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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
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The Greatest Treasure Of All


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Thereupon Rabi Yochanan ben Zakai rose and kissed Elazar on the head and said, “Blessed be the Lord, G-d of Israel, Who has given a son to Avraham our Father who knows how to speculate upon and to investigate and to expound the ‘Work of the Chariot’.

Rabi Yehoshua Follows Suit

When Rabi Yehoshua and Rabi Jose, the kohen, were told about these things, they were also going on a journey. They said to each other, “let us also expound on the ‘Work of the Chariot’. Rabi Yehoshua began to expound. It was a hot summer day, in the month of Tammuz, when suddenly the heavens became overcast with clouds and a rainbow appeared in the clouds and the ministering angels assembled and came to listen like people who assemble and come to watch the entertainment of a bridegroom and bride.

Rabi Jose related what happened to Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai, and when he heard it, the latter said, “Happy are you and happy is she who bore you. Happy are my eyes that have seen thus. Great is your reward that you will all be admitted into G-d’s presence.”

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The man has been found guilty and his soul is bitter because of it.

But the words would penetrate their hearts and each would say to himself: “But I, too, am doing this terrible thing.” In this way Reb Elimelech would inspire the people to teshuvah.

“I will tell you,” replied the rav. “I am very puzzled at why you suddenly desire to honor me and have me as your guest. What quality do you find in me that is new and worthy of merit?

“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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