web analytics
June 29, 2015 / 12 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post


Finding The Good


Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev would use the Yomim Tovim as a forum for his continued dialogue with the Holy One blessed be He and as opportunities to demonstrate to the Almighty that His children, Israel, were deserving of both forgiveness and a better fate.

Thus, one erev Pesach, in the afternoon, when the prohibition on chometz (leavened bread) was already in effect, Reb Levi Yitzhak called to his shammas and said:

“Let us go take a little stroll around the streets and market places of the city.”

The shammas was somewhat surprised that the rav would decide to walk aimlessly about on erev Pesach, but he knew that there was something behind it – and indeed there was.

The Smuggler

As they walked about they spied – on a street corner – a well-known Russian smuggler.

“Come, I want to have a talk with this man,” said Reb Levi Yitzchak.

“But rebbe,” protested the shammas, “he is a well-known smuggler.”

“I know, I know. That is why I want to talk to him.”

The surprised shammas was even more flabbergasted as they came up to the smuggler and he heard Reb Levi Yitzchak say, “Have you any ‘merchandise’ that recently arrived?”

“Indeed, I have,” replied the smuggler. “I have materials of all colors and descriptions that just arrived. Would the Jewish rabbi care to look at some?”

Reb Levi Yitzchak only smiled and shook his head.

“Come,” he said to his shammas, “let us go further.”

Any Chametz

Moving on, they left the market area and continued into the Jewish section. There they saw the Jews hurriedly going to and from the baths in anxious preparations for Pesach. Stopping someone on the street, Reb Levi Yitzchak asked him:

“Reb Yid, have you any chametz in your house or your possession?”

The man looked at Reb Levi Yitzchak with tears in his eyes and exclaimed, “Rebbe, what sin have you ever found in me that causes you to suspect me of having chametz in my possession on erev Pesach?”

Reb Levi Yitzchak left him and approached another man and once more asked the same question: “Have you any chametz with you?”

The man looked with alarm at Reb Levi Yitzchak and cried out, “G-d forbid that I should have chametz in my possession at this hour!”

Looks To Heaven

Turning his eyes upward to Heaven, Reb Levi Yitzchak called out, “Almighty Lord, G-d of Israel, look from Your Heavenly place and behold Your people, Israel. The czar of Russia is a mighty king with a horde of soldiers and police who patrol the borders. He has laws and judges and jails to punish the offenders who dare to smuggle in contraband. Nevertheless, the smugglers are not deterred by laws or punishment and they continue to smuggle.

“You, however, issued a simple command, ‘Thou shalt not have chametz’ and though there are no soldiers or police or judges or jails to enforce it, nevertheless, not a Jew in Berdichev dares have any chametz in his possession on this day.”

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 “Finding The Good”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Terror Attack near Shvut Rachel
Bad Terror Attack Near Shvut Rachel
Latest Kidz Stories
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

His fifth stage of life starts when he is 18 years of age. He is then compared to a mule.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

To his amazement and disappointment, however, David HaMelech showed not the slightest indication of stopping for even a moment.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

When his students saw the mule, they decided to clean it and smooth it for their teacher.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Rav Yosef Shmuel looked at the guests and said, “I am very sorry, but I am hired to do the holy work of teaching children Torah. I am not allowed to waste even a moment from this work. This evening, when I have finished, I will be glad to see you and talk with you.”

Finally, his wife came in with the dinner that she had hurriedly prepared and which was not comparable to the wonderful repast she had given away.

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.

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.

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?

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

His fifth stage of life starts when he is 18 years of age. He is then compared to a mule.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

To his amazement and disappointment, however, David HaMelech showed not the slightest indication of stopping for even a moment.

When his students saw the mule, they decided to clean it and smooth it for their teacher.

Rav Yosef Shmuel looked at the guests and said, “I am very sorry, but I am hired to do the holy work of teaching children Torah. I am not allowed to waste even a moment from this work. This evening, when I have finished, I will be glad to see you and talk with you.”

Finally, his wife came in with the dinner that she had hurriedly prepared and which was not comparable to the wonderful repast she had given away.

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.

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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/finding-the-good/2013/03/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: