web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



They Will Take My Shas


Lessons-logo

Share Button

Rav Yosef, shlita, born in Krakow in 1919, was 18 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland. He came from an illustrious Belzer family of talmidei chachamim (Torah scholars), dayanim (judges), and people renowned for their charity and kindness. He had the privilege of meeting the Belzer Rebbe, zt”l, a number of times, as well as spending yamim tovim in Belz. All this left a deep and holy impression on him.

Rav Yosef’s Torah learning did not stop with the war. Torah learning was so deep within him, so intrinsic to his soul, that even the horrors of the Nazis could not eradicate it. On many occasions, he commented that it was his learning and faith that helped him survive.

As he was being physically broken and tortured by the Nazis, learning Torah kept him alive. As the kapos were standing over them, my father and other inmates learned among themselves, talking Torah at every available opportunity. Each one would bring another chiddush that they recalled from their yeshiva days.

The starving, tortured prisoners studied among themselves from memory. There were no spacious batei midrash. There were no comfortable tables and chairs. There were no Gemaras or seforim to use as reference. All they had was their deeply embedded love of Torah. This love was so strong that not even the fear of the Nazis and kapos could eradicate it.

“Ki hem chayeinu v’orech yameinu, u’vahem ne’he’ge yomam v’laila – For they are our life and the length of our days, and we will learn them day and night.” The Torah gives life, even in our darkest moments.

Recently, Rav Yosef had a visitor from the neighborhood.

He had received a large bill from the hospital, which greatly upset him. The

visitor tried to reassure him that it was probably an insurance mix-up that could easily be rectified.

But Rav Yosef could not be comforted. He looked at his guest with clear blue eyes and quietly repeated in Yiddish, “But I am very worried! Ich hob agmas nefesh!”

“Farvus?” asked the guest. “Why are you worried?” Rav Yosef lifted his arm and pointed to his bookcase.

“I’m afraid that if I can’t pay the bill, they will come and take away my Shas (Talmud set).”

At that moment, the visitor felt a tremor go through his being.

Rav Yosef had spent 1939-1945 in five concentration camps. He had witnessed the unspeakable – beatings, mass murder, starvation and illness. His family was butchered in his presence. He’d experienced the depths of evil and horror. Yet his face shone with purity and faith. After all he had endured, he was not afraid that the insurance company would come and take away his car, his home, or his bank account.

He was only afraid of losing one thing – his precious Shas.

Rav Yosef’s simple sentence, “I’m afraid they will come and take away my Shas,” rumbled like the awesome sounds of the shofar, the lightning and thunder from Sinai, emanating throughout the universe.

Hashem will surely soon bring Moshiach – in His love for Rav Yosef.

Share Button

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “They Will Take My Shas”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Chaya Chava Shulman
Lessons-logo

Rav Yosef, shlita, born in Krakow in 1919, was 18 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland. He came from an illustrious Belzer family of talmidei chachamim (Torah scholars), dayanim (judges), and people renowned for their charity and kindness. He had the privilege of meeting the Belzer Rebbe, zt”l, a number of times, as well as spending yamim tovim in Belz. All this left a deep and holy impression on him.

Lessons-logo

This true story took place in Brooklyn, New York.

It was a wintry, dark afternoon when my father collapsed before my eyes. He slumped over in the front passenger seat in the car and lost consciousness. When he slowly and dazedly opened his eyes, he was weak and pale.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/they-will-take-my-shas/2011/09/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: