Rav Meir Shapiro’s Mother


The Gaon, Rav Meir Shapiro, z’tl, the Rav of Lublin once told a childhood story about his mother.  “When I was a boy, my family was forced to move several times from house to house.  We also moved from city to city.  The constant moving did not disturb my mother’s equilibrium; only one thing would bother her – my bittul Torah!”

“On one occasion, as we were again preparing to move, my mother had an idea.  She contacted the melamed of the town to which we were moving, and arranged that he would meet me by the gate of the city.  He would then be able to learn with me immediately when we arrived at the town.”

“When we finally reached our destination, we searched and searched, but the melamed was not there.  My mother sat down next to the wagon and cried for a long time.  I tried to calm her down by saying, ‘Mommy, Mommy, why are you crying, I’ll learn tomorrow!’”

“My mother answered, ‘Meir’el, Meir’el, You don’t yet know how to appreciate the meaning of bittul Torah of one day!”  ~ Chayim Sheyash Bahem as quoted on Revach.net

Rav Meir Shapiro went on to launch the Daf Yomi cycle.

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