CHASSIDISHE STORY ON THE PARSHA
את השלחן את כל כליו ואת לחם הפנים (פקודי לט:לו)The Table and all its utensils, and the show-bread
R’ Moshe HaKohen Traube a’’h, a Gerrer Chassid lived in Montevideo, Uruguay, in South America, after WWII. In 1953, R’ Moshe traveled to Eretz Yisroel to spend Pesach with an uncle in Tel Aviv.
When he arrived, he first traveled to the Beis Yisroel of Ger zt’’l, in Yerushalayim, bringing him three bushels of apples. The Gerrer Rebbe asked why he needed so many apples; take one barrel to the Ruv, [meaning Maran Rebbe Aharon of Belz zy”a] when you return to Tel Aviv.
Maran Rebbe Aharon zy”a asked why he brought apples, and R’ Moshe answered that the apples in Eretz Yisroel are small and green. His response caused Maran Rebbe Aharon to become agitated hearing derogatory words about the fruits of Eretz Yisroel and told R’ Moshe to repeat three times ‘that the apples are nice and good.’
After Maran Rebbe Aharon calmed down, he asked R’ Moshe if he was staying until after Yom Tov and told him to visit again before leaving.
When R’ Moshe returned to Yerushalayim, the Beis Yisroel inquired about his visit to Maran Rebbe Aharon. R’ Moshe told the Gerrer Rebbe that Rebbe Aharon asked that he return to him after Yom Tov. The Gerrer Rebbe advised him to do so. As a chassid, R’ Moshe returned to Reb Aharon after Yom Tov, who inquired about the Montevideo community and asked about a specific Yid who owned a meat store.
R’ Moshe was shocked to hear Maran zy”a ask about that specific Yid, and relayed that the butcher didn’t keep mitzvahs, and he sold non-Kosher meats. Though R’ Moshe didn’t regard this Yid well, Maran Rebbe Aharon asked him a favor, if he can take a “יב חלה” (many Rebbes use 12 small challos on Shabbos to commemorate the 12 לחם הפנים that were on the שלחן) to the butcher. (Reb Aharon also gave a יב חלה to R’ Moshe.)
When R’ Moshe returned home, he immediately went to the butcher store and handed the challah to the butcher store owner. The butcher was shocked to hear that Rebbe Aharon of Belz sent it to him and burst into tears. He told R’ Moshe that he often traveled to Belz before the war, and because of all his war troubles, he steered from the Jewish path. The realization that the Belzer Rebbe still remembered him broke his heart, and he did teshuvah. He kashered his store and sent his children to Jewish schools, where they grew to be ehrliche Yidden, shomrei Torah U’mitzvahs, and great lomdim.
(This story was told by R’ Mendel HaKohen Traube shlita, a son of R’ Moshe)
Filed under Parshas Pikudei | Reb Aharon of Belz