The New York Jewish Week on a YU Professor of Talmud’s Encounter with Death
In Ernest Hemingway’s Havana days, several young men from New York approached the gatehouse of the great writer’s home, telling the guard: “Will you please tell Mr. Hemingway that three rabbis are here to see him?”
Hemingway was at home with Mary, his wife, and the American ambassador to Cuba, and he was not expecting rabbis, and they were barely rabbis at that, still dewy from their recent ordination at Yeshiva University. Hemingway let them in, for the sport, if nothing else.
One of the rabbis was Benjamin Blech, an English major. Blech remembers, “He started to talk to us, to see if it was worth his while. After about 10 minutes it was as if a cloud lifted and he said, ‘OK, I’ll talk to you guys.’” Read the rest of this entry…