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Everyone is familiar with the famous Dubno Maggid who illustrated his teachings with parables. But what is far less known is that he had a contemporary who was known as the Dumbo Maggid, who illustrated his teachings with jokes. Unfortunately he has faded into near obscurity, and even more unfortunately he left behind no written record of his wonderful lessons. All we have are a few of his teachings which have been transmitted orally.

Does anyone know any of his teachings?


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2 Answers 2

Another of his teachings concerns the tremendous importance of reviewing many times the Torah that one learns. He illustrated this important lesson with the following joke:

Once there was a Yeshiva Bochur who was a very serious learner. And when I say serious, I mean it literally - he never laughed. In fact, he had never been known to even crack a smile! Consequently, he almost never received an invitation to simchas since he seemed to make the joyous occasions less joyous. Finally. he went to his Rosh Yesive to ask for advice.

The Rosh Yeshiva replied that the matter could be easily rectified by learning and reviewing Mesechta Yuma 101 times. The bochur was amazed at the suggestion - how could learning that particular Gemara so many times help him? The Rosh Yeshiva answered that after reviewing that Masechta so many times it was certain that he would gain a good sense of Yuma!

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Yoma.............. –  sam Mar 9 at 17:09

One of his teachings concerns the time when he was asked how he always managed to think of a joke to illustrate his point. He answered with a joke:

Once a king was travelling with his entourage through a forest, when he saw a most remarkable thing. Again and again he saw trees with a target painted on it, and an arrow in the bullseye of each target! He was amazed and wished to know the identity of the expert archer. So he sent his people to search for him, and soon they brought the king the man that he was seeking, and he asked him how had attained such accuracy in his shooting. The man answered that what he did was actually a trick - he first shot an arrow at the tree, and then painted a circle around it!

“That is what I do”, said the Dumbo Maggid. “I first think of a joke and then I paint a circle around it.”

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This is exactly the same as the Dubno Maggid's mashal. –  Ypnypn Mar 9 at 1:23

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