Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Perpetual Loss

The Apter Rav, zt”l, was more commonly known as the Ohev Yisrael due to his vast love for his fellow Jews. At his request, his grave is not marked by any honorific other than, “Here lies Admor Ohev Yisrael” and his name. His home was open to anyone and he would always encourage and help those who came to him in any way that he could. A certain merchant in oxen suffered a reverse in his business and traveled to the Ohev Yisrael in the hopes of receiving advice as to how he might improve his situation. “My business was a burgeoning for many years and until recently provided me with an excellent living. Suddenly it took a turn for the worse. Now I have lost all of my money and don’t know what to do…” When the Apter Rav heard about this he groaned and offered excellent practical means for this man to find a parnassah, heaping blessings on his head all the while that things would get better. When he saw that the merchant’s spirits had been revived he changed the direction of his words. Rav Yehoshua Heschel said with bitterness, “You talk about your business troubles but forget completely that a huge tragedy occurred this very day for the entire Jewish people. Today, another day has passed and we have not brought the korban tamid! We have no Beis Hamikdash, no mizbeach and no kohein! You are worried about your oxen and your business. How can it be that our failure to bring the korban hatamid doesn’t bother you?”

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