Weekly Chasidic Story #1262 (s5782-24) 13 Adar I 5782/Feb. 14, 2022)

"Fondling Gold Coins"

He was surprised to see his father, Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua-Heschel of Apta, fondling with affection the gold coins that had been sent to him on Purim.

Connection - "Purim Katan" falls on Tuesday of this week (Feb. 15)

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Fondling Gold Coins

On the first Purim after Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua-Heschel of Apta came to serve as Chief Rabbi of Yaasi, his first rabbinical post, the townspeople sent him a mishloach manot[1] package that included a large number of gold coins. The Rav took these coins and played with them awhile, handling the money affectionately.

His son, R' Yitzchak-Meir, was surprised. He knew his Father as a man who despised money. "Haven't you taught us, Father, to hate money?" he asked.

The tzadik smiled. "All year long," he explained, "money is worth nothing in my eyes. But today, when the mitzvah of the day is to give alms to the poor, I realize that I should be giving away something that has value to me. Therefore, today I have made it my business to inculcate in myself a love of money! When that love grows strong, I will distribute all the money to the poor. In that way, I shall be able to fulfill the mitzvah in a much better way."

[Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from "Stories my Grandfather told me" (Mesorah, p. 191) by Zev Greenwald]

Biographic note:
Rabbi Avraham-Yehoshua Herschel (1755- 5 Nissan 1825) the Apter Rebbe, was a main disciple of the Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhinsk. He is also often referred to as "the Ohev Yisrael," both after the title of the famous book of his teachings, and also because its meaning ("Lover of Jews") fits him so aptly.

Connection: "Purim Katan"[2] falls on Tuesday of this week (Feb. 15)

1.A gift of food and drink, primarily for the Purim feast.
1.This is a "pregnant" year on the Jewish calendar (seven times in every 19 year cycle), in which the month of Adar is doubled. The main celebration of Purim is set to be on the 14th of the second month of Adar (Adar Sheini), so in such a year Purim is reffered to as Purim Gadol ("Major Purim") and the 14th of the first month of Adar (Adar Sheini) is called Purim Katan ("Minor Purim").

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.

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