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Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
The Back Door To The Steipler Gaon

The Steipler, z"tl, was known for his refusal to accept anytype of gift, and in fact, this was so well known that it was rare for anyoneto attempt to give him a present. Rav Dovid Frankel told the story of how his father, who owned a textilefactory, was one of the rare people who succeeded in giving the Steipler apresent. 

His father had noticed on one of his visits to the Steiplerthat he was wearing a torn faded coat, and he greatly desired to bring him anew coat.  All his relativesexpressed their opinion that there was no hope that the Steipler would accept anew coat, but he decided to try his luck. 

He prepared a new coat for the Steipler with great care toeach detail, and when he was finished, he sat down to devise a plan on how topresent it to him.  He knew that ifhe didn't prepare carefully, he had no hope in succeeding.  As soon as the Steipler would see thenew coat in the hand of his guest, he would instruct him to remove the presentfrom the house.

He thought and thought, until he came up with an excellentidea.  It was the month of Adar,and Purim was quickly approaching. The father turned to his son, Rav Dovid, and said to him, "I'll sendmishloach manos with you to the Gaon, and I'll wrap the wine and the cake withthe new coat."  The plan was thatwhen the Steipler would open the mishloach manos and see the coat, he wouldkeep it because of his love for the mitzvah. 

On Purim, R' Dovid took the mishloach manos to the Steipler,and left before the Gaon opened it. It remained to be seen whether the Steipler would actually use the coat.

 On the firstnight of Pesach, an occupant of one of the benches in the "Lederman" shul wherethe Steipler davened, suddenly broke out in a beaming smile.  It was the father of Rav Dovid Frankel,who had suddenly glimpsed Maran, z'll enter into the Beis Midrash wearing thenew coat he had been given on Purim. Rav Frankel could barely contain his excitement and joy. 

Apparently, the Steipler decided that since the coat served asa mitzvah, as it wrapped the mishloach manos,  it contained extra kedusha, and could even be considered asa garment that was given him through Hakodash Boruch Hu, and it wasn't anoption to return it.   (AleinuLeshabeach)