Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
Rav Elchonon Wasserman Sends The Childless To America

Rav Issar Zalman Meltzer once asked Rav Shach to ask the Chofetz Chaim for a bracha for a childless couple who lived in Russia. The Chofetz Chaim refused to give a bracha because the couple lived in an area where no Torah education was available for children. He said that it was better for them not to have children if it was impossible to educate them in the Torah way.

This is similar to another story which Rav Simcha Wasserman told about his father, Rav Elchonon Wasserman, h'yd. Rav Simcha was sitting with his father sometime before WWII and R' Elchonon had just finished telling Rav Simcha that his role in life was to travel to areas where there was a dearth of Torah and spread Torah. In fact, this is exactly what Rav Simcha did, traveling to France, and America. Unfortunately, he and wife remained childless all their lives, but were spiritual parents to thousands of students in the various cities they lived.

Immediately after R' Elchonon had finished instructing R' Simcha that he would be traveling, a man entered to consult with R' Elchonon. The man wanted to move to America because of the ominous situation for the Jews at that time in Europe. R' Elchonon refused to give his approval, and said, "Better for your children to die a physical death here in Europe than die a spiritual death in America."

R' Simcha said that he when he heard his father's words to this man, which immediately followed his instructions to his son to travel to Torah wastelands, he knew with certainty that he would never bear children. (Heard from Rabbi Akiva Tatz)