Welcome Home!

L’ILuy Nishmas Yaakov Eisenberg

A year or so ago, I drove into Manhattan to pick up my mother’s second cousin from Israel, Motty, and drive him to the airport. I had felt guilty after barely seeing him during his short trip. Even though he is only my mother’s second cousin, he treated me like his own son when I visited with him in Israel some 15 years ago (going out of his way to get kosher food, etc.). So, the least I could do was drive him to the airport.

Earlier that morning I had gone to a gemorah shiur I had been attending at the time and I must have left directly from there since my gemorah was on the back seat of the car. When Motty opened the back door, he asked “David, do you learn Tal-mud Bav-Li?” I responded “I try.” “Oh”, he said “I have something for you”. He explained that an uncle of his, the only living religious member of his family, had recently passed away. Amongst his belongings were many sifrei kodesh. The attorney administering the estate gave them to Motty and told him he should probably throw them away. Motty then said to me “I am not dati (religious) but I know what his kodesh (holy). Also, I come from a family of publishers so all books are important to me. I will send these books to you.” I thanked him as graciously as possible.

Approximately one month later, three large boxes were delivered to my home. They included an entire set of Shas (the Talmud), a set of Mishnah Yachin and Boaz (the six orders of the the Mishnah with commentary) and two sets of Mishneh Brurah (the Chofetz Chaim’s authoritative work on Jewish Law). I carefully placed the Shas and Mishnayos on my bookshelf and sent my brother one of the sets of Mishneh Brurah and donated the other to a Jewish outreach library.

This year, my son has begun learning Mishnayos in school. When we learn together, I try to use this particular set of mishnayos in the hopes that it will be of merit to this distant, distant relative that I never met.

Our sages teach that “Torah mechazeres al achsanya shelah”–The Torah returns to its lodgings–which has been explained to mean that even if the Torah leaves a family, it will return within three generations.

Welcome home, I hope you find us to be gracious hosts.

4 comments on “Welcome Home!

  1. Amishav:

    Funny you mention that. I do have a speech coming up at a public function. Perhaps I should have kept this under wraps. Oh, well. I suppose that there is plenty more to speak about. I think the visitors here will get more out of the story anyhow.

    It’s a great feeling to have that connection with the past.

    Thanks for pointing out the connection to the small favor, I had almost lost that point in my excitement at the family connection.

  2. Incredible story. A few years ago my father gave me a set of his father’s Machzorim (printed in 1855). At least one davening per Yom Tov I use them. Neither my father, nor grandfather were frum, but I feel a connection to something when I daven from them.

  3. That is a great story to share- I can think it will come in handy at some formal affair when you have to give a speech-

    And the end of your story gave me chills for another reason- I had never heard that quote- and I have personal reasons for relating to it. Thanks for putting this up.

  4. Thanks, David, for the reminder that Hashem sends us these gifts but we have to submit to his will in order to earn them.
    We all have plans and busy schedules. If something unexpected or “extra” comes up, it’s tempting to refuse and keep our plans intact. But so often it is Hashem knocking, asking you to alter your plan and admit that you are not in control.

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