Friday, June 6, 2008

The Yichus of Poverty

A certain wealthy man with an eligible daughter had two promising possible shidduchim. Both were great scholars with sterling middos. The only essential difference was their yichus. One came from a very famous line of scholars and gedolim while the other was from simple stock. The wealthy man was at a loss whom to choose. After much deliberation the only thing that emerged was that he needed help! Since the man lived in a town close to Kovno he decided to put his dilemma before the famous Rav Yitzchak Elchonon Specter, zt”l.

After describing the entire situation the wealthy man concluded, “I am leaning towards the young man with the yichus but they insist on an exorbitant dowry…”

The Gadol said, “If you want to hear what I have to say, take the one without the yichus. The yachsan is the child of a house filled with Torah; it’s no wonder that he grew to such an extent in Torah. His parents have been molding him for greatness from birth. He never achieved his scholarship on his own steam. After marriage he will be separated from his parents and be confronted with the need to earn a living. Who knows if he will continue to ascend spiritually? The young man who comes from a poor and simple ‘balebatishe’ family and has nevertheless achieved so much demonstrates that he has strong character. Such a young man will surely continue to ascend until he becomes a gadol b’Yisrael!”

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