The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 4 September 2010 / 24 Elul 5770

Keeping a Promise

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

When he was handed an invitation to the wedding of a young man, Rabbi Aryeh Levin, the famed tzaddik of Yerushalayim, did not recognize the prospective chatan. He nevertheless conversed with him about his wedding plans. In the course of their conversation he discovered that the kallah's parents were boycotting the wedding because of some differences between them and the chatan's parents. This caused Rabbi Levin to have reservations about participating in such a wedding, so he said that "he would attend if he could."

"But you once promised to be at my wedding," the inviter protested.

He then went on to remind the rabbi, who was famous for his visits to Jews imprisoned by the British Mandate forces, of the time he visited him when he was in the prison "death row" because of anti-British activity. He encouraged him by telling him that he would not be executed, leaving him with the promise that he would even someday dance at his wedding.

Rabbi Levin thereupon said he would keep his promise but asked that the wedding be postponed in order to give him time to make peace between the young man's parents and those of his kallah. The happy ending was that the wedding eventually took place with both sets of parents there along with the holy man who kept his promise.

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