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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 1, 2007 / 17 Menachem-Av, 5767

When silence was, indeed, golden

By Linda Feinberg


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A Chassidic master's most unusual "rebuke"


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (1740-1810) listened to the distraught man's plea for help, tears welled up in his eyes. For him, a tale of woe wasn't just a "case" — he felt the pain as if it was his own, holding himself personally responsible for helping whoever turned to him.


When it came to helping one who had fallen on hard times and needed a little assistance to get back on his feet, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak usually didn't have to look further than the community tzedakah (charity) fund. The Jews of Berditchev were kindhearted and eager to perform mitzvos (religious duties); one word from the Rebbe was enough for them to magnanimously contribute to the cause. As for those few people who weren't so anxious to give, the Rebbe didn't push them.


However, there were times when troubles fell upon a poor soul excessively and he required more than the usual amount of aid. When this happened, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak knew that he had to call upon everyone to help. And so, as he devised a plan to help, he drew up a list of all of Berditchev's Jewish families.


Rebbe Levi Yitzchak knew about how much each of his "regular" families could contribute. After estimating the monies he could expect to receive, he saw that he was still missing almost half the needed amount. His eyes scanned the list again and settled upon the name of a wealthy man.


This man could be counted upon to contribute to "big" and "important" projects, such as repairing the shul's roof or contributing toward the writing of a Torah scroll. However, when it came to helping individuals — especially those who needed a little money to marry off a daughter or restart a floundering business — this man wasn't interested.


"I know this is not the sort of thing to which you usually contribute," Rebbe Levi Yitzchak began politely, as he sat opposite the wealthy man, "but this is a special case. Because I have no one else to turn to, I am asking for your help."


"Rebbe, what you say is correct," politely replied the man. "I don't contribute to these 'special cases.' It pains me to turn you down, but I'm not going to make an exception."


Still smiling, the wealthy man showed Rav Levi Yitzchak to the door. As they parted, he added, "Rebbe, please don't approach me again about these sorts of matters. It's a waste of both of our time."


Rebbe Levi Yitzchak helped the distraught parishioner without the wealthy man's assistance. However, just a few months later, the story was repeated. Another desperate soul poured out his sad tale. This time, he also needed an exceptionally large sum — more than the regulars would be able to provide. However, there was one difference. This poor man happened to be the brother of the wealthy man who didn't contribute to "special cases."


"Have you asked your brother for help?" asked the Rebbe.


"Of course," replied the man. He didn't say anything more. From the man's silence, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak understood that the wealthy man must have refused to help him.


"Don't worry," said Rebbe Levi Yitzchak. "With the Divine's help, we will find you the money you need."


After the poor fellow left, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak went to the wealthy man's home. He was given a cordial reception and shown into the man's study, where he was invited to take a seat.


"What can I do for you, Rebbe?" asked the wealthy man.


Rebbe Levi Yitzchak didn't reply. The wealthy man waited. The minutes passed. The wealthy man began to wonder at the saint's silence. He noted that Rebbe Levi Yitzchak didn't appear to be agitated or angry, for there was a calm smile on his face.


"Why doesn't he speak?" wondered the wealthy man. "We are both busy men. If he has something to say to me, why doesn't he say it?"


When the clock struck the hour, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak got up and — still smiling — wordlessly left the room.


The following day, the Rebbe was once again at his door. The man politely greeted a smiling Rebbe Levi Yitzchak and showed him into his study. Again he waited for the Rebbe to tell him the purpose of his visit. Again, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak remained silent. When an hour had passed, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak got up from his chair and silently left. The next day, the same scenario was repeated. This time, however, the wealthy man refused to let the saint leave.


"Rebbe," he pleaded, "please tell me why you come here every day. If you are angry at me, why do you smile? If you are not angry at me, why are you silent?"


"Chazal [the Sages] tell us that it is a mitzvah to rebuke a person who will heed your words," Rebbe Levi Yitzchak calmly replied. "They also tell us that it is a mitzvah not to give rebuke if the person will not listen.


"As the rabbi of this town, which is filled with sincere Jews, I have had numerous opportunities to fulfill the first mitzvah. However, because the majority of the Jews in Berditchev are so eager to do as I say, I have never had the opportunity to not offer rebuke because I am sure it will not be heard. You, my friend, are the first person to provide me with this opportunity — so why should I not smile when I finally have the chance to perform this mitzvah?"


The wealthy man squirmed in his seat, especially when he realized that the Rebbe had come to him about his own brother. He took a wallet out of his pocket and placed it on the desk.


"Rebbe, take whatever sum you need," he insisted. "And Rebbe, I'm very sorry, but I can't continue to help you perform this mitzvah anymore. Please put me on your list as a regular contributor to the community fund."

JewishWorldReview.com regularly publishes uplifting and inspirational stories. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Linda Feinberg's work appears weekly in the Monsey, New York-based Yated Neeman. Comment by clicking here.

© 2007, Yated Neeman