Someone told the following story today (or something like the following story. I may be remembering it incorrectly to some extent). He said he had gotten it from a book called Em Habanim S'mecha, which reported it second- (or more-than-second-) hand itself.

The Malbim, while a rabbi in Bucharest, wrote in his commentary to Daniyel a strong allusion to when mashiach would come. Other rabbis were upset with him, as it's improper to reveal that date: Yaakov didn't. [See Rashi at the start of Vay'chi.] He published a kol kore (public notice) in his own defense, which ran roughly as follows:

There was a boy in Bucharest who prepared well and delivered well a speech in honor of his becoming a bar mitzva, and to reward him his father decided to take him on his (the father's) next trip to Leipzig. One day into the journey, the child asked when they would arrive; the father silenced him with a stern look. Some three weeks later, the father asked the wagoner when they'd arrive, and was told "tomorrow". The child asked his father why he had been silenced, yet his father later asked the same question. The father replied that after all the farewells and tears, he should have known it's a long trip, so shouldn't have asked after one day; but after all the journey, it's a reasonable question. Likewise here: Yaakov was at the start of the galus, an inappropriate time to reveal the time of mashiach. But after all the journey, it's appropriate.

Is a copy of the kol kore, or of its text, available anywhere? (The person who told me the story told me also that Em Habanim S'mecha does not include the text.)

  • I wonder if it's in Iaacov Geller's "haMalbim uma'avako im hareformim bebucharest" – Shalom Aug 10 '11 at 6:37

It is indeed quoted in full in Eim Habanim Smeichah, pp. 135-136. He says that the original is "in the museum of the community of Prague," but I highly doubt that's still the case.

  • Thank you! And I see I got some particulars in the mashal wrong and omitted some details of the nimshal, so people should check out the original. – msh210 Aug 10 '11 at 16:09
  • 3
    @msh210: perhaps update it so that people who come across this post will have the right information. – Menachem Aug 10 '11 at 17:17

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