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Jewish World Review
May 12, 2005
/ 14 Iyar, 5766
SMILING EACH DAY
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski
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Although we study the scholarly works of the great Torah [Bible] luminaries, the Talmud states that observing their conduct in everyday life is even superior to studying their profound Torah works (Rashi, Genesis 24:42), because by viewing the Sages one can see how these great people put their Torah knowledge into practice.
One Friday night, the Chafetz Chaim had several wayfarers as guests at his table. To everyone's surprise, when he returned home from shul [synagogue], the Chafetz Chaim omitted the traditional song Shalom Aleichem, whereby one welcomes the heavenly angels into his home on Shabbes [Sabbath], and immediately recited the Kiddush, wine sacrament.
Then the Chafetz Chaim began the meal, and only after the first course was completed, did he arise and sing the Shalom Aleichem.
A disciple of his, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Chasman, who witnessed this strange happening, could not contain his curiosity and asked for an explanation.
"It is very simple,'' the Chafetz Chaim said. "The guests had traveled all day, and I am sure that they did not have the opportunity to eat, especially since they were in a hurry to arrive before Shabbes. Angels are not hungry, and they can wait until after the first course. People who are hungry should not be made to wait.''
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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Smiling Each Day", from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book help fund JWR).
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© 2005, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.