Famous Mechanech Rav Shloime Levenstein from Eretz Yisrael:
A young Rebbi turned to an older Rebbi, “Shalom aleichem”, The Rebbi replied “Alechem hashalom. With whom do I have the honor of speaking with”? The young Rebbi replied “30 years ago I was a Talmid in your cheider”.The older Rebbi replied “please remind me your name… oh yes I remember the name, and what do you do for a living?” The young Rebbi replied “I teach in a cheider”. “You teach in a cheider? That’s great”! “And this is all thanks to you!” “You teach because of me, how come”? The young Rebbi replied: “I will remind the Rebbi of the story and the Rebbi will understand”.
“When I was a young boy in cheider, one of my classmates, who was not yet bar mitzvah, received an expensive watch. In those days no one had a watch before they turned bar mitzvah. Only if they came from a wealthy family, they would receive a watch as a gift. All my classmates gathered around him to see the new watch. We were all jealous. During the break, the boy put the watch on his desk and when he returned, the watch had disappeared…
Our Rebbi came to the classroom and told us that whoever took the watch must return it. Of course no one did. Then he told us to stand by the wall with our eyes closed and he checked our pockets one by one until he came to me and found the watch in my pocket. I was sure he would get me in big trouble, but to my surprise, he took the watch without anyone noticing, sat back in his chair, and said to the kids “I want you to know that the watch was not stolen; it was taken by one of the boys who just struggling with the yetzer hara. We have to give him the opportunity to fix what he did. This boy is not a thief and he is not a bad boy”.
This Rebbi was you.
I was so relieved that you told everyone to close their eyes so they would not know it was me.I thought that later on you will take me to the side and give me musar. I waited for you to confront me, but as the days went by, you had not mentioned anything to me. Slowly, the incident was forgotten.
And I was so amazed that I thought to myself that if this is what it means to be a Rebbi, then I would also want to be a Rebbi in cheider. That is why I became a Melamed.“Do you remember the incident? Do you remember that it was me who took the watch”? The old Rebbi replied, “No I do not remember”. “How come the Rebbi does not remember”? The Rebbi saw it was me”!“I did not see” said the rebbi “my eyes were also closed…”
That is a melamed! Someone who does not see the bad in his talmid! Someone who gives respect and love to his talmid!
In Gateshead Yeshiva, England, 2 bochurim were fighting and playing around. One ran into the Otzer haseforim and locked the door.
Just then Rosh Hayeshiva R’ Avrohom Gurevitz came along and “R’ Avrohom knocked again and again the bochur asked who it is and R” Avrohom replied that it was Avrohom Gurevitz,tried to get in, but the door was locked. He banged on the door and the bochur inside called out, “who is that” and R’ Avrohom replied, “:Avrohom Gurevitz”
The bochur shouted back, “Sure! Perhaps it’s the Chofetz Chaim?
This time, he recognized the voice and sheepishly opened the door. R’ Avrohom walked in with eyes closed, edged towards the placed where the sefer he needed was, opened his eyes and took the sefer, closed his eyes again and edged his way out.
Teachers, Rebbes & educators have a huge responsibility! An incredible story, the outcome could have been very different if handled incorrectly!
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