web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



One Good Deed


One Good Deed

A person should always strive to do good, for one good deed alone may assure him the rewards of Gan Eden. For Rabi Yehudah HaNasi would say, “One may acquire Gan Eden in a single hour while another may acquire it after many years [over a lifetime].” (Avodah Zara 10b).

One such incident occurred many years ago in the town of Koritz wherein lived a tailor who made a special effort to violate every precept of the Torah. No respectable Jew would deal with him.

One day the tailor died and as was the custom of the time, the gabbai of the town called upon the people to attend the funeral of a fellow Jew. But no person would attend the funeral of this evil person.

The gabbai then approached the home of the Gaon Reb Pinchas. Imagine his surprise when the Gaon took his cane and started out for the funeral. When the gabbai next visited Rav Yakov, and told him that Reb Pinchas was attending the funeral, he expressed surprise.

“I must see why Reb Pinchas is attending the funeral of such a sinner,” he said and he too started out for the funeral.

Everyone Attends the Funeral

When the people of the city saw these two pious rabbanim attending the funeral of the sinner, they became intrigued and they all began to follow the entourage. Eventually the entire city turned out to pay homage to the tailor.

On the way home from the funeral, the crowd surrounded Reb Pinchas and demanded to know why he had attended the funeral.

“I will tell you the reason,” said the Gaon. “Two months ago I was trying to raise hachnassas kallah funds. I finally succeeded in raising sufficient money to arrange for the wedding. But at the last hour the groom backed out. He said he had been promised a new suit by the bride’s parents and unless he received it, he would call off the wedding.

“In desperation the bride turned to me for help. As I had already approached every resident of the community for money, I had no choice but to turn to the tailor for help. That night I entered his home and told him the story. He gave me a ruble. But as I started to leave he called me back and said, ‘Rebbe, if I give you all the money for the entire suit will you promise me the future world, Olam Habah?’

“Yes,” I said. “He then gave me fourteen rubles and I was able to perform the wedding ceremony. Now that I heard that this tailor died I decided to attend his funeral and see the results of his charity.

“Would you believe it,” continued the Rabbi before the multitude of people, “over the coffin I saw a shining halo of a suit and angels dancing around the coffin waiting to escort it into Gan Eden. Therefore you can see how great is the mitzvah of tzedakah. One mitzvah alone saved this man and assured him a place in the next world.”

Hospitality To Strangers

Being hospitable to travelers is one the cardinal mitzvos of our Torah. The Talmud tells us: Rabi Yehudah said, “Hachnassas orchim is greater than even welcoming the presence of the Shechinah” (Shabbos 127a). Rabi Yochanan said, “Hospitality to strangers is as great as the early attendance at the Beis Hamedrash” and Rabi Dimi of Neharea said, “It is greater than the early attendance at the Beis Hamedrash.” Therefore every community in the small towns in Europe, would have a gabbai whose duty it was to assign travelers to the various homes in the community for Shabbos. When a stranger would arrive in town he would seek out this gabbai who would then place him in one of the well-to-do homes.

One Friday, very late in the afternoon, a merchant entered the town of Altuna. As the gabbai had already exhausted all of the host’s homes, he was in a quandary where to send the poor man for Shabbos.

“You better see the rav, the Gaon, Rav Yonason Jonathan Eibschitz,” he said. “Perhaps he may have a place for you. Although he himself has already taken more of his share of people, he may have a suggestion.”

They both went to the Gaon’s home where ,as usual, there were more than a dozen guests and absolutely no place for another person.

“Tell me gabbai,” asked the Gaon,” Does Reb Lazer have any guests for this Shabbos?”

“That skinflint,” snorted the gabbai, “He is the wealthiest man in town and yet he will never allow a stranger to enter his home. He is too sick to entertain guests, he claims.”

“I have a plan,” replied the Gaon. Calling the merchant over to him he said, “If you will follow my instructions to the letter I can assure you that this wealthy miser will welcome you with outstretched arms.”

The Gaon then told the merchant what to do. “You will have to hurry for its almost Shabbos,” he said, “and may G-d be with you.

