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Rav Yitzchak Elchanan: Words That Come From The Heart

One time the wicked czarist regime issued an edict that threatened dire consequences for the entire Jewish community. In an effort to have this decree rescinded, Rav Yitzchak Elchanan organized a delegation of the most distinguished Jews of Kovna to plead for mercy from the Czar’s minister.

Rav Yitzchak Elchanan’s command of Russian was not adequate to make the plea himself, so it was agreed that Rav Yitzchak Elchanan would speak in Yiddish and his son would translate into Russian.

After the minister heard the Russian translation, he said to Rav Yitzchak Elchanan’s son, I want you to know that your father’s speech in Yiddish, a language of which I am totally ignorant, convinced me much more than your rendition of it into Russian. Even though I could not understand a single word your father said, I sensed that each and every word emerged from a powerful inner truth that burns inside him. Words that come from the heart penetrate into the heart, without any need for a common language.

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