The Gabbai

This story was sent to me by Fran Parnes, who has determined the original source to be a book:  Stories for the Jewish Heart - Book 2, by Binyomin Pruzansky.  It's a beautiful story, and I hope you enjoy it...


The gabbai's eyes moved rapidly across the familiar faces of the men packed into shul on this sunny Shabbos morning.
Shloime Kaufman, the gabbai, had been going through this routine for the past twenty years, looking out over the congregation and at his many friends and neighbors, a world of warm-hearted people with whom he shared his life.  Choosing a few each week for aliyos was a job that came with its difficulties, but it also gave him the weekly opportunity to count these blessings.  This secure, contented world in which he found himself was all the more precious because, by any law of logic or probability, it should never have come into existence.
The world Mr. Kaufman had known as a child and young man in Poland had been erased.  It had collapsed all around him, snuffing out the lives of his loved ones.  At the time, he had thought that surely the few survivors who managed to emerge from the rubble alive would be left with nothing, no yeshivos, no shuls, no great sages to guide them.

Read more: The Gabbai

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