03 July 2012

The Market

...and, it's Novhardok story time!

Once upon a time, in Novhardok, the head of the yeshiva (the "Alter") observed that merchants' conversations are about business.

Our business in this world, he said, is that of becoming more complete people. We should discuss it.
And so time was set aside in the Novhardok yeshiva for students to pace up and down the study hall in pairs, giving each other mussar.

New students to Novhardok were surprised when they walked into the yeshiva and were immediately taken by the elbow and asked, "Where are you holding?"

This was called birze, a Yiddishized version of the word bourse, market.

They still do something like this in the present-day yeshiva of Novhardok in France... not quite the same, but a related exercise.

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