This is a story of Rav Tzvi Elimelech. He told this story about his father. In those days, people were so poor, but a way of making money was to become a tutor in a rich man’s house. They taught children from Sucut to Pesach, they made a few hundred rubles and lived on that the whole year.
So, his father became a tutor for a rich man. The first shabbos that his father was there, there were no guests. His father said to the rich man, “How can you have a shabbos without guests?” The man said, “I don’t waste my precious money on guests.” Rav Tzvi Elimelech’s father was so innocent. He said, “Do me a favor. Take it off my salary. I cannot eat without poor people at the table.”
He stayed there from Succoth until Pesach. A few days before Pesach, he walked in and said, Now, give me my 500 rubles.” The rich man said, “What do you mean? You owe ME 500 rubles! Because of you, I had to spend twice your salary on the poor.” Anyway, Tzvi Elimelech’s father realized that this rich man would not let him go without getting his 500 rubles back, so he ran to his room, took his things and left.
In the meantime, his wife didn’t have a single penny. The grocer and the butcher were asking her when she would pay them and she would tell them that her husband was bringing money on Pesach. So, he thought, how can I come home without any money? What am I supposed to do? He arrived home in the middle of the night. He was afraid to go home so he went to the Beit Midrash (study house).
Rav Tzvi Elimelech said, “I was 7 years old. then. I went in the morning to daven and there was my father in the Beit Midrash! I said to my father, ‘Why didn’t you come home? We miss you so much!’ He said, ‘I didn’t want to wake you up.’
I ran home to tell my mother that my father came home. She was so happy. I ran back to my father and told him, ‘For four weeks we had nothing to eat because the butcher the grocer didn’t trust us anymore. Now, we went and told them that thank G-d, you are here. Now my mother is preparing the best breakfast for you. We are so happy you came home.’
Well, my father davened so long. He didn’t know what to do. He took an hour to pack his tefillin up and I was pulling him the whole time, saying, ‘Let’s go home already.’ We walked in the street. He walked so slowly. Finally, we came to the last corner before the house.
Suddenly, a Cossack came charging along and stopped right in front of my father. He said, “I am looking for Reb Feivel.’ My father said, “That’s me.” The Cossack took a little bag and threw it at my father and then took off. There was pure gold in it. Pure gold. So, Rav Tzvi Elimelech said, “That Seder night, when my father opened the door for Eliyahu HaNavi, I started yelling and I said, “Father, look — The Cossack is here again.
May we all be blessed to see Eliyahu HaNavi this year!
Now another quick story:
A Girl’s Best Friend?
Berel meets Schmerel shopping at the mall and sees he has a small gift wrapped box.
“It’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow.” Schmerel said. “Last week I asked Sarah what she wanted for her birthday.”
“And?” Berel asked.
“Well, she said ‘Oh, I don’t know just give me something with diamonds in it’.”
“So what did you get her?” asked Berel.
“I bought her a deck of cards!!”