Between Holy and Profane
When I was young, I witnessed true kovod haTorah. I
was in Brod by HaRav Efraim Zalman Margulies zt'l and
saw how he studied. He would don a special overgarment which
was reserved just for Torah study, and whenever he was forced
to say something not connected to Torah, something mundane,
he would immediately cast off the outer garment so that he
He considered his study garment utterly holy, similar to the
Torah itself, and not to be profaned.
(R' Yirmiyo Lau, author of Shaar Torah)
His `Honor-Wealth' Will Not Descend with Him
A certain wealthy man ordered that upon his death, all of his
valuables be buried together with him.
When he died, the question was posed to HaRav Shmuel Salant
ztvk'l, chief rabbi of Yerushalayim whether this was a
valid will and testimony, to be carried out as per the
deceased's request. R' Shmuel asked about the value of the
"Oh, a huge sum!" was the reply.
"Fine!" ruled R' Shmuel. "Just write out a check for that
amount and place it in the grave."
The Wisdom of the Heart
A Jew once complained to HaRav Shmuel Salant that his
neighbor owed him a large sum of money but kept on evading
him and postponing the payment. "Give me another week or
two," he would say time and again.
R' Shmuel summoned the man and asked, "Is it true that you
owe this man money?"
"Yes," was the reply.
"Very well. Pay him back immediately!"
"Now? I can't. I'll pay him back in a few days time."
The Rov insisted, "Pay him back your debt immediately!"
Having no choice, he paid him back. On the morrow, he left
R' Shmuel was asked, "Why were you so insistent? How did you
know he intended to leave?"
"I noticed that he asked for an aliya without having
any valid obligation for it. I simply concluded that he
intended to leave the country."
(Toras R' Shmuel)
You Are Fortified Through Love for It
My grandfather, author of Anfei Zayis, once had to
undergo surgery. He waived any anesthesia and studied Torah
with joy throughout the procedure and did not even feel the
Upon that occasion, he innovated many chiddushei
Torah, which he recorded in a special notebook. His own
hand inscribed the following words:
"Whatever I innovated, praised be Hashem, was in the five
minutes prior to the incision of the surgeon." Afterwards, he
wrote, "And this is what I innovated during the very time of
the incision of the surgery."
These chiddushim are truly Divinely inspired and
marvelous to read.
(R' Silberberg from Pittsburgh)
They tell that Rabbenu HaRav Chaim of Brisk ztvk'l
used to say, "Any terutz which is worded as a
possibility, such as, `One might say this or one can say
that,' is not a valid response.
"A true terutz must be bound and necessary by virtue
of hard and fast logic, according to the depth of the
subject, to such a degree that there is no other solution and
the question simply dissolves by itself."
(R' Eliyohu Birk -- Nachalas Yosef)
This Might Apply Also to Divrei Torah
HaRav Efraim Borodiansky zt'l once said that the
Chazon Ish ztvk'l once visited Vilna and went to pay
his respects to HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky ztvk'l.
HaRav Elchonon Wasserman ztvk'l, Hy'd asked him to say
a dvar Torah but the Chazon Ish remained silent.
Thereupon, R' Elchonon said, "It is written in Shaarei
Tshuva by Rabbenu Yonah that if someone asks a favor of
his friend which the latter is hard put to comply with but is
ashamed to refuse, it is as if the asker is transgressing the
negative commandment of, `You shall not tyrannize him through
"However," R' Elchonon continued, "this does not hold true
with divrei Torah. A person is permitted to ask
another to tell him a good vort even though the other
may find it difficult."
When the Chazon Ish told this over, he said that he didn't
know where R' Elchonon was able to derive and substantiate
that that particular commandment did not apply to divrei
Torah. R' Efraim related that some time later he did find
it written to that effect: his source was Sefer
(R' Yehoshua Melrich, Shiurim Be'Orayso)