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Haggadah-Bnei Brak-Apter Rav

The 5th of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apt, the Ohev Yisrael. A man who was not a Chassid desired to witness for himself the behavior of the Apter Rav. He visited the Apter synagogue, and found the Rabbi buried in thoughts and smoking his pipe. He dared not interrupt the Rabbi, a recited the morning prayers to himself, and then began studying the Chok l’Yisrael’s daily portion.


When noon came and the Rabbi made no movement to begin his Morning Prayers, the visitor whispered to him, “Rabbi, the time for the Morning Prayers is past.”

The Apter replied, “A man like you is satisfied to enter the synagogue and to immediately begin his worship. As for me, it is different. I began at the order of prayers earlier than you with the words, ‘I give thanks before You, King, living and eternal, that You have restored in me my soul with pity. Great is Your faithfulness.’ I began to think,  ‘Who am I to give thanks before God?’ I am still thinking of the same matter.” (Midor Dor, page 211)

iPray-iThank-Morning Blessings-Modeh Ani: Add the Apter’s question, “Who am I to give thanks before God?”

Haggadah-It happened that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon…”Rabbis! It is time to say the Shema!” Did the students understand what the Rabbis were discussing? Considering? Do we make the similar mistake when others are saying something about the Haggadah?

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