Weekly Chasidic Story #829 (s5774-07 / 10
Missing A Penny
Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl told
the merchant that his going early to buy merchandise from the farmers before
praying is illogical.
Reading-Last week's Torah Reading - Gen. 13:8-13 (income vs. faith)
Missing A Penny
An unlearned Jew once traveled to the tzadik Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl
for Shabbat. When he went to get a blessing before departing, R. Mordechai queried
him about his daily routine. The Jew related how he rises early to buy merchandise
from the farmers, and when he finishes he returns home to daven Shacharit
(pray the Morning Payer). The Rebbe condemned going to work before praying,
but the Jew excused himself saying that if he prays first, he will be unable
to be on time to buy the merchandise.
R. Mordechai then told him the following story:
A young Torah scholar, who was supported by his father-in-law in order to
enable him to devote his day to Torah-study, was forced to find additional
means of support when his family grew. He left home for three years and earned
money as a melamed (teacher-tutor), saving every coin he received,
exchanging large amounts of lesser coins for single gold ones. When he had
collected enough to start a business, he decided to return home.
On Friday midday he reached a small village near his city, but then he realized
that he did not have enough time to reach home before Shabbat. He decided
to stay at a local hostel.
He became concerned for the safety of his money. He was afraid to leave it
in his luggage lest someone steal it, and he did not know if he can trust
the owner with it. Nevertheless, feeling that he had no other choice, he gave
it to his host to hold for him.
Throughout the entire Shabbat, the young man was unable to relax properly;
he was too worried about his money. Immediately after Havdala at the
beginning of Saturday night, he requested it back. Upon receiving his wallet,
he counted all the gold coins and was happy to find that nothing was missing.
Still, he then continued to shake the coins and look through them.
"What are you looking for?" the owner asked, "Is something
The guest told him that he wanted to make sure that his one copper coin is
there as well....
Reb Mordechai concluded,"Look at this man's silliness. After seeing that
all his golden coins were returned to him, he still suspects his host of perhaps
stolen one copper coin. And you are doing the same!
Every night, you entrust G-d Al-mighty with your soul, and when you wake up
in the morning, he returns the gold you have given him. How is it that you do
not trust that he will still give you your living if you do not pursue it until
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Lma'an Yishme'u #70
Rabbi Mordechai ("Mottel") of Chernobyl [of blessed memory:
5530 - 20 Iyar 5697 (1770 May 1837 C.E.)], successor to his father, Rabbi
Nachum, was the son-in-law of Rabbi Aharon the Great of Karlin and subsequently
of Rabbi David Seirkes, an important disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. His eight
sons all became major Chasidic leaders. One of them Yaakov Yisrael Twerski of
Cherkassy, the first Hornsteipel Rebbe, married Devora Leah, one of the six
daughters of Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch, son of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi
(match arranged by the two grandfather-Rebbes), in order to maximize the possibilities
for fulfillment of the prediction, "the Moshiach will be born of the elder
disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch or the youngest."
Connection: Weekly ReadingGen. 13:8-13 (income vs. faith)
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