Tonight we count the following day of the Omer:
See: The blessings and procedure for counting the Omer.
Pirkei Avot 6:6 tells us: Greater is learning Torah than the priesthood and than royalty, for royalty is acquired by thirty stages, and the priesthood by twenty-four, but the Torah by forty-eight things.
The 37th way is: Who shares in the bearing of a burden with his colleague
From our community:
You can view some sample letters here:
Here’s a sample from Metzker’s book which discusses our topic of learning and includes a letter published in 1907:
Allow me a little space in your newspaper and, I beg you, give me some advice as to what to do
There are seven people in our family—parents and five children. I am the oldest child, a fourteen-yearold girl. We have been in the country two years and my father, who is a frail man, is the only one working to support the whole family.
I go to school, where I do very well. But since times are hard now and my father eamed only five dollars this week, I began to talk about giving up my studies and going to work in order to help my father as much as possible. But my mother didn’t even want to hear of it. She wants me to continue my education, She even went out and spent ten dollars on winter clothes for me, But I didn’t enjoy the clothes, because I think I am doing the wrong thing. Instead of bringing something into the house, my parents have to spend money on me,.
I have a lot of compassion for my parents. My mother is now pregnant, but she still has to take care of the three boarders we have in the house. Mother and Father work very hard and they want to keep me in school.
I am writing to you without their knowledge, and I beg you to tell me how to act. Hoping you can advise me, I remain,
Your reader, S.
The advice to the girl is that she should obey her parents and further her education, because in that way she will be able to give them greater satisfaction than if she went out to work.
The hunger for education was very great among the East Side Jews from Eastern Europe. Immigrant mothers who couldn’t speak English went to the library and held up the fingers of their hand to indicate the number of children they had. They then would get a card, give it to each of their children, and say, “Go, learn, read.”
I graduated from PS, 20 with George Gershwin, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni and Senator Jacob Javits, all sons of immigrants.
From: A Bintel Brief – “Letters From The World Of Our Fathers” by Isaac Metzker
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