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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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The Primordial Light of Hanukkah Banishes Today’s Darkness
 
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Tales of the Gaonim
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Posted on: July 26th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

Once, Rav Shabsi HaCohen, the Shach — author of the Sifsei Cohen on the Yoreh De’ah and Choshen Mishpat - had a dispute with a prominent merchant of Vilna. The matter pertained to a monetary transaction, and each claimed loss and damages.

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Posted on: July 12th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

Reb Raphael of Barshad was a humble and pious man, known as a tzaddik who never uttered a bad word against anyone.

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Posted on: June 28th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

The Gaon Reb Yosef Ber Soleveitchik avoided criticizing anyone. When once he did criticize a person he felt so bad about it that he later asked for his forgiveness.

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Posted on: June 14th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

Galicia was able to boast of having three giants of the chassidic movement who lived at the same period of time. They were Rav Meir of Parmishlon, Rav Tzvi Hirsh of Riminov and Rav Naftali of Ropshitz. The latter, especially, was famous for the sharpness of his mind.

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Posted on: May 31st, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

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.

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Posted on: May 17th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

The Maharil lived during the period of the Hussite wars, which brought misery upon the Jews of the Rhine, Thuringia and Bavaria. The Jews appealed to the Gaon to intercede with G-d for them. The mercenary soldiers entered the Jewish homes at will and took everything they could lay their hands on. Should anyone protest, they would be shot on the spot.

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Posted on: May 17th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

The following story is told about the Vilna Gaon who was called upon to decide a case of a bill that was due a doctor.

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Posted on: May 2nd, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

It was the night of Shavuos, the anniversary of the giving of the Torah, and the Jews in Jerusalem adhered to the custom of remaining up all night and studying the Torah. Not all, however, could do so, and as the night wore on, a few got up to go home.

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Posted on: April 19th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

The Gaon Yosef Ber Solovetichik, while chief rabbi of Slutsk, was in poor financial straits. It was a poor community, and there was very little money for the rabbi. Once, a delegation from Mohlev arrived to offer the gaon the position of chief rabbi of Mohlev, which was a larger and wealthier town. The gaon, however, refused the offer.

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Posted on: March 21st, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

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.

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Posted on: March 21st, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

The Gaon, Reb Yechiel Michel Epstein, the author of the Aruch HaShulchan, and the chief rabbi of Novordak for 34 years, was known to be a very liberal person.

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Posted on: March 7th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

Pesach is synonymous with aiding the poor and the needy. In the city of Kovno where the great Reb Yisroel Salanter was the chief rabbi, there was a special house set aside for the very poor; there they were housed and given food. Unfortunately, the house was a dilapidated one and in massive disrepair.

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Posted on: February 22nd, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

Chazal thought very highly of a jester, a person who makes people laugh. They say that a special high place is waiting for him in Gan Eden.

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Posted on: February 8th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

The relatives of the 80 witches whom Rabi Shimon ben Shetach brought to the gallows vowed vengeance as they bided their time for an opportune moment to strike back at the Nasi of the Sanhedrin. It was not long afterwards that their chance arrived.

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Posted on: February 1st, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

The piety and good deeds of Rabi Chanina ben Dosa inspired his disciples to follow in his footsteps. Foremost among his good deeds was charity. The following story is told about two of Rabi Chanina's disciples.

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Posted on: January 11th, 2013

KidzTales of the Gaonim

When Alexander Yannai, king of Judea, appointed Rabi Shimon ben Shetach as president of the Sanhedrin, peace and tranquility reigned in the land. Prosperity came to the people as they followed in the ways of the Torah.

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Posted on: December 28th, 2012

KidzTales of the Gaonim

When the sages prevented Alexander Yannai, king of Yehuda, from becoming Kohen Gadol, he ordered that all the sages of Israel be killed. Many were; those not caught, fled. The greatest sage of them all, Rabi Shimon hen Shetach, was saved by his sister, Queen Shlomit Alexandra, who sheltered him in a secret hiding place.

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Posted on: December 14th, 2012

KidzTales of the Gaonim

"Interrogate the witnesses extensively; yet be cautious with your words, lest they learn from them to lie,” the sage and leader of the generation, Rabi Shimon ben Shetach admonished the chief justice, Rabi Yehudah ben Tabai. This was because of a grievous error the chief justice had committed.

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Posted on: November 30th, 2012

KidzTales of the Gaonim

A famous scholars of the beis midrash in the city of Brodi was Rav Avraham Gershon of Kitov. This modest and unassuming man possessed such wondrous qualities of goodness and knowledge that the great Nodah B’Yehudah referred to him, in part, as follows:

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Posted on: November 16th, 2012

KidzTales of the Gaonim

Our forefathers were giants when it came to having faith and a belief that G-d would take care of them. Nothing worried them save that they wasted time not studying our holy Torah. They relied on G-d to take care of their needs.

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