niix i^p Db^^y-r ♦nuT»oi yo^jna 122 p;»ip iyoi?n 

♦m3 PK pyA 
nyDaT'»iD pit:; lyDyn D-^^^Dtz; p'»Dy lynnx ts ,p'»rni t'^k oy tiK 

D •» D pX 0^11 n S S ,10^11 pK l^''§ i^l tlllK pS -ly^y^ T» /*Tn87 157)3 ^p^S^'' 

'?i?n ,n^'' )T^^'2 Tra m 'Tt:!!^ nji:Q p'^a'^m fx 05? nyDyn D^^Dtz? n oijii 
Q^im yiynniK bim .12i;i57"t Di^my:\ iy:i5?T i"»» bini ,'»ns p'^'J^iS?^ ly^S^t •T»tt 
;'»1T» on T'»i< oy Titi: /pyDmijD pK p?" l^^yT 1^^ t» /pis^T p^-^-yon ]ii< 
ny-T bujT mirj?2J-iyn^i< nyDoys d''1'? ly'^ia^n "t^t nynyiy*' r^ ,ib^ii i^ia 
l^i^T jnii^no D^T ^D^^pDJjTi^n 1^: d^s'*::? iy ti? ,iyr''^ Dt:;"»: D:ii:b"'»''D^ 
«1"»iK ty^iyn 0^11 iybD'»np-m'?i'» n Tin )inb ^n t^ ,iya'>''D ti^'^i lyns 
to-j^ptz/np 221 in p^^rpyi t^ i\^ ,iya^''D Dt:;^:i i^^mKi nyi "p^t jtoayii n 
♦niyntr;n d''^ t^spsr n-'bis^ — Ton nyi pK ,niyinti:? pp^n oyi a-'bi^: 
/l'?;s:y'T»x yD**!!! ynytiam i^S trsrioi;a in piyt n'^^ 1^ ^p-^ii i't^t y^s 

♦IDID nynaii? ,D'»"'nt:;Day;D nynaiK 
♦t)nyii nyi2» is tiiik i^d t^iipn-pu?'? D^n lyimijn 
PK iy jDbyii nyi T'IK Dpais nyp'>2:r''K nyms p'^p pk T>n^ i? 
nyn n''iK rs'^s p'^iiyA >i; 't»ik in D^^nsi^^nss o^^^ rv:^ nyi p'K :\*»ik ]in; 
lyi ]iD y'?y:^2n 8 oi^yii p-'K pK pk wDiya 8 nn pjt ?•»« yv:^ n niy 
♦nnnn ^3 nio Ty u-^n^ onnn;^ pa in D'^ir o^n D^v*iy^-?riy^J3ii< 
t)8n DDjii nyT ?p'?i$Q IS n onyny:\ ny ts ,psT in n-'iK tisjp nyii 
lyi JT'ix lyD^nst^^ni^D ly-r lis /^S?^ ^is?"^ PS P'*''^ 5?'?8 t^'*^ :^ani"»ns:s 
Dyn pn u'>n^ orpns pa in d"'2S oigin d^v n au lyp pK /D'pyii nyisaitjii 

♦:m!Jd ip-'Dii^n 

T'»x ny-Tiy'? y'rs pK ty'»''DU?n8a i-ip y^itJ o^ii isnair; yir^ynnyn n 
;]a'»i'?nyT5iSiia Dtr?u in ib^t -^n .ly'pnyn n lyiasns^ o'psn oijii ty^n nyi 
♦ly^agns ^yr-'a yD'»t2;ys ynynaiK to'psn 015:11 •»'»'?p iyp^22r'»K nyi 
♦tDi^2t nyT pK "jyAin n p)d8ti22 inK ^b^n isiati; yti^^ynnyn n 
lyn tD'»)3 .mtr;tt lyi d'»» ,n'>K'2i n t)**^ ,irni nti?;^ t)^» naiK Dp''a'»'»Ki8a n 

334 Education 

To forget the Hebrew language means to forget the Books of 
Moses, the Prophets, our history. It means to tear ourselves away, 
a solitary branch, from the trunk of Judaism, to rot a while, and 
to disappear. 

We cannot, however, get along solely with Hebrew 

As Jews we must know Hebrew, but as educated people, as living 
active human beings, we must also know the language of the land. 
Hebrew is the tongue of our religion and nationality but we also need 
the tongue of the state we dwell in, the tongue of our general educa- 
tion and of our daily affairs. 

To conduct business in Hebrew and to study the Bible in the 
vernacular are both equally stupid procedures. We must know two 
languages; such is our fate in exile; such is our need as long as we 
are scattered and dispersed among other nations. Why then do we 
need Yiddish as a third language? 

This question is answered by the reality about us. The third lan- 
guage exists. Three million people speak it. If we want to educate 
these three million Jews, we cannot wait until they acquire a thorough 

knowledge of other tongues Whosoever wants to understand the 

Jewish people, whosoever wants to teach them, must be able to read 

and write Yiddish No language is holy per se; no language is 

good or bad in itself. Language is a means whereby human beings 
communicate with each other and whereby the educated influence 
the uneducated. 

It would be better if we could get along with a single language, 
or with two; but we are forced to know all three 

Wherever Providence may place us, wherever in the wide world 
we may have to live and work, education is the basis, the only source 
from which better years can jflow for us. We must, therefore, go to 
the masses of our people. We must educate them. We must enlighten 
them. We must warm the heart of every Jew and put into his hands 
the means to live as a thinking human being. 

Education has no foes save fools. 

Education is our goal, and we ask all truly cultured persons to 
help us educate the masses. 

Don't assume, Jewish intellectuals, that you are doing your duty, 
by working for a greater entity, for so-called humanity-at-large. 

wn>''3 335 

''ii ^to^nss ns?''i?3 oiD'»bti^n^ n^iK Di'^a ny^n p^n o^ii n d'»;3 jD^'inyA 
♦ivntryi^ "'?xnt2;'' yiatr?/, ir-^S tpnwy'ia oy^ T'ik ]a^n o^ii n d"»» t'^h 

,tt^Di5?;D yDy-r'?^ns?A d'ps — iisjj ^it"* o'?^ 1^25?? 'T*^ itid t2;?3?i35?n ♦ ♦ . 

-— I8ist2;i:is^ 15?^ rJ« /tDS?tD^^8:i8''S8:i i5?n:ii< /5?^:i^'?yi isrr^aiK Dpyoti? 

liny"? is'ptor'Jiis?:^ nyniiK ,:^in'?'»n lyniiK 

,18ist2?-n8'? *iyT T1K ^n'»a n lyns?*? PK ti??n:3yn t»ix ly'riasn 

ny?95?s ttz^'^m i3'»n5;:2 px D'»n9ti?y22 n*'^ lyayt oyn n"'iK ini*?:; pK 't»;d lynyt 
oy ?nsy 18 Tiiii? D:iyns •lyii 18^ ?i8^'i8tz?T oyi i8i 'i^^ pi8i D8II 
n'»Z3 i"'iK px ♦n n'*s ^it2;S3 18'''?''?^ ^-'^it /is'istz; yum 8 tD'T»DO'»opy 
f?'$y\ ''n tn 101811 tDtz;^ i'»» iyi8P 'H^**:! Jnit2;Si i8''?"»;3 im n t^^ii 

♦ ♦ ♦ !15;ny'?D*>i>5 P8i9tr; yiyii8 Tt 
p'?8S 08T b-'n oy ns?ii pH /lyi^i? p'??^ 08^ ^''n oy "jyn — 18^ ♦ - 

.... t8^n8t^T pint:? p^^ n^i WV? ti;d nyi — lyny"? 
♦DDy*?!!; Dtz;*'! ^ton £)t27'»2 ,p''^''^^ tDtr?u nn 180 PK 18 f'K I8i9tr? p^p ♦ ♦ . 
5?t35?i'?'>sy:^ px p'^Dt^isS nsi38 on '?8T lyi^'^K ^^D-^a 8 18^ T-'K i8ist2; n 

♦lpi'>ii ytD5?*7^'»nyA^iK n n''iK i'?8T lt^my» 
^WVP 18i3t^ r^x 1S18^ I8:i t'^ST *T'J:3 l^iW lyoy^ D'?8n ov 11 s'?8 ly^iyp ^538 1 T 1 ;3 i'';^ /'»''n:^ i8^ Q'»^s ^3 "^y 
Dyii n^iK pD ny** in /lDn8ii t3tr;'»i Dyr"»K tayn nn:\ti;n n ni n8i ♦ ♦ ♦ 
'p'^^ n ,0^83 13?^ Aan'p'^n T^^K — 1pv^^ 12s px py'? 12: ly^ipo'^m r^8 
pH ».»io'»'?QO'»n8 n8'' nyoyn n^m iya8P oy nyDbyii ps ^'rynp yp''X 

!p'?89 08^ n'?''3i ^''J^ pn8^ nynnyi 
,m;D rx ir ny'' p8?3 P''tDD'»^ isi8t n''» !p'?8S d8T nV"*! isi8i i**?:) 
Di:: .py^ ai22 '?tD'»;D 8 i:Ln8 t)i8n nyi px py:^ px n8n pK Dyi8ii 

.... py"? ipn:iyt3u?a'?5?T 
♦tDtr?**! D'»xiitr; pv ,n83 nyo''iK D8n — :^inb"»a n 
yonb^ay^ n^K y'?8 pyn i''«) px D8i3i8i3 ny^l1^^ t'»x :\in'?'»n n 

,p'?8S D8T n':''*^ p'?yno'»«) nii« i^8t ^n ,it:?t):y)D 
0811 /t)'»aiyi X22T> t)in n-'K t8 .it^t5:iy;3 ynyi'^^ayA i^k ,Dtr?'>:i or^tt 
.iD'»%ntrD3y^ isx38:^ lyi i8S tDt2;i«)i'?3» ,'?'?3 nyoyi:\ 8 i8s tjynis 'T'k 

336 Education 

Humanity-at-large does not yet exist. Cultural groups, distinct 
peoples, differing civilizations are now the actors on the stage of 
the world. 

We do not believe in Volapiik or Esperanto. We too hope for a 
common humanity but we shall never attain to it your way. We shall 
never get to it by destroying individual languages, or by annihilating 
separate peoples, or by extirpating differing civilizations. We want 
rather to enrich languages, national traits, civilizations by additional 
common treasures until there shall evolve out of these various units 
one world-culture, a universal tongue, the larger humanity. 

The future is a crucible in which all metals will melt and a 
Golden Age will emerge. Not the Golden Age of the original Garden 
of Eden, before man ate of the Tree of Knowledge and of which 
Rousseau dreamed, but rather the Golden Age of which Isaiah prophe- 
cied: "And the whole world will be filled with the knowledge of 
God, as the sea is filled with water. Nation shall not lift up sword 
against nation nor shall man know war any longer." 

We Jews have not suffered these thousands of years in order now 
to forget our own civilization. We want to and we have to continue 
our way of life, so that we may later unite with the company of 
mankind as equal partners with equal rights and equal shares. 

We have our ideas, our concepts, our peculiar humor, our distinct 
approach to universal problems — help us in our growth! 

In exile we have become congealed, frozen, petrified. Our culture 
needs thawing and revivifying. 

You intellectuals, who have worked hitherto in foreign fields, you 
are to blame if our own acres are overgrown with weeds and thorns. 
There is no lack of hands elsewhere, but we, alas!, are sorely in 
need of hands. You have until now been active under foreign masks 
and hence many a person is unaware of our role in the world of 
science and scholarship. Our people had to become intellectually bank- 
rupt because our intellectuals labored solely for foreign peoples but 
no foreigner labored for us. 

You are flowers that came to bloom too soon on the field of 
humanity. Before the season for flowers of your species arrives, the 
frost will have nipped you, the snow covered you, the wind up- 
rooted you. 

Individuals cannot flow into the ocean of humanity — only 

^isn^'a 337 

-'»'7'»n'»s nyi pK ,nyt3pN:nxD"^yp'?^D n pK /pi!:i5t2; n pK ^^3 5?r'»?5y:\^x 

♦D'»^'^tr;D:I5?;^ p"»x ^l^nsti; p-'X 
lx'?5?)DU?5?2{ in tbyn |^8D5r;a y'rs P^yii pi^ /^:^''t3 8 t-'k t)Saipi2J n 

"bujA n nij:! ,D»i'?nyA i^on t»ik t»t to^n oj; nyD'?yn ps /pa^pn ns?"l^ Ps 

/1DI ''nmb^i iiy n^^'' k"?! nnn ''n 'r'X *'i:^ xtr;"» k^ ♦ ♦ ♦ d^'dd^ d^*? d'^^s 

pbn ^ tn^n T'IX 'i'?''11 n**^ 4P''^''''i^'^i<^ i^r DDyi jrDi^'?]^ »t»ik d-'^todi^?^ 

♦STMT'S nyi px pJ?T T»ix 'i'?'»n n''D /nisniti; px 

lynnx ,r*n *iyniix /i^nr^ijn yiyn:iix .lys^rx y-i5?naix tiijn n"»;3 

♦P?'?p''iit5i8 122 ^n naix Ds'?yn — :^ii''iti?i^"D'?yii 

.p^D pnyny*? ,is^%nS"»ix ,iy'»iDD'»ix $?'»2r8f'?'»ii''2r nyniix nniin lya ^p'^^ss?:^ 

,iDym85?:\ in'?ys yi;syns px 1^:1 nynx t**! d^h t»x d^ii ,T-?x inn 
]•»•»[? ttt2;'»:i ta'^yS tDn^-r jpi^i'^iy:^ oiiijinxD px Di^'»inxD n^rpi? nynnx t-'x 
ivm T^s Dijn n'»x o^n nvi inn j'p'^s 122 nyT^"? •'n 'i'?srQ — n^ix i^s ^rnvn 
nyi t'»x to^n 'ly T^i: ,v:i^^^ in ddxt /DP'T'toa 'w^'mi v^^v^q iyto:iix 
-3j?i p'»DOi^:^ toTi^s?:^ toi^^n p'r^D nymix ♦Dit^'':i pbn vv tDsxtz^ao'^'n-D'^jni 
,tDyn*ii!;ya t)ti:?'':i q-'X 1^^ lyr'^p D^n •nyp'pyD ynyiix pa ^i^ii ^n^'to^ip 
♦Dp'T»ny:\ yi^yns ixd n^i p^n yDyi^'^nyr^ 3?nynaix lyii nyti;n 

nsS nyT"»x ;iy^i'?noD'»'»iWDis?^ ^ns ix tD'py'n 13?t ^''IX t)i5?t ^''X 

!Tiyp"1^ifQ Tiy 'li?"? tD'»;D Dl-'ll n$?l ,'JD'»t2;nJ?D '>^W l^T 

338 Education 

Come back to your own people; be for it a pillar of clouds by 
day and a pillar of flame by night; lead it and guide it but do not 
run ahead and do not abandon it in the desert. 

