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March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
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One Good Deed


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.

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“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.”

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.”

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.

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