web analytics
October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
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.



Stories Of Pesach


Tales of the Gaonim-logo

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. Reb Yisroel knew its wretched condition, and he tried many times to get people to contribute to its upkeep. But too few people heeded his plea, and the condition of the building got worse with each passing day. One Seder night, Reb Yisroel put on his coat and left his warm and comfortable house. The hours flew by and he did not return. His wife was frantic, and she rushed out for help in trying to discover what had happened to him.

The people searched every house in the city, and only when they came to the poor people’s building did they find him. To their horror, he was lying flat on the floor amid the squalor and dirt, sound asleep. Next to him, the poor people also lay. They had no choice, for all the beds were broken. The people begged Reb Yisroel to leave the dilapidated building and to return home. However, he adamantly refused. “I will not go home,” he kept saying over and over again. Soon, word of the incident spread throughout the city and it created an uproar. Imagine! The rav of the city, the greatest of his generation, lying in such filth! And on the night of the Seder, too! “Please, Rebbe,” they begged, “please come home. This is no place for you to be.” But Reb Yisroel stood firm. “No, I will not go home until this house is repaired and made fit for people to live in. Are these people any worse than me?” His words made a deep impression on the community and within hours, enough money was pledged to guarantee that the building would be repaired and made into a decent place in which to live.

*************

Reb Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev was known as the great “defense attorney” for the Jewish people. Under any and all circumstances, he was able to find a good word to say about his people. One Bedikas Chometz night, after the chometz (leaven) had been searched for and burned, he took his shamash with him for a walk through the streets of the town. Meeting a peasant, he stopped him and asked quietly, “Tell me, would you perhaps have a little smuggled silk to sell? I need it very badly.”

“Indeed, I do,” replied the peasant. “I have as much as you want.”

The rav thanked him and continued on his way to the amazement of his dumb-founded shamash. Reb Levi Yitzhak continued on his way, and met a Jew trudging along the street.

Shalom Aleichem,” he said. “Tell me my friend; perhaps you can let me have some chometz?”

The Jew looked at him in horror and said: “How can you suspect me of such a thing? Do I dare have chometz on the eve of Pesach!”

Reb Levi Yitzhak paused and lifted his eyes to the heavens and said: “Behold, Master of the Universe, what a great people are our children, Israel. The Russian czar is a fierce and mighty ruler. He prohibits the smuggling of goods into his land and posts soldiers and police with deadly weapons to watch the frontiers day and night. If anyone is caught he is brought before a judge and immediately sentenced to a severe prison term. Nevertheless, all kinds of goods are smuggled in and the peasants defy him almost openly. You, on the other hand, wrote a few words in your Holy Torah, saying: ‘And no leavened bread shall be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven found in all thy borders.’ There are no soldiers to guard against violating this law and no judges and prisons to punish the violators. Still, as soon as the hour of prohibition arrives, not a crumb is to be found in a Jewish home!”

*************

Rav Akiva Eiger was a man of extraordinary humility and sensitivity. Every Pesach he would invite the poor to come and eat at his table. One year, as they were dining, one of the poor guests accidentally knocked over a cup of wine, staining the tablecloth. The man turned red with shame and Rav Akiva saw this. Without hesitation, he also knocked over his cup.

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 “Stories Of Pesach

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Mu'taz Hijazi
Non-Apartheid Alert: Suspected Shooter Worked in Begin Center
Latest Kidz Stories
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

He lacked for nothing materialistic and could have lived the rest of his life, had he chosen to, in the luxury and laziness that dominated the Roman upper class life.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

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.

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

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.

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

He lacked for nothing materialistic and could have lived the rest of his life, had he chosen to, in the luxury and laziness that dominated the Roman upper class life.

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

When the soldiers heard this they exclaimed happily: “You mean this is the sacred Jewish fruit? Hurry, get on the horse. You are coming with us to the palace.”

Now let me ask you, what would happen to an infantryman if he deserted his regiment and went to serve in the cavalry? He would be court-martialed, wouldn’t he?”

Dug out beneath his bunk was a little chest which he guarded with his very life. It contained a small Sefer Torah, miniature size, but kosher, and a shofar.

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.

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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/stories-of-pesach/2013/03/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: