Mind Over Body

I am always eager to read articles by Joel Rebibo, which are always thought-provoking and meaningful. As someone who has davened for a refuah sheleimah for Rav Yaakov for many years, I was especially interested in his words until I came to the phrase “written with the help of … a special computer” (Prime, Dec. 30).

What is a computer, a piece of metal and plastic which must be set up and operated by humans in some form or other? I had expected to see “with the help of his ezer k’negdo, whose patient, caring and proud devotion to her husband and his mission is unparalleled.”

I have seen with my own eyes, before there was a computer, how she stood before him with a hand-lettered board in hand, pointing with her pen from letter to letter until he gave her his signal, which I could not discern. Then, pointing to the letter, she waited patiently until he let her know if it was the right one, or the one to the right or left. After writing down the letter, she would go to the next set of letters.

Rebbetzin Sarale did this with composure, with a smile, and with the utmost respect for her life partner. She is deserving of an article on her own, but at least, she is worthy of a mention. Yehalleluha bashe’arim ma’aseha.

Mrs. Dina Spira

Joel Rebibo responds:

Dear Mrs. Spira,

Thank you so much for filling in the picture with details that I was unaware of. Your moving, eyewitness account of how the sefer was written, including the extraordinary efforts of the Rebbetzin, adds immeasurably to my appreciation of the mesirus nefesh that went into completing the commentary. I hope it will inspire others to learn from it, for their benefit and for the merit of Rav Yaakov ben Rachel Miriam.