You are lighting a fire beneath the open sky, while your own 
family in your own house is freezing or is suffocating with smoke. 

As long as there is no universal system of education for mankind- 
in-general, then each individual is the product of his specific national 
entity. Though he be removed from his ethnic group as a suckling 
babe, his brain already contains in embryonic dormant form the 
hereditary talents which will afterwards awaken and be developed. 
He will bear the traces of his former origin unto the tenth generation. 

No matter what language you speak, no matter what pearls 
stream from your lips, no matter what ideas you propound, your 
eloquence is Jewish eloquence, your wit is essentially Galut-wk, your 
intellectual acumen is reminiscent of Talmudic sagacity. 

Meyerbeer cannot escape the Kol-Nidre melody. It meanders 
through his music. Heine and Borne are Jews in their every expression, 
in their every jest, and in their earnestness. 

You belong to us. Why not tend our vineyard? 

Humanity is still in its cradle. What you whisper in its ear today, 
it will not remember later on, for it will then be speaking a different 

Help to educate your own poor, unhappy people! . . . Don't cast 
them aside! The Jewish people have tremendous vitality, a wealth of 
energy. They are the bearer of a civilization which the world can 
neglect only to its own hurt, of ideas which can greatly enrich man- 

The Jewish people are an eternal flower. By day, when the sun 
shines, when the human spirit progresses, this flower revives and 
unfolds its petals. When dark night comes, however, it shuts its petals, 
folds up, and is hardly distinguishable from the common weed. The 
sun, on reappearing, needs a long time to recognize the flower; and 
the flower needs an equally long time to become aware of the shining 
orb. Overnight the flower has become covered with dust and dirt 
and the light rays do not penetrate so easily. 

Help the people to recognize the sun's rays as early as possible! 

sim^'n 339 

t2;K "Tiaj? ih: Dr?T ,:\^D i^n py 11^3? 1^ tom ^p^i^s 01:12 pni22 D^ip 

t^^TTi oisn p''"'p^5?s yDiu;i''5?A ,yi^s;$^t2;i^D d^p'^toa^j?^ vw tr^ m^ T-^t 
pQ b^VB ]^w T-'K in i^^T ,D^''ii 'T'K iKisti; 8 n^§3 d;$ii Diyn 

rx in Dypus"?! n^ ,s^p ps D'^n^ m-^i ny^'^^'J^^ ISP mr'ps 
ns?^ r« 't^'^S'^^ ns?^ r« n?'' wv^ yn^n pk 5?:l''^^ ;iyn;$^y?j yam y'rs 

iDsny n^'* P^ T^^ 

ny"»ii< pK m!5n i^K t);!D'>n i-'k d^ii j^ni pK w m'^b D^%itz;D:s?^ n 
. . . .'■]^1B^ lyniH; t^ D^^;23?"T in'^s nis:\ toyii n ,wivin ^^'^^ i^nyi n D^n 

-o^iK Di'pn ^D''S Dt2;yn d^t p5^s?i i^^t ^n ,ms?n n pK lyp'^D^ii^s i^n 

px t)t2;*»Ji 057 i^^T ^n ,D:iyn n pK nytoo^DasQ r?n Dtz;^! 05? dt^'? 

pis'? Dtz?''! oy nnijT iy^ ip'^ijs oyi^ n^^^ nia^m ^ vk oy — 'piyn o^i 
D^T ,y''ns?25? n^m ih: ,DS^iponyb vm^ ^ in pK m^ P^^s o^i n^^s 

oiST ^y^ipy:^ r^ ^^ P'^^^^ ^'^ t^'^S^^ ^S'^'^ ^^^^'^ ^^"^^^^ '^'^^ '^^''^ '^'^ 

d;21P lynij D'^ip nytDy?n yn^K d^p-'Udiih ,«n^iK n Dny^ ,in Dbp''iiD:i8 Dor?:^ 
in pK in' t30'»'?t2;n8s /pJK in t)ytz;Dn;$p ,122 in n ddj?^ ^dd^i ynyDi^rs n 
♦ ♦♦n^i -lyp'^T^'? nyDybrnip 1$ pk oy tj? ,in ddhj-t D^jj^yi ♦♦♦p'''?^ 
]n n' -i5?T^i< r^a^^ Dny^ny^i ,pT n «T'1k p '^ ni 2: Drjt:; oy tyii px 
..♦tDr-?u? pT n m n^^^m ^ly'^'^ Qi^n n nyr-'K i-'ix /m'?a n D^ypnyi 
lyi^im nrnt:;p Dtr;'':i pK ,D22i^t2;H:n p;^ un-'iDti^nKs n Dnyii ddi^i nyn''K 

nnn i^KitDt:; yp'^DD^'? n i^nyt 
p! nyi t3"»» ns ny*T px i^Kn in 'p^T oy .p'piss 0^1 t)3^yn 


The time has come for our intellectuals to realize their responsi- 
bility to our people. Working for one's own hearth and kinsmen does 
not mean abadoning the banner of humanity-at-large. Today every- 
body must plow, sow, and cultivate his own bit of land, although — 
or rather because — ^we hope for a morrow in which there will be a 
common granary for mankind. To this granary all will bring their 
grain, their entire produce, and from this granary each person will 
be fed alike, without regard to his ancestry or the color of his skin . . . 

We believe that the thunderstorms will pass away and the time 
will come when the earth will give us its strength and the heaven its 
warmth and light. We do not want our people to stand aside at 
harvest time and to weep over lost years on the day of rejoicing or 
to beg for alien bread to which will cling the sweat and toil of 
alien peoples. 

We also want to bring a bit of corn and wheat into the common 
granary. We also want to be partners, junior partners, but not 

We want the Jew to feel that he is a human being, participating 
in all conmion human activities, living and striving like a human 
being, and — if insulted, reacting to insults like a human being! 

This is our objective. For this goal we ask help of the genuine 

?Ttt l^^ll DNtll 

-^» n *ITl$^D''n^!: ^v'^i DO'»%n n^rina yis?::^''^^ i^jS ,d''\t lyi i'^k in !5n 
i?i "isriyiy pyniij n^ Drj?n .mm lyi ]is ]^d j^^^^'^trDay^ r^y:^ 
nyoyn iS?!^ ,'?;$iin*'iK .las'? bp'^^^ tD>Js?a^*i:^y^s^ tin im iii< n5?P» 'T't 

jHKinn V2j:ika n .irm 5r'?8 t5?^ip:iinii: I'pyn 05? p^yii r« njr'^Di^str; n 5? ^ 

•— '?ZD^^ ly-r ,dsn;ip 'T'i^ ]2n n:nK D^rn iny n |ik D!?2: n ty;2ip 

p'pi^D lynnK '^ST t)!?2:i5;tD''atr; rx tii: ;Dtr?"»i i^m n^^ tii< ♦♦ ♦ dd'>'? fix oyisit 

D)3y^i;s:S pK nS'' yiiynn'rniiiS tya^nii?n niD-or r^^ .o:iDim pS ptotz; 

♦cmti? Ip"»t5i^n n^5?")S lis tonin i^jriQ t^?'?^^?^ 

ly^yi '?'''»Di« ?ST ny /Wiy^ o^K p-'s in 't^t t^ nyi 4'?''ii ^^J^ 
-«)^^Kn ■— pK pnKtotr? ri< py*? iy^ti;my^ ,vh ny'7trDiy^ oiS^n 0^?^$ r^ 
♦tr^Diy^ o^ii: tDp'»T"'^Kn ]'?''q in iv ^^'^ .t)p''-T 



Times Change 

Two electric balls with opposite charges are suspended not far 
from each other on two separate threads in mid-air. They alternately 
attract and repel each other. 

At one moment they rush towards each other with love and long- 
ing. They want to unite. The next moment they leap away from one 
another in disgust and hate, seeking to put the maximum distance 
between themselves. 

Similar reactions are observable among peoples. 

"There is a time for everything," says Solomon. 

There are alternating periods of attraction, of pushing towards 
each other, and periods of retreat, of mutual repulsion. 

There are alternating historical periods: thesis and antithesis. 

In periods of attraction, general humanitarian feelings develop. 
Hearts spin the golden threads of common human ideals and weave 
the web of common human interests. 

In periods of repulsion each people retreats into itself, seeks soli- 
tude, takes stock of its own spiritual resources, digs into the deepest 
layers of its soul for buried treasures, works on its own internal 
growth, develops its own specific traits, spins and weaves the garment 
of its own intimate national life. 

Thesis and antithesis! What is the synthesis? 

Humanity of the future, consisting of free, independent, and cul- 
turally differentiated peoples. 

This future is remote. The historic process of mutual attraction 
and repulsion will last a long time. The cycles are speeding up but, 
even so, they are still of considerable duration and human life is 
brief, so very brief. 

A human being, whose short life with its short memories is con- 
tained within a single moment of history, regards such a moment 
as eternal. If this period comes to an end during his lifetime and if 
he himself is incapable of changing his modes of thought and his 


nsri PK Ds;7?D sns;i:iiT8n '»^ns: n^iK ,|d^''1i^s iid Di^n Dti;"»i Di'»'»i^ ,d^d''22 

o:^^K is?:\inst2?s^ lis Dis?)!^;^/:) 8 pK n"*^ 1^^ '?*'i*» itos^^n^s ,r-^T b^T nnn^ 
-[DDDim Dyi iD'»ni2J p§ t);ss?i nyr'»K pK ,08n tm '?py t3'»;3 iD^ni^j fis 

p"'iDW98 PK tyjiinstr^s^ P2 ttoi?2: pK ,'iDn'?:i:\ypx ,]5??22i2s^ ps itoi^sj 

♦in ]D^j?n 

Srp^nsn 08^ / s? 3 5? ^ t2? t) a s; » d^t iddpsh 15??22122 ps to^ijr^^^ TJ^ 
D^iys yaj?-r'?8^ p''22i8n pQ in t5?^''st2; ♦fH i5?^tz;tD25?^ 08*1*1 Qy^K i8s '?''sy:^ 
S7D3?bt2;Diy;D p'»DyA^8 •»T in ps^'ii ph t'?8y^*'K 373y^t2^D:i5?^ v'^n'^is^ ^T 

♦ ♦ ♦ . '[D5?n5?t3:i'»K 
/p^'ps in IS pm22 pb8s oy^y^ 1**^ tj''^^ ionDt^38 ps i^^^J^^J^^ pk 
^5?:5?P''K pJt pK in iiy'^prj'ns ,t2?s:n"pni:;n ,nmi3nn p^n 05; i''^^ 
ti^iT T'^ to^5?i ♦^Sfiitr nyp^'anDom^n is?! lyt^^nK ps nn:^iK w^ ,ni:im 
torsti? ;to 1 8 a 31 '»'» K pjT osr d'?p''1id28 /Dyni8 n s? t^; *» ;d •»'' n pjt n p^8Q 
081 /5?Dy'?D''DOp'?8^ 081 fVP^in^m u?'';:^''^ ,S7^''tD:i''K O81 in tDn5?n iik 

?Tym''D m pK 
]is p'>t)ti;8^ t35;ii 0811 ^^'^'^nvtuiv^ S?P"'tDDa"»p m 

5?p'»D185^''*'H tli? 5?p'>1iyD^n'?5?T ,S?^-^1S S7^'?22a'»'»K 

♦ 1 S? P b 57 D 

D5;2:8is iyti;n8tooM lyi tisrni uyii i8^ :^^8^ ;Ds:npn n fi^ Dim 
nvw^ ^8^ 8 0811 in tDi^n id:i5?;d8J^ "'^ — lonDu;'S8 P« IS^'p^^i^: ps 
•»1T8 T'»K tnyb yDybtr^oasTD 081 pK n**^ ''"'Y ItD^sn :^i8'? :^i:is?^ 18i iy^8 

♦ ♦♦♦pip 

344 Advice to the Estranged 

habits of reacting, then this fossilized individual wants to prolong 
the existing historic moment by force. He cannot succeed! Human 
hands are too weak to arrest the wheel of time. Such a person, there- 
fore, sits down, closes his eyes, and refuses to look at the changes 
that, despite his own will, take place all around him. He sits with 
folded hands and dreams the dream of his generation with its obsolete 

This is the position in which you, assimilationists, find yourselves. 
Now it is rumored that you have at last awakened and opened your 
eyes. Now you want to work with us. 

This is our triumph! 

We have been aware for some time that the springtide in the 
relations between peoples is over and gone, and that winter is in the 
air. Evil winds are its harbingers. And so we have hastened home. 

The gusts of winter will soon be in full blast and there is work 
for all hands. Walls must be sealed, the roof repaired, windows in- 
spected, fuel stored, lights held in reserve, and — bread! We have 
been active for some time in our own workshop. 

You remained in the houses of others; you tarried in the halls 
of strangers; you followed in the footsteps of foreigners. 

You found their homes so bright, so rich, and our home so dark, 
so poor. 

You, therefore, lived for them, worked for them, until they hinted 
to you that you were not welcome and that they did not need your help. 
You thereupon dispersed, in the hope that the fewer there were of 
you in one spot, the more likelihood was there of your being tolerated. 

If two of you found yourself in the same place, one got away 
from the other. Two in one spot at one time might be more than the 
others would welcome. If one of you happened to look into a mirror 
and to see his own face there, he jumped aside, he did not recognize 
his own mask, he thought there was another person in his way. 

But even the single individual was felt to be superfluous and no 
knives or forks were set for him at the table of the others. Coughing 
failed to attract their attention. Then you moved to one side, sat down 
in an obscure corner, closed your eyes, dreamed your day-dreams, and 
drowsed off. 

Now you have awakened! 

You want to come back! You want to work with us! 

This is our triumph. But we, the victors, shall not put our foot 
on your necks; we shall not close our doors to you. There is no lack 

[nsv IN Dnii ypniyxiippnis n is] 345 

,D3ya8D 8 r^^ in3T 12211? 8 D^D pyb nip 8 ^t)i5?tt 8 tonyb 
15? tiK ,183 PS?*? r-2T n2 in iy Dpn^y ;p'»a'>''K n^s Q''^ 13? to^8n 
toiyr'»D^i8s ritr? ,m'»niyAi^ ri^ — py'^iS? 122 in p?5?s Dtr;"»a f^x r'''?8 
15? 18P px !D'?8m D'»D I5?t3ini T»ix 15??22D'>1K Da5?^8Ja Q5?T 15? '?''i'» — 
in 15? t)S5?T — 1811^2; IS .r^'ip 122 i5?i5?T Da5?n 573y'?t2;Da5?» ^'i — totr;'*: 
tDi5?ni5? 05? 0811 ^15?t ut:;'': 03D0p"'rni '?"'ii px 122 iriK n dd8» 'pyii8 
in D»i^n px to:i5?n 5?tor'''?i8Q t^'*^ 15? tort ,i'?''ii r-?t ps?? PK d-'X 18 T'T 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 5?T5?D VJi nn rj?T n5?t3r?ii 

TK t)8n ,15??3 tD3i8T .'7:11s |1X ♦wn8t38'?^J3^08 .5?T8l^8n ir-^i< T^« D8T 

♦ ♦ w D5?an8 tD'?''ii TH pK toiD5?y:^ P^'i^ ''T ,Da8D5?:^s''ix T^ 

♦pnsa n57TiJiiK t-'K o8T 
,i^a-)8s t-'K :\r'?nD-)5?pb5?Diti;"»iis 15?t t8 .to'?'»Di5?"T n'?8i P8n T'^ 

.D'>\i8 pms tP5?T 'T»» px 48 Q''X P8T lorii 5?r'»s ,d;31P i5?torii nyi t8 
Ti» 15?;d ,Dayn 5?'?iQ tDym8 — 18 ^'^ W^ tt^i'^n ^t^'^n -lyom 15?! 
lD^n:\38 /I5?:i5?'i8"ii8n n5?t3sayD n ,p8^^82 18t d5?t 4Q5?'?P'i8Q toa5?ii ''t 
n5?-r IS I'PSia in tn8n 'T'» px ♦ - o-'inn — px :i3iDDi^b83 .:iiis''Mn8s 

.w.ds5;t5?:\ '?5?t3i:7pnyii '^5?t:^''»''^^ 
5?'7»5?i& 189 4a'''?nyA |'?8T 5?i^yis PK '"^^rTiM yi^5?nQ px om n^^x 

'»iT8 /Q5?"i8 '''1T8 v^ Q^^T n pK /im •'IT8 .p'^DD*'^ nT8 t'»k Dn8T 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 'rpiiD 

]5?)a D8n 41135?:^ U5?nn8 5;i»yis ,Dn5?^5?:^ P^^ "i^^r'iS 8 'T'K to8n 
♦myn pv i^5?s t)n8T t8 .totz;'': ii^k nn8T t5?» t8 .p5?nisa8 P5?:^5?:^ T-'x 
to5?ii nu;DX ,D18 P"'^ n''^^ nyp-^rm D81i P-n ^8T /pi8'i*^5?2r in n^K D8n 

. ♦ ♦ ♦ lT8'?i5?n''X T-^x 15?^ 

tD'»nis pa -)5?3'»''X f»x ,p8ito5?3^ 018 P''» 1'"^^ T-^ P^ '''^'^^ T^ '^^^^ 
♦p^ix n px o-'iii^ IS px ^''s IS ,^8^ 8 ^'^ '''^'^^ ^^'^ "" 15?:^in9^5?:^a8 
px ,iynvT p^^8 in Avmm ^^^stz; 8 P5?P P^^5?si22 t-2x ps rv^v t^x 
-^nis 8 .or^Jay:^ jmypn5?T tot:;''! 5?pD8» P-'t tD8n 15? ♦t5?:\:inst:;5?:^s8 *i3? 

l^ix yi^sr-'X -185 t38n ,n8TO:^ pn5?n^x i^ix 5?:i'?s3^'>x n I5?iyt px 
Du;'*^ iD8n pom VV P« ^^''^ H^y^s o'-'=i "^^^^ T'^ ^^^^^ u^5?an8Q 
Dit38tr?nxQ X px DS5?Ty:^ .om 8 18 t3pn5?:^s8 T'T iy» t^sn — p'?8^5?:^ 
. , * ♦ D'pDmyi^rjx px t);Di^n5?^ px t)D8^"i8a P^'ix "^^ ,y'?5?p:i'»ii 
!tos835?:^a''i« ^^'122 T-^x T'X D8n 
mux r?n pms px n^^x d'p'^ii t)5?ni8 
0^8 'OIQ rv i5?3i« I'^S^ii n-'D -pnsi n5?niix fx 08"t — tD:\8T5?:^ ''II 
TD n5?Ti3ix 115X -18S I'pyii 'T'» 4^5?tDt2; Dt2?^i Ti'?8n n5?i^« n''*!^ 15?^'^ 
T'»x n8S 1t5S?an8 122 t)i8 P^^P Wi '?s?t)t2;pnsii lytniix i^a ;tD8»-)8S otr?**! 

346 Advice to the Estranged 

of work for you in our workshop. We shall admit you as one of us, 
but we shall watch you carefully. We shall make sure that you do 
not sow the wrong seed-mixture, that you do not spin and weave 
threads of diverse qualities, that you do not introduce into our midst 
foreign contraband. 

With us this is now a time for spiritual accounting and stock- 
taking, for holy work; and all hands that participate must be clean. 

Times change! Formerly there was jubilation when one of the 
estranged returned to our midst. We pointed to him with pride and 
we held him up for all to see. 

We are no longer so poor! 

If you want to take from us, we shall gladly let you have of our 
own, our warmth, our intimacy. 

If you want to give to us, however, we should like to know what 
you are giving. Is it gold or is it spurious currency? 

Times change! 



Are we correct in assuming that you are coming back because 
of homesickness, because you have become conscious of your duties 
to the people of your origin, because you want to renew your severed 
bonds with your relatives, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers? 
If you really want to return, then do so in all honesty 

Come, see, hear, learn, study, and, until you have amassed 
knowledge of our ways, maintain silence! . . . 

Don't come back to preach to us the ideas of others and to plant 
in our midst the culture of others. We say, all roads lead to the 
ideal man, but each people has its own specific road. You say, let 
us change roads, let us exchange cultural values? We want to develop 
our own hearth and worship at our altar in our own way. You ask us 
to throw out our own hearths and to borrow the fire of strangers for 
our altar. 

We shall not stop up your loud mouths. But we should like to 
give you the following advice: 

If you compare, do so honestly. If you talk of exchanging, then 
use honest weights and measures and place comparable goods on the 
two sides of the scale. 

[nsy ]N Dn:^ ypniv^ippms n is] 347 

":i;s:p n^rtot^'*: pp iTsami? Dt^**:! to^i^T 'T'h ,T:iDyt^ pp pyii pK 

♦ ♦ . n:i^n^iD 

nt^a pK /tz^Tipn misy r^Bin pnti^n tiiik i^s v^ oy 

♦ .♦♦r'''npK pt n n^ 

-oi^'iys^is nyiisj n*?;?:^ ,o^n lo'^n n**;:) itds / 1 n y :^ naii< n^'K Db'^n 


D^i toiiSii m22 |y;2ip5?:\ t^k 05? ,DS8t2;p:j^n ip-*^^ ^ T-'k TH topsr-nyi^ 

D'?'»11 TK pK /DDJJtDtl^ ty;^ p'PSril pS /P^^3 i? Pyp ItOD'^^S p& ^''S^^ 

ynsri^K tD"')D |on5;ns?n'»x tD^n ^''K dijii nyi$?s n iis^'ipa^ pmss i5?'?p'T»ii 
DID — y^K»-5?t38D 1^3 nt^SK pK nymn pi< isrDo^nit:^ ,D''3iip t$?ay:^'»'>K 
^^V^'^V V^^ oy DID ijD M^^^n isrbpTn 05; TK 
♦ • ♦ ! D :i !? 11 u? — D'risj/Dn T"»n pK /DiniDir; ,Dny^ ,v:ii^n ,D5?t ,D»ip ♦ ♦ ♦ 
5?iy'»n ip'^Tns lyaippnn t'?'»ii o^n n in^? nsts? yD-'m n D^n ♦ . ♦ 

pyii 5?^n: jpigiT TD ♦♦niD'pip yiXD3?i5 I22:i8^s ,)vvt^ yi^i^ns 
tti^nD jD:^»t T'K pK jwi P-^t d^h p^p oviT n^i / tz; D 1 V ^ 01:2 PT»5 
5?i2;^;D^^n oisi i5?'?p'>™a8 i'?'»ii t» !|Dn5?mit3'?ip d**^ rsi'?n i^5?ii d^t 
^y55§ itaV")^ )V^V^ pK i§i8no'»n8 oi; do^m T'K , ^ p ^ d 1 ^ :i a « k pi< 

♦ ♦♦♦nariD diih; 

•pSXDi^S Dtr?"'! 'p^'itt oiiji i!2K i'?s?n t»d ♦ ♦ ♦ 

jnsjy sTDm n .p$?:\ o-^n^s r^ T-'« ^^^ t^^^^ ^"^^ 18 '^ss^ 

v:>v'?iv — *^8:i .DS5?ti?5?3i 8 l^iK f'i? psi'?n ,iy'?i3? DDi^'rr^nsS 

348 Advice to the Estranged 

Take equivalents for your comparative evaluation! ... 

If you speak of superstitions, compare our Kaddish and our 
religious provisions for the souls of the dead with the methods in use 
among others. 

Or take our Gehenna, our post-mortem penal institution, v^^ith its 
maximum sentence of twelve months, and compare it with the eternal 
hell that others hold out as a possible prospect. 

Perhaps, you don't like our Prayer-Book? Let us see what is in it. 

"May awe of Thee, O God, come over all Thy works and fear of 
Thee over all that Thou hast created! May all join in unison to do Thy 
will with all their heart!" 

These are the prayers of a Jew. Have you more beautiful prayers 
to offer? 

What does a Jew ask for when he recites his daily prayers? 
Peace, and may there be no shedding of human blood! Justice, and 
may evil pass away like smoke and the rule of wantonness disappear 
from the earth! 

Are your prayers better? 

A Jew waits for Messiah to come and to redeem the world from 
fear and pain, from the cataclysmic conflicts between rich and poor. 
All shall enjoy the earth. This means, in popular imagination, that 
bread and clothes shall grow, ready-made, on trees. 

Do you have more winged ideals? 

Did you ever compare our folksongs with those of others? Or, 
our folktales with those, for example, of the Grimm Brothers? Do you 
jfind among us, as you do find among them, songs and tales of robber- 
heroes, sly deceivers, and seven-league boots? 

You want to compare laws? 

Do compare our Sabbath, our day of rest for all, God and man, 
lord and slave and cattle, with their religious equivalent, their Sunday. 
Do compare our ancient laws on how to treat strangers with the laws 
in force today, in your vaunted twentieth century, among the freest 
and most humanitarian peoples, whom you are holding up as models. 

I have stressed those cultural items which you ask us to discard 
and which we rather select for further development, those corner- 
stones which we put down as a foundation for our cultural sanctuary, 
those sparks which we gather and fan into a brilliant fire. 

Are you serious about an exchange? Will we not be getting the 
poorer bargain? . . . 

?osri<jasa8:T ♦ ♦ ♦ 
tD''^ ,y:^i«d8p yp'»D^3?iriy:y'» lyt^aiK ,Dii?T»Ji nytniix D^ya ,t)S 

?Dn57i3?tr; u^n ^''K *iv 8 toyn '»it8 
nxs tatz;^ '^st oy ,ni'?tr? ?o^n8 nn-'O ps t^ 8 to^is'pnss o^n PK 

;t)''V''t3Dyisn pK ,tDib2 isr'?t2;Dij?;D p'^p ns^iT lo^:^ 
br$i D'»"'p'''?'»iiDi^ pD UQ8t:;nyn n ^T^n itj''^ p3?ii8 '?iST yr"*! otii^ 

/niv "nyi lis n^'^^'^^^isti^s 

pQ D'?3?'n n p'''»'?D'»ii< lyDip 'psst ny nv 8 on^ii in''t2;» h'^ik pk 
nss p^n "r^T r^8 ♦ * *T~'^ PK D5?n8 W^'^'^ ^vr^^vbp^mp ps .pJS px PV^^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n57»"''»n n 

-UK ?yisrni8 tD'»D n$n'»'?Dpb8& 5?nyniiK t)Di^'?:^n8D 'ris^ 8 n''K to^n 

-o'^iK ytD2r'»s^-)5?n'>K v:^T 'WW^ ^^^^'f^ V^T niiK !2S n^K tj^n ?tD'?;38w 

?'?ii'»Dt2; 5?p''ii'?^-5»^^''t n pK nyisi 


.tDr?*? px Ds:^ nss /y'rs i8s l^n pS :\8t3 osri ^nntr ddi^'?:^18s 

.Dl8t311T DID'^DOrK tT57''r'?5?n ItO^^:) /"»& n^Q PK 'tJDyip mS PK I^H p^Q 
-p'»K tD'';^ ,57T;s$?1§ 122 p7An?228n VD5?'?22yW 5?p'»'?8^8 yiynilK tDDl^'?An8D 
nr tl3Dp''22181122 PK — yp^'Drjn n tO-'Ja ,nDS imp pS DSIO'^'IH 1P'»221'»''X 

,yt3DinQ n 1^1 fflp'ip "^^ '^V^'^'^ t^'*'^ ^^''i' '"^^^ ^^'^ ^^^ *^'^) ^"'^'^^'^''^ 
...» (i^yns lyT px n^i ytoi:^ d^t I^t toDir n^^K) nsrp'rys 3?DonKt)''iKttin 

,]Dn8n toD•'^^ 'T^K o^ii itoiy^ij^-niD^ip n py 18*^ 15?W o^^ PK 
ob^ ir^*? T'Ja D8I1 n3?r"'Dt2;'?prii n ♦i5?'?p''iit)i8 PK Tix P^n n*'):) px 
pK i$;'?»8T 'T'?a oS'Ji tS^pi'is n ,DiDp'''?^\n '[^5?'TitD'?ip n^^TinK 122 Diy^D^^ns 

nr-2fl p'»D3'''? o^n:\ k n*>iK i^d^s 
♦ ♦ . ?n8i57^ t3U?''i in T»D i'?5;ii ^itr^'^iD p''tt 022113? 'T'K dp^'d 

350 Advice to the Estranged 

A final bit of advice to all assimilationists: 

If you want to talk to our people, talk w^ith less arrogance! 

Respect for an ancient people, yes, respect for the most ancient 
of peoples! No less than others was this people able to conquer and 
govern a land and defend it to the last drop of blood against the 
heroic armies of world-powers. Yes, it could do so better and more 
gloriously than all of them. And even afterwards, it produced a long, 
long chain of generations of warriors who continued to battle for holy 
convictions to the last drop of blood. 

Respect for a people whose history is the only tragedy of world- 
wide, heroic proportions, a history of unceasing self-sacrifice and of 
extreme martyrdom for an idea! 

No wonder that you, frivolous worldly individuals, left us: you 
deserted those who preach the joy of living and are forced to endure 
suffering and you escaped to those who preach suffering and live a 
life of joyous abandon 

Like black ravens, you now come and croak to us of our decline, 
but you do not terrify us. 

We heard your kind in Egypt, Persia, Assyria, Babylonia, Greece, 
Rome, and ever since. We are accustomed to such talk. 

Worlds are not built or destroyed by talk like yours. 

Preach what you will. The wind carries sound. But preach with 

If you do not want to suflfer with our people, you need not do so. 
If you cannot love our people, it can get along without your love. 
But don't fail to respect it! 

Bow your frivolous heads before the eternal warrior, the eternal 

Bow your heads deep, deep, to the very ground! 

[,1X5? ix ann j?p''ii5?»ippnis -JT IS] 351 

yDSS?^ n inyA /Di^n yo^^yb Di^i p?jT ii^if? T'K Ti;:^ /5?n^ Di?a iija ♦ ♦ ♦ 

!D1S?1 n^"l^T t3'»;D — • ♦ . ♦ p'?§D tD'»)3 H^l tOt^''^ D5?11 1''K ^ITI^ "'ll 

I^:^i"»n2i;sn pK iy^^:^2^K d;$ii /pbijs itDOto'?^ tii?D ,p^^ ]i^q Yit^'']ii 

IQ^^D it):^^'? iT'»3 is?s^5?p n5?§;35?P nnn ps niatz; ^:^a8'7 ,^:\as^ s n^a 

n y :x :i u r? 22 1 5? n "» K iss di'?^ 

l5;yrK nyi IIJD IT**^ 7^^ T-^S 5?t30D5?b 

DIM ,Dyp'>:nTn-n'?i5? yp-'anDDi:?'? n''j< o^ii ,Dt:;'»2 n5?^:i^ii pv fK 05? 
n ^-^ *? ITi^ pK 1 a $? ^ ip'JTns 0^11 n p9 |sis;^d:^ t)!?? i"* k ; p s? ti ^ 
♦ . ♦ !:^8t3 lDi:x ^ tas?^ pK 1 t^'' ^ ip'^rns oijn n 12: 

♦Dt2;^i naiK Dpyntz; oy 

nim rO^B pK ^D-is^n^ri^ onis^ pK pi^'?^ ir-?ii; tis oy ia;s:n n^;^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ i22ns?T tDrniyji — D">n pK pi** /'?aa 

!D''iay:\ ID^yn pK D'lsrDti^s?^ iDVyn n3?ii Dn^n nj?^:?^ ps du?'>i 

n'»K D31SP ir^yii D5?*7 d;d5?:i ,p^^Q id'';^ tjr^snx n ^^ *? t3u;'»a •t'H d^-jii 

!05r i-'K DTiD tDD^ lyn^ !p'':^J3;a in Dyn tj?;^ ,ti''^ Dt2;''a pitr? oy 

" •>•» K 1 1 ^ s , n y D Kj 5? p 1 p "' a *>*> K n » s syp v^TJib n DA^"»a 

ip^^D IP^a 


The Danger 

Among the daily problems, conversion of Jews to Christianity 
is again in the forefront of discussion and Jewish public opinion has 
begun to react. 

We are being consoled that conversion is not a mass movement, 
that it is not buttressed by any theory, that it is not being agitated 
by any effective propaganda. 

Jews are not being baptized in hordes. They are finding their way 
to the cross individually and furtively, like thieves in the night. 
Some even continue contributing to Jewish causes in order to distract 
attention from their desertion. Their conversion often remains a deep 
secret until the hour of their death and burial, a secret which at most 
is shared by their families. 

Mr. X or Mr. Y has left us. It is disgraceful, painful! At the 
same time, however, there is the comforting thought: now the rest 
of us have a little more living space; we have one competitor less; 
one more Jew can be admitted to the university or college; there is 
more room to breathe. 

From the Jewish national viewpoint, nevertheless, conversion is 
not to be dismissed so easily. No matter how one looks at it, there is no 
doubt that it is a sign of decadence. 

Danger lies not in the number of the renegades but in the ease 
and frivolousness of these conversions. 

Jewish history before our time knew of forced conversions, mar- 
tyrs who weakened under the severest suffering and the most inhuman 
torture and who saved themselves from death by baptism. 

Jewish history also records conversions which came about as a 
reaction to a false messianic movement, when the last spark of hope 
was extinguished, when the last connecting thread snapped, when 
everything went up in smoke. 

We have also heard of the ordeals of military conscripts and of 
Jews in dark dungeons who were condemned to death on false 

jjj,,p^,^,, tis sst:? ]y^ Dm tiyii 

-yA ttrnr D^T i'?^^ 122 T'lK Dtr-'a tiyn vdjin:^ tV-^-iv^ iyDO"'i'?p fK o"»ni? 
,Ds;8: ym toni^^i 05; ♦id'»ii Dtr**! 11m ^y^^t lis ^ijt *i5??5 nvnm'V^T'^^ 

♦ . ♦ ♦ t2;'»aa•»^^ 

nyiT'aix pK o:i^pm ^ in DiDyy:\ ,pni?^ ps D^yiipiijip lytirnr i? s^in: 
IS t3D!5^ "'ITS Diz;**! ,Dp:isnis:tot2; i'?8iis''S8:i tns?3S?n tiD ,Dy f^K i^i iik 

♦ . ♦ ♦ im ]^^ tj •>'» p "» i '^ T D D 1^ '^ nyi pK — >!:n , D ''^? D D 1^ "? •isri px 
oij'n iyn'»Di8^ :D''0U8 pa DDins?:^ ^5?n8 t^a Dijn yoD'^trj?:^ nyniiK 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ pj?3 1$?DS?^t2;D:y?D;3lK pi^ IT'''? VDODy"? 

-lyo^^y"? ny-r ,p?:^i8:^5?:^o''iK f^j^ :\iuys«n I'l^ pais nj^toi^y'? ^n ::\anyiii?ai 
pK miT^D '»5i'>"'n ^DbK n pK ♦tDD-'i^Di^p iv'>''Dt2;ni?s px lo'^'^n i"*^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n'»'?n ^yp''Don;3iK 18 ps tJins^n i^08ii:^ayist2; 

354 Escaping Jewishness 

accusations and who saved themselves from undeserved gallows by 
letting themselves be sprinkled by a bit of holy water. 

We also recall Spinoza, whom our own blind fanaticism expelled 
from our midst, and the poets Heine and Borne, who could not 
spread their wings in the dark narrow ghetto. 

But we are not faced nowadays with such tragic motives. We 
are rather faced with petty pretexts, with Jews who jump across to 
another faith whenever this is the least bit profitable. 

Conversion is no longer tragic or even tensely dramatic. It has 
become a light comedy, a farce! There must be something rotten 
in Denmark! In certain circles, Jewishness has become weakened to 
such an extent that it does not oflfer the slightest bulwark against the 
temptation of baptism. 

Our weakness constitutes our danger. 

It is therefore important to find out why and how our Jewish- 
ness is being weakened and undermined. It is important to face 
directly the question of the flight from Jewishness. 


In Search of Clarity 

Jewishness has been weakened. 

But what is Jewishness? 

"We are Jews!" 

But what does this mean? 

We often say: "We want our children and children's children to 
remain Jewish." 

But what do we have which we can hand down to them? 

What is this so-called Jewish heritage? 

When somebody leaves us, against our will, we say to him: "You 
have become a renegade!" 

But if the question is put: "A renegade from what? What did 
he forswear? Whom did he abandon? What is this Jewishness of 
which he became an apostate?" — there is no answer. Instead 
of clarity, we are treated to several varieties of stammering and differ- 
ent degrees of vagueness. Each stammerer refutes the other and each 
vague reply excludes the other. 

Such a condition is possible because Jewishness is interpreted 
differently by each age, each social class, and even each individual. 
Every interpretation lays claim to be the only true form of Jewishness. 

Some take institutions in which the Jewish spirit is embodied at 

tj'»'jptt?iT)'> ps5 SK p'D op pvn 355 

DrDii:a8:Q lyir^pa n5?:i5?P''K nsrnaiK o^ii ,DS?T;s;rstr; d^;^ tDti?**! pK 
liD^nstz^ciK tj^ijpsr:^ D!:;'»:i 15:03?:^ p^Dsrs pas? tk psn onjn ,oyn5rn pK 
o&yiD t5;)D in ,ns?DD n r^ : t to ^^-p "> a ^-^ ^ p t:'';^ Pd 122 p\$n n^» 

8 n5?so n pK T^'K D5? ;y»8n pv 't)!2;''a sns?A8iD p'^p pit:; !•»« 05; 

IX fK pysD 5ro'»ii5;:i t»j^ D'^vt^'^T'' oj^t /ninpasrp it^"»an// nynaiK !•»« 
100:5?*?? PK iD0^a''» p5?p fijni m'^i diisjt in |is;p px n^STOA isiitz; 

"D'»'»pt^''T"» ps S3^j n'*s 0^1*^ py'^T ''^'^ ps yasis n fK nynny^ iik 


''HT' n^;a iyi5?T n'*;^// 

jttSiJ P831 m'i 'T^^ 

"♦ w. IT'' I ni^ '? a I'rujT ny-w''pD'7rp pK lyirp n^naiK ,']'?'>^^ T}:iu 

?pyAisnyn''j< ^n n'»;D p^n o^n — nynjj: 

? n t:; n •» n p"»i3tr?;^a "p^t o^n t'»x 

PST ^lyi^isiiyi^pyiis T111K pa ,i'?^ii nyniiK pyp TJ^f^y f'K pK 

jD''K t;d 
ipiSWA p"»int)Si!j Dcn 11 — 
iVm'iB n n5?aij ly^D t)'?ytDt:; 
-ntDBs: 1 y ^ y 11 ?Dt:;^ys5?::^ o isj n pK ?t5?:ii8:^y:\pyn» o ^ 11 ps — 
?DTs'?n8S Djjn nyas?'' Di!j*i'» t3'»'»pti;nr d^t Da"»iT8 t'^k o^n ?n«TO^ P"*^ 

♦ly^ttSDt^ ti^ 15??^ tDa'»%n 

n5?5i'»'»tDt2? pK D18 pJT n^ix ly^s?'' tD'?^s;Dtr; 

nysoay i5?i8^P'"t}t:;'»a p^x pK ,yD''ni2r D^T 98 t3?'?a8t)tr; p'*^ Dinyn 

.'[tD'»niX D5?T C'lX DD'»*?U; 
pK ,08"?? mS?'' T8'?S ^3?15?'' /tDl^X 5?15?'' '?5511 .ViV^n D8T pK 
8 P8n '?''ii pK t)'>"»pt!:;nr pjt t>8n nyniiTsn t^oayia •nyiy'» toQ8 ^^8^ 

356 Escaping Jewishness 

a certain historic moment in a certain land and substitute these 
institutions for Jewishness as a whole. 

Others take linguistic symbols that vary with time and space, the 
language of the Jewish religion, philosophy, morality, etc., and sub- 
stitute these symbols for the living creative content. 

Still others substitute for the vital, growing organism its shroud, 
which varies with clime and era. 

The eternal is jammed and compressed into a fleeting moment. 

Thus it comes about that people of the same ethnic kinship, who 
happen to live in different places and at different times, fashion their 
Jewishness out of their narrow perspective, out of their brief tran- 
sitory existence. 

Moreover, they often succumb to a mirage; they accept foreign 
forms as their own; they deem their imitation of foreign ways to be 
normal Jewish ways originating in Sinai. 

Was not the Polish clerical gown declared most holy by some? 

Do not others look upon the sacrificing of a rooster during the 
week before Atonement Day as of the essence of Judaism? 

Do not still others regard as worse than apostasy the disbelief 
in spirits and in angels, even though the former is Persian and the 
latter Babylonian in origin? 

