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Section:  Avodah   Category: Olam HaTorah
Anyone Can Cry, But Rav Meshulam Igra Knows How To Learn
Rav Aharon Kotler once told over the following story on Chol Hamoed Succos at a Simchas Beis Hashoeva.  Two baalei batim once approached the great Gaon Rav Meshulam Igra in Tismenitz with a halachic dispute, which was extremely complicated.  Rav Igra pondered the case for a considerable amount of time, but eventually told the men that they would have to return the next day so he would have more time to judge the case.  However, the two men, who lived in another town, did not have time to delay their trip home, and instead they decided to travel home and consult their own Rav. 

The men traveled home and went directly to their Rav.  The Rav was a talmid chacham but had never encountered such a difficult case.  He told the men to wait, and enclosed himself in a private room.  Shortly later, he left the room, and explained his psak.  The psak was satisfactory to the two men and they left in peace.

A few months later the two men traveled to Tismenitz again on business.  They decided to take the opportunity to ask Rav Meshulam how he had judged their dispute which he had deemed too difficult to judge in one day.  They went to ask Rav Meshulam, and it turned out that his psak was the exact psak that their own Rav had ruled.  When the two men heard the psak, they looked at each other meaningfully.  Rav Meshulam asked them to explain themselves, and couldn’t hold themselves back from telling him that their Rav had reached the same psak after a half hour.  

When Rav Meshulam heard that a Rav of one of the small towns had judged such a difficult case in such a short amount of time, he said to himself, “This must be an awesome Gaon in our generation and I must acquaint myself with him.”  Rav Meshulam didn’t delay and he immediately traveled to that Rav.  When he reached his home, he entered with awe and stood before him with great humility, like a talmid in front of his Rav.  He began talking with the Rav and asked him how he was able to solve such a complicated matter, when he himself had to delay until the next day.

The Rav answered him, “It’s true; I had no idea how to judge the dispute, and I became very distraught.  I entered a private room, and began crying and pleading with Hashem for rachamim.  I said before Hashem, ‘I’m the Rav in this town and the baalei habatim are unable to discern between a difficult or light matter.  If  I’m unable to provide a solution for them, it will cause a chillul Hashem, chas vechalila.’  I then approached the bookshelf, and min hashamayim they answered me that I immediately found an old sefer which presented a similar case, and that’s how I ruled!”

When Rav Meshulam heard this, he immediately arose to leave, and said, “To cry?  I also know how to cry, but for the Torah one must labor and toil!”     (Shaal Avicha Veyegadcha)
RELATED ARTICLES:Rav Meshulam Igra  Story  tears  tefila

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Visitor Comments: 1

Anonymous, 2010-09-27 08:48:27
I find this story very hard to believe

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