A Yid vs. A Goy

The two oldest sons of the Rebbe Maharash were the Raza and the Rashab. One day, when they were playing outside, they had an argument about the difference between Yidden and Goyim.

The Raza said that Yidden are more special because of all of the Torah that they learn, and the kavana they have when they daven.

But the Rebbe Rashab said that couldn’t be. Because many Yidden COULDN’T learn Torah or have kavana, but they still had to be different than goyim!

When the Rebbe Maharash heard about their argument, he called them over. He told them to bring Ben-Tzion, a simple Yid who helped in their house. The Rebbe Maharash asked Ben-Tzion a few questions:

“Ben-Tzion, did you eat?”

“Yes,” Ben-Tzion answered.

“Did you eat well?”

Ben-Tzion shrugged. “Well? I ate enough, Boruch Hashem.”

The Rebbe Maharash asked further: “Why do you eat?”

“So I can live,” Ben-Tzion said.

“And why do you need to live?”

“To be a Jew and do what Hashem wants,” Ben-Tzion answered with a sigh.

Then the Rebbe Maharash asked that the coachman, Ivan, come. The Maharash asked Ivan the same questions:

“Ivan, did you eat?”

“Yes!” Ivan answered.

“Did you eat well?”

Ivan smiled. “Yes, I did!”

“And why do you eat?”

“I need to eat so I can live,” Ivan said.

“And why do you need to live?”

“To enjoy a good drink of mashke and something good to eat!” Ivan answered.

The Rebbe Maharash thanked Ivan.

Now his sons were able to see for themselves what is special about even a simple Yid.