When Rav Eliyahu Chaim Meisel was appointed Rav in the large city of Lodz, he announced to the congregation, “As long as I serve as Rav of this community, there will be absolutely no chillul Shabbos.” And so it was.

One day, the Rav was informed of a man at the end of town who opened his store on Shabbos. Rav Eliyahu Chaim was appalled, distraught and disappointed. That Shabbos morning, the Rav did not appear at davening. The congregation knew they should proceed without him.

Early in the morning, Rav Eliyahu Chaim set out on foot. When he reached the Jew’s store, he simply sat in the doorway and waited.

When the storekeeper arrived to open his shop, there was the Rav, sitting in the doorway. Even a man like him, who desecrated the Shabbos, would not open his store in front of the Rav. “There is probably a bris somewhere nearby, and the Rav is waiting for the baby and his parents.”

The storekeeper waited one hour, then two, and three. Still Rav Eliyahu Chaim remained in his place. Suddenly it dawned upon the storekeeper that perhaps the Rav was there because of him. His heart cringed with regret. Because of his deeds, Rav Eliyahu Chaim dallied for three hours without davening in a minyan, and without food or drink?

“I know why the Rav is here!” the man cried to him remorsefully. “From now on, I’ll never open my store on Shabbos!”