Baruch overheard the entire conversation and despaired of the goldmine that Providence had just placed in his lap. He also realized that the money was about to land him into big trouble. He looked for a place where he could quickly ditch the money and run, but there was no hiding place in sight. Just like his blood, Baruch froze where he was, in earshot of the Poritz and the youth.
“Have you seen my case with the ornamental silver trim?” the Poritz repeated. One of the youth pointed to the bonfire. The Poritz’s eyes followed the finger and at that moment there was a horrible resemblance between the fire and his face.
The Poritz saw a silver frame smoldering in the flames and he became apoplectic. He poked a stick in the fire but couldn’t find a thing except for leather crisps; there was no trace of the cash – money that had been extorted from defenseless Jews.
Heartbroken that his fortune was consumed by flame, the Poritz slowly trudged back to his horse and headed back to Radovitz.
Baruch remained where he was, slack-jawed at what had occurred. So this is why Reb Elimelech had taken back the third coin!
Reb Baruch’s perfect faith was rewarded as he was finally able to pay for his sharecropping and marry off his daughters with dignity. His house became a headquarters for chesed and tzedakahin that region, in accord with the blessing of Reb Elimelech.
(To be continued) Chodesh Tov ─ have a pleasant month!
The new documentary, “Reb Elimelech and the Legacy of Brotherhood,” will be featured in premieres across the U.S. in the weeks of Reb Elimelech’s yahrzeit, March 2012.