web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Preparing For Pesach


Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Succeeds Halfway

For weeks before Pesach the people in small towns across Poland, Lithuania and Russia lived only with the Yom Tov in mind. The housewives turned their homes upside down, the matzah bakery became alive, tailors and cobblers prepared to meet the seasonal rush, and the children worked themselves into a pitch of excitement, which they could not have endured had they had to wait for the seder night one day longer than they already did. The rav’s study naturally did not escape this communal upheaval; in fact, it was the focal point that reflected all that went on in the community. The hectic days left their traces in a good many tales passed down from mouth to mouth.

The story is told of Rav Naftali of Ropshitz coming home worn out after delivering the long sermon customarily preached on Shabbos HaGadol, the Shabbos before Pesach. His wife asked him how he felt, and Rav Naftali replied: “This was a particularly trying sermon. Times are bad, and a great deal of money is needed if the community is to provide all the poor with the necessities for Pesach. I had to put all my strength into an impassioned appeal for support of our efforts.’’

“And how did you succeed?’’ his wife asked.

“Halfways,’’ Rav Naftali said with a smile. “The poor are willing to take; whether the rich will give remains to be seen.’’

Finding The Good

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 little 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 “Preparing For Pesach”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The beheading of British aid worker David Haines, Sept. 14, 2014. The terrorist standing beside him threatened that his fellow British aid volunteer, Alan Henning, would be next if UK Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't relinquish his support for the fight against ISIS.
British Muslims Plead for ISIS to Free Captive Alan Henning
Latest Kidz Stories
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.”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

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.

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.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
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.”

“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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/preparing-for-pesach/2012/03/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: