Saturday, March 17, 2012

If Not Higher By: I.L. Perethz Poland If Not Higher By: I.L. Perethz Poland

Literal Comprehension:
"If Not Higher" is written by I.L Perethz. He was the short story writer of Poland. He through this story tries to us that doing good deeds on earth may be a more exalted activity than doing God's will in heaven
Early every Friday morning at time of Penitential Prayer where religious services were performed. A Litvak a Lithuanian Jew wanted to know where this rabbi would go at that time. To solve the mystery of the rabbi's absence, the same night the Livak secretly went to his room and hid under his bed. Early morning, when others were praying for the people of Israel the rubbi disguised himself as a peasant, and left the house. The Litavak followed him. The Rabbi reached the forest near the town and cut a bundle of sticks. He went into a hut where a sick Jewish women lived. He foeced her to buy the wood on credit and started kindling the fire. After he put the wood into oven he recited the 1st portion of the Penitential prayers. As the wood started burning he recited the 2nd portion and when the fire was set, he recited the third portion the Litvak saw all his activities and become his disciple.
In this story, the writer is trying to tell us that one should help the needy people to get the heavenly pleasure. The greatest religion of the world is humanism. Visiting temple and praying god do not make people religious and spiritual. One can get heavenly pleasure even in the world by doing good deeds. The Rabbi of Nemirov showed the value of religion by setting himself as an example. The story also tries to show that heaven is at the service of humanity.
Critical Thinking. 
Although this story to teach us a high moral lesson, some of the ideas are less convincing. Is it possible for a mortal to go to heaven when he is alive? Is it possible to find such a idealist person like the Rabbi of Nemirov is real life? Do the modern people believe on existence of gods and heaven? How can he fellow the rabbi everywhere without unnoticed by him? So, I don't support the writer's ideas fully.
After reading this story I learnt the meaning of the importance of selfless human service and the value of the service of humanity as well as work. I have realized that selfless sevice and the work are the paths towards the heaven. It means the blessing of the god can be easily achived by serving the poor and needy people.


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