Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.
Following Rebbe Shimon
The villagers followed the lead of the
learned Rebbe Shimon. They gathered up
bundles of dry straw from neighboring shacks
and shanties. They tossed them onto the flames
of the fire in the barn. It seemed to work, for the
flames could no longer be seen below the
bundles of dry straw, merely smoldering smoke.
''Hurrah,'' shouted the bocherim from the
Rebbe Shimon's cheder. ''We have succeeded!
We must run to the shul and say the birkat
hagomel blessing at once.''
But before they took their leave, new
flames suddenly sprung up from the piles of
straw they had brought and tossed in to the
''Gevalt,'' moaned the learned Rebbe
Shimon. ''You see? We did not act quickly and
decisively enough. More straw!!''
''Are you entirely meshugana? Are you
completely shikkered ad lo yada?'' objected
Sheriff Arik. ''Did you not just see that your
idea failed? It just made the inferno worse! The
fire now is even more dangerous!''
''What do you know from fighting fires,
Mister Know-It-All,'' Rebbe Shimon asked
mockingly. ''You already admitted you do not
have a better solution, one that would work and
save the barn.''
So Rebbe Shimon ordered the villagers to
double their efforts. They quickly raced to
nearby homes and stables and brought out more
bundles of straw. They doubled their efforts and
redoubled the size of the straw piled into the
The flames disappeared beneath the new
fresh straw and Rebbe Shimon ordered a special
celebration, with kiddush wine from the shul's
But before the bottles could be opened,
new flames shot up from the ruins of the barn
and the neighboring inn and cottages burst into
flames from the flying sparks.
''Faster, you lazy ones,'' screamed Rebbe
Shimon. ''You are not working hard enough to
bring straw. We need to try something new
But the villagers had grown angry and
restless and grumbled when Rebbe Shimon
walked down the cobble-stoned streets.
''Ok, I give up,'' said Rebbe Shimon. ''I
still believe my solution is the only one that can
work, but I am now stepping aside. It is time for
a new chief rabbi to carry the flame, if you
excuse the expression.''
Rebbe Shimon then nominated a student
and follower from his own yeshiva to take over
as chief rabbi.
Enter Rebbe Ehud
As the new chief rabbi and head of the
yeshiva previously led by Rebbe Shimon, Rebbe
Ehud ordered the villagers to take shibboleths
of straw and light their ends from the flames
and to toss them into alleys and buildings
several streets away from the barn.
''This will spread the heat around,
lowering the temperatures and will result in the
fire diminishing and cooling off. Trust me, I
understand the nature of fires and have a
longstanding close relationship with them.''
''A complete madman,'' groaned Arik the
Constable. ''Can't you see that everything you
and your deranged yeshiva friends did until now
just made things worse? Now you will create
even greater destruction!''
''Shah shtil,'' replied Rebbe Ehud. ''We
are still waiting to hear your solution for saving
the barn and putting out the fires.''
''But there is no solution,? Sheriff Arik
insisted. ''I explained this to Rebbe Shimon
before and I am repeating it to you. The only
thing to be done is to prevent the catastrophe
from growing larger.''
''Idiot,'' said the students of Rebbe Ehud,
agreeing with their master. ''Can't you see the
current situation is unbearable? The barn is
demolished and more buildings are now in
flames. We cannot simply sit back and tolerate
?If you cannot offer a real solution, then
hold your tongue. If you don't shut up, we will
have you and your friends imprisoned by the
Cossacks for criminal incitement and sedition.''
New piles of straw were brought in now
from every part of the village and tossed upon
the flames, which leapt from rooftop to rooftop,
burning all of the unfortunate fiddlers and
chickens up there.
Fire crept toward the village square and
now threatened to burn the shul and the sacred
The villagers saw the damage and broke
into collective lamentation, as if it were the
Ninth Day of Av.
Finally Rebbe Ehud was also forced to step
down from his revered post. But the yeshiva of
Rebbe Shimon and Rebbe Ehud was not about
to give up.
The yeshiva decided to replace Rebbe
Ehud with a new chief rabbi, a shifty character
who was serving as the moshgiach of the
northern quarter of the village, where he had
allowed a number of shochtim to get rich selling
non-kosher chickens in exchange for their
endorsements should he ever be considered for
the post of chief rabbi.
News of the appointment of the new chief
rabbi spread almost as quickly as the out-of-
control fire. The yeshiva of Rebbe Shimon and
Rebbe Ehud was filled with new hope and glee.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”
It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.
The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.
Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.
We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.
Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.
Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.
Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.
Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.
A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!
Obama’s comments calling Israeli settlements “unhelpful”are harsher than prior US administrations’
He ruthlessly crushed the revolt, and, despite lacking official Roman sanction, ordered the rebel leaders put to death without trial.
“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”
The Mid-East conflict is a unidirectional campaign of Arabs murdering Jews, not the inverse.
Judah concedes he was wrong&feels regret; THAT is precisely what qualifies his house for leadership
What is the appropriate Israeli response when European countries recognize the “State of Palestine”?
Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.
The bill is the initiative of Knesset Member Eitan Cabel from what is left of the Israeli Labor Party.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-wisest-men-of-chelm-a-fable-for-our-time/2003/02/07/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: