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Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
The Divrei Chaim Casts His Bread Upon The Waters
The Divrei Chaim, Rav Chaim Halberstam of Sanz was approaching a busy train station in Vienna surrounded by his chassidim.  Suddenly he stopped and mentioned to his chassidim that he hears the sound of crying and asked them to locate the source of the crying.  One of the chassidim walked in the direction that the Rav pointed him to and he found a young girl, who was well-dressed, but whose eyes were red from crying.  It was apparent that she had been crying for a long time.   

The chassid asked her what was wrong and the girl, who was the daughter of a non-Jewish minister, told him that she was supposed to travel home by train, but her money had been stolen, and now she was stranded.  She had been sitting there crying for a long time, but no one had paid any attention to her.  “What will I do now?” she said, beginning to cry again, “How will I get home?”

The chassid went back to Rav Chaim and explained to him the source of the crying.  Immediately, Rav Chaim took some money out of his pocket and said to the chassid, “Return to the girl with this money and tell her that Rabbiner Halberstam sent her the money.”  The chassid did as instructed, and the girl happily accepted the money as she wiped away her tears.   

Years later, R’ Shmuel, a Sanzer chassid, came to R’ Chaim with a tale of woe.  R’ Shmuel owned a thriving boot factory and one of his clients was the Hungarian army.  The army had recently ordered a large supply of boots for the approaching winter.  A jealous non-Jewish competitor decided to take matters in his own hands and informed the army general that R’ Shmuel’s boot were made out of inferior materials and R’ Shmuel was a liar and a thief, just like the rest of the Jews.  The army general was more than willing to accept these anti-Semitic trumped-up charges and informed the Hungarian government.  R’ Shmuel was now facing serious charges and faced imprisonment.

Rav Chaim listened and then told R’ Shmuel, “Don’t worry at all.  Go to the justice minister in Lemberg and tell him that Rabbiner Halberstam said that you’re not guilty and these are false accusations.”

R’ Shmuel traveled to Lemberg, but the justice minister was not in his office.  He remembered Rav Chaim’s reassurance not to worry and decided to go to the justice minister’s home.  To his surprise, the justice minister allowed him in immediately and allowed to tell him his story.  He ended his story with the words, “Rabbiner Halberstam told me to come to you and tell you in his name that I’m not guilty and these are all false accusations.”

The minister was silent, but his wife, who had also listened to the story, turned to Rav Shmuel and asked with great interest, “Who told you to come here?”

“Rabbiner Halberstam,” said Rav Shmuel, who was surprised by her interest.   

“Rabbiner Halberstam of Sanz?!”  she asked excitedly.   

“Yes,” Rav Shmuel replied, now even more curious why this non-Jewish woman was so interested in his Rebbe.

“Do who know who that is?” she said to her husband.  Once, when I was a girl, I was stuck in the Vienna train station when all my money was stolen.  I sat and cried there for a full hour, and not one person in the crowded train station paid any attention to me, except that Rav - Rabbiner Halberstam.  He heard me crying and gave me enough money to buy a ticket to travel home.  He’s an angel of G-d, this Rabbiner Halberstam, and I’ll remember him as long as I live.  If this angel of G-d is supporting this man, he is surely not guilty.”

When Rav Shmuel left Lemberg, after he was cleared of the charges, he immediately traveled to Sanz and told Rav Chaim the story.  Rav Chaim smiled and said, “This is what it means when it says, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it.’  When you act appropriately to every person that was created in the image of Hashem, you will only gain.  And this is not referring to only important people…”              (Leorum Neilach)  
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Visitor Comments: 1

AW, 2009-07-03 07:22:52
Beautiful Story!

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