After Rabbi Yitzhak's death many hasidim came to Vorki for the Feast of Weeks. Among them was Rabbi Benjamin of Lublin, who had been a disciple of the Seer but had gone over to the much-maligned Yehudi, the Seer's disciple, while his first teacher was still alive. Since Rabbi Benjamin was very old sickly, he had to lie down soon after his arrival. After prayers Rabbi Yitzchak's two sons went to see him. "Children," he said to them, "I wish you'd tell me how we are to interpret the words in Scriptures [describing the auditory drama of the receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai]: 'And all the people saw the voice.'"

And all the people saw the

Rabbi Yaakov David, the elder son, gave a most perceptive interpretation, but Rabbi Menachem Mendel, the younger, was silent as usual. "And what have you to say?" asked Rabbi Benjamin.

I say," answered Menachem Mendel, "that we must take it to mean, they saw and realized that one must take the voice into oneself and make it one's own."


Barnes and Noble linkFrom: Martin Buber. Tales of the Hasidim. © 1947 and 1975 by Schocken Books (New York), p. 300. By permission of the publisher.

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