web analytics
September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Only The Money Was In Exile


Tales of the Gaonim-logo

The Baal Shem Tov had two grandsons, Reb Moshe Chaim Ephraim and Reb Baruch. While both were pious and well educated in Torah, Reb Moshe lived a frugal and poor life while his brother, Reb Baruch, became very wealthy.

One day Reb Baruch decided to spend Shabbos with his poor brother. Reb Moshe was honored and told his wife to prepare the best of everything in honor of his brother. The poor woman sighed as she counted her few pennies but, as a dutiful wife, she went to the market place and borrowed enough money to purchase extra food for Shabbos.

That night, when the two brothers came home from shul, they saw two small candles burning from an earthen dish, a white tablecloth spread out over the table with two small challahs on it. A small bottle of watered-down wine was near the challahs and a wooden bowl containing salted herring and onions stood near as well.

They made kiddush and they sat down to eat the Shabbos meal, which was very little. The rich Baruch turned to his poor brother and sighing said, “Woe is to me, my brother, that I see you in such a poor state. How do you manage to exist in such poverty?”

“Why do you speak this way to me?” Reb Moshe innocently replied. “Is there anything missing here?”

“Everything is missing,” said Reb Baruch. “In my home we have silver candle holders, beautiful furniture; the wine is poured into silver cups and on the table we have enough food fit for a king.”

“Where do you get so much money to be able to purchase all these fine things?” asked Reb Moshe Chaim Ephraim.

“Don’t you know?” replied his brother. “I travel all week from town to town, buying and selling merchandise so I accumulate enough money to buy the finest things for Shabbos.”

“Then you are worse off than I am,” replied Reb Moshe. “Your gold, silver and money are in your home while you have to wander from town to town as if you are in exile. While my money is in exile, in other people’s hands, I am at home the entire week enjoying the company of my wife and children and he study of Torah. Who leads a happier life?”

The Young Genius

When Reb Moshe Chaim Ehpraim was a young boy he was known as a genius. Many people who opposed his grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov, would come to his home with difficult questions attempting to confuse his grandfather. The Baal Shem Tov would usually call upon his little grandson for the answer and to the amazement of all he would always give the proper answer.

One day a prominent rav visited their home and posed a difficult question.

“Will the Master be able to answer a question I have on this week’s portion of the Torah, about Korach?” the rav asked. “The Gemara in Sanhedrin (108a) says that the Jews in the generation of the Wilderness have no part in the World to Come, for the Torah (Bamidbar 14:35) states: ‘In this wilderness they shall be consumed and they shall die.’

“Rabi Akiva explains the words, ‘consumed’ and ‘die’ to represent death in both worlds.

“Further on Rabi Akiba states that Korach and his group also suffered the same fate as he expounds the sentence in the Torah (Ibid. 16:33) ‘and the earth closed upon them’ as referring to this world. ‘And they perished from among the assembly refers to the next world. Now the question arises, why did Rabi Akiva have to repeat the same remarks about Korach when he already deduced that the Jews of the generation in the wilderness, which included Korach, had no part in the World to Come? Korach was also in that generation and he would have been included in the first remarks of Rabi Akiva?”

The Baal Shem Tov smiled as he turned to his young grandson and told him to answer the question.

The child didn’t hesitate a minute as he replied, “The answer is simple, the first sentence of ‘in the wilderness they shall be consumed and there they shall die’ was referring to the spies. They were punished for bringing back a bad report. The spies represented every tribe in Israel with the exception of the tribe of Levi. Therefore, the tribe of Levi was not included in this punishment. Korach was a descendant of the tribe of Levi, therefore, Rabi Akiva had to reiterate that Korach had no share in the next world only because of his sin of revolting against Moshe and not because of the punishment of the spies.”

Counting Every World In The Portion

On another occasion the eight-year-old genius was asked why at the end of the Parshas Miketz there is a line denoting that it contains 2,025 words. The other parshiyots do not have this.

The child replied, “Chanukah falls out when we read this parsha. On Chanukah we light the candle, ner, eight times. The letters of the word ner, numerically represent 250, eight times this equal 2,000. The first candle is lit on the 25th day of Kislev, add this to the 2,000 and we have 2,025, the number of words in this parsha. This is a hidden prophecy that the holiday of Chanukah would come out during that week.”

Waiting 99 Years To Fulfill A Mitzvah

Once the young genius was asked the following question: The Talmud (Kidushin 82a) tells us that Avraham observed all the mitzvos of the Torah even before it was given. If that is true, why did he wait until Hashem told him at the age of 99 years, to have a bris milah?

Why didn’t he do it in his young years?

When this same question was put to the Vilna Gaon when he was only a boy of five, he replied, “Chazal teach (Kidushin 31a) that a person who is told to do something and does it, receives a greater reward than one who is not told and does the mitzvah. Therefore, Avraham waited for this mitzvah until he was told, for he could have redone all the other mitzvos after he was told, but not bris milah, which once performed can never be repeated.”

However, young Moshe Chaim Ephraim had this answer “Avraham was able to fulfill all of the mitzvos of the Torah, because there was no sin or prohibition attached to their fulfillment. But circumcision would have been a sin if he attempted it before he was told to do so by G-d. For the Gemara (Baba Kama 91b) specifically prohibits a person from injuring himself. Therefore, unless it was a Divine commandment Avraham was not allowed to circumcise himself.”

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 “Only The Money Was In Exile”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.
New York City Site of Huge Rally Against Met’s Klinghoffer Opera
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

He followed her advice and, before departing, the rabbanim offered him a bracha. “Aba Yudin, may the Lord return your wealth, for all the kind deeds you do.”

In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

“When I asked why she cried so much she said she came from a very religious home and feared she would be sold to a non-Jew and forced to convert.

Know that from. the day I began to recite the holy name of God, I have always loved Shabbos

And so the enemy burst into the Sanctuary and set up a stand on the Temple Mount.

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

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.

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

So began a marvelous period of good fortune. He invested the twenty-four gold pieces in many types of businesses and everything his hand touched turned to gold.

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Pressing close to the cage, the Ibn Ezra shouted the words, “Shema Yisrael…”

“You can have your choice,” said the wise king. “You can choose to take this gold, 100 pieces each, or I can give you each three pieces of advice.”

“It isn’t the work,” said Eliezer. “I want to learn our holy Torah.”

He followed her advice and, before departing, the rabbanim offered him a bracha. “Aba Yudin, may the Lord return your wealth, for all the kind deeds you do.”

In their perverted justice they also declared the following law: Anyone who was injured by another so that blood flowed from his wound, was compelled to pay his attacker since he bled him!

“When I asked why she cried so much she said she came from a very religious home and feared she would be sold to a non-Jew and forced to convert.

Know that from. the day I began to recite the holy name of God, I have always loved Shabbos

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/only-the-money-was-in-exile/2013/05/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: