The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 16 March 2013 / 4 Nisan 5773

A Chance Meeting

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

It isn’t every day that a Jew who asks a question from a rabbi thousands of miles away online gets a chance to meet that rabbi face to face. But that is exactly what happened some years ago to Rabbi Mordechai Becher who had spent considerable time answering questions presented to Ohr Somayach’s “Ask the Rabbi” e-mail service. On a lecture tour in South Africa, Becher took some time to enjoy a barbecue picnic together with the late Rabbi Gavriel Klatzko of Ohr Somayach’s Johannesburg branch. Passing by their picnic site was a group of college-age trekkers who were invited to join the feast.

“My only connection to my Jewish faith,” confided one of the young men, “was the question I occasionally asked a rabbi by email.” When they both realized that the rabbi he had turned to was standing right in front of him, a bond was formed. The young backpacker eventually became observant, and Rabbi Becher, today a world famous lecturer for “Gateways”, attended his wedding.

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