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March 7, 2015 / 16 Adar , 5775
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Charity Saves From Death


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Yehudah Hensusi was very thankful, and he blessed G-d for rescuing him from this grave peril. He swore that from that day onward he would always give charity and a poor man would never leave his house empty-handed.

The Poor Jewish Tailor In Rome

Once, a poor Jewish tailor who lived in Rome went to the market to buy a fish for Shabbos. When he arrived, there was only one fish left, and as he approached the stand to buy it, a servant of one of the city’s consuls arrived.

The salesman, seeing two customers competing for the fish, saw an opportunity to make a better profit, and increased the price. However, both of his customers were willing to pay it.

He raised the price still higher, but both were still ready to pay it. The tailor and the servant bid for the fish, and at last, the tailor outbid the other by offering a sum of 12 dinarim, an exorbitant sum.

Returns Home Empty-Handed

At noon, when the servant served the consul his meal, the consul asked him why he had not prepared a fish for him as he had ordered. The servant told the master what had happened.

The consul became angry. “What did you say?! A poor Jewish tailor outbid you. Certainly not. He is probably a very rich Jew, and I will see to it that his riches are confiscated by our government. I suppose you remember the man; let a search be made for him and order him to appear before me.”

Appears Before The Consul

After some time, the Jew appeared before the consul. “What is your profession?” asked the consul.

“I am a tailor, and thus I am known in my quarter of the city where I mend clothing,” replied the Jew.

“I am ready to believe that you are a tailor, but tell me, how could a poor tailor afforded to buy a fish for 12 dinarim, and why would you do such a thing?” the consul asked him.

The tailor replied: “My master, the Almighty blessed me this week with a large order. How could I not show my gratitude by preparing a hearty meal for the Sabbath?”

The consul was satisfied with the answer and dismissed the tailor.

G-d rewarded this poor tailor for his piety. When he opened the fish, he found therein a precious pearl. He sold it and from the money he received, lived the rest of his life in ease and comfort.

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Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“I wanted you to have a taste of the cold,” answered Rav Chaim. “This way, you too can feel the intense cold and realize the suffering of this man and his wife, who are now residing in a bitterly cold house.”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“Don’t worry,” said the king, “what could it be worth, two or three talents of gold? I’ll give you ten talents of gold, so you can forget about it.”

Shmuel HaKatan shook his head and said: “No, what happened here today is a sign not of great love. On the contrary, it is a bad omen.”

The arguments, however, could never appease his wife and one Thursday she came to him for money to purchase food for Shabbos.

He walked out of the room, making sure to leave the door ajar so that the two litigants could hear his voice.

Don’t you know Avraham, the famous dry goods merchant, who lives near the lake in a big mansion?

“What could I do? Your wife is hard of hearing,” whispered the poor woman barely able to talk.

“I would appreciate if you could give me some pointers on how to improve my wine,” said the wine merchant eagerly.

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