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The Jewish ABC

The Jewish ABC


I heard this story from my teacher, the mashpia (chassidic mentor) Rabbi Mendel Futerfas of blessed memory.

When Rabbi Mendel was five years old learning Torah in a cheder in Russia, it happened that one of the boys forgot to bring his ink bottle and asked the boy at his side for some of his. "No," replied the latter. "I haven't enough; you should have brought from home." So the first boy had to ask someone else.

The teacher noticed this and said nothing, but a half hour later he asked the second boy if he could show the class an Aleph, a Bet and a Gimmel (the first three letters of the Hebrew alphabet). "Of course," answered the child as he pointed in one of his books. "This is an Aleph, this a Bet, and this a Gimmel."

"No," said the teacher. "You are wrong."

The boy was confused. "But teacher" he said, "this is what you taught us... this is what we have been reading for the last two years!"

"No," the teacher repeated. "You are wrong."

"Aleph is: When your friend asks you for ink, you give it to him.

"Bet is: When your friend asks for ink, you give it to him.

"Gimmel is: When your friend asks for ink, you give it to him."

A popular teacher, musician and storyteller, Rabbi Tuvia Bolton is co-director of Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim in Kfar Chabad, Israel, and a senior lecturer there.
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Sophie MD May 8, 2014

Thanks Thank you so much. It is good to remember that all our knowledge and even "holiness" is not worth much if we can't give to those around us. Reply

jeani hall May 18, 2012

Finding Diamonds Each time I visit this site, which is everyday now, since I found it- there are new bits of wisdom, sparks of light and new kindnesses that have breathed into my soul. We don't ever stop Learning. We don't ever know it all. Although we may know much, there is still much more we are reminded of , that we need today. The sparkles that I find here are precious, and beautifully valuable as costly as Rare Diamonds ! Yet they are free. If the rest only knew. I want to share with the world , so they too would appreciate the sparkling beauty of Our Creator and The Way He Thinks of Humanity. Thank You!!! Reply

Janice Myers South Bend, WA, USA November 20, 2009

Wonderful Website I learn something every time I come here. Fantastic! And no, I'm not Jewish either. I was always taught we can always learn something if we go to the right places.
Thank You so much for being here. Reply

DL October 30, 2008

Whatta lesson!! What a Lesson. I can almost hear the tune of the teacher as he is imparting this lesson for life. Reply

Judith Bickelhaupt Covina, ca March 8, 2006

I love this website, but I am not Jewish I am not Jewish but I love this website. I am learning so much about HaShem. Blessings, Reply

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