The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 1 December 2007 / 21 Kislev 5768

The Last Sermon

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
After finally arriving in Israel years ago following a perilous journey from her hometown in Syria, the young lady had many stories to tell about narrowly escaping border patrols and bribing some Arab civilians to smuggle her across the border.

One particular story did not deal with her heroic adventures but rather with the profound impression made upon her by the last sermon she heard from the rabbi of her community.

The rabbi called attention to the fact that women and girls in the neighborhood of the synagogue made it a practice to be present on the balconies and porches of their homes when the men were leaving the synagogue on Shabbat. He explained that this was not the modest way for women to behave and called for an improvement in the community's standards of tzniut.

Little wonder then that the girl who heard this sermon was moved to join a seminary on her arrival in order to live up to what the rabbi preached.

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