בס"ד
Apr 20 2018, Iyyar 5, 5778
Torah reading: Tazria-Metzora

Stories

No Rumors

Once, a certain rav came to a miserly individual requesting a donation for some important communal matter. The man refused, excusing himself that he only likes to give money inconspicuously and secretly. The rav replies: “Although when you sin, you do so with the utmost secretly, there are nevertheless rumors about it throughout the city. … Read more

How to Become Rich

Once, someone came to R. Mordechai of Nadvorna bemoaning the state of his livelihood. The Rebbe exclaimed that he has a good idea for people in such situations; they should to teshuvah with a full heart. The reason is as follows: Regarding the terumah of the half-shekel, the verse (Shemot 30:13) states “this they shall … Read more

Ultimate Intent

When R. Levi Yitzchak became the rav of Berditchev he sought a ba’al tokea who could blow the shofar for Rosh HaShana. All the various individuals who had the requisite skills gathered with the hope of meriting the honor of blowing the shofar in R. Levi Yitzchak’s synagogue. Although each of the potential candidates attempted … Read more

Executive Order

In Ashkenazic communities there was a custom that when a new rav was appointed, he was given the opportunity to enact a new ordinance for the community. When R. Aryeh Leib Gunzberg, the Shagat Aryeh was appointed as the rabbi of Metz, the city ledger was brought before him, so that he too can enact … Read more

Don’t Have Me in Mind

R. Mendel of Rimanov remarked: The nations scheme to destroy us, but G-d nullifies their plans. After some moment of thought, he continued with an allegory: There was once a bear that resided in a forest that neighbored a village. When a hunter heard about the bear, he decided it to kill it and sell … Read more

Not Because of Chassidus

Once, a misnaged came to the Alter Rebbe to tell him the sins of a particular chassid. His intent was to paint all of chassidim with this brush and cast aspersions on the entire chassidic movement. The Alter Rebbe answered: “Believe me, he didn’t sin due to his chassidus.”

Like a Shabbos in Levov

Once, when R. Mendel of Rimanov spent Shabbat in Levov, he sent his aid, on Friday after midday, to report to him whether or not the townsfolk had begun accepting the shabbat. His aid returned and said: “No, people rushing about, still working and selling. There is no sign of bringing in the shabbat.” An … Read more

The Dogs Don’t Know Yet

Once, R. Shmuel Eliyahu of Biłgoraj traveled with a group of irreligious youngsters that spent their trip in frivolity and laughter. When they tired of their games, they turned to R. Shmuel Eliyahu, hoping to find sport in their scoffing. They asked him: “Rebbe, when is moshiach coming?” R. Shmuel Eliyahu answered with the following … Read more

It Won’t Take You Anywhere

Once, R. Yechezkel of Kuzmir entered his beit medrash and found his chassidim sitting together and drinking l’chaim. When he asked them what they were doing the replied that they were “saying l”chaim to inspire them to teshuvah.” Dismayed, R. Yechezkel proceeded to tell them the following allegory: There was once a man traveling in … Read more

Education or Abuse?

What’s the line between abuse and education? A different standard of education that doesn’t sit well with modern sentiments… R. Dovid of Kshanov, the son of the Divrei Chaim, was very strict that his children not indulge in corporeal pleasure. Once, as he passed by the kitchen, he heard one of his children complaining that … Read more