Torah

“Bridge Of Embers Room”

RASHI’S TRIUMPH

Can you save R’ Pinchas Koritz’s manuscripts from permanent destruction in the flames of the Holocaust? And discover the greatest treasure of the Jewish people?

Solve the most complex escape room puzzles to unlock the door into the medieval world of R’ Pinchas’ ancestor, the Kabbalist known as Megaleh Amukos. Then join the Megaleh Amukos on his self-imposed exile and dramatic rescue.

Culminate your journey by experiencing the touching story behind the birth of Rashi, the greatest Bible commentator of all time.

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Would YOU sacrifice for an ideal under the most dire circumstances? Do YOU have an uncompromising sense of responsibility for your actions, even unintended? Do you take pride in your heritage even when it hurts?

Backstory: The Silver Thief

Rabbi Nathan Schapiro, before he became renowned as the great Kabbalist the Megaleh Amukos, lived a quiet life devoted to Torah study, prayer and contemplation. No one yet knew about his greatness - only his wife, whom he warned never to tell what she saw or heard.

 

But then his wife inadvertently told her sisters that angels themselves come to listen to her husband's intense devotions. Any mortal who witnessed this would be in grave danger.

The sisters then passed this gossip  to their husbands.

Understandably curious, the men hid under Rabbi Nathan's bed, while he returned to his room and unsuspectingly went about his usual lofty pursuits. 

 

The following morning it was discovered that the two brother in-laws were dead. The entire family mourned their deaths but no one was as sad as Rabbi Nathan who considered himself guilty.

 

So he set out on a self-imposed exile to wander from village to village, living in charity guest houses until he arrived in the city of Lublin, northeast of Krakow.

 

It was the night before Sukkot, the holiday when every Jew makes a point to eat in the Sukkah and recite the blessings over the Four Species of plants in the morning.

Eager to fulfill these Mitzvot (commandments), Rabbi Nathan made an exception and accepted the offer of an upstanding citizen of Lublin, who kindly invited him to spend the holiday in his home. After prayers, the guest followed his host to his home and ate the meal in his Sukkah.

 

When the meal ended, Rabbi Nathan asked his host to allow him to remain in the Sukkah. The host agreed, and did not even bother removing the silver serving dishes that were still on the table.

Rabbi Nathan became so engrossed in his study that he did not realize a thief was entering the Sukkah!

 

The thief quickly took all the silver and valuables before making his way out. When the host returned, he was shocked to see his table empty and his guest sitting and learning. Of course, Rabbi Nathan was accused of the robbery and placed in the town jail. He was told he would need to stay until the silver "he stole" was returned to its owner.

Rabbi Nathan was not concerned about his honor or the injustice of being wrongfully imprisoned. Instead, his concern was how he would be able to fulfill the mitzva of the Four Species. He stuck his head out the window of the prison and begged each passerby to bring him the Four Species.

 

Word spread quickly, and even the Rabbi of the town heard about the strange thief who shamelessly stole the silver, yet studied Kabbalah and boldly asked that a Lulav and Etrog be brought to him.

 

The Rabbi decided to visit the peculiar criminal. When he arrived, he immediately recognized the man as the missing brilliant young man described in a letter he received from Rabbi Nathan's family in Krakow. After assuring the community this was no criminal, the Rabbi had Rabbi Nathan released.

Rabbi Nathan saw the embarrassing revelation of his identity as a sign that his repentance was accepted on high, and decided he could return home. He later became the Rabbi of Krakow, Poland and an ancestor of Rabbi Pinchas Koritzer (Schapiro).

Backstory: Rashi and his Father

Rabbi Yitchak was a Torah scholar in Troyes who worked as a winemaker, but he earned a pittance. One day, Rabbi Yitzchak came across a rare diamond and wanted to sell it in order to lift his family out of poverty. He tried selling it to the local jeweler, but the jeweler did not have enough money to buy such a large diamond.

Eventually, a powerful bishop found out about the diamond Rabbi Yitzchak possessed and made a generous offer.

All seemed wonderful.

 

Then Rabbi Yitzchak discovered that the bishop planned to place the diamond on the shrine of an idol. Rabbi Yitzchak wanted to cancel the sale.

 

But it was soon made clear that if the diamond was not sold, it would be taken by force.

Rabbi Yitzchak, not wanting his diamond to be used in a shrine, threw it into the sea.

 

A Heavenly Voice then resounded:

"For this great sacrifice you will be blessed with a son that will outshine all the precious stones in the world, and the light of his Torah will shine for ever."

 

The following year a son was born to him, and he called him Shlomo, saying, “may G‑d grant him wisdom like unto King Solomon.” This baby grew up to become Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhacki), the greatest Biblical commentator of all times.

(This story is brought down in the Shalshelet Hakaballah, published in 1587)

Come! Enjoy a family experience that resonates with people of all backgrounds, while being inspired to hold onto your roots while the world around you changes.