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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 July 21, 2006 / 25 Tamuz, 5766

Is it time yet?

By Linda Feinberg


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You never know. You just never know


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If there was one thing that Rebbe Chaim of Kossov (1795-1854) stressed over and over again, it was the mitzvah (religious duty) of hachnosses orchim (hospitality).


The Rebbe constantly reminded his followers, who lived in the region, to open their doors to wayfarers who needed a hot meal and a comfortable bed, and he didn't hesitate to ask those Chassidim (disciples) who had come from far away how they were treated during their journey.


Rebbe Chaim emphasized the importance of this mitzvah throughout his life, yet it once happened that his words struck an even deeper chord than usual within the hearts of his followers.


"You should know," said the Rebbe to a large crowd of chassidim, "that the Messiah is very near. He is already wandering through the streets and knocking on the doors. I ask of you, therefore, to be very meticulous in performing the mitzvah of hachnosses orchim, and to greet him cordially should he knock at your door."


These words naturally created a great stir within the community. After all, who wouldn't want to open their door to the Messiah? The only problem was that the harsh economic conditions of the times had created so many beggars and wanderers that there was always some poor Jew knocking on one's door.


Those Jews who were still fortunate enough to have a roof over their heads were feeling overwhelmed by the burden being placed upon them. Sometimes they didn't have enough food for their own families, so how could they be expected to greet every beggar with a smile and a meal? In addition, every day, the wanderers seemed to get dirtier and sicker and angrier. Whereas once the householders had run to greet a wayfarer knocking at their door, they now ran to lock their doors and shutter their windows to give an appearance that no one was at home.


Yet the Rebbe's words changed the situation in the blink of an eye. Suddenly the entire community was burning with the desire to perform this important mitzvah. People joyously ushered into their homes the ragged guests, all the while searching the beggar for some sign that, perhaps, he was "the one."


The local shochet, kosher ritual slaughterer, Rav Avigdor, was also a chassid of the Rebbe. He, too, had been set on fire by the Rebbe's words, especially since Rav Chaim had given all the ritual slaughterers in the area a special warning.


"Since you are involved in slaughtering all day, you need a special protection," said Rebbe Chaim.


"You must perform more chessed [kindness] than other people so that you don't become hard and indifferent to suffering."


Rav Avigdor therefore always tried to make sure that he had a poor guest at his table. If the beggar happened to be particularly dirty or sick, even better. By waiting upon the wayfarer and tending to the unfortunate person's needs, Rav Avigdor had the satisfaction of knowing that he was both improving his character and obeying the words of his beloved Rebbe.


One Shabbes (Sabbath) eve, though, it happened that the ritual slaughterer's mind was on other things. His wife had given birth that morning to a baby boy, and all the preparations for Sabbaths and the shalom zachor ceremony therefore fell upon his shoulders. In addition to having to worry about preparing the meals and getting the house in order, Rav Avigdor had to make sure that all of the couple's many children were bathed and dressed in their Sabbath finery in time for the holy day.


The ritual slaughterer worked non-stop from dawn until late afternoon. A little bit before the time for candle-lighting, the tired but happy man saw with satisfaction that everything was ready for Sabbath, except himself. Noting that there was still just enough time for him to dash to the mikveh, ritualarium, he grabbed some soap and a towel and raced out of his house and down the street.


"Reb Yid! (My dear Jewish brother) " called out a voice from somewhere.


Rav Avigdor continued to run, pretending not to hear.


"Reb Yid!" the stranger called out again. "Perhaps you could invite me for Sabbath?"


Rav Avigdor kept his eyes focused on the setting sun. If he stopped, he would lose his chance to bathe his badly perspiring body before Sabbath and so he kept running.


"Reb Yid!" the stranger called out a third time. "Have mercy on me. I have no place to spend Sabbath. Let me stay by you."


By then, feelings of anger were welling up within the ritual slaughterer's heart. He had worked so hard all day. All he wanted was to have a few minutes for himself so that he could take care of his own needs and go into Sabbath feeling at ease.


"Can't that beggar see that I'm busy right now?" he thought angrily. "Why can't he wait until he gets to shul to find a place to stay?"


As Rav Avigdor continued to run, he tossed a reply over his shoulder to the waiting beggar. "I don't have time right now," he shouted. "I'm busy."


When the beggar heard those words, he let out a wail that made the ritual slaughterer stop in his tracks.


"Gevald [Oh, no]!" the beggar cried out. "I was so sure this would be the moment when I could finally take off these filthy clothes and put on my other garments. But I see that apparently the time still has not yet arrived."


The ritual slaughterer stood in the middle of the street, staring at the beggar. He dearly wanted to know what the beggar meant by his words, yet a part of him still longed for the purifying waters of the mikveh. He glanced for a moment at the rapidly setting sun, and then he decided that he must speak to this beggar.


However, when he turned to greet the wayfarer, he saw that it was too late.


The beggar had vanished into thin air.

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Linda Feinberg writes weekly for the Monsey, New York-based newspaper, Yated Neeman. Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Yated Neeman