Inspired by Reb Kalonymos Kalman's ideal of a group of people coming together with the common goal of enhancing their service of God, increasing their sensitivity to all things spiritual, strengthening their love of acheinu kol beis Yisrael, and unlocking the enormous potential that we all have to cleave to the Almighty.

Interaction and discussion of practical ideas and concepts toward this end, culled from any Torah true source is welcome and appreciated.

Observations and personal experiences are also welcome; the point is to grow!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two Questions

AHHHHHH RAV SHIMON SHKOP! To learn his Torah is to enter a garden of delicacies and to experience sublime pleasures which make all of this world's pleasures seem lame in comparison. A my'seh with the Rebbe ztz"l related by one of his students from the sefer "Torah Yevakesh Mi'pihu".

I was a young man who wanted to be accepted to the yeshiva in Grodna. I came from a poor family so we couldn't afford traveling expenses. I was given a little bit of food for the three day walk [!] and told that when the food runs out I was to ask Jews to open their hearts and share their food with me. When I finally arrived in Grodno I was exhausted. I was also very nervous about the test. What if I fail and don't get accepted? What an embarrassment it will be for me and my family and then I will have to make the return trip with a horrible feeling. So I made sure to prepare the page of Gemara very well. I was shown to the office of the Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Shimon Shkop. His office was also the kitchen in home. He said to me "I have two questions for you". UH OH! The test was beginning. "The first question is .... When was the last time you had a warm meal?" I thought for a little and answered "Three weeks". Reb Shimon said "My wife is not home and I am not much of a cook but I will do my best". He then proceeded to cook me a meal which I ate - with doubles! Now that I was satiated Reb Shimon said "And the second question ...." UH OH!! Now the test begins for real. "When was the last time you slept on a bed?" I told him that I didn't remember. So Reb Shimon went into a room and prepared a bed for me which I proceeded to sleep on. I found out afterwards that it was his own bed.

That was my fahrher [entrance examination] for the Grodna Yeshiva. Since then I have had many tzaros. I lost my family in the holocaust and many other tzaros. What kept my Judaism alive all those years were those two questions that Reb Shimon asked me on my fahrher for the Grodna Yeshiva.

!!זכות הצדיקים יעזור ויגן ויושיע

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