"When Reb Shlomo oldest son was approaching Bar Mitzva Reb Shlomo had no money to buy him tefillin. A few months before the Bar Mitzva Reb Nosson gave him an envelope full of cash, enough to buy the best teffilin.The next year was his second son's bar mitzva and again he had no money for tefilin. "I had no idea whether Reb Nosson's generosity would repeat itself this time around and with little alternative I waited to see what would happen. And in fact a few months before the bar mitzva the same scenario reoccurred. The story repeated itself four more times."When my fifth son's bar mitzva was approaching Reb Nosson had already taken ill and hardly came to Yeshiva. I wondered whether this was the end of his generosity to me. After all out of sight means out of mind, didn't it?Well it didn't. . . "
Sunday, September 18, 2011
A Tribute? "I Wondered Whether This Was the End of His Generosity to Me"
Jewish Worker comments on a Hamodia story on the passing of a tzadik and a troubling aspect highlighted therein, the departure from what is written so clearly in birchat hamazon: please do not make us dependent upon the gifts or loans of flesh and blood.
Yet here the story of a generous tzadik who provided money for those who could not afford tefillin for a Bar Mitzvah is retold by his chavruta as follows:
There is something particularly off putting not just of the expectation to receive tzedakah, but of focusing on whether or not the tzedakah would repeat itself while a man lays on his death bed.
Sometimes I wonder how some things get across the editor's desk. This hardly seems a tribute to the man who has passed on. And the person telling his story. . . . well, would you want to tell this story about yourself?