The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 24 April 2010 / 9 Iyyar 5770

Reward for Selflessness

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

With the approach of the yahrzeit of the great Chassidic leader Rabbi Elimelech on 21 Adar, thousands of Jews throughout the world were making arrangements for travel to his tomb in the European city of Lizhensk. Among them were Jews in the Israeli town of Elad who were participating in a charity raffle whose prizes were airplane tickets to Lizhensk.

When one of them learned that he was the lucky winner of such a ticket, he announced that he was giving the prize to his brother who was anxious to make the pilgrimage but could not afford to do so. The next week another drawing was held and once again our hero was one of the winners.

As both brothers joyously traveled to pray at the graveside of this great tzaddik they could reflect on the fact that the selflessness expressed by the first one was a fulfillment of Rabbi Elimelech's encouragement of such behavior in his famous "Little List" of guidance to be found in his monumental work "Noam Elimelech".

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