It is about time to renounce, once and for all, what is merely 
symbolic, transitory, accidental, and to seek what is eternal, essential, 

Jewishness is the Jewish way of looking at things. 

More precisely, Jewishness is the universal spirit as it is embodied 
in the Jewish soul. 

Jewishness is that which makes the Jews, in eras of national inde- 
pendence, feel free and enables them to fashion institutions as embodi- 
ment of their national creative will. Jewishness is, in such times, joy, 
ecstasy, zestful living. 

Jewishness is that which creates, in troubled eras, institutions for 
defense, for prevention of danger, for protecting itself and its mem- 
bers. Jewishness is, in such times, a call to battle and a challenge to 

Jewishness is that which must, in times of dependence and weak- 
ness, retreat into its shell, conserve its resources, endure in silence, and 
wait for better days. Then Jewishness is hope and pain, messianic 
dreams and other-worldliness. Then it demands real sacrifice. 

vi'>'^p^'>iv ps B^ IT'S op trivn 357 

TSnsjtr? n — i'?sa)3''D yDy'?n5?7jn>j:Q di^ pK di?s d-'i'? r'ls?^ D^y: 

.in to'^pniDix pK Dny'? oisj'^i ^truisr^ ps oitj id'^ix is??:^ t3^y:i 

♦tDi^22 pi< Diis: D''!'? Dt2;nD iy oi^jn T^bp d^d pJT 
nypnnrnti; 8 pK Dons lyi d'^d y p •> a •»'» x d^t r_n^ i5?;s Dpm 

♦ . ♦ ♦ Dia-'^D 

♦PS?*? lybiiiisri^i^D nv PT ps 

to-j^ptrnr rv Dtr'»a piij;'?tr^-nns3 '?'''»d i^n 7^*^ t-'k 
ban pD d^d^'td pK ons ps Dnt:? p»x Dip'''*'? oisjii 15?t 13?^ t^k 

lytt TiD t'?snD''o tiK p"»'»22 yDy'?tD!5x ,1015?^^^ 5?P'»Tir''3^^aii^s ps 
♦pijTS^ *?i9;a v^^ "18S b;j;;s p'»K /'?'»52 "ivniix 12^ i^'^n i^» Dim ''^'\ ,t^ 

♦yp'»n'»''K o^n fDn •t»;d 
♦piy d:s25? D5?t /Tin oyi 

n^K Db^ll pK 
:^anysnypn8:s n-'K ddit d^ii y3?7"'x-D'?yn •»! 

— ot$i vi< D'»''ptr?n?'» 
-03'»K rDD8» P^ .D-'WJis ,D'''»p''!iyt5t:;n'?yT lis iDrx pK /Ds^ti:;^! o^n 
Tns n PK D'r^ttyi pi< — :^mysnypi»s tix :^iipybsDa^ -t»x 12: idid'^d 

!nTn-D'?is? /p'»b:^ px 
D12J nyiis;^ Q1S ]DiD'»Doa'»x — t):»?it)t2; ps t5t?s p»x Ds^tz^jjn o^^n 
px n?3S? n px Db^JDy-T px .ypn-'i^ n pK in ix''u? aix ,^D^^-^^s 

358 Escaping Jewishness 

This Jewishness, for which we demand sacrifices, must be clearly 
and precisely defined. 

Formerly people thought that a person was born as a tabula rasa, 
2i blank slate on which life with its stylus made imprints. Today we 
know that the individual participates actively in the learning process, 
that man enters upon the struggle with his environment equipped 
with a certain heritage, with a certain psychic configuration, with a 
certain will-power, with traits that determine his success or failure in 
the struggle for existence. 

What is true of the individual also holds for the nation. 

With what did we enter upon the world arena? What do we 
want? What cultural thread do we weave into the web of the world? 
What is our tone in the universal harmony? What will be lacking, 
if we were lacking? 

What is Jewish and what is non- Jewish? In what way do wc 
differ from others? 

What must we protect? For what must we sacrifice ourselves? 
For what must we battle? 

What does our life stand for and what would our death signify? 


The Jewish Way 

Nomadic blood. A wandering clan in the desert. 

Implanted in its blood — honesty and justice. Of these qualities 
does it fashion its God, a God who accompanies it on all its wander- 
ings and is therefore not formed of wood or stone, a God who moves 
and lives. 

A sublime concept of the deity, a free and breath-taking concept 
of a boundless, limitless universe. 

When the desert is left behind and inhabited lands are traversed, 
this clan of wanderers cannot mingle with the peoples settled in those 
lands. There is mutual repulsion. The nomadic clan, therefore, lives 
apart. Finally, it seeks to escape from tensions and pressures by obtain- 
ing a territory of its own. 

It conquers a land. The God of the clan becomes the God of the 
chosen people in the chosen land. The clan ceases its wanderings. 
It establishes in its land a temple for its God. 

It has not the heart to exterminate the native inhabitants. Honesty, 
implanted in its blood, does not permit it to erect a fence against 

tt'-'ptt^nr pS si< ]i^S D^n pyn 359 

♦ ♦ ♦ l!2e pK n"'? /^^uys^n n t"»k d'pij^s?! PK — It^i^^r 5?'^5?oy:3 n , p *» -i 

♦Knn-d'piy pK m;ai'?n-mti:;;i5 
♦ ♦wTs^ssij n D:^a8'?i8s D^^^yi pK 

♦ wnyii mD'»''2J8s i^y^Dr?! pK 
^ypn'>'»'? » n^iny:^ dis?ii ^dis^;^ nyi rs ,D:'''')Dy;ji ^^» 8 Dijn ty^ 

,]b'*^^ ] n t ps is^a^t id'»d , n tz; n ^ iv^'^'^i). 8 d^d pit:; D'ry'n lyi ^t^ik 
D5?ii iy ''s^ /D'''>p?5?s-DS»8p pK -Dins;'? itn d''^ ,^m^p I5?p"»i3i8ir"»« pa 

♦ ♦ ♦ . l^e^s tDjni ny ^2: ,pn 
♦S^228i 15?T tD^D PK yn'?5?T 0^1 
?T>D i^'>ii oiijii ?is}3ipy:^ t:'?yii nyn n'»iK n"»» is^iyt 0^11 d'*^ 
lyTTJiiK f^K onjii ?pji8 n57n5?AD'?5?ii r« 'i^fa ty^'^s^ DSi^smD'pip p'pyn 
?l'?yD I'^yn •T'tt T8 ,ib5?s D5?ii 0^11 ?5?'»:i$;3i8n-tDbyii nyi pK t^D 
|T''tE?nyDiiK oij:n tj^'D — "t:;np-t)t2;^i// t"»k oisni /''u^n^// px o^n 

?5;i5?t:i8 PQ T'T 1^)2 
?lDinDtt? D jj n a^^ix ?n5?SBS t»t ^ n in:q ?i22''t^ 122 n'»» tn^n 0^11 
♦ ♦ ♦ ?D^iD nyniiK T'»K oi$ii / 1 a » ^ iyn:nK t'^i^ o^n 


oiijn m^ P-'T PK ''1T8 pK ♦D^v'^toDyns?:^ .^''''pDybny — Di'i'n d^^k 
,pt3t2? p§ Dti^u 11K r^ijjn ps tttz^**:! n5?nns;T t^'K iik /D'»k d';^ D^ynisii 

ny-ny'? isa"'K ta'piis'nyj^ tonyii pK tr;^iyDO'»n n p;k5 Dtij'pnsQ PH 
in lyD oD'^iDU? p-JDismyp .it^^» t)t2;''a yayoytyr^arK n d"»R) in tya t^p 
lytt pK Ji38ii:s pK pn-r ps n5?'?T3y 4^^ DS'»i^m8 nyi^n^a i5?» oas?^ ,9^ 

....imi nyiiinsa » in ddit 
-5?3ionx ps tDs:\ nsn Diyii DSA-y^b'»D8S 15?t /ijrAinissa 05? tDi5?ii 
PJT tD^n oy nyD tDtz;^ D^-nsii oy nis'? tD'?'»my:^onK oyi'^K p'r^s iD'?'»ni 

-ttns ,t3T8'?5?3i tDtz;^ nsn o»t ^«'T nya'»iiirjx n to^no'^iK n«i 
n ojjn nas'? r» tsi^*? o«^ '"^ n^wsa ,yi»yns n^a ^18"? o^jt iy;an2{ 

360 Escaping JewishnesS 

outsiders or to make their life diiBScult. Justice, implanted in its blood, 
does not permit it to attack and to subjugate other peoples. Hence, 
it remains a little people in a separate state — a state of priests, a holy 

In the course of time it succumbed. 

This people was, however, the creator of its state and not a mere 
product of a state. It was the builder of the temple for its God and 
not a group gathered together haphazardly for common worship at a 
shrine. It was the architect of the social, cultural, and economic forms 
in the land and not the product of a land's melting-pot. Hence, this 
people survives the loss of its independence, its state, its language, 
its temple, and all its cultural and economic forms. It again sets 
out on its wanderings over the face of the globe and its God continues 
to wander with it. 

Its former instinctive apprehending of God and the world now 
becomes a conscious concept of greater clarity. Israel becomes a uni- 
versal people. The God, who does not abandon it and who suffers 
exile along with it, becomes a God of the universe. The lands of the 
diaspora, the entire world, becomes the arena of conflict between the 
one God and the many gods. The one God will triumph! 

The world is not yet free of war and bloodshed, of servitude, 
exploitation, pain, and oppression, since God is still above the world 
and has not yet entered into its essence. 

The time will come, however, the time must come, God will judge 
all peoples and cleanse the world, Messiah will appear. We will bring 
him. We, the weakest of peoples! We, God's martyred people! Im- 
prisoned in diverse economic systems, encased in all kinds of social 
and political structures, suffering under the domination of manifold 
provincial codes of law, differing local patriotisms, foreign arrogance, 
and superior force, enduring all the disabilities of minority-status and 
all the torture imposed upon the weak in a world where might is 
dominant — our people still persists and still remains true to itself. 

It retains the remembrance of its ancient state as a golden memory 
of its youth and it still has as its guiding-star its vision of the messianic 
world-state of the future. Out of past memories and future hopes it 
spins its legends and weaves its symbols. Irradiated by unswerving 
confidence and by holy faith, it never succumbs to despair. When 
surging billows loom ahead, it bows its head to let them pass and then 
it raises its head again up to heaven, to its God. If trouble comes, 
it endures and then forgets easily and quickly. It wants to carry on, 

o^^pB^nr ps SK p^D OKU pyn 361 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ t^SDS^ Dl^X ny-r D'')3 D5? T^K ♦ . ♦ p'?;$S p^'?'»%T 8 tIK D'»an3 

p'»^pyas'»ui2: iQi^v^ ):iiM du?^2 ,dis::^ 18S '?B;syD ]is nnn lyi jogiDtr? 
iytr;^»i$i^py-'TiD'7ip iy^8''Sjjo m ps lyDDnrjK iini ,topu'''»Ki»s rx 
oi^T uay^ — nyay2j'?8?atr^5?:^iyJ3i8Ti22 «; ^a-'d ^''k v^ ta^'^i ni^b pK oyn^D 
,'?s»yD r-?T pK i^nst^; r-^T ^11 •'iTJi: tosDt:; r~^T iiK t)•'^^lnQ r-?T nys-'K p'rsQ 
tiyT:il!:'n b^m 8 i^i t)'''':^ PK /ly^n^Q yt:^'»;38^8Py"'T't5'?*»P 5?:ii^t y^8 tD^» 

!t3'»a nyt3!?11 D^n D^A pX ♦♦♦D^yil lyi lyS^'K 

^ins^p D'^yii pK D^:^ pD nni^sn nyiT^DpruorK nyi d'^k i^n onyir 
tDtr?u tDT^'^nss 0^11 1383^ ^yT jp'?8st)'?yii 8 pb^^ ps tonyn nyp'^inDoiuss 
n tJiyii ♦.♦t)'?yii nyi pD m^ 8 — iy»8ti2J d'^k d"*^ ni'?:i oi!?^ pK 
lP'»2tr'»K itt?'»m D^iDtz; pQ 5?3yi8 '^'T — ibvsi-n^b^ v^iti^ o^i /0'?yii 

...i^t$:k wi pn ♦♦.nyuya pK d8^ 

px n^'n ,Dyai83i38'»is ps ,Dinp iix pi822 ps mo ^iv'^i pk tD'ryii n 
TK pK 183 /D'ryii nyn n y n •» k 183 t'»k 08:^ '?^J?n ♦ ♦ ♦ :\aipn-nyD:iK pK pjs 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ •[yaimyAa!?i8 ^^""^ 

-'?S?Q n |D3t:;'»D t)yii D8:i ♦ - ty?aip t i b n ,|s?;dip oyn tji^x n 18^ 
,TD ^yr^ayna D-'K t^yii T'la ♦ ♦ ♦ iv^^p oyn mtr?» ,t)'?3?'n n tp-^rn pK lyp 
•''>'?'iy*?8 ]''i« Di89tr?»]ia!^*i8 lii< 5'iy?28i 0^38^ ps nyn*'t5n8» "'T /yDOD811t2; '*t 
-89"'?8'»S80 ^'»'?ny'?8 r>^ t3t2;'>'»'?sy:^rj?i8 .n'»t3pnDO-D8n8syD 5;ti;'»;D838P5^ 
-8'»2crii8'i9 Ps DS8tr^nyn ny^ nyoaiK p'^iit:*^ A^t^iv^^vp vtr^'^D*''? 

1^1 pK ,DD8J3iy3i'''»i< P» t)"»">p'''?'''''^tD1» ,|y»PD8nD8S .pVD8*iySJ2''X"DyD'»^ 

t'?8iip ^^78 pn::\8'itDnya"'K .dd8» px t)i8nnyn'''»>^ lis :^2ip^D'?yiiy:^ ny^ 
!!?iDy3i T>T toTJ^i pJ< p'?8S 08"T Dnyb — D'>'»pD8iit2; pK D">%n")5?*7J"'^ ly-r pS 

tpniTD o'?8 I^T ^8^ — t)'?yirmtr?» pjt ,tD8t>tr;D'?yii tp'»Dsav p-.n pK :^in 
-jD'»o srj?T oy Dsyii ,p7:iy:iy'? yi:»?T yT**! tis p'?8s 08t in di^'Su^ .n5?tDtL? 
t)tr;''i '?8?3 rP tD'?8S PH 'P''"^'?:^ '[P'''?''»n pS ,pnDS )Mi ^b^'im^i ;i^8a 
98P 05?^ S8-18 y'?^-?ii 8 oy tDP-^a ,t:iyp8 ^8ii 8 t)Dip !mint2;-rTi;a pK p-n8 
oy D'?8n — nis 8 t^ttip pK ;pnix 'raM pK ti8:^ dix -t'?8n d'x cia^n pK 
-8»nyn PK lypiynysi t5t2;'»i '?^ii oy w7^83 px ddi^*? n t)Dyn89 ^b'»ix n 

362 Escaping Jewishnbss 

to survive its tortures. It wants to experience Messiah or at least 
the travails foreboding his approach. 

Thus does this people live, hope, and keep faith 

Jewish life must burst into blossom again. With the Bible as 
germinating seed and with folk symbols and folk legends as dew and 
rain, the field will sprout again, the people will revive, the Jews will 
rise once more to suffer anew for their truth and will reaffirm their 
faith in ultimate victory. 

The flag of a Jewish renascence must be raised again, the banner 
of Messiah, world- judgment, and world-liberation, the symbol of a 
future free humanity. 

This is the mission of the eternal people, the world-people, a 
mission to be carried through in all phases of Jewish life, by the 
Jewish home, the Jewish school, the Jewish theatre, the Jewish book, 
and everything Jewish. 

Like Unto the Nations 

Renaissance! — a single word without qualifications as to time 
and space, a mere word, yet it bears the seed from which will sprout 
a world, our Jewish world. 

Renaissance! — a proud and mighty word but not new! It goes 
back to the prophets of old. It embodies the Messianic idea — rebirth! 

Ideas are eternal. They merely change forms in the course of 

Renaissance — this word, in its purest Messianic connotation, has 
not yet come upon the scene. 

After the retreat of clericalism and the collapse of the walls of 
the ghetto, our prison but also our fortress, Jewishness was too de- 
pressed and too weak for an immediate rebirth. It was out of breath 
for a while. 

One diagnostician felt for its pulse and could not find it, or else 
he was slightly deaf and did not hear it, and so he concluded: 

"Jewishness is dying!" 

He felt sorry for it: 

"Once it was so magnificent. It gave God to the world! " 

Then he consoled himself: 

"Jewishness does leave a wealthy heritage behind. Jewishness 
was great and dignified in its day. It has a claim upon the world's 

©^^ptt^n?'* iii sij p^B D^n i3;5ni 363 

iay'?s''ix n'?3?Q 081 05^11 ia$?^s^m jpyi iih •'id pt I'py'n ,Dt2;nQ5?a9'»iK 
l^^x ta''i'?3i ttoD^D 0122 |iK n^K n^Q pi'^ D122 p8nS'»iH ,p?8s 081 Dsrn 

pK n •» tr? D ps ,oa8oyayi I u? M ^ •» pa 183 ^i n5?ii n;^ ia'»in5?:\Q''iK 
-in§ lyp'^DDrp nyi ps — • A 11 m s 8 a - D b y 11 px , d s ti; •» » - d b y ii 

!D'»'»ntz?t3i5?J3 iy 
]ay:\ T1D 08*7 /p'?8st)95?ii pS 'P'?8Q IP'=i''^ Ps 5?''0"')3 n fK 08*7 
nyt38yt3 yti^nr 08"t ^^w v^'^t^ n ^fin 5?t2;nr 08*7 ^la^*? 5?t:^nr d8"t 

♦T'»K u^nr 0811 Y^^ PK iia vtr;nr 08t 


D18 PS D'^Kin 18 'a8:^i22 8 18 'to-i8ii P''22i^''X-r*'i^ 'P'''?? 8 ''!Da8oyayn// 
-0^118 ni8'7 05? p^yil pQ ^Oy T-'X iy^8t 8 PK /131811 V'^'^P 8 ♦♦♦toi^s px 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ to'?5?ii S^tr^n^'' 8 'tD'psJil 8 P8isti; 
5;d'?8 08T T-'K 05? }!5a d tz; n pK ,Dn8n 08*7 v^ Yb)$m p'^ddj??^ pH 

!t)l8'i'i"n'»t:^^ 08T JDn8'^i"P5?S8"is 
.D5?n89 'T ,:^ai'?p^iiD28 "lyi r« ''^83 l^^^'^iu '»n ,mT^ n IP^t p*>a'»"'K 
D:\8tyA m'^i w nro »t»ik d ">•> p ^ '''' ^ T-'t i'^ji; ton8'ii o8T nya8 v^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n8i^3?:!^ 

pS ps?'»i;!D n lyii ;trn5?:\S8 ^8n n5?D0''i^p n5?t:a8wy:^s8 "ly^ 13?ii 
,1^805?^ ly^^T lyDsn^r r^iiDoys pii; no-'sn nytiiix wm t-'K 081i 8t35?:^ 
- D !5 s v^ oy — iKiyT 1811^2^ 122 ,tyii5?:i p8'?^'iy'7 122 d'»v^'''7^' 08"t vh 

♦ta-^bay:^ D5?d8 18 P ■* "? '-' '^'^ 
pK ny v^ I5?'?a''it3 ns?n8 'tDt2;'>i Dpsy:^ px obis ayn n5?r'»K toaiT 

ny Da8» 'tJt:^''! Q"'^^ t^nyn 
!t)'>'>ptr?'»T'' 08*7 S8 i^^8^ 05? — 

:D'»i< 05? T-'K 18^ 8 PX 

!Dpa5?tr75?:\ to8:i 8 to'pjni lyi '15niy:^ m'':\a 8T8 '?8J3 8 — 

jtDi-jptj^nr 081 /05? DT8^ nmv 8 jT't Do^no 15? pi< 

ps iiaa n^ix '?opyii pnsyii p^a'»'»K 18 no^n:^ 8 oinr 8 — 

!d'?5?ii is?! 

364 Escaping Jewishness 

Finally, he resigned himself to the inevitable: 

"Nothing can exist forever. Religion (and Jewishness was for him 
nothing more) belongs to the past. Even Christianity, the younger 
and the stronger religion, is on the decline. Let us give Jewishness 
its due; let us sew for it a nice shroud; let us select for it a prominent 
spot in the mythological cemetery. Jehovah was, after all, mightier 
than Jupiter." 

A second diagnostician approached Jewishness with more piety. 
He advised: 

"Don't just bury it. Embalm it! Keep it petriiSed in its present form 
unto all eternity! Let it remain as an historic monument for archeol- 
ogists — an eternal joy for them! " 

This means, in other words, that the Jewish nation has abdicated. 
It has gone from the contemporary stage. What remains of Jewish- 
ness would make a fine tombstone to be put on this nation's grave. 

There are, however, Jews who refuse to abdicate. 

A nation does not die so easily. 

Blood is thicker than water. The national instinct persists. It is 
at times befogged, silenced, deluged by worldly considerations, but 
then it reawakens more vigorous, more vociferous than ever. 

Besides, where can a Jew go? Doors and gates are not wide open 
to receive him. The Gentile stomach is not so large and not so robust 
that it can digest more than a mere handful of select individuals. Rich 
bankers and politicians, famous scientists, singers, and violin-players 
can somehow be ingested and assimilated, but not all Jews. 

If the Jewish masses are left behind, they exercise a magnetic 
attraction, drawing even the elite back into the Jewish orbit and 
preventing any easy escape. 

The individuals who do not accept baptism to ease the path for 
their children and children's children therefore often arrive at the 
following conclusion: 

"We who are within the Jewish fold cannot remain static. We 
too must move on. The stream of life goes forward and will carry us 
along. But not with all our baggage. We have too much baggage. 
It is so bulky and not nice at all. Let us reduce it to a minimum and 
let us make it more tidy-looking." 

So one operation after another is performed. Surgeons cut into 
dead cells and not a drop of blood appears. Not a groan is heard. 
Perhaps there is a moaning of the divine spirit in some ruin or other, 
but nobody pays attention. 

D"'''pi2?'ir 11D sx P'S DJj"n ]:^VTi 365 

D-'-'pt^n?'' pK) y'':\"»'?5n pD 101^22 n !Dt2;''i li?;^ j^p p^b p'»ai''"'K — 
nyDO'»ibp in i^-'ss ♦ ♦ ♦ '-^I'li^s Ds-'in *ii?n''K lyayt (ns?^ Dti:;^: d''k i^§ pk 

;D^n 11K DPt)y'»s iy^ nyD''^n22 ^ Disjn 
/p« Ds ^11 ,D5? "^ijT j]T'D8T'?^n 1]^:^ /iv» i^i ipnny^n di:;'': — 

!TnD ^p'^n^'^K t^ i^t:^n;ss-o;aiDn3?t5 

o^T "T'K Db^DU? ,^''2281 ^ti^H?^ n D^H Dp^iji^^^^BS /iyAi8:!^5;:isi8; — 

nyp^'^bi^m iis^ ,is?Dj?n ii^a Ds^notz; px nypiisiDt:; 
?|DyiDSS pns ^n pK 
♦ ♦ ♦ nny^iD pK n''t3 iij:^ iy:iyT p^ D^'^a 

-r'?S''ii ny:\an ,yDns7by:\ yo^n^n nyp^tD^bp ,s;o^n:i n^^^^n — nbi:\D 
-niss y^^ ♦♦♦PK oy ''ii ^t$i Dyinn^s p^5 n"*!;^ ny Myi — >)y'?''9ti:; 

toT;$^ ,Dy:i:^K^ ^ ''ii in 122 pniiis oy d^22 /'''p-rrTya,/ d^t D3i^'?n pK 

DDijiD ny-r:''ponrp pK lyia'*? 1^^122 Dtz;^ in ty^ di^u; pK 

pQ D^iDi:? ny-r ,Dti:;*»a iy^ m pL^ba D^v^''^?"' Q'-'2 ,|y;3 ti» p*»a 

ny^yaD'';^ oy ti;^ ,m^i^ tny^ 

jli-jtz; Dt2;''a "^nis; — pi< nyiit^ Diys^ibyrixiii^ ''it^ ^cni^ "^m pk oy 
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ n^'^^ss r« pyiy'ppni^Q piKot:; ,oy tyD n;^ py:iy^p-i8s 

♦oy in mi$^ innys^ pK 
iy» pK ^Di'?^ tsi$iD p**? D^'':^ oy pK ,)v^i^^ ytD-'iD pK dtj?i^ iy» 
lyn — nnnin k pi< nroit; s r5?^^S? Mnn wax ♦♦♦ipynp pv toiyn 

?n Diyn 

366 Escaping Jewishness 

To tear out page after page from the Prayer-Book is so easy! 
Religious books are really most beautiful — on library shelves! Let 
us clean up the Jewish home and put in a Christmas tree. Then the 
home will look nice. 

What remains of Jewishness belongs in the synagogue and can 
be left in care of the rabbi. But the rabbi must look like a decent 
human being! The pastor's costume is so becoming! The rabbi should 
wear one like it. The synagogue must be modernized. It must be 
renamed the temple. It must be stripped of its poor features, because 
poverty is always disgusting. 

The prayers are therefore emasculated of poetry, sacrificial-ritual, 
and references to Zion as the land of Israel. They are translated from 
the Hebrew into the vernacular. They can no longer shock anyone. 
They are not even called prayers but merely Divine Services. Once 
a year ought to suffice for them. 

It is true that such Divine Services fail to attract. They have lost 
something indefinable which did attract. Well, let organ-music be 
introduced. Perhaps a choir of girls will attract youth to the temple's 
portals. Furthermore, the intimate, heart-warming but rather unelab- 
orate ancient melodies must be changed. They must resound as 
sonorously as in a church. 

Besides, if they cannot resound on the Sabbath, let them peal 
on Sunday. 

As long as something remains! 

Judaism is thus cut to style, whipped into shape, perfumed, but 
still there is no real life. Older people pay lip-service out of a sense 
of reverence but youth keeps aloof. Reform Judaism is bankrupt. 

A new physician appears on the scene. He acknowledges the 
failure of the reforms and prescribes: 

"Don't touch! The soul has departed, the form has remained. 
Hold on to the form! The wine has been drunk or has evaporated. 
The barrel has remained. Hold on to the barrel! Pour in fresh wine! 
Fresh contents are easy to obtain! There is no dearth of wine- 
dealers. The forms change, but what of it? Formerly, Aristotle was 
the acknowledged authority, now it is Herbert Spencer, tomorrow it 
will be somebody else. Just hold on to the barrel. Look about for 
an empty and safe cellar, in which to store the barrel." 

The barrel-idea is also an idea. But ideas have their vogue and 
then they cease to be in vogue. 

D'Vtt^'^?^ 1*)B S^ p'D op pyii 367 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 5n n5?7 n 

'n tD^n 0^11 Dyi ps n«'?'^8s oysy toisin 05? ^^v'^i iD"»2r oy ,n»K 
Diyijy$;a n» pA''i-"»i''0 n y a 3? 1 8 isa /iyp'»xi8n '?''Dtr; i$?t pk ♦ . n^n 
msiDiiT t'psti? 05; t)5?n nntr; Dt2;"»a isa injp pK 

♦ ♦ . . DTDSipig;! Dii^sn n 

-D'»iK ttiyii ny lyiij /O-'iK ]v^ DpmD p-ni d^tt ♦ ♦ ♦ JDsris^ n P3? t'»k 18t 
!|y;aip8i 122 dd!5^ !t5:?ii iti;ns tm^ do'»:^ pK d^d fisj Doys in Dbisjn 

♦ ♦ ♦ !o»D IIS ni!ji in D^sn 
. ♦ ♦ n'?St)tr;isiyT'38 oy 111 . n y ^ y p n^^n iik tyms 8 ^t$i DDn 

— yy^K inK "yyrK-08&// n f>K 

368 Escaping Jewishness 

The estranged, who are expelled from Europe or who return to 
us voluntarily because of pity for the poor tortured people or because 
of newly awakened reverence or because of homesickness, they bring 
us the news: 

'*You are a people!" 

Well, we Jews have known this fact for a long time. There is no 
language richer in terms for race and people than the Hebrew. The 
estranged re-discoverers of the Jewish people do not stop at this point, 
however. They add: 

"A people — but nothing more!" 

They did not feel more and they did not see more, while away 
from us. 

''A people and nothing more!" — a dangerous statement requiring 
careful inspection. 

The Difference 

A stranger, looking at our Jewish tradition with foreign eyes or 
at least through foreign spectacles, sees something uncanny. Unable 
to understand it, he calls it abnormal. 

Goethe once said: *'Where a concept is lacking, a word takes 
its place." 

Abnormal may mean above normal as well as below normal. 
Genius and insanity are both abnormal. The atavistic criminal and 
the prophetic revolutionist are both abnormal. 

Since biblical days it has been known that the Jews are not normal: 
*'A people to live alone, a single people in the land, a single chosen 
people in the world." 

The abnormal must be correctly evaluated. And one must be 
absolutely objective in all evaluations, even when it concerns the 
individual himself and his own nation. 

To evaluate means to compare, but not for the purpose of equaliz- 
ing or of fitting into a Procrustean bed, rather for the purpose of 
finding points of difference, diverging characteristics. 

This is the method used by individuals. The higher the individual, 
the more often does he engage in introspection, and the more often 
does he ask himself: why? to what end? 

He does not subordinate himself to any other individual; he does 
not ask anyone else for a justification or an endorsement of his exist- 
ence; he does not base his raison d'etre upon his usefulness to his peers 
or his similarity to others. 

tt'»VB^nr ps Q^ ]i'D oijii pyn 369 

tiK DT'>Dy''B ciK isriis pb\$Si ttD:\s'?S5?:\ /lyjas^i^ m^r nia^nn d-'IK ,v^bt^ 

ipb^Q in: Da5?T T'i? — 

:SiS;:^i22 nyi nig:: ijniy:^ 

:t5??5 t3:ii8;T ^rotz^nsD Dt:;'»a 5?t:^''^iyt:o''iK oig:-? 15;^ i^p 

''•DiiSjTt 013:1 ]Qmn t)iyn rnn:^j?n lyi d'ps^s oy iiv, 
nn nynv^K "^ii ,i5?tDaiK "^it^ pr nyn^j t^p '''?»;3i^i Dti^'^a// 

jDDins;:^ pm^Dt:; 13?^ t^sn ""^ij^n^i di:?''!// tn: 

ms » D''D ipip 15?D n;D ,io^'?ti:?5;:\o''iK di:?^ji v^bv^ in /nybi? T'Ik 
Di^ii "»ii /S'»228i n •'H trms?^ 11^1 ''ITS ^ns^ii t)2:8t2;y:i n^ y"?^ ♦:^'»ik p^ 

♦irDp5?''n^ T-'K iv^:kv^ 
,tDi^'?Ai22D''iK '»i3 Dt:?^:i nsrn^ /]5?d d d 1^ ^ a t j? q pijti? Dr?n 

♦ $?p'>D'nJi:a^*»'»K d^t /S?^^-:?'?^ 
♦t^D:iy^ n5?i'?22i'»">K "lyi T»iK DitD n3;'?Dar''K •'iTi? 
in i''K in ny tDQ^toiss iv^Bt$ Y^^ 'T^^ t:;my;s lyi "iv^^vr^ o^^^ 

^Tny*? r-'T -i^S 3inp'»Dii!:St3Dyi r"»p Dt2;u oyr-'p r>2 ddit -ly nyuiiK Dir-^i 

p,3n3i ptr;"*! iDyi iistyn r-'t oyn 13? /P^DCopy pt n*>m n^son r"'P 

,D'»x IS t3*»'»pDy'i'av iT'ix "lyi^ pi^*?:^ o:i?t ni^s t3^'»pDy'?22U n^''^ 

370 Escaping Jbwishness 

He engages in introspection because he wants to find himself; 
he wants to purify himself of inferior traits; he wants to cherish and 
develop his own originality; he wants to maintain his uniqueness; 
and he is ready to do battle and to sacrifice his last drop of blood for 
his right to live his own life. 

Such a superior person, seeking to evaluate objectively, applies as 
a measure the summit to which he must strive in accordance with 
his nature, the goal towards which his ego must direct its efforts. 

This summit is his guide; by this goal does he judge himself. 

He is not bankrupt. His past supplies him the material with which 
to know himself. He does not liquidate his life. He does not judge 
and evaluate himself on the basis of his momentary status. His goal 
in the future, his striving toward it, his faith in it, are the justification 
for his present life. 

The same principle holds for peoples. 

If I inquire into my Jewishness, I do so for my own sake. I seek 
its goal in the future on the basis of the material in its creative past. 

The present, with its formalism and its ossification, I leave out 
of account. The present is our decadence, our moment of decline. 

Just as the judge of the individual man is his ideal of the man- 
to-come, so the judge of the individual nation is its ideal of its own 
national future, when its specific stream will flow into the sea of 
common humanity. 

I confront my unique people with its ideal of its national future 
and I ask: Am I of greater value or of lesser value than others? 
I know that I am different. 

My past tells me: Serve no other Gods save the one and only God. 
Erect your temple in the midst of your land, in Jerusalem. 

Thrice yearly shall you come to the temple to show yourself before 
God, to offer up your sacrifice, to thank him, to pray to him, and to 
serve him. 

One people, one land, one temple, one law, one God. 

Unity everywhere, in every breath and atom of the universe. 

No temple and no altar may be erected at any other place and 
no sacrifices may be made elsewhere even to the one God — upon 
penalty of death. 

The temple is, however, to serve all, all. 

The stranger may come and pray. God will listen and accept the 
sacrifice. Whosoever calls in the name of the one God is numbered 
among his children. From Zion the law is to go out to all the peoples. 

tt^'ptt^n?^ p§ Sij p->§ op i^vii 371 

4yi''syA T»T pK in ]in '?''ii i^ "^i^ii ,t»t tk t»t 0D'»Dn^Q iy 

T'^K issiyi px ,i'?5?Du; pyns pK ^'»:s iss Aii'?i?''nD:i8 n t»t ,]yip'>^^ 
pjT nyssij; IS ^Di'pn isijjiD tt322yb p^n ts^yp 122 iDinatr; is D'»n:\ nj; 

♦ ♦ . . ]a5?b 

mtDJJi PT D'»1'7 ,T1^ 15? ISTDbSPI IS /T'^H lyi ps jDp:isni8t3ti? ]iyD 
.3i5Pionyb pj?T T»iK t)pais itJDDLni pK T'K tin tID ♦ ♦ ♦ P5?1t0t2^ 
nyt3Dn pr m'>D»i5?s^''K pt t'»k t»k 1 y d "? y d tr; 5? a i s s '»n» ns?i 
bsnjtDsa D^T i?i D'^K on io^%ias:\a8n8Q n pK /D^ipasn Dt2;"»a pk is? 
"jiayp nyi pK T'K pJT tiK .tDtr;^a tnyb pjt Dnn'»np"»'? ny /tyasrpny in qis 
T^i< iDDaipis n5?T px t»k i:i5t — iv^m ]ik nyuDn tin i3t:;'»i t'»k 011^11 
. w . py"? i2:?T pD is?p''Dn8QDD5;n i^t pi< p^ibA iij< p5?nt)ti; tin 

ns?T pK 03? T»K in n"'a 18S oy t»k in ^ta^v^^^^^ P^ 1"*^ in 
♦ . . ♦ VD'^'^niiiim^i^^ iyt2;nyss?t^ ns?T px ^r^s^oN;^ pa D:in:^ ]mH ,Ds:iipis 

♦b8SS38 n5?n:nK , oasis py*7 isrnaiK pk o^t 
-Dn nyn pK ;ii;Day;Diyn'>i^ pjt ti^Diy^ Dya'?sa'»'»K ps ns?DDn ns?^ pk 
T^ — DQ31P1S s?'?8:iS''228a n it^i ynsrnis p'^p Dt:;'»i y^ssa ns?T pQ nyo 
♦ ♦ . ♦ pj?is t3'»^^t2;ms;» isrmD i5?t pK /D'' px pjns dd*»^s is? t5?*n .DS'^t3^ 
pj^ pa DnsiDi^^x n tk '?5?t)t:; Dsaipis iy'?8is"'^8i ^5?^ nss 

ayis pH c^nannns nns// V-^'f /'nm^^ 18 'is^'n to^n) pb^Q 
?p*»Di5?irn5;;2 nyns "ina^;^ i'^k pa 
— ♦I'^K D'»m 08T /ii^^^ i3ti;''a T8 

:Da8^'i5?T D'»^^a5?Aa8An83 V-^^ 

♦iD^A tp'»sr"'K pJ?T "18^ r^v^v^ yisrnas PV 15?^''^ t^iz;^: tooyn 

♦ibSDtr? "rsDj^D im idos?ii ,D'''?t2;n^ px /las'? pjt pa D"»tt px 

D-'K ,pini8n in D8A 185 '1S?^*ip '^s^S?^ D1S iDoyii IS** TK '^S^ 'J'^^ 

....]V^'>'i pK iDyn /p?pa8T Q'^K /P?wyA is?ss8 p-n 
,..♦138^ t^^K /^yTy:^ p-'K ,^a^yt) p"'K ,1^8^ p*'K /p'i'SQ T'^k 
. ♦ ♦ ♦ D3;to8 p'»x px /P??28Tis DT»^i8Q t^nyii r'^S PK 
-^8 ry^"iV ♦nata pv px pJ?T Dti:?'»i '?s;:5yD pv nst^ tz^isrias rs?^^^? 
,dw5;a nspi t3tr;'»a pip p-'p I8t3 m^ ip-'sr^K on i^^ik ppi ,m)si 
!D^io D'»D ios8^tD^8a tDns?ii 08T — tDiy3'»ns?:^ 183 ns?T n^'iK I'^nini p-^p 
. ♦ ♦ . "psiDyD nn s; *? 8 183 T-^K 18T 1^H 
pjT p"»"»'?is wv Ds::^ .itoyn px lyT^yns nyi p;;:3ip Ay» 
-i-j-^K ps iya83 oyt isn oyii oy lyii pk ,ip'»'?'»ii8a iy&s8 iin px ly'^iK 

372 Escaping Jewishness 

The Jewish national idea — a world-idea. 

Do other peoples have it? 

Do the Germans, French, English, Russians, and other European 
peoples have a national world-ideology, a national world-religion, 
or national world-ideals? 

We do have German philosophy, meaning philosophic books 
written in German for Germans, but not a German philosophic idea 
for world-happiness. 

There are French ideals, but for the French nation only: France 
is to be great, powerful, adored, and to bask in glory. 

There are ideals for England: "I am to be the factory and the 
whole world my market." 

Other nations have similar ideals, every one of the European 

They are all so-called Christian nations, but they have neither 
produced Christianity nor have they been united by it. Christianity 
was either imposed upon them by force or they may have accepted it 
voluntarily. It did not spring from their brain. It did not sprout 
from their blood. 

They are peoples who have been subjugated by the church. This 
superimposed religion, Christianity, swims about on the surface and 
does not penetrate into the core of their souls. It has no real relation 
to their daily existence. It is not a social experience. It is merely a 
faith. It is a key to open up a heaven after death and not a key with 
which to force open the portals of this life. It is an affair of the other 
world and does not apply to this earth and to earthly conduct. It is 
a negation of work and progress here and now. 

Christianity is a creed and not an inner urge. It is a denial of this 
world, a severance from reality, an abdication, a means of redemption 
from life and not of salvation in life. 

It is therefore carried aloft, like a cloak covering the surface of 
existence. Below this Christian covering, there dominate Roman law, 
Greek art, European technology. 

To these four streams of culture, a fifth is added: the specific 
nationality, which justifies all crimes against other nationalities in the 
name of patriotism. 

