Student Teaching in the New Millenium

Dead and Buried

In Exodus, Midrash on January 17, 2012 at 8:30 am

The leaders of the Jewish community of a certain big city – where few were learned in the Torsh – were anxious to engage a certain brilliant scholar to be their rabbi. To make their offer attractive to the sage, they told him that their community was entirely worthy of him. It was, they said, a city of historic fame, for such renowned Sages as Rabbi David Ben Shmuel HaLevi, Rabbi Avraham ben Chaim, and Rabbi Akiva Eiger were all buried in their city.

Eventually, however, the rabbi found out that Rabbi David ben Shmuel HaLevi was buried in Lvov and not in that city, that Rabbi Avraham ben Chaim’s grave was in Kalisz and that Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s remains lay in Posen.

“Why did you deceive me?” he demanded of the townsmen.

“Rabbi,” they replied, “we did not deceive you! In Lvov there are still people who study the Turei Zohav; hence, the author, Rabbi David ben Shmuel HaLevi, is not really buried there but still alive. In Kalisz the Jews still pore over Magen Avraham; hence, it’s author, Rabbi Avraham ben Chaim, too, cannot, cannot be said to be dead and buried. The same is true in Posen of Rabbi Akiva Eiger’s works. But in our own city there is not even one person who studies any of these brilliant scholars’ works. Hence, as far as we are concerned, they really are dead and buried in this town.”

From Sh’ar Bas Rabbim, Ma’ayanah shel Torah

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