The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 14 July 2007 / 28 Tammuz 5767

Gentle Reproof

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The profound wisdom and the love for all of his fellow Jews which characterized Rabbi Meir Simcha Hakohen, rabbi of Dvinsk and the author of the "Ohr Somayach", find expression in this story.

On his way to the synagogue one Shabbat morning he came upon the son of one of the communal leaders smoking a cigarette. The youngster was shocked to be discovered in his Shabbat desecration by the revered rabbi and failed to even remove the cigarette.

"Good Shabbat," said the sage in a gentle tone. "You probably forgot that today is Shabbat. Yes, Meir, today is Shabbat. Remember the Shabbat to keep it holy!"

The rabbi continued on his way as if nothing had happened but the rebuked youngster never forgot the lesson he learned from this gentle reproof.

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