Hence, if a European nation seriously wants to liberate itself, 
it must first get rid of the clerical covering, the international church. 
If such a nation is to progress in this world, it must first renounce 
the superimposed heaven and the superimposed religion. 

t:i^|Ptj?n?v]i6 s^ ]i'D op pyn 373 

n«s rvm 01^1 D'^ns D^-'A |i''22 lis 11K ♦ . ♦ ivp r-5T t^k lyi ^d^a tp'»x 

?nyp'?ys 5?iyi28 05? in^n 


T»T n b^T ni?2 .DDny:^ pK ,D^nst^5722 p>5 impawns jm "^is^t d-^tia iT^i^:^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ y^K . ♦ ♦ s?'?^ •'iTi^ PK 

-onp nsT'^n p^n "^n ♦DpT'>j<iJi:s diz;^: DiD^Donp 0^1 iiji •»"»? Dijn 

Dtr;**! /p'^nya nm ps lyr^inDti?^::^^^^? tot:?''! v^ oy ,1^^1:1^:^118: p^^''nny:)i 

♦ ♦♦♦D''biy:\ ly'n pD D22^i3t2;yAO'nJi: 
♦ ♦ w yipiimKi -lytoo'^i^p pD lyp'^ys tyiyr 0^1 
nyi ps nin px Dtz;*'! D^ip pK p''iK ps diik yi^yns 0^1 m'^^w 
oy tDti^**: Kti;jDi n^ pv py*? py'^PTn iD'^iD oy D^n ♦♦♦p-ni? n;Dt:^: 
^o'''7t2? J? D-iyn oy ♦ ♦ ♦ "p*'^'?^'' ^^yi*^ oy ♦Anrjtrnyi y'?j?''XSD o'^iK Diyn 
vt^ ov /py*? 0^1 ty:\m:!iii;n 1:2 diz;*'! ,t)'»iD p^i '?d\t on tyayDyi22S''iK 
Dip'»'»'?iK5 oy niy nyi T»iK py^ tot:;''! pK iny t:!^"*! /'u^^^n niDb;^// 

w:\aiVp'»nD:8 pi< toyni^ 

. . ♦ ♦ tny*? tnijQ Dtz;**! ,py^ ]is in ]p'>'?o''ix ; T'U p yn 1^3: , t "t ^^ tr 

^py*? DyrK ;^m^?i i? "'•n ,py^ t'lyn^'K /p-^IJ^ Oy iy^ t^MJID 

♦ ♦wp"'iDyto s;t:^?y9;sJT'>K n 
-;$'» 22^3:3 n PK yDsrs n — DDyn pD i^ynp yp'»Di^aT"'t2;n^s ts 
-igiQ — 0*?;^: sn$?^!^!: i^yp o^DynsiKD y'ri? piu? top'»'?'»'»n 018:11 d 57 d •» *? ^ i 

Ti;3 .tymsKn iy'?p'T»ii t^v;i yti:^?ys^T'»x iiy: in b^ii nynnyi px 
n '^''ii , , . iytoo'»i^p i*?j$!^"'22^nyDrK ps tymSi^n tDt2?ny oy^s i>: t»t n 
♦ . ♦ ♦ y-^r^yn ps ^^i^'^n ps pi^ts^ t»t n n» . i n y *? pK n'»oyi:^s'i9 

374 Escaping Jbwishness 

We Jews, on the other hand, a people without territory, without 
a common language, with an urge for culture, yes, even when de- 
prived of culture, we as "a nation — and nothing more" would amount 
to nothing. 

And how easy it is to go away from nothing! 


Other Ways 

The struggle between us and the others is not academic. It is 

Only a superficial person can fail to see the connection between 
cultural eras and a world-ideology. 

The world, seen through Jewish eyes, is an organic unity bound 
together by a common force. It is, therefore, a morally responsible 

The world, seen through heathen eyes, consists of epileptic, acci- 
dental, mysterious, or revealed forces. These forces are not subject 
to a universal will and are therefore without any moral responsibility. 

On the road from heathendom to Judaism, there is much debating 
and generalizing, until mankind conceives of gods and demi-gods, 
with the world as a battleground of conflicting divinities. The strong- 
est of these is Jupiter. He emerges as the victor. Nevertheless, each 
of the other deities retains a voice; each interferes; each in his own 
time and place, in his own temple and on his special day, lays down 
the law and his own moral system. 

The nearer one comes to Judaism, the more does idolatry dis- 
appear outwardly. The divine symbols, carved on wood or cut into 
stone or painted on walls and on canvas, are destroyed and reduced 
to dust. The world, however, continues to be ruled by hundreds of 
legal and moral codes. Not a single national philosophy except the 
Jewish has attained to unity in all aspects of life. 

Not a single other nation submits at heart to the one and only 

Compared to the Jewish concept of the world, all other philoso- 
phies are provincial, local, for domestic use only, restricted to home 

Our slogan today is, therefore, renaissance! 

tD'>'»ptJ^n« 115 U^ p"»5 O^Tl PV11 375 

tsayt /nytt Dt2;"»a pK S''s:8a„ obn — T'la niD^ip is W ]^^ 'Titobip isi 

!t3tr;uis^ •T'tt 


"5?^ ynn^S PK niiK itr?'»m d^5?ii Diniatt^ nyir;'»;Dy^sps t^V tDt^**! 

♦;\intras"t3bs?'n PK iD:i5?^s?2"T't5'?'^P 

♦tD'?yii 5?3y'?tDns't^t3isiss t:^"'b8is^ lynnyi pK 5;Din"':isns 

yD'?5ni tiK lytoaiK Dti?'*: rs^S?^ TV l^ss osn idd3?ip y^syss px s?:s?t)'?sris:3 
.l^v^ii; ^^"^1 l5?AinynsQ yt2;'''?S'is» rv ^s^nnn isP 1^?^ 

-DDs'^t:^ S tD'?5?ii ''T tD^yii nyDy:^ ys^sn px iv^n 122 iy;a D^ip ♦ ♦ . tjin 
nSD'»sr — i5?t2?nyrT m n5?iypist3u; is?! t30'»%n ♦•>"'T ii2;"»m n^ys 
Di^s pJ?T pK tDs:\ lyis?'' TK ,pJis T'T |ti?''D y'?s /S^'^S PSn ^5?2S nyi s 
-»^x pK rvm — :^st5 P-^T px *ms '^s^yt) pj?T pi« ,Dns P-^t ^t^ik ns^^s 

- •» 1 K QiD^yA osT /pnay;aip didhv D122 lyDiiyya pK lyDi^ii ^fK 
-D'»iK r'^^^ V^ ^m'^wn r^sn PK ,|^s^^''0-nyt)j?:^ n ,tbs&P T 5? ^ 1 V 
-5?3i t)n''iDtr?5?22 pK DnyDt:;5?22 i^ayt ,D^s^y^ ^^^^''-^^ t"^^ ^^3?ii T'ik ,Dpsny:^ 
.♦♦tD'?yii n DTSy:\ is^ to^yii prDS^srs^^'X isrDnynain pa — ns^"^ 
-D'ps^n y'?s:iS''2rs:i yp'^xp'^x pv didh?'' Dyn lyo^ix fK D'»\nr"»K pv 11: 

,t:?'»»^'»n ,iyaT'»'?s"»22aMis^£> — l^''^?' cayi f^^yp S^'^S ''n ty:iyT 
yiyDyn n in ISP ♦wDy''SSOS'?''Q y:i5?psny:^ ,TTi=iy^ P"'''^^ T*'^ 
iT»t)prt3orK Di*?! 5?nyDyn OS! .pynyD:iiK tDtz^-^a i$7nypnyT»: iiiii wtk 

!03SD57:iy*i j'^ntr^y:^ dst t'»k 

376 Escaping Jewishness 

Let me utter my word freely, let me work and create cultural 
values in harmony with my world- view. I, the Jew, gave you so much 
formerly, let me give you of myself once more. 

The battle between us is not restricted to any one place. It is 
a long time since we left the cradle of our national life. Willingly 
or unwillingly, we became a world-people. The conflict does not 
hence rage within any one boundary but is worldwide in scope. 

We do not wage war against this people or that or against a 
coalition of several peoples. We face each other as Jews and Gentiles, 
Jewish will and Gentile will. 

Jews, monotheistic by religion and monistic in their thinking, 
cannot mingle with others who have not yet attained this level of 
feeling and thinking. Jewishness cannot submit to a less advanced 
form of civilization. It must struggle for the right to create a world- 
culture according to its light. 

Scholars, whose training lies outside of the Jewish orb, come to us 
and offer us gratuitous advice. 

For a long time our mouths were shut and our hands tied. We 
could neither talk nor work. We were advised to go to others and 
to beg crumbs of others. We were told to assimilate. Why set up our 
own workshop? 

If I have my own evaluation of good and evil, they advise me to 
change my standard of values. 

If I fight for my concept of truth, they laugh at my so-called 

But the greatest danger to our people now accrues from two 
groups: those who are too rash in promising and those who succumb 
too easily to exaggerated pessimism. 

The former told us: "Your home is open, tomorrow I'll give it 
to you!" And when the morrow came and the home was not opened 
up to us, many fled in despair from our midst, having lost their hope 
for salvation. 

The latter tell us: "What you build in the diaspora is built on 
quicksand and water, the wind carries it away." Hence, many give 
up building and turn to foreign cultures and foreign values. When 
the foreign nationality insists that, as condition of admittance, you 
acknowledge that the Messiah and Redeemer has already come, you 
ponder: "Perhaps it would be wiser to abdicate." 

^^^p^^iv lii s^ ii''§ op pvii 377 

py:iy:^ '?'»& ^its '?;j:» s t-^k si^n t»k /3iavft2?5^-t3'?5ni ]r?;3 to"*!^ is^tr; 

-d'pvii 8 ,nv^ tot:;^! mi$ n^A ;DTS'?"i»s A'»m5;i:i''p s?'?^^^''^^^^ n Ji;ii!;^ ritr; 
o^ja Dti^''2 pK /D-'j^ i''^ ]VSi pb^Q nv:iT '^V^^ 05?t tD'»;D t3t2;'»3 ]1k 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Di*?! tt?'?'»n px Di'rn 

^inynyDiiK Dti:;^i in nynjrpny'T'a ny-r :\:iint:;i8-t3^5ni s?i5?3yn ^ i^p ;it2^''D 

"y:\ Diyn n ,DDi!;^iN:D '?''i» o^t di^22 nyr^iKb Ji: i5?a''K raiK is?;a m^ 
♦ .♦"pDjrn pi< ''•'A :naiK is^ d^i ♦pynns Dtz;''^ ^m^^pyoi nvi t3t2;'':i ,n^in 
?byt)ti?piyii isrian^n ^ o^n i^a joj; DD*>"»n ,in •t»'7'»xd'»d8 

i37a'»K rjjti^ n**^ 15?^ tDS") /ton ]1k dd^?^^ ps 12ri?ti;si$ pj?» T'X i^n 

JlDiyii n 

/'y^c^// pj?;d n^ii< )v^ tDD^^ — riDK pj?^ niNiD t'k oinDtr 

nn n T»x n"*:^ pii$D ,tQ^ t'»k D'»^^ pJT 
,tDaDyy:\ Dt:?^! in Di$n d^'M n pK )v^^pv^ v^ ms;^ ")5?i t^ pk 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Dsny^ 

Dnns;:^ nyosn tsnK o^inya t-'x , t ;d 5? n s nj/T pK DDit?^ •T'x o^n 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ oini lyi pyiiis: m^-^ta o^i n;38T qnK 
px nynn 3?^?^y^S ^ntts'p'ip yi^5?ns 13?^ toDn ,p''Diynsig: iy» onyn 

378 Escaping Jewishness 


Now, I am not advocating that we shut ourselves up in a spiritual 
ghetto. On the contrary, we should get out of such a ghetto. But 
we should get out as Jews, with our own spiritual treasures. We 
should interchange, give and take, but not beg. 

Ghetto is impotence. Cultural cross-fertilization is the only pos- 
sibility for human development. Humanity must be the synthesis, the 
sum, the quintessence of all national cultural forms and philosophies. 

tj^ptt^-Jir pfi B^ p'5 op pyn 379 



This volume is addressed to the general reader rather 
than to the specialist in literary and cultural history. 
The editor has, therefore, not included bibliographical 
references and critical apparatus, easily accessible to 
Peretz scholars in the research publications of the 
Yiddish Scientific Institute — ^Yivo and elsewhere. 

For the same reason, the English transcription of 
Yiddish names and technical terms follows accepted 
usage and not Yivo's strictly scientific standards. For 
example: Yitschok, havdalla, Beele, instead of havdole, 
Yitskhokf Beyle. 












A. A. Roback, The Story of Yiddish Literature, New York, 
Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1940. 448 pp. Out of print 

S. Mendelsohn, The Polish Jews behind the Nazi Ghetto Walls, 
New York, Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1942, 32 pp. 

S. Mendelsohn, The Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto, New York, 
Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1944. 28 pp. 

Sol Liptzin, Yivo's Way, New York, Yiddish Scientific Insti- 
tute, Second Printing, 1944. 13 pp. 

Paul Klapper, The Pursuit of Light, New York, Yiddish 
Scientific Institute, 1944. 7 pp. 

Ilya Dijour, Statistics of Extinction, New York, Yiddish 
Scientific Institute, Second Printing, 1944. 8 pp. 

Jacob Lestchinsky, Jewish Migration for the Past Hundred 
Years, New York, Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1944. 22 pp. 

The Classification of Jewish Immigrants and Its Implications, 
A survey of opinion, New York, Yiddish Scientific listitute, 
1945. 154 pp. 

Samuel C. Kohs, Jews in the United States Armed Forces, 
New York, Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1945. 16 pp. 

Harry J. Carman, Academic Research and the Quest for Peace, 
New York, Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1945. 7 pp. 

Underground Cultural Work in the Jewish Ghettos of Poland. 
A Report Sent from Warsaw on May 20, 1944, New York, 
Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1945. 6 pp. 

Desiderata of Nazi Literature on the Jews, New York, Yiddish 
Scientific Institute, 1945. 40 pp. 

M. Weinreich, Hitler's Professors, The Part of Scholarship 
in Germany's Crimes Against the Jewish People, New York, 
Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1946. 291 pp. 

Yivo Annual of Jewish Social Science, Vol. I, New York, 
Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1946. 319 pp. 

Basic Facts About Yiddish, New York, Yiddish Scientific 
Institute, 1946. 11 pp. 

News of the Yivo, bi-monthly published in New York by the 
Yiddish Scientific Institute. 


535 West 123rd Street, New York 27, N. Y. 

The Yiddish Scientific Institute, also known by its Yiddish 
initials as YIVO, was founded in Vilna in 1925 for the 
scientific study of Jewish life throughout the world with 
particular emphasis on its sociological aspects. By 1939, 
branches and societies of friends of the Yivo were function- 
ing in thirty countries. At the outbreak of World War II, 
the headquarters of the Yivo was transferred to New York, 
where a branch had been in existence since 1925. 


Documentation and Recording: The library, archives, 
and museum of the Yivo constitute a central repository for 
published and unpublished material pertaining to Jewish life, 
present and past, all over the world. 

Analysis and Research: The following fields have been 
particularly prominent in the research of the Yivo: history; 
sociology; economics and statistics; psychology and education; 
linguistics, literature, and folklore. The Yivo publishes mono- 
graphs and volumes of studies as well as several periodicals. 

Training: The Yivo's Research Training Division, to which 
a Junior Department is attached, is being developed into the 
Yivo Graduate School of Jewish Social Science. The school 
is to train persons of adequate background and education 
for Jewish research and Jewish community leadership.