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March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
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Stories of Yom Kippur


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“However to make sure that the bank does not question the validity of this check and how you came to receive it, go back into the yeshiva and call out two boys to act as witnesses to this transaction,” he said.

The woman obediently reentered the yeshiva and called out two young men who were told about the entire transaction. “You will also witness my signature on this check and note which I will give to this woman,” he said. He then wrote out a note directing the president of the bank to honor the check and with that he departed.

The woman was too astonished to say another word as she went home. She thought it might be a joke but as she had nothing to lose, she visited the bank the following morning.

When she presented the check and note to the bank teller, he suddenly turned white and with a frightened look told the woman to wait while he presented it to the president of the bank. Entering the president’s office, he gave him the check and note. As soon as he looked at it, the president fell off his chair in a dead faint. The teller rushed out for help and soon the bank was in turmoil. The woman too had become frightened when a guard put her in a room so she couldn’t leave.

After a while the president was revived and he asked to see the woman. “Tell me, who gave you this check and note?” he asked.

“An old man who met mea the entrance of the yeshiva,” she replied. “And the two yeshiva boys will testify to this.”

“Could you identify the man if I showed you his picture?” he asked.

“Positively,” she said, “and so will the two yeshiva boys.”

The bank president then showed her a large picture of his father and she positively identified him as the man who gave her the check. Meanwhile the two yeshiva boys were sent for, and they too identified the picture. The bank president then directed his teller to pay the woman the full sum of the check.

He then explained the circumstances to all the people standing around. “This picture,” he said, “is the picture of my father who died ten years ago. Last night I had a strange dream. My father came to me and said in an angry tone, ‘since you married a Gentile woman, you stopped saying Kaddish for me. My soul was tormented and could find no peace until this poor woman arranged that the yeshiva should say Kaddish for all the orphan souls which included me. It was only then that my soul found peace again. Therefore I have repaid this woman. Tomorrow she will come to your bank with a check from me to enable her marry off her two daughters. Honor it so that I can continue to dwell in peace. I awoke in a fright and when I repeated the dream to my wife she laughed at me and she considered it a joke. But now I see that it was all true.”

The man retunred to the ways of his father and his wife converted to Judaism and they became pillars of the community.

“And” concluded the Gaon Rabbi Sonnenfeld, “Who do you think the two yeshiva boys were? I was one of them and the other one was the Gaon, Rav Yehuda Greenwald, later to become the Av Beth Din of Satmar and the author of the sefer, Zichron Yehuda!”

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“I wanted you to have a taste of the cold,” answered Rav Chaim. “This way, you too can feel the intense cold and realize the suffering of this man and his wife, who are now residing in a bitterly cold house.”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“Don’t worry,” said the king, “what could it be worth, two or three talents of gold? I’ll give you ten talents of gold, so you can forget about it.”

Shmuel HaKatan shook his head and said: “No, what happened here today is a sign not of great love. On the contrary, it is a bad omen.”

The arguments, however, could never appease his wife and one Thursday she came to him for money to purchase food for Shabbos.

He walked out of the room, making sure to leave the door ajar so that the two litigants could hear his voice.

Don’t you know Avraham, the famous dry goods merchant, who lives near the lake in a big mansion?

“What could I do? Your wife is hard of hearing,” whispered the poor woman barely able to talk.

“I would appreciate if you could give me some pointers on how to improve my wine,” said the wine merchant eagerly.

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