The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 30 October 2010 / 21 Heshvan 5771

A Lucky Accident

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

When the famed philanthropist Nathan Strauss visited Jerusalem to participate in the chanukat habayit dedicationof the soup kitchen for needy Jews whose construction he had helped to finance, he was accompanied by his brother who had refused to contribute to this project.

As they left the soup kitchen, Nathan slipped on the stairs and severely sprained his ankle. His brother, who had only disdain for the hundreds of poor Jews who depended on the kitchen, visited him in the hospital and made a cynical remark about the "reward" Nathan had received from Heaven for his "misguided charity."

Anxious to take care of some business affairs in Europe, the brother departed before Nathan had recuperated. The ship he traveled on sank and he lost his life. Only then did it become clear that Nathan's charity had saved his life.

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