The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 3 November 2012 / 17 Heshvan 5773

Tap on the Shoulder

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Another baby was on the way to the Bnei Brak family already blessed with more children than their modest apartment could accommodate. When the expectant mother pointed out that there was absolutely no space for another bed, her Kollel (Torah study group) husband declared that he would ask his father for help in acquiring a larger home.

"What can you father possibly do more for us than he has already done?" challenged his wife. "You know he has no money left for such a purpose."

"I didnt mean my human father," explained the righteous husband, "but rather my Father in Heaven."

He traveled to Jerusalem and poured out his heart in prayer at the Kotel (some call it "The Weeping Wall"). Someone standing nearby saw the tears pouring from his eyes, tapped him on the shoulder and asked him what the cause of his prayerful outburst was. At first our hero simply responded that this was a private matter between him and his Heavenly Father and continued his tearful prayers. The curious bystander once again asked why he was praying with such fervor. Upon hearing the plight of the worshiper he immediately took him to a real estate office and wrote a check for a larger apartment.

When this overjoyed talmid chacham scholartold his fellow scholars in the Kollel how his prayers were so miraculously answered, they decided to go as a group to the Kotel and pray for their own needs of larger living spaces. But when the anxiously awaited tap on the shoulder came to each of them, it was merely a beggar asking for a donation!

Brokenhearted they returned to their Kollel and asked their leader why they were not favored with the miracle of their colleague.

"You went to the Kotel looking for that mysterious human benefactor," he explained, "while your colleague went there looking for his Father!"

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