Sunday, September 9, 2012
Saba True Religion!
(You said that your mother would give you for school a drop of oil on bread?) Yes. Yes. With a few drops. So I asked for a few more drops. So she told me, “What?” she screamed at me, “I need the oil for Sabbath. Do not speak at all, that's enough!” Afterwards I went and gave the bread with the drops of oil; I gave it to a poor man. There was in Tiberius a couple, an elder man and elder lady, and he would go begging. So I wanted to do charity and kindness, I took the bread, I didn't have money, I took the bread which my mother gave me and I went to the old man, this Jew, and I gave it to him. His name was Yosef Noach, that was his name, for I remember till this day his name, Yosef Noach, two names. This was after Succos and after the (weekly Torah portion of) Biraishes came the weekly portion Noach, and on Sunday I went and joyously gave him the bread with the drops of olive oil, I thought that I did great charity, he and his wife would eat, yes.
I went to school, and I didn't have what to eat, because I had given away the bread' yes. So I got a bad headache, I needed to eat but I didn't have. So my teacher, his practice was that on Sunday he would tell the students “This weeks Torah Portion is Noach”. Yes, he would repeat this many times in order that they should know that this week is the Torah Portion Noach. He looked at all the students, and he detected that I was not listening at all, as if I wasn't in school, I don't hear at all, and do not know what-so-ever. So he left me, and then he called upon me, “Yisroel Ber! Tell which Torah portion is this week.” And I didn't know and didn't hear, just my head hurt me, that's all I knew, and I didn't hear at all what he said! Nu Nu … he hit me with cruelty, “What's this?! I said many times that this week’s Torah portion is Noach, where were you?! You do not listen?! What is this?! Where were you?! I give out my throat for nothing?!” He hit me, and I was embarrassed in front of all the students. He wanted them all to see and be afraid. The shame is impossible to describe, he hit me so much with cruelty. (How old were you?) little. (5, 6?) yes, approximately. Beginning to learn the Chumash (five books of Moses), the portion Noach. I said from now on I will no longer give away the bread, if I give away the bread I will receive a beating, I will not give and I will not receive blows, and I will know that the weekly Torah portion is the portion Noach. Even still, I gave the bread another time to this pauper/ This was by me all of Judaism. All that I heard about spirituality, about faith, about the Torah, was with me - I received new knowledge which hadn't appeared before, I didn't know from H”Y, from the Torah. I hear that there is the Torah and H”Y, so there was with me great happiness... I was the worst of all the children, the worst. I was born into poverty and I was also a weak child. Yes, I have miracles that I am alive, that I was able to live.... He wanted to know which children were good and which children were not good, so he suddenly left me, passed over, he asked this child, “Say which Torah portion it is this week.” But when he knew which portion, “Portion of Noach” ho ho, then he was already a good child, but there were children that didn't remember, it needed time that they could remind themselves, “portion of Noach”; suddenly he came upon me, “what is the weekly Torah portion?” I didn't know anything' as if I wasn't in this world, yes, in a different court, nu, he is expectant, he is waiting, he is expectant, maybe I will remember... I? “what is this” doesn't know anything, Noach, Noach? So he – he waited and waited for an answer and there is no answer, does not know. So he asks me, “Where were you? You were not here at all, where? In what world were you? What is this? You don't know? I speak and I give all my strength and you do not listen?” So he was very angry with me, and he hit me cruel blows. He hit me, “What is this? I speak just like that for nothing? And you do not listen? I speak and you do not know even the portion? Yes, do not know one word. “Where were you?!” Even still I saw that I need the bread, for I receive a beating, and such a beating! I suffered from the beating, and also I was embarrassed, I was humiliated before the children.... He didn't hit even one other, just Yisroel Ber! (And the demeaning started from then!), the disgrace was more, more painful than the beating. I tell all of this, so that we know how much H”Y loves simple wholesomeness. I wasn't an intellectual just the wholesomeness of the heart, I very much loved the Torah and the commandments and the faith and fear of Heaven, and when I saw someone learning, or he was simple/wholesome and was reciting Psalms, then I thought, ah – this man he is thinking of the true purpose, fortunate is this man, he is busy with Psalms and he studies!
Conversations with Saba Zeh Rebbeniu!