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Life is a Marathon

“…and let them take for Me a portion… ” (13:17) About two years after I arrived in Ohr Somayach I’d had enough. I assumed that after many “mouth-breaking” months of hard work I would have mastered Hebrew and Aramaic, be fluent in both, and be well on my way to becoming a world-class Talmid Chacham. It didn’t quite work out that way.I was standing outside the Beit Midrash when Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Mendel Weinbach (zatzal) came over to me and asked how I was.My sister (a”h) used to say that the definition of a bore is someone who, when you ask them how they are – they tell you.Ignoring my sister’s dictum, I proceeded to unload my deep dissatisfaction on Reb Mendel.He heard me out, then just said to me, “Yankev Osher. Sprinters are for the record books. Life is a marathon.”Torah learning is like a business venture: A storekeeper can never close up the shutters once and for all, because however bad business is, the one sure way to fail is to give up. Torah can be exasperating, exhausting, and unfathomable. But however difficult and frustrating it may be, someone who perseveres is guaranteed to win his own personal marathon.
  • Source: based on Rabbi Dovid of Kotzk