Love of the Land

For the week ending 2 April 2005 / 22 Adar II 5765

"Arab" to the Rescue

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Rabbi Arye Levine was indeed "A Tzaddik in our Time", the title of a book written about this saintly man, father-in-law of todays leading halachic authority, Rav Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv.

In addition to all his legendary virtues he was exceptional in his concern for the widows, orphans and impoverished families of Jerusalem. He was especially busy before Pesach, collecting money to distribute to those who would otherwise lack the basic necessities for celebrating the holiday. One year during the Second World War, when times were tough even for the prosperous, Reb Aryeh did not manage to put together the sum he needed for helping all the families who depended on him.

What did a tzaddik like Reb Aryeh do in such a situation?

He went to the Kotel to pour out his heart in prayer to Heaven. After a long period of tearfully appealing to G-d to help him provide for the needy families he left the Kotel. He was suddenly approached by someone in Arab dress who, without a word, handed him a package wrapped in a newspaper and disappeared. When Reb Aryeh opened the package he found inside the exact amount of money he needed for his holiday distribution.

The great Torah giant of Bnei Brak, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, whose wife is Reb Aryehs granddaughter, is the source of this story and insists that it is believed in that illustrious family that the one who handed the money to Reb Aryeh was the Prophet Eliyahu.

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