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The Speech

Rabbi Avraham Katz, Principal, Beis Chaya Rochel Seminary, Gateshead, England

It was going to be a momentous occasion. The prime minister of Israel was coming to visit the Hebrew classes of an English provincial town. The Hebrew classes had definite Zionistic leanings, and a visit from the Israeli prime minister was the equivalent of a visit from the queen. In honor of the great event, one of the young students was given the daunting task of welcoming the prime minister on behalf of all the students — in Hebrew.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The great day arrived. It was a Sunday afternoon. The auditorium was filled with proud parents, bemused students, and starched officials, hoping mightily to impress the great visitor. When everyone was finally settled in their seats, the young student was called upon to greet the PM in the latter’s native language. Up on the stage he went, his stomach performing somersaults of nervousness. He looked out at the sea of faces — all awaiting his words; the dais — impatiently wishing to proceed with the program; he desperately tried to recall his prepared speech — he knew it by heart — and his mind went blank. Where was the paper? — oh no — it was on the kitchen table!

 

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