Friday, January 11, 2008

Ignoring the Blemish

Rav Aharon of Belz, zt”l, once hired a certain workman to do some repairs in his home. While the man was busy at his job, the Rebbe overheard others in the room say in an undertone, “This Jew works on Shabbos!”

The Belzer Rebbe immediately retorted, “Impossible! And if he did work on Shabbos, it must have been because he thought it was Friday!”

He then turned to the workman who had heard the whole exchange and said, “Isn’t that right? You got confused and thought that it was Friday?”

The worker remained silent.

The Rebbe again said softly, “You must have mixed up the date and thought it was Friday, correct?”

But the worker still wouldn’t answer. For the third time, the Rebbe pleaded, “Didn’t you really believe it was Friday and not the holy Shabbos?”

At the Rebbe’s final, exquisitely gentle insistence, the Jewish laborer mouthed, “Yes,” and then burst into tears! The man became a shomer Shabbos from that moment.

Similarly, Rav Shach, zt”l, was once in a taxi with Rav Shraga Grossbard, zt”l. When Rav Shraga asked the driver if he was a shomer Shabbos, Rav Shach immediately cut him off.

“How can you ask a Jew if he is shomer Shabbos? Of course he is shomer Shabbos!” he exclaimed.

Some time later, Rav Grossbard was in the same taxi and the driver recognized him.

The man turned toward the Rav and said, “Don’t you remember me? The day that I heard the Rav say I must be a shomer Shabbos, I became one!”

No comments: