Monday, June 13, 2011

Anecdotal Interlude

A disciple approached his master disconcertedly, complaining that it is said that one who refrains from engaging in idle talk for a period of forty days merits witnessing Eliyahu Hanavi’s revelation, and that he had met this condition and, yet, not been revealed to by him. To which his master incisively responded: “Have you not prayed during this forty day period?” The disciple assured him that he had. “Well, then, retorted the master, have you recited all your prayers with the proper concentration?” The disciple thereupon drew a blank, suggesting that he may not have. Whence the master rejoined: “In that case, you would have engaged in idle talk after all. For is not praying without concentration tantamount to indulging in idle talk?!” (Adapted from a story attributed to Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky z”l, in Bemechitzas Rabeinu.)

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