The Rebuttal


When Moses ascended to heaven to receive the Torah, the angels said to G-d: “What is a human doing among us? … Place Your glory upon the heavens!”

Talmud, Shabbat 88b

Shlomo der Geller (“The Yellow,” so called for his beard of that color), was a melamed (schoolteacher) in the Russian town of Nevel. Reb Shlomo had more than his share of personal troubles and hardships, but he was always full of life and cheer, and spent much of his time seeking ways to bring happiness to others.

Reb Shlomo would often journey to spend the festivals with his Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch.[15] One Simchat Torah in Lubavitch, Rabbi Sholom DovBer noticed a particularly joyous commotion in one corner of the synagogue: Reb Shlomo had “lassoed” several children under their arms with his gartel (prayer belt), heaved them onto his back, and accompanied by their shouts of glee, was dancing circles around the Torah scrolls.

“Shlomo der Geller,” said the Rebbe, “is our ultimate response to the angels who opposed giving the Torah to man.”[16]

Adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Yanki Tauber

[15]. 1860-1920; fifth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch.

[16]. Told by Rabbi Moshe Rubin, The Albany Haggadah, p. 21.


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