web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 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
Former PM Ehud Olmert at Tel Aviv District Court hears his sentence on May 13, 2014. (archive)
Ehud Olmert Found Guilty of Fraud in ‘Talansky Affair’
Latest Kidz Stories
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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 […]

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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.

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.

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

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 […]

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

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.”

“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.

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: