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Friday, April 07, 2006


Rabbi Aryeh Levine, ZT"L

Today is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Aryeh Levine, who was known as both the "Tzaddik of Yerushalayim, and "A Tzaddik in Our Time." He is not known for Negina, but his life was certainly a Great Song to the One Above, as shown in the following anecdotes:

The Man Who Mistook His Wife's Foot for His Own -
Actually, he wasn't mistaken
The Talmud rules that "A man's wife is as his own body." Rabbi Aryeh Levine (d. 1969), known as "the Tzaddik of Jerusalem," exemplified this ideal. On one occasion, when accompanying his wife to a Jerusalem clinic, he explained to the physician: "Doctor, my wife's foot is hurting us."

The Winter Coat

The following anecdote I heard personally from R. Benjy Levine, a grandson of Reb Aryeh's. I don't recall if it was an actual event, or just a mashal [parable] that he told:

In the middle of a very cold winter, two men came before a Rav, disputing over a winter coat. It turns out they were father and son.

The father began: "I am a very old man, and the winter cold really gets to me, I must have this coat to keep me warm!

The son responded: "I need to go outside to work every day to support my father and me. Surely I deserve this coat."

The Rav thought it over, and declared: "I need some more time to decide your case. But before I do, I want you to both come back tomorrow, and make your best claim -- for your opponent."

A bit bewildered, the father and son went home, and came back the next day.

The father began, "My son works hard to support us. He needs this coat when he goes outside to earn a living."

The son responded, "Oh no! My father is elderly and cannot make it through the cold winter without a warm coat, even inside. Surely he deserves it.

The Rav then went over to a closet in his house, took out a winter coat, told them that it was an extra coat that he didn't need, and gave it to them.

Now they were really confused. "Tell me, Rabbi," they both said. "Yesterday, when we were here, didn't you have this extra coat?"

"Why, yes," the Rav replied.

"So why didn't you give it to us then?"

"Well, yesterday, when you came here, each of you said that you have a coat, and 'it's mine.' So I thought, 'I, too, have a coat and it's mine.'
But today, when each of you said, 'I have a coat, but I don't need it, it's his,' so I thought, 'I, too, have a coat, and I don't need it, so it's yours!' "

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That's how we should all look at things. The material is all G-d's, and we have to make sure everyone has what they need.

So, I'm here to ask what tunes to use during the reading of the Hagada, so it's fun and pleasant and not boring?
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