Bread or Stockings?
A couple of weeks ago Jews throughout the world marked the tenth Yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of one of the great chassidic leaders of the past generation, Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam, the Klasenberger Rebbe.
Scores of legends have been related and written about this extraordinary sage, especially about his experiences in a concentration camp and the encouragement he provided for his fellow sufferers during the war and after their liberation. Assuming the role of surrogate father to surviving orphans, he consented to offer each of them, boys and girls, the parental blessing customarily given before Yom Kippur.
After blessing one such girl he gently urged her to wear stockings for the sake of feminine modesty. When she asked in return whether her severely limited funds should be used for buying bread or stockings, this warmhearted Torah giant quickly removed his own stockings and gave them to her.