Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Empathize

During his last years, the Tchebiner Rav lived in Shaarei Chessed. At that time, there was a certain very broken, lonely man who would collect tzedakah in the neighborhood shuls. This person was well known—if not well liked—by all on account of his bizarre dress and strange behavior. He had his own unusual way to sing יהללו when the Torah was being replaced into the aron kodesh. Since his voice was cracked and he could not hold a tune, this was very annoying to the other people in shul. Nevertheless, if there was a chosson, he would always belt out his tune, often accompanied by bored children who immediately flocked to him and did their utmost to “help him along.”
Once, when this man was collecting in the Tchebiner Rav’s minyan, the Tchebiner Rav gave him a princely donation before they had replaced the Torah into the ark. “I am not giving you this merely s a gift,” he proclaimed. “I give this to you on condition that you make the minyan happy with your unique tune for יהללו.”
The man was thrilled to his core and began to sing his special tune. But this time, since the Rav had asked for it, everyone joined him and it was actually a fitting way to replace the Torah. The broken man was overjoyed at his triumph and would tell everyone he knew about the admiration that the Tchebiner Rav had for him. Not only had he given him a big sum of money, he had even asked for his special nigun!

1 comment:

arnie draiman said...

great tzedakah story...thanks for sharing.

arnie draiman