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Study and Theory/
Rosh Hashana

Like the prayer of a baby

Once, he was staying in a hotel on the road, without anyone knowing him as the rabbi of Berdichev, and many merchants were staying there as well, on their way a fair. When the morning came, they all wanted to pray, and there was only one set of tefillin in the hotel. Each of them, being in a hurry to get to the fair, wore the tefillin and prayed with haste, snatching it from each other’s hands. After they had finished, the rabbi of Berdichev called two young people and said to the: “please, come hither. I want to ask you something”, and when they came to him and wanted to hear what he has to say, he said to them:” ma, ma, ma war, war, war” etc. and they yelled at him to say what does he mean. And he continued talking that way, until they shouted at him thinking he is a mad man.

Then he told them: “don’t you understand this language? But this is the language and the tongue you used to say the entire prayer before the creator of all worlds, bless him, without any pronunciation what’s so ever!” and the young men replied: have you seen a child laid in his crib, and he has does not yet have pronunciation with the letters, just sounding syllables with his mouth: ‘ma, ba” etc. and if all the wise and smart men will come to him they will not know what he asks for, only when his father or his mother approach him, they will know and understand what his gestures imply, that he is asking for water or milk and so forth. And here we are the sons of the Holy One, Blessed is He, and He understands all our insinuations, even in the voice of our syllable as above! ".

The Rabbi of Berdichev began to dance and rejoice in this good recommendation, and he spoke about these things in the High Holy Days that followed, during his arguments for the whole of Israel.

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