R. Bentcha also taught my brother Berel in separate class for older boys. One time, when my brother was a young boy, he wanted my parents to buy him a pair of ice-skates. My mother felt that it was inappropriate for a boy who learned Torah, but Berel longed for them.

At that time, for whatever reason, our cheder was unable to hold regular classes and R. Bentcha would study with each student privately at home. My mother finally said to Berel, “You know what? We’ll wait for R. Bentcha. When he comes to teach you, we’ll ask him. If he agrees, then I’ll buy them for you.”

He wanted my parents to buy him a pair of ice-skates

My brother knew that R. Bentcha would oppose the idea and he did not want my mother to ask him, so as to not be embarrassed. But one day, when R. Bentcha came to our house, my mother asked him, “My Berele wants me to buy him a pair of skates. What is your opinion?”

R. Bentcha wrinkled his forehead and with characteristic seriousness he said, “Berele wants skates? Why don’t you buy them? It’s definitely a good idea to buy them.”

My brother looked on in delighted surprise, while my mother was disappointed with his reply. But then, after a short contemplative pause, R. Bentcha went on: “Of course you should buy skates. But on one condition: If R. Boruch the shochet and R. Eliyahu Paritcher, followed by R. Yerachmiel the elder skate in front of him, why shouldn’t Berele skate fourth in line? ”