web analytics
February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post


A Torah-Sharpened Mind

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Rav Eliyahu Chaim Maisel of Lodz was a great scholar and also had a very sharp mind. Because of his own cleverness, he once saved an innocent Jew from an unjust punishment.

One day, a Yid from Lodz appeared at the home of Rav Eliyahu Chaim, pale and greatly upset.

“Rebbe,” he said, “I am in great trouble. I do not know how I can get out of it and I come to you to give me some kind of advice if you can.”

“What is the matter?” asked Rav Eliyahu Chaim. “Tell me what your troubles are and I will try to help you.”

“I was walking along a street last week and suddenly noticed a wallet lying at my feet. I bent down and picked it up. Opening it, I was astounded to find 1,000 gold pieces inside. There was no identification, and I took it home with me.

“The next day, I read in the paper that one of the Polish noblemen had lost a wallet and was offering a reward of 100 rubles to the man who found it and returned it.

“Naturally, I was overjoyed and I rushed over to the nobleman’s home.

“‘I have found the wallet you lost and here it is,’ I announced.

“The nobleman beamed with happiness and opened the wallet I gave him. I stood, waiting impatiently for him to give me the reward.

“I suddenly noticed, however, that his facial expression had changed and a cloud seemed to pass over him. My heart sank for I assumed he had begun to regret his decision to offer a reward. It was even worse than that, however.”

“The nobleman suddenly looked up and, with a face filled with fury, snarled: ‘Thief! All you Jews are thieves! There were 2,000 gold pieces in this wallet and you have only returned half of that. I demand that you give me the rest of the money!’

“My heart sank as I heard these words and I tried to calm him:

“‘No, it is not so, I am an honest and God-fearing Jew. Because of this I returned your lost wallet to you. If you do not wish to give me the reward I gladly waive all right to it. I only ask that you do not accuse me falsely.’

“But the nobleman was like a mad dog. He began to bark wildly at me, calling me all sorts of names and accusing me of stealing his money.

“‘Thief, son of a thief! You took a wallet with 2,000 gold pieces and have returned only 1,000. I will not rest till I take you to court and you get the punishment you so richly deserve.’

“In short,” the Jew wailed, “I have already received a summons from the court to appear and face trial. How can I ever hope to receive justice from this court against a Polish nobleman? Why was I punished in this manner when all I wanted was to perform a mitzvah?”

 

Not Selfless

Rav Eliyahu Chaim listened quietly to the entire story and saw that the man had told the truth.

“To begin with, the reason for your trouble is that you did not perform the mitzvah properly. You did not do it for its own sake but for the sake of a reward. This is wrong. However, I will try to help you. Do you have an attorney?”

“Yes.”

“Send him here tomorrow,” said the Gaon.

The next day, the attorney appeared at the home of Rav Eliyahu Chaim to discuss a strategy.

 

The Trial Begins

Within a few days, the day of the trial arrived.

The frightened Jew listened while the Polish nobleman stood before the court and said:

“I lost a wallet that contained 2,000 gold pieces. This Jew who sits there returned the wallet but with only 1,000 of the coins. I demand that the miserable, thieving Jew be punished for his crime.”

The Jew, naturally, protested his innocence, declaring, “I give you my solemn word that I have taken nothing from that wallet. There were only 1,000 gold pieces and I returned them all.”

 

The Climax

The prosecutor now took over and began to attack Jews as thieves while asking how the court could hope to take the word of a Jew against that of a Polish nobleman.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Torah-Sharpened Mind”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Kidz Stories
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.”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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.”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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.

While he slept, he dreamed of Eliyahu HaNavi, who was trying to awaken him from his sleep.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
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.”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/a-torah-sharpened-mind/2013/11/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: