web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Memories Of A Beautiful Jew


In January1989, Rabbi Besser was in Washington as Agudah’s representative at the inauguration of the first President Bush. As he sat on the dais reserved for dignitaries, quietly studying his small volume of Talmud, he was approached by two cardinals from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who greeted him cordially.

When he returned their blessings, the cardinals asked if they might ask the rabbi a question. He quickly turned his eyes heavenward. “Please, Lord, help me with this one,” Rabbi Besser implored the Master of the Universe.

“What is that you are studying, rabbi?” the cardinals asked.

“The Talmud,” he replied.

“We thought so. Tell us, it is said that the Talmud contains everything in the human experience, is that so?”

Again, a quickly uttered plea for divine intervention. “Yes, that’s so,” said the rabbi.

“If so, does the Talmud discuss today’s inauguration?” they queried, with a note of triumph.

Rabbi Besser’s prayers were answered. “Well, I am in the midst of studying the tractate Rosh Hashanah right now,” he said. “It discusses four beginnings of the year – and one of those is Tu B’Shevat, the new year for trees. So you see, your eminences, if the Jewish people observe a holiday for trees, surely that includes Bushes, too!”

Rabbi Chaskel Besser – mentor, role model, teacher, unparalleled storyteller, friend – passed away a few days short of his 87th birthday. I miss him dearly, and I think I always will.

About the Author: Rabbi Yossel Kanofsky is the spiritual leader of Kehillat Shaarei Torah in Toronto.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Memories Of A Beautiful Jew”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Fortress Rachel (Rachel's Tomb)
Netanyahu Warns World Leaders to Take A Stand on Terrorism in Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
Matan Katzman. regional executive at the StandWithUs

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

Flag of Sweden

Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.

Menachem Zivotofsky sued the U.S. government because the U.S. refused to include "Israel" alongside "Jerusalem" as the place of his birth on his passport. So far the courts have sided with the government.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

Activists on the Marianne boat that the IDF made sure to arrive in Ashdod instead of Gaza.

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

Think political Islam’s a problem now just wait until an Islamist nuclear umbrella covers the region

Fiorina’s wrong about Islam which embraces our death&destruction confusing pc theories for hard fact

Bangladesh PM Hasina is fighting terror not only for her nation but for the entire civilized world.

No necessity to redefine marriage, just address equal rights for couples in non-nuclear families

PM Netanyahu has pledged the nation won’t rest until the hero Eli Cohen is returned home to Israel

“Palestinian armed groups” & “local authorities” are named in the report; Hamas’ absence stands out

Dating apps have really changed the way many young Jews approach dating.

The families of those slain even publicly forgave the murderer. Charleston was serene and at peace.

Changing plans needn’t be a frustrating experience. Sometimes the new path proves far more rewarding

More Articles from Rabbi Yossel Kanofsky

He was a beautiful Jew.

Anyone – Jew or non-Jew, religious or secular, chassidic or yeshivish, man or woman – who encountered or exchanged words with Rabbi Chaskel Besser came away with a smile, feeling a little more pleasantly disposed about the topic at hand or the world at large.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/memories-of-a-beautiful-jew/2010/03/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: