The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 12 April 2008 / 7 Nisan 5768

Miracle of Maror

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Pesach was approaching and a group of Jews in wartime Siberian exile were desperately searching for a source for the romaine lettuce they needed to fulfill the mitzvah of eating maror on Pesach eve. Virtually no vegetables grew in that frozen wasteland so that the prospects for acquiring maror were bleak indeed.

The revered Rav of Tsheben, Rabbi Dov Berish Weidenfeld, asked Yechezkel Klagbard, who later served as the first chazan in Bnei Brak's Central Synagogue, to make a search for the maror. His initial efforts proved futile and he came to the conclusion that it was up to G-d to provide a miracle. To fulfill his own responsibility he returned to the frozen streets of the city and began to sing his most beautiful melodies. Although most people who heard his loud singing thought he was deranged, one old gentile woman suddenly came out of an alley and said, "I love the song you just sang. Sing it again for me and I will reward you." He sang as requested and when he finished he told her that he was not interested in money, only in romaine lettuce. To his pleasant surprise she went down to her cellar and brought from there enough of the precious vegetable to supply all the Jews in that group with their maror needs.

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