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March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
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The Wisdom Of Yerushalayim


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Upon hearing this, the potential client struck him on the head with a sandal and went away without buying anything.

It finally dawned on the Athenian that a trick had been played on him. He said to the Yerushalmi, “Did I treat you so badly when you were in my place?”

He replied: “Henceforth, do not jeer at the men of Yerushalayim.”

Loses A wager

An Athenian once came to Yerushalayim. He found children studying, but their teacher was not with them. The children said to him, “Let us make a wager, and whoever cannot answer a question has to forfeit his coat to the other.”

“Agreed,” answered the stranger.

“You may be the first to ask a question as you are older than us.” “On the contrary,” said the stranger. “You are first because this is your hometown.”

“Very well,” said the children.

Stumped By A Riddle

The children then asked the following riddle: “What is it? Nine go out, eight come in, two pour, one drinks and 24 serve?”

The man was stumped and he couldn’t answer the question. The children took his coat away from him.

Chagrined, the man visited the great Rabi Yochanan, the children’s teacher.

“Rabi, “he cried, “Is this the hospitality you show? When a stranger visits your school, you take away his coat?”

“Is it possible that you couldn’t answer one of the children’s riddles?” asked Rabi Yochanan.

“Yes,” answered the man very sheepishly.

What riddle did they ask you?” queried Rabi Yochanan.

The man told him.

“This is the meaning of it, my son,” said Rabi Yochanan. “The nine who go out represent the months of pregnancy, eight coming in represent the eight days of circumcision, two pouring are the two breasts that provide milk, one drink is the child that has been born; and the 24 that serve are the 24 months of nursing.”

The man thanked Rabi Yochanan and rushed off to the school where he gave the children the correct answer. The children returned his coat and the man departed a much wiser person.

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The story of the Bnei Yisrael in the land of Mitzrayim is a tale that has become tragically repetitive in the history of our people. It is the story of a land which allows Jews to enter, devote their talents and energies to building that land and making it strong, only to have the inhabitants […]

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The man has been found guilty and his soul is bitter because of it.

But the words would penetrate their hearts and each would say to himself: “But I, too, am doing this terrible thing.” In this way Reb Elimelech would inspire the people to teshuvah.

“I will tell you,” replied the rav. “I am very puzzled at why you suddenly desire to honor me and have me as your guest. What quality do you find in me that is new and worthy of merit?

“I wanted you to have a taste of the cold,” answered Rav Chaim. “This way, you too can feel the intense cold and realize the suffering of this man and his wife, who are now residing in a bitterly cold house.”

“Don’t worry,” said the king, “what could it be worth, two or three talents of gold? I’ll give you ten talents of gold, so you can forget about it.”

Shmuel HaKatan shook his head and said: “No, what happened here today is a sign not of great love. On the contrary, it is a bad omen.”

The arguments, however, could never appease his wife and one Thursday she came to him for money to purchase food for Shabbos.

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