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VCU Menorah Review Winter/Spring 2011
Number 74
For the Enrichment of Jewish Thought

Moreshet: From the Classics

Rabbi Mendel’s hasidim asked him why he did not write a book. For a while he was silent, then he answered: “Well, let’s say I have written a book. Now who is going to buy it? Our own people will buy it. But when do our people get to read a book, since all through the week they are absorbed in earning their livelihood? They will get to read it on a Sabbath. And when will they get to it on a Sabbath? First they have to take the ritual bath, then they must learn and pray, and then comes the Sabbath meal. But after the Sabbath meal is over, they have time to read. Well, suppose one of them stretches out on the sofa, takes the book, and opens it. But he is full, he feels drowsy, so he falls asleep, and the book slips to the floor. Now tell me, why should I write a book?

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