What Important?

“The whole congregation had finished reciting the confession. Now, full of terrible despair, we waited for the bitter end to come.”

It was May 8th, 1948. The British had pulled out of Israel and the Arabs  attacked.

“Abba gestured to Naomi and me to come with him. He took us outside one of the corners of the courtyard. I looked up at him. His face was dark and serious.

“I must talk to you,” he said. “There are things that a father must command his children. You are my eldest daughters. And I must tell you what is in my heart. Soon the gangs of Arabs will arrive. This will not be the first time that Jews have been slaughtered here. Who knows what fate is in store for us. Perhaps a miracle will occur, and they will have mercy on the women and children. The men will certainly be murdered.”

“Abba, Abba,” we cried, unable to restrain our tears, “don’t speak like that.”
Abba paid no attention. He took my hand in one of his and Naomi’s I. The other. I looked straight into his blue-green eyes. They were as clear as the sea and were gazing far away - far beyond the boarders of time and space.

“No one knows what will happen”, my father went on. “No one knows whose life will be saved and whose will not. I want you to know, now, once and for always, that the most important thing in life is the Torah. Nothing in the world has any real value, except for the Torah. When you grow up and are ready to get married, remember my words! If you must choose between a husband who has wealth, secular learning, honor, position and one who has Torah, what will be your choice?”

“Torah, Torah,” we promised, our voices quivering.

Think about this true account today. Forever My Jesrusalem by Puah Shteiner.


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