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February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
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Never Mistreat A Person


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The following day, Yehuda visited the Beit Medrash of Rabi Yohanan, who was then the leading sage in Israel.

“Will the Rav be kind enough and expound the Torah to me,” requested the prince.

“It is very difficult to do so with only one hand,” answered Rabi Yohanan. The prince immediately understood that he was referring to his right-hand pupil and brother-in-law, Resh Lakish, who was in hiding.

“Where is he hiding?” asked the prince.

“Tomorrow, you and I will visit him,” said the prince.

The following day when the prince and Rabbi Yohanan visited the town of Hitai, Resh Lakish accompanied by the leaders of the town, went out to pay homage to the leaders of Israel.

“By you visiting me in this town, you have followed the example of our Creator,” said Resh Lakish. When G-d wanted to free the Jews from Egypt he did not send a messenger or an angel to do His work but He Himself came in person to free the Jews.”

“Tell me,” said the prince, “seeing that you respect me so highly, why did you have to say such harsh things against me when you were expounding the law in the Beit Medrash?”

“Would you for the moment think,” replied Resh Lakish, “that for the fear of a mere mortal I would hesitate to proclaim a law of the Torah? The laws of our Torah are above the whims or decrees of any person.”

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“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.”

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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.

“And what was your grandfather’s name?” asked the visitor. “The same as my name,” replied the child.

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