Ethics

For the week ending 23 June 2012 / 2 Tammuz 5772

A Missed Opportunity

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: A very wealthy friend of mine was recently approached by the head of a promising young yeshiva for a major gift to his building fund. My friend has other commitments and is unsure of how much to invest in this institution. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Rabbi Avraham Chaim Feuer, a renowned communal rabbi, author and lecturer residing in Monsey, New York, recently told us this story while visiting Israel to establish a new yeshiva, Mesores Mordechai, in Beit Shemesh. (The yeshiva, which is named for Rabbi Feuers late great father-in-law, Rabbi Mordechai Gifter, zatzal, Rosh Hayeshiva of Telz, is for Beit Midrash boys from the USA.)

Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zatzal, the rav of Lublin who established the famous Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, came out of his office one day in a very distraught mood. One of his students, Rabbi Pinchas Hirshprung (who later served for many years as a renowned rav in Montreal), who was sitting outside the office, asked the rav what had happened to make him so upset.

A Jew just came into my office with a bitter complaint against me, explained the rav. He told me that when I started the yeshiva and approached him for a donation he gave me a modest sum. Little did he realize until today what sort of a yeshiva I built and what quality students there are here. He claims that he is a very wealthy man who could have supplied me with all the money I needed for the yeshiva and he cant forgive me for not pressing him harder to gain such a great merit.

And you know what, concluded the rav, he is right!

Tell your friend that he should devote the same serious thought to investing in this yeshiva as he would to a business investment and to make sure he doesnt miss out on a great opportunity.

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