Nov 18, 2010

Who We Look At

I am reading a book of "wisdom, stories and inspiration" on the parsha which is a translation of an extremely popular book in Hebrew which is based on the writings, shiurim and conversations with a certain popular rav in Eretz Yisrael.  I won't say the name of the book because of a story that I just read that I want to discuss here.

The story is that when secular Jews (as the book refers to them) would come to visit this rav, his rebbetzin would not welcome them personally.  She would remain in her room saying, "You, the rav, are compelled by your position to meet and talk with them.  I, on the other hand, am not obligated.  In that case, I do not even wish to see their faces!"

What a shocker! Obviously this was included in the book to reflect well on the rebbetzin and to serve as a lesson for us.  But the anecdote doesn't say they were evil people, just that they were irreligious.  It is true, we should not look at evil people and it's disturbing when frum publications include pictures of evil people.  But these visitors were presumably men who did not have the benefit of a religious education, not wilfull sinners!

What a contrast to the book I am presently rereading, "Holy Woman" about Rebbetzin Chaya Sara Kramer and her husband a'h.  He was a Satmar chassid and yet he loved all the Jews he encountered (and didn't encounter).  He sought out irreligious Jews in order to have a positive influence on them and he and his wife welcomed anybody who came to their home, no matter their level of religiosity or manner of dress.

Will the real Judaism please stand up!


  1. I think that real Judaism needs to stand up in more ways than one.

  2. I have no words.....!

    Thanks for giving the title of the second book though. I'll seek it out on my next library visit.

    Gut Shabbos

  3. The author of "Holy Woman" is Sara Yoheved Rigler and it's a MUST-READ. You can get a taste of it here:

  4. Thank you
    I'll definitely look out for it. It sounds like the kind of reading material I usually like.