“I live in a town that is quite far from Ropshitz,” he said. “Not only is the journey very long and tiring but I also waste a great deal of my time which could be spent in learning, and the expenses of the trip are very great. On the other hand, there is a great mitzva in coming to see my rebbe. What shall I do?”
Rav Naftali thought for a moment and asked him: “Tell me, how much does this journey here usually cost you?”
“I would say that the journey costs approximately 100 gold coins,” answered the chassid.
“In that case, I will give you this advice. Whenever you want to come and visit me, tell your wife to make a great feast and serve all the finest delicacies. Invite the poor people in your town to join you and let them eat to their heart’s content. Let this cost you about 50 gold pieces and send the rest here without bothering to come yourself.
“In this way, the poor, you, I and Hashem will all benefit. The poor will benefit from the food and drink you will have given them; you will have done a great mitzva; I will have received a pidyon and Hashem will benefit from the fact that you can sit and learn Torah without wasting time.”
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