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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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And Therein Lies A Story

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With blessing and thanks from the depth of my heart.

It was signed by the young man and his new kallah – Rivka’s daughter.

The best wedding gift the couple received when they married shortly afterwards was a brand new pair of tefillin given to the chattan by an aunt.

Though the book on Shabbat that he gave us was not one I would have chosen, I can’t help but think how this young man – from a very different background from me and my family – had drawn closer to religion through a used pair of tefillin that we had lent him. I don’t know if he will start to lead a religious life now, but I am confident that he will continue to keep the mitzvah of tefillin.

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Shimon’s early years were not easy ones. His mother struggled to support both of them. She never acquired the knowledge needed to help her son through school years filled with homework and tests.

Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.

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The rav was not a wealthy man, but earned enough to live comfortably. He earned his money by serving as the rav of a religious community in Yerushalayim. He also received some royalties from sefarim he had written over the years. He was well known, and many people approached him for a berachah, advice and help. They were not turned away.

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