The merchant immediately went to the rich man’s home and knocked on his door. A servant came out and offered him a penny.

“I want no charity,” firmly declared the merchant. “I came to see Reb Lazer.”

“What can I do for you?” queried Reb Lazer, as the merchant was escorted into his room.

“I can’t talk to you with all these people around,” said the visitor. “Have you a private room somewhere around?”

Whereupon they withdrew to a secluded corner of the house.

“Say Reb Lazer,” said the merchant, looking apprehensively around, “what could you offer me for a diamond as large as an egg?”

“I can’t say offhand,” replied the wealthy man, his eyes bulging with expectation. “Stay with us over Shabbos, rest up a little and then we’ll talk business.”

“I hate to impose upon you,” remonstrated the visitor considerately. “You have expected no guests and it wouldn’t be fair either to you or your wife. Besides, I left my Shabbos clothes in the hotel.”

“Never mind,” assured the host. “There is plenty to eat in the house and plenty of rooms. And as to clothes, you may put on one of my suits.”

All Shabbos the stranger was entertained in the most generous manner. The host saw to it that he did not leave the house all day for fear that somebody else might approach him.

When Shabbos was over, Reb Lazer broached the matter to the guest. Now,” he said, “Let me see the diamond.”

“Did I ever say I had a diamond?” replied the stranger, as he rose to go. I just wanted to know what you could offer me for a diamond of such a size in case I happen to find one.”

And with that he took his leave.

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 “One Good Deed”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

By means of a clever pretext, they succeeded in getting Rabi Yitzhak aboard a ship and sailed it down the river.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

One winter morning a terrible blizzard raged, the weather dropped to below zero, and the woman became desperately ill.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

Entering the city he visited the cattle market and saw two parei adumah untouched by any harness.

Crowded into their ghettos and suffering legal disabilities that make today’s claims of discriminations pale into insignificance, the German Jews suffered poverty and wretchedness.

Every night he would go out in the darkness and dig for hours until the waters began to rise, and watering places for the weary and thirsty came into being.

One of the greatest opponents was a certain wealthy man who did all that he could to make life difficult for Rav Naftali.

Do you wonder at times what possible purpose some little insect might have for being?

The two fathers began to discuss the terms and naturally, they were astounded to find that each one assumed that the other would give double.

Twelve years went by until Eliyahu HaNavi came to the entrance of the cave and exclaimed, “The Roman emperor has died and all of his decrees have become void. You are no longer under a death sentence.”

Rav Naftali was born the day that the Baal Shem Tov passed away, on the holiday of Shavuos, in the year 5520

Certainly, the Jewish leader, even more than the layman, must have his answers and explanations ready at all times

“The mitzvah of drawing water for the baking of the matzah for the Seder comes only once a year. I do not care to share it with a horse.’’

“You speak foolishly, daughter, how is it possible for a man who has not eaten for 10 years to live?”

With enthusiasm, zemiros that had been purposefully collected for the evening were chanted.

Bnei Yisrael marched out of Mitzrayim with a mighty hand under their great leader Moshe. This was not, however, their first attempt to escape from Mitzrayim and return to the land that G-d had promised their fathers.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

By means of a clever pretext, they succeeded in getting Rabi Yitzhak aboard a ship and sailed it down the river.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the young man awoke, he did not know where he was. As he looked around, the princess looked out and saw him.

One winter morning a terrible blizzard raged, the weather dropped to below zero, and the woman became desperately ill.

Entering the city he visited the cattle market and saw two parei adumah untouched by any harness.

Crowded into their ghettos and suffering legal disabilities that make today’s claims of discriminations pale into insignificance, the German Jews suffered poverty and wretchedness.

Every night he would go out in the darkness and dig for hours until the waters began to rise, and watering places for the weary and thirsty came into being.

One of the greatest opponents was a certain wealthy man who did all that he could to make life difficult for Rav Naftali.

Do you wonder at times what possible purpose some little insect might have for being?

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/one-good-deed/2011/12/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: