The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 15 October 2011 / 16 Tishri 5772

Why He Stayed Overnight

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

One of the many touching stories told about the late, great Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zatzal, deals with the mystery surrounding the reason why this Torah giant was in Tel Aviv, away from the sacred Jerusalem where he was born and lived all his life.

It was on the occasion of the wedding of his nephew, an orphan from both parents, who became his charge. Rabbi Auerbach led him to the chuppa which took place in Tel Aviv and stayed overnight in that city. The nephew, who later became the rabbi of the Ramat Chen community in Tel Aviv, did not understand why his uncle did this very uncharacteristic thing until the day that he himself arranged a wedding for an orphaned chatan.

"I hope you will conduct yourself with this orphaned chatan as I did with you," cautioned his uncle.

When the nephew failed to comprehend the hint, his uncle explained. A chatan and a kalla receive many beautiful gifts at their wedding, and one of their happiest moments is when they can show off the gifts to their parents. Since the orphaned chatan had no parents to whom he could show those gifts, his uncle, with the proper sensitivity of a great Torah scholar, stayed overnight so that he could provide the newly married couple with this special simcha.

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