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from where? from whom?

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from where? from whom?

Written by  riverton mussar

art-shabbat-tableRav Yisrael Salanter zt”l was once invited by one of his talmidim (disciples) to the Friday night Shabbat meal. He told his talmid that he does not eat out without first knowing how the meal is going to be run.

His talmid proudly told him that everything in his home is done strictly according to halachah (Jewish law). “The meat is glatt kosher and is bought from this particular butcher. The woman who works in our kitchen, the widow of a scholar, is very trustworthy. Even so, my wife is always in and out of the kitchen, making sure that everything is being done properly. Between every course, words of Torah are discussed and Shabbat zemirot (songs) are sung. We also have a class on halachah taught during the meal. The meal, being very beautiful and meaningful, continues until late in the evening.”

After hearing all of these details, Rav Salanter agreed to come.

However when he came he rushed the meal and it was shortened by many hours. One course was brought quickly after the other, and before an hour had passed, they were ready to say the grace after meals.

The talmid, unable to contain himself, turned to Rav Salanter and asked what had been wrong with his normal way of conducting the meal. Instead of answering directly, Rav Salanter summoned the widow who had done the cooking and serving. He turned to her and said, “Please forgive me for rushing you so much this evening. I know you are accustomed to having a nice, long break between each course.”

The widow said, “I wish you would come every Shabbat!”

“Why?”

“Because I get up at 5 in the morning for all the preparations. By the evening I’m falling off my feet. I can’t take it anymore. I wait so long to finish what I have to do and go to sleep. Now you came, Rebbe, and finished in such a short time. Now for the very first time in a long time I can finish what I have to do and I can go to sleep like a mensch.”

Rav Salanter turned to his talmid and explained that while his normal meal schedule was very beautiful, he should not be a very fine person on someone elses cheshbon (account).

 

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