The Devrei Chaim of Sanz gave the poor man a letter of recommendation to a wealthy Torah scholar whom he counted among his chasidim.
Connection: Weekly reading--as quoted in the story.
A Difference Between Angels
A chasid once came to see Rabbi Chaim of Sanz, to complain that his daughter had reached marriageable age and he had no money with which to marry her off. The Rebbe gave him a letter of recommendation to a wealthy Torah scholar whom he counted among his chasidim. In the letter, R. Chaim asked the rich chasid to do the poor man a favor and try to collect money for hachnasat kallah (dowry money for a poor bride).
When the poor chasid came to the wealthy one with the letter, the rich man answered, "Talmud Torah k'neged kulam (Torah study is equal to all the other commandments combined)!" and refused to take the time to busy himself with the matter.
Some months later, this same prosperous chasid came to Sanz to see the Rebbe. The Rebbe, however, refused to extend his hand in greeting. And when the time came for parting, he said, "The Torah tells us (Gen. 32:25), 'A man struggled with him,' and Rashi explains, 'He was the ministering angel of Esav.' Yet, in the following Torah portion (Gen. 37:15), when Yosef gets lost in the field, the Torah says, 'A man discovered him,' and Rashi explains that the 'man' in this case was the angel Gavriel. Why is the word 'man' used for Esav's angel in one verse, and the angel Gavriel in the other?
"We see that in the case where Yosef lost his way and a man pointed it out to him, that was the angel Gavriel. But when Yaakov meets up with a man and asks him to do him a favor and bless him, and the 'man' answers that he had no time because 'I must recite G-d's praise by day' (as Rashi explains there), that kind of man must be Esav's angel, because a Jew must do a favor for another Jew under any circumstances!"
Connection: Weekly reading-as quoted in the story.
To receive the Story by e-mail every Wednesday--sign up here!
A 48 page soft-covered booklet containing eleven of his most popular stories may be ordered on our store site.
FLASH! "Saturday Night, Full Moon" by
Yerachmiel Tilles, the Ascent storyteller, will be out in hardcover for Chanukah.
back to Top back
to this year's Story Index Stories
home page Stories Archives