“How does a Moroccan Muslim come to speak Hebrew?”


“I grew up in the Mellah and as a child large groups of Jews would visit the synagogue. I was curious about them and I would say Shalom to them with a big smile… . One day, I met an old blind Jewish man named David Perez who lived near me. He was a very religious man and needed to pray daily…. Every day I would lead him from his home to the synagogue. I would sit with him in the synagogue, and I would sit with the other old men, and they would teach me Hebrew and about life.”

“What is the most meaningful thing they taught you?

“They taught me much Torah…. It says in Pirki Avot “איזהו עשיר? השמח בחלקו” (“Who is rich? He who happy with his portion.”) The word ‘Ashir’ (rich) is spelled Ayin Shin Yud Resh. The letter ‘Ayin’ stands for ‘Aynayim’ (eyes) and the letter ‘Shin’ stands for ‘Shenayim’ (teeth), and the letter ‘Yud’ stands for ‘Yadayim’ (hands), and the letter ‘Resh’ stands for ‘Reglayim’ (legs). This comes to teach us, if you have a healthy body, and you see the world the right way, then you are truly rich, you should be thankful for what you have, and you should be happy.”

Source: J.R. Rothstein