Israel Drazin

Is this funny?

I do not think that my teacher meant this remark to be funny, but I think he was saying a lot with his remark. I am reminded of it often when I see people who do not study the Torah and know little about it, kiss the Torah when it is brought from the ark to the podium to be read on Shabbat.

When I finished high school at Talmudical Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, I attended Yeshiva University for a year and a half and then returned to Baltimore where I went to Ner Israel Rabbinical College during the day and Johns Hopkins University at night.

While I was sitting in a class studying Talmud at Yeshiva University, a student opened the door and arrived late. He reached up his right hand, touched the mezuzah, and then kissed his fingers that touched the mezuzah.

The rebbe turned to him and asked, “Why did you kiss the mezuzah?”

The student replied, “Because it is a mitzvah.”

The rebbe said, “Circumcision is also a mitzvah.”

About the Author
Dr. Israel Drazin served for 31 years in the US military and attained the rank of brigadier general. He is an attorney and a rabbi, with master’s degrees in both psychology and Hebrew literature and a PhD in Judaic studies. As a lawyer, he developed the legal strategy that saved the military chaplaincy when its constitutionality was attacked in court, and he received the Legion of Merit for his service. Dr. Drazin is the author of more than 50 books on the Bible, philosophy, and other subjects.