web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Rav Chaim Tzanzer


Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Share Button

One time, Rav Chaim found it necessary to go with one of the communal leaders to the home of a wealthy man in order to collect money for a respected leader of the town who had secretly fallen on bad times. The man, whose whole life had been one of wealth, had suffered severe business reverses and only a great sum of money could restore him to financial health.

Entering the house of the man to whom they had come for money, Rav Chaim and his accompanying companion were welcomed and brought into the living room. There, Rav Chaim explained the purpose of his coming and asked the man for 500 golden ducats.

Who Is The Man?

“That is a very large sum,” said the host. “Tell me, for whom is the money?”

“I cannot tell you his name,” replied Rav Chaim, “but please believe me that he is a distinguished and most honorable man.”

“Not for a moment do I doubt that, Rebbe,” replied the host, “but it is just that I am thinking of the enormous effort that you will have to go through. You are only asking 500 gold ducats from me and I understand that you must raise even more than that. I would like to spare you some of the effort and I am prepared to give you 1,000 ducats if only you will tell me who this unfortunate person is.”

Rav Chaim’s companion heard these words and thought that in order to get such a large sum it might be better to reveal the name of the man but Rav Chaim shook his head:

“The man for whom we are collecting was himself a man who gave charity with an open hand. Now that his fortune has taken a turn for the worse, he himself needs help but I cannot – under any circumstances, reveal his name.”

The host grew more stubborn and said, “It is quite obvious from the Rav’s words that this man is among the most important and respected men in town. The least I can do, then, is to offer to give you half of his needs but I must, after all, know to whom I am giving such a large sum.”

Rav Chaim’s companion turned to him and said, “This is a generous offer we may never find elsewhere. Perhaps we should reveal the name on the condition that the money be given immediately and that it be solemnly sworn that the name will not be revealed outside this room.”

Rav Chaim would not be moved, however, and he said quietly but firmly, “I appreciate the generous offer but the honor and dignity of the man we are talking about is worth far more than the sum of money he is in need of. Even were you to give the entire money at one time I will never shame the man by revealing his name.”

Stunning Surprise

The forceful words of Rav Chaim made a great impression on the host. He lowered his head and asked the Rav to accompany him to the next room. When they were alone, the host suddenly burst into tears and in a choked voice said:

“My Rebbe and teacher, I must tell you something. I, too, have suffered terrible business losses recently, and I am left penniless and in debt. I was afraid to tell anyone, however, for fear that if the word spread, I would be forever mortified and shamed.

“When you came to my house today for another man who had suffered my fate, I wanted to see if you would reveal his name. It was not any evil thought on my part that moved me to insist on your telling me the name of the man. I was only testing you to see if I could trust you with my secret.

“I see now that I can trust you with any secret and now I, too, turn to you and cry out for help. I am today a pauper and if you do not find some way to help me you will doom me to become a beggar who goes from door to door.”

Rav Chaim never revealed the conversation with this man. Soon after he had collected money for the first man, he again went out and gathered funds for this one, too. Both eventually were able to stand on their feet again. It was only after the death of Rav Chaim that the host who had been helped by him revealed to all the greatness of the scholar. This was the way of charity in times not so long ago.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Rav Chaim Tzanzer”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales of the Gaonim-logo

“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.’’

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

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

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

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

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

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.

Rabi Pinchas’ piety and honesty were known far and wide. He would often say, “Even though our Sages (Yevamot 65b) declared that to preserve the peace, a person may change his words to fit the situation, I will never utter a false word regardless of the consequences.” If he heard that one of his followers had uttered a false word, he would expel him from his presence.

When Bnei Yisrael returned to their homeland they were a poor and weak group of people. Because of the great number of enemies and wild animals that had inhabited the land during their exile, they huddled together in a few areas, like Yerushalayim, in order to find protection.

But not everyone is destined to taste of the fruit of this world and to enjoy its vintage. Among the inhabitants of this town lived a poor man, Nachumka.

In the midst of his merrymaking, the king ordered his servants to bring out the golden vessels that were taken from the Beit HaMikdash by his father Nevuchadnezzar. The king and his men drank from them and praised the gods of gold and silver.

The Jewish people are hardly strangers to persecution and tyranny. When we hear of the complaints of other peoples, we smile bitterly and wonder: What do they know of persecution? What do they know of tragedy and bitterness? We are a people who have experienced oppression for centuries and have drunk deeply of the bitter cup of woe.

Although Daniel was the chief minister in Bavel, he could not eradicate the custom practiced in many provinces of worshipping idols. In the capital city there was a statue of Baal and more and more people began to worship it. Even the king was beginning to believe in its power.

There was once a tzaddik from Poland, Reb Velveli, who decided to settle in Eretz Yisrael. The land was poor and inhabited by very few people, but he and his wife had such love for the land that they were willing to suffer privation and hunger just to be one of its citizens.

Through the influence of Daniel, one of Nevuchadnezar’s ministers, his three companions, Chananiah, Mishael and Azariah were appointed as governors over various provinces in Bavel.

The stories concerning Rav Naftali of Ropshitz are quite numerous and reveal his sharp biting wit. Rav Naftali was often persecuted and sneered at by misnagdim but the sharp mind with which he was blessed always served him in good stead in finding proper answers.

In the third year of the reign of Yehoyakim, melech Yehuda, Nevuchadnezzar, melech Bavel, lay siege to Yerushalayim and conquered it. He took many treasures from the Beis HaMikdash back with him to the land of Shinar.

Reb Moshe Chaim Ephraim, the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, was a deeply learned man who took his sources and admonitions from the Torah.

In the city of Antioch there lived a man of remarkable generosity by the name of Aba Yehudah. He was a man who gave to all, whenever there was a need. Rabi Yehoshua and several other rabbanim arrived in the city one day on an urgent mission to collect money for the unfortunate needy. They knew that Aba Yehudah always gave a generous contribution so they looked forward to seeing him.

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

“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.’’

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

“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.

Rabi Pinchas’ piety and honesty were known far and wide. He would often say, “Even though our Sages (Yevamot 65b) declared that to preserve the peace, a person may change his words to fit the situation, I will never utter a false word regardless of the consequences.” If he heard that one of his followers had uttered a false word, he would expel him from his presence.

When Bnei Yisrael returned to their homeland they were a poor and weak group of people. Because of the great number of enemies and wild animals that had inhabited the land during their exile, they huddled together in a few areas, like Yerushalayim, in order to find protection.

But not everyone is destined to taste of the fruit of this world and to enjoy its vintage. Among the inhabitants of this town lived a poor man, Nachumka.

In the midst of his merrymaking, the king ordered his servants to bring out the golden vessels that were taken from the Beit HaMikdash by his father Nevuchadnezzar. The king and his men drank from them and praised the gods of gold and silver.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/rav-chaim-tzanzer/2012/10/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: