Weekly Chasidic Story #1055 (s5778-24/ 11 Adar 5778)

A Unique Present for the Bride

His mother was radiant with joy, but when she opened the package, her eyes bulged in astonishment.

Connection: PURIM!

A Unique Present for the Bride


Rabbi Shlomo HaLevi Alkabetz grew up in dire poverty. Then, as a young man, he became engaged to the daughter of Reb Yitzchak - - a man of wealth and property.

As Purim approached, R. Shlomo's mother called him over with a worried frown.

"As you know, my son, it is the custom, to send along with the mishloach manot a nice gift for the kallah - - a piece of jewelry made of gold or precious stones. How will we follow this custom, when we have nothing?" She sighed deeply.

R. Shlomo did not want to distress his kallah. For some time he sat sunk in thought. Finally, he answered, "Don't worry, Mother. Leave it to me. With G-d's help, by Purim I'll manage to arrange for her something very nice!"

The weeks passed. And then it was Purim.

"Mother," said R. Shlomo, "please prepare cakes and other baked goods to send to the kallah and her family for mishloach manot. As for my gift to her, it is ready." As he spoke, he handed her a package.

His mother was radiant with joy. But when she opening the package to peek inside, she blurted in astonishment, "A manuscript? You're sending a commentary on Megillat Esther to your kallah!?"

"She has plenty of jewelry and fine stones from her rich parents." R' Shlomo said. "But a commentary on the Megillah that I composed myself is something she will not receive from anyone else."

When the kallah's family opened the mishloach manot and found the precious commentary within, her and her father's joy knew no bounds.

"Blessed is He and blessed is His Name!" R' Yitzhak exclaimed happily after reading several pages of what his future son-in-law had written, "that we have gained the merit of having such an outstanding talmid chacham [Torah scholar] fall to our lot. He is worth a thousand jewels!"

Years later, when he published the commentary, Rabbi Alkebetz named it "Manot HaLevi," because it had served its first purpose as part of a mishloach manot.

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Stories My Grandfather Told Me (Mesorah Publ.) by Zev Greenwald.

Biographic note:
Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz (1508-1593), a major kabbalist in 16th century Tsfat, was the author of many important commentaries on Torah and Kabbala. He is best known as the composer of the famous liturgical poem "Lecha Dodi" (Come My Beloved"), sung by Jews worldwide to welcome the Shabbat.

Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

To receive the Story by e-mail every Wednesday--sign up here!

"Festivals of the Full Moon"
("Under the Full Moon" vol 2 - holiday stories)
is now available for purchase from ASCENT
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Book 1 of Yerachmiel Tilles's 3-volume set, "Saturday Night, Full Moon",
is also available for
purchase on our KabbalaOnline-shop site.

back to Top   back to this year's Story Index   Stories home page   Stories Archives
Redesign and implementation - By WEB-ACTION