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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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Understandably, your pride keeps you from wearing your woes on your sleeves (as you say, your closest friends and neighbors are oblivious to the extent of your suffering). But G-d certainly is not, and in that vein it is important for all of us to heed the words of our Sages – “marbeh tzedaka marbeh sholom” – the more charity the more peace. (See Pirkei Avos 2:3)

The Arizal once warned his talmidim that Heaven had issued a decree that their vegetation be destroyed by a swarm of locusts that would wreak devastation on all the fields in the Holy Land. And all because of a poor talmid chacham who was pouring out his anguish to Hashem. The Ari advised his talmidim to take up a collection that Rebbe Yosef HaKohen would then give to the poverty stricken Reb Moshe.

When Reb Yosef went to Reb Moshe to give him the money, he found him weeping and asked him to please not complain to G-d because his crying had led to a harsh retribution against all the Jews in the land. Reb Moshe, upon hearing this, fell to the ground and asked Hashem to forgive him.

Soon thereafter, the talmidim spotted an army of locusts approaching in the distance, but the Holy Ari assured them that G-d had nullified the decree. Sure enough a strong wind carried the camp of locusts out to sea, and from that day onward the inhabitants of Tzfas were mindful of providing Reb Moshe with parnassah b’revach.

Thus we learn how our acts of tzedaka, that keep the impoverished from crying out, spare us Hashem’s wrath and lead to marbeh sholom. If more of us would strive to emulate the kindly Mr. Neighbor, we would evoke Hashem’s rachmonus … and the ultimate yeshua would be upon us in the blink of an eye.

* * * * *

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About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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