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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
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Respect For Our Fellow Human Beings


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“If that is a Sage,” exclaimed the man, “may there not be many more like him in Israel!”

People Shocked

The people were shocked and angry.

“What do you mean? Why do you say such a terrible thing about a great sage in Israel?”

The man, thereupon, told them the whole story about how he had greeted Rabi Elazar and how the sage had shamed him.

“This is why I said what I did.”

The people, however, said to him:

“We understand why you said what you did but despite that, forgive him for he is a great man of Torah.”

The man thought for a while and finally relented.

“Very well. For your sakes I relent and will forgive him. But I insist on one condition that he never accustom himself to do such a thing again.”

Rabi Elazar immediately entered the Beis Midrash and spoke these words:

“At all times shall a man be as soft as a reed and let him not be as hard as a cedar.”

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“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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