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March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
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The Earthquake (Part III)


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“Many days I wandered through the forests and mountains searching until one day I came across them.

A New Life

“Their shouts of joy when they saw me were genuine and I was initiated into a new life. I was so talented and good at my new occupation that my friends made me their leader. In fact, I hit upon a wonderful idea that enabled me to succeed beyond my wildest dreams.

“I grew a beard and allowed my hair to grow and walked about as a Nazir. Naturally, no one suspected a Nazir so I was able to go from town to town inspecting houses and later I would return to my friends and direct them to the money and wealth. This, my dear Zemira, is how I came to meet you.

The Man At The Grave

“You recall the day that you were at your mother’s grave and you met a Nazir who told you that he was fleeing with his comrades from the king? That Nazir was me. Because of your kindness to me I vowed never to harm you or your father’s household.

“Then, one day, we received word of a caravan on its way to our home. We attacked it and upon questioning them we learned that this was the caravan of your future husband and his parents.

“I was bitterly jealous of your fiancé for I had fallen in love with you. So I took him and his family to the Pilistines and sold them as slaves for life. I then went back to my comrades, divided my fortune among them and told them that I was forever giving up the life that I had been leading.

False Marriage

“I came to your home and introduced myself as your fiancé. After we were married I learned much from you and your father about the goodness and kindness the Torah teaches us, and my heart was stricken for my past evil.

“It was then that I decided to change my life. I fasted and wept; I gave charity to the poor. I began to free slaves from their masters. But my sin was still too great to bear.

“The thought of all the evil that I had done, and especially my terrible sin in selling your fiancé and his family as perpetual slaves, weighed heavily on me and I could not sleep nights. I was tormented by visions of doom and unhappiness and I sought to die.

“Finally, there came the day of reckoning when the soldiers found me and captured me. Now I lie here in the dungeon waiting to die. Leave me, unhappy woman, and let me go to the fate that I so richly deserve, for I have wronged you and not even my death can wipe away my awful sins.”

(To be continued)

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

The trial was the next day and he hadn’t as yet told the family what he would do.

It’s a special one. Some sort of family heirloom.

The man was overjoyed to see his benefactor and gave them food and water besides shelter and safety.

Because of this I wandered about and found friends in similar situations who were also unhappy and I began to hang out with them.

Time passed and Zemira gave birth to a son but not even this could awaken Avinadav from his melancholy.

Yonadav was greatly impressed at the vast sums of money the young man had in his possessions.

“I do nothing worthwhile,” he modestly replied and refused to discuss any of his deeds. For the man was a very modest and humble person.

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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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