Originally Published by Rabbi Boruch Rabinowitz on aish.com
I met Rav Noach in August of 1977 at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem. There were about 25 guys learning in the yeshiva back then. He told me, “Stay, stick around and I’ll teach you wisdom. Our Torah is beautiful.”
I said to him, “But Rabbi, I don’t want to be religious and I want to still enjoy my life!”
“Don’t worry,” he said. “If you like it too much here, we’ll kick you out. And about enjoying life — we’ll teach you how to really enjoy life.”
I was definitely intrigued and decided to stick around for a week. At least I could tell my friends that I visited a yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The first class I went to, Rav Noach asked us, “If the Jewish people were in danger, would you give up your life for the Jewish people?”
He then went on to say, “If you are willing to give up your life for the Jewish people then you should live for them, and if you live for the Jewish people you might as well enjoy it.”