CHASSIDISHE STORY ON THE PARSHA
ונתת על השלחן לחם פנים לפני תמיד (תרומה כה:ל)On the Table shall you place show-bread before Me, always
A simple, pious Yid from Tzfas once heard a Shabbos speech from the Rav in his shul on Parshas Terumah. The Rav spoke about the ‘Lechem Hapanim’, which was baked on Friday and placed on the Shulchan, describing its merits and powers. In the times of the Beis Hamikdash, it brought heaps of blessings of wheat and fruits to the world. And the Rav continued with a sigh, saying that we lost these worthy merits since the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed.
The Yid, being very naive, went home and repeated the Rav’s words to his wife and told her, from now on, we will bake twelve challos and place it inside the Aron Kodesh from our shul, and I’m sure Hashem will derive great pleasure and send bounty.
And so, they bought the best flour and baked twelve beautiful challos on Friday. The Yid then brought the challos to shul and placed them inside the Aron Hakodesh, and then poured his heart out to Hashem to accept his gift and consider it as a Korban (sacrifice.)
The shul shamesh (attendant) watched the proceedings from the women’s gallery. When the Yid left the shul, he removed the challos from the Aron Kodesh and took them home. After the Friday night prayers, the yid waited for everyone to go home, opened up the Aron Kodesh, and to his surprise and joy, saw that the challos were gone. He ran home and shared the great news with his wife. “Let’s thank Hashem for accepting our fresh Korben – it surely brought great satisfaction to Hashem! We will start doing this ritual every week from today and on.”
This ritual continued for a few weeks. The Yid’s wife baked twelve challos, placed them in the Aron Kodesh, prayed, and when he left, the shamesh would remove them, alluding to the Yid that Hashem accepted his ‘korban.’
One Friday afternoon, the Rav was present in shul, and the Yid was so engrossed in his prayers that he didn’t notice that the Rav was also in Shul. When he finished davening, the Rav went over to the Yid, and admonished him. “Why are you doing something so silly? Do you think Hashem eats your Challos every Friday?”
Meanwhile, the shamesh came into Shul to remove the challos. The Rav caught on to the shamesh’s act and told the Yid. “I’ll show you who eats your challos!”
The Rav summoned the shamesh, “Tell me the truth. Are you the one who removes the challos each week, and that’s why you came now?”
The shamesh admitted that since the Yid started placing the challos in the Aron Kodesh each week, his family enjoys them on Shabbos. The Yid burst out crying and asked the Rav to daven for him to Hashem to forgive him for this sin, as he didn’t interpret the Rav’s speech well, thinking that he was bringing great nachas –satisfaction to Hashem – and now sees that he committed a transgression.
That Friday afternoon, a messenger from the Ari Hakadosh zt’’l suddenly arrived at the Rav’s home with a message from the Ari Hakadosh. “My Rebbe sent me to tell you that a bad omen fell upon you in Heaven.” The Rav quickly went to the Ari Hakadosh and asked what aveira – transgression – he committed that caused evil to fall upon him. The Ari Hakadosh told him: “You should know that since the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, Hashem never derived such נחת רוח – divine satisfaction as from the act of the Yid bringing the twelve challos to the Aron Kodesh each week!” The Yid’s intentions were so pure, only to do Hashem’s will, and since you destroyed Hashem’s נחת רוח, you inflicted upon yourself evil tidings. Go home and bid farewell from your family as it was decreed from Above that you will pass away!”
The next day, on Shabbos, the Rav delivered a speech about the greatness and worthiness of simple Yidden with pure intentions. Those acts give the greatest satisfaction to Hashem. That night, the Rav was niftar.
Filed under Parshas Terumah