web analytics
May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post


Consideration For Your Fellow Jew


Tales of the Gaonim-logo

The Gaon, Reb Yechiel Michel Epstein, the author of the Aruch HaShulchan, and the chief rabbi of Novordak for 34 years, was known to be a very liberal person.

A disciple of his related that when he received his smicha, he asked Reb Yechiel Michel for advice on being a rabbi.

“My son,” said the Gaon, “when a question of law comes before you, always give it the benefit of a heter, that it should be permissible. Then you should seek references sustaining you. Only after a diligent search, should you reluctantly prohibit it.

“Unfortunately, there are many great rabbonim, Gedolai HaTorah, whose piety is greater than their wisdom or feeling for their fellow Jew, who first prohibit and never seek an excuse to permit. Through this method they many a time, caused the loss of hard earned Jewish money, never realizing that it is a greater sin, than the sin between man and G-d.

Once on Erev Pesach Rav Epstein came home early from shul and a poor woman came to the door with a grave problem. Some of her food had mistakenly become mixed with chometz and now she had to discard all of her pots and dishes.

Rav Epstein knew that l’halacha she had to discard the pots in which the chometz was cooked. But he saw that she was a very poor person, wearing torn and tattered clothes and he couldn’t take it upon himself to prohibit it.

“Please be seated,” he told her, “while I look up the law in my study.”

He began to pore over many seforim, looking for a heter but it was a difficult task. An hour passed and then two hours, and still no result.

In the meantime, the members of his family were growing impatient to start the Seder. They sent in his fourteen-year-old grandson, Meir Berlin, to urge him to come.

“Grandfather,” said the boy, “You are disturbing our holiday. If you cannot find a heter, then prohibit her dishes and let us begin the Seder.”

“My dear grandson,” Reb Yechiel Michel replied, “you want to enjoy the holiday at the expense of this poor woman. If she is to throw out her dishes her holiday will be spoiled for the entire week and possibly for the next few months.”

He remained in his study for another hour until he found a source that would enable him to permit the use of the dishes. Joyfully rushing out, he declared, “It’s all kosher, permissible.”

Then he sat down at the Seder and they all enjoyed the holiday knowing that another poor woman was also enjoying her Seder.

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 “Consideration For Your Fellow Jew”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
Hamas Declares Jerusalem as ‘Eternal Capital’ of Islamic World
Latest Kidz Stories
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The great giant of his time, the Vilna Gaon, once said that the Shaagas Aryeh had the entire Talmud and its commentators at his fingertips and that he could relate the gist of all of them and their sources in one hour.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

As for myself, I can only answer that the yetzer hara has persuaded me to take the position because of the honor.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“It must be that beggar,” he exclaimed. “He probably stole my cane.”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“If, however, he rules the other way – that something is not kosher when in reality it is kosher – and thus robs a poor man of his money, this is a far more serious thing.

“Come now, I insist. Tell me what errand of mercy you are on so that I too may have a share in the mitzvah.”

One of the most remarkable men in chassidic lore was Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, known as the Chozeh of Lublin. Rav Yaakov Yitzchak was responsible for chassidus capturing the hearts of the vast majority of Polish Jewry. He was not only a great scholar but also possessed humility and modesty, traits that drew many other […]

The story of the Bnei Yisrael in the land of Mitzrayim is a tale that has become tragically repetitive in the history of our people. It is the story of a land which allows Jews to enter, devote their talents and energies to building that land and making it strong, only to have the inhabitants […]

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

Now I know why Hashem punished us with the confiscation of our shul.

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.”

“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.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The great giant of his time, the Vilna Gaon, once said that the Shaagas Aryeh had the entire Talmud and its commentators at his fingertips and that he could relate the gist of all of them and their sources in one hour.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

As for myself, I can only answer that the yetzer hara has persuaded me to take the position because of the honor.

“It must be that beggar,” he exclaimed. “He probably stole my cane.”

“If, however, he rules the other way – that something is not kosher when in reality it is kosher – and thus robs a poor man of his money, this is a far more serious thing.

“Come now, I insist. Tell me what errand of mercy you are on so that I too may have a share in the mitzvah.”

One of the most remarkable men in chassidic lore was Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, known as the Chozeh of Lublin. Rav Yaakov Yitzchak was responsible for chassidus capturing the hearts of the vast majority of Polish Jewry. He was not only a great scholar but also possessed humility and modesty, traits that drew many other […]

The story of the Bnei Yisrael in the land of Mitzrayim is a tale that has become tragically repetitive in the history of our people. It is the story of a land which allows Jews to enter, devote their talents and energies to building that land and making it strong, only to have the inhabitants […]

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/consideration-for-your-fellow-jew/2013/03/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: