Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

Chaim Grade, “My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner”

Parshah Tzav,   Story by Chaim Grade

In 1937 I returned to Biaslystok, seven years after I had been a student in the Novaredok Yeshiva of the Mussarists, a movement that gives special importance to ethical and ascetic elements in Judaism. When I came back I found many of my old schoolmates still there. A few even came to my lecture one evening. Others visited me secretly; they did not want the head of the yeshiva to find out. I could see that their poverty had brought them suffering and that the fire of their youthful zeal had slowly burned itself out. They continued to observe all the laws and usages meticulously, but the weariness of spiritual wrestlings lay upon them. For years they had tried to tear the desire for pleasure out of their hearts, and now they realized they had lost the war with themselves. They had not overcome the evil urge.

For the rest of the story, come to Chevra!


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