The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 2 January 2010 / 15 Tevet 5770

A Quick Departure

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Arranging an appointment with the very wealthy potential donor in a foreign land was no easy matter, even for someone so greatly respected as Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, founder of the Ponevez Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. He finally succeeded thanks to the strenuous efforts of a former student who lived in the man's city.

When, upon arriving from the airport, the rabbi and his student knocked on the door they were greeted by the man they wished to meet, only to learn that he was presently involved in a business transaction, and they would have to wait for a quarter of an hour. When that time passed the host excused himself and said that it would be another hour until he was free to see them. At this point Rabbi Kahaneman picked himself up, said goodbye to his potential donor and departed for the trip back to Israel.

The student was shocked that his rav who had made a special trip to encourage this fellow to support his major Torah institution was ready to leave and asked for an explanation.

"You told me that once our meeting was over you had a learning session with a partner," came the answer, "and I am not prepared to let you lose that opportunity to learn Torah. As regards the needs of my institution, I am sure that Heaven will take care of them if I do what is right."

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