Thursday, December 23, 2010

At the Gates of Heaven

Art by Schnette
R' Meir of Premishlan or, as he was fondly known, R' Maer'l, was renowned for his devotion to tzedakah. Any gifts he received from his Chassidim he immediately distributed to the poor. He explained himself in this way:

"Meir'l once went up to Heaven in a dream and observed what happened to people as they came to Heaven after they died.

"The first to appear by the celestial gates was a great Torah scholar, who was not granted immediate entry into Heaven. Instead, he was politely asked to wait outside a while so that the angels could determine whether his studies were pursued with pure intentions or in order to be recognized and praised for his great wisdom.

"The second soul to appear before the gates was that of a tzaddik who devoted his life to leading and advising his flock in their search to serve Hashem. He too was cordially asked to wait outside while his motives were thoroughly investigated.

"The third to arrive was a poor innkeeper who accepted all guests into his inn. If someone had money to pay for his room and board, the innkeeper would graciously accept it. However, if the person were too poor to pay, the host would gladly provide hospitality free of charge.

"The angels immediately decided that he should be ushered into the presence of Hashem without any delay. They had no doubt that his charity was pure because he had not done it for recognition and he helped the poor without expecting any reward in return.

"From this dream Maer'l learnt the enormous importance of tzedakah and decided to become a gabbai tzedakah to distribute Hashem's money among the poor."

Source: Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer

1 comment:

  1. We have just observed in California after almost 7 days of a downpour (it rarely rains here) the largest rainbow. Just received a call from others that there was a double rainbow. Of course, with just a glance and then running for a siddur to make the brocha, instead of being happy, I was averting my gaze knowing this is Hashem speaking to us. You may want to check this out for a note on your blog.

    Take care,
    Sarah Chava

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