The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 13 May 2006 / 15 Iyyar 5766

Reader of the Letter

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
“Here she is again!”

This was the reaction of a new assistant to the great halachic authority of the last generation, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, to the appearance of a woman in the offices of Yeshiva Tiferet Yerushalayim. She had also visited the Rosh Hayeshiva a short while before and spent a considerable time in his office. This was unusual because if she was consulting him for a halachic ruling, as did countless others every day, Rabbi Feinstein was known to give quick answers to every question.

When he finally got up the nerve to ask the rabbi what the purpose of the lady’s visit was, this is the explanation he received:

“This woman has no one in the world except some relative in who writes her letters in Yiddish. Since she can’t read Yiddish she comes to me to read the letters for her.”

The Torah giant who was the guiding light for an entire generation, and whose every moment was spent learning, teaching and ruling, made time to bring comfort to a lonely woman.

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