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September 27, 1974 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-09-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Hillel Recalled

By DAVID SCHWARTZ

(Copyright 1974, JTA, Inc.)

Vacation is over. It's back
to school . e . Jews seem to
like school. They even call
the synagogue shut which
means school.
Once upon a time, there
was a little fellow. He was la
nice little chap, but he look-

. as Symbol of Jewish Learning

finally did—you wouldn't be-
lieve it! One day, he bagan
sneaking up to the roof of the
school and listening in to the
lessons through a crack in
the ceiling.
Well one day, the teacher
happened to look up and saw
a face through the cracks.
But do you knOw what he "What are you doing up
there?" the teacher hollered.
But when the teacher
learned the reason, little Hil-
lel—that was his name—was
allowed to join the class free.
That little boy grew up and
all Jews know about him—lit-
tle Hillel became the great
Hillel of the Talmud.
Some like school more than
others. There was another
little boy who had no use for
school at all. He wouldn't
even learn to read. He got a
job tending sheep and he was
satisfied to do that all his
life. He admitted he hated
educated people. He said he
would like to take a bite at
them. So he grew up an ig-
norant shepherd. He was 40
years old when he got to
thinking that maybe there

ed a little sad. He used to
see the other chidren going
to school, but he would just
stand from afar looking at
them. You see, in those days,
they had to pay for going to
school and his family was
very poor.

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was more to life 'than sheep.
He decided then to go to
school. Imagine at 40 join-
ing the first grade! That's
what Akiba did. but if he be•
gan late he made up for it
and Akiba like Hillel became
one of the historic Talmudic
figures.
It's never too early or too
late to learn.
Some of the teachers of the
Talmud gave courses you
won't find in the schools to-
day. Suppose, for instance,
you wanted to register in a
course in tongue today. Not
the English tongue or the He-
brew tongue or the French
tongue. But the tongue that
you eat—not speak.
A rabbi of the Talmud gave
such a course. He invited all
of his pupils to have lunch
with him and they were of-
fered a choice of raw, un-
cooked tongue or soft, cooked
tongue.
All the pupils chose the
soft tongue.
"Let that be a lesson to
you," said the teacher. "Al-
ways use the soft tongue and
you will get on better in the
world. Class dismissed."
Or maybe you would like
a course in pomegranate. A
Talmud teacher gave such a
course.
When the class--.assembled,
he took out a pomegranate
and showed it to hiss class.
"Look," said . the teacher.
"Looks pretty rough and hard
on the outside."
Then the teacher removed
the peeling and put the pom-
egranate in his mouth and
his face smiled. "It's soft and
sweet on the inside."
"Pupils," said the teacher,
"people are often that way
too. Some people look very
mean on the outside, but
there's a lot of good on the
inside."
The pupils surely profited
from the pomegranate tcourse.
When Hillel grew up, he
gave hundreds of courses,
but there is one course _and
class that is especially re-
membered.
A heathen came to Hillel
and said he would like a
course in Judaism. But he
was in a hurry. Could Hillel
give him a course while he
stood on one leg? -
"Sure," said Hillel.
So the heathen stood on one
leg and Hillel said, "What is
hateful to you do not do to
others. This is the whole Tor-
ah. All the rest is commen-
tary."
How would you like to stu-
dy geography standing on
one legs?

Education
Foundation.



THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS -

34—Friday, Sept. 27, 1974

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