Monday, May 9, 2011

Family First

"If your brother becomes poor" [Behar 25:25]

R' Avraham Yehoshua Heschel, the Rebbe of Kapishnitz, once visited the home of one of his chassidim who was known to be wealthy.  The Rebbe knocked on the door and waited for a response.

The chassid opened his door, and was taken aback by the sight of the holy Rebbe standing at his doorstep.  "Why did the Rebbe have to trouble himself to come to my home?" asked the wealthy man. "The Rebbe could have summoned me and I would have come at once."

"It is I who needs you" answered the Rebbe, "and this is why I have come."

"How can I be of assistance?" asked the man.

"I know of a certain family" replied the Rebbe, "that is in desperate need of help.  The husband is without work, the wife takes care of the young children, and, to add to their hardship, they have a son who is ill and requires special medical attention.   Their expenses are well beyond their means."

"But Rebbe" said the wealthy man, "did this necessitate you having to exert yourself by travelling to my home?  Why did the Rebbe not simply send me a messenger, and I would have gladly given whatever sum of money that was needed!"

"This particular request is of great importance to me" responded the Rebbe.  "It was therefore essential that I come to your home personally."

"I am prepared to give as much money as necessary!" exclaimed the man. "To whom shall I send this money?"

"Send the money" answered the Rebbe, "to your brother."

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

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