CHASSIDISHE STORY ON THE PARSHA
ויהי עשו איש יודע ציד איש שדה…(תולדות כה:כז)And Eisav became one who knows trapping, a man of the field…
The renowned Yerushalmi Maggid R’ Shalom Swadron zt’’l shared a story:
“If you want to know the explanation of Eisav, I’ll present it to you: One evening, close to midnight when the streets were empty, a Yid stood outside one of the ‘Mea Shearim Shtiblech’ announcing that he was looking for a minyan to be able to daven Maariv. It wasn’t easy to assemble ten people for a minyan at such a late hour, and he asked every rare passerby, ‘R’ Yid, did you daven Maariv?’ And so the Yid continued calling out until after half an hour, a minyan was assembled.”
“I was also present,” R’ Swadron related. “And I saw how hard it was for the Yid to gather a minyan.” R’ Swadron raised his voice in rebuke and continued, “Oy, oy! When we were a group of ten, we all entered the Beis Medrash, and R’ Tzaddik, the Yid who assembled the minyan, went to the amud – to lead everyone in prayer.
At that moment, an elderly Yid rushed inside the shul wearing strange attire and a straw hat. Breathlessly, he ran to the amud and asked the chazzan, ‘R’ Tzaddik, I have yahrzeit for my father, and I would like to daven for the amud.’
The shul was quiet, and everyone awaited R’ Tzaddik’s response. R’ Tzaddik gave the elderly Yid a piercing look and said, ‘I’m working on this minyan for half an hour, and you arrive at the last minute and want to take the amud from me? Find another place!’
The elderly Yid begged, “I’m a chiyuv – required to lead the davening to honor my father’s yahrzeit. Please do me a favor and allow me to lead the davening.” The chazzan replied, “If you have yahrzeit, why did you wait till so late at night? I purposely won’t give you the amud!”
‘R’ Tzaddik’ pushed away the elderly Yid and started davening.
R’ Shalom Swadron concluded the story in a painful voice, “I got up from my place and called out aloud: ‘Eisav is davening Maariv, Eisav is davening Maariv,’ and I left the Beis Medrash.”
Filed under Parshas Toldos