In Appreciation

In Appreciation

The story is told of a great and saintly Rabbi who was once asked by a Jew: "Rabbi, why do you look so ill? Are you sick?"

"No," replied the saintly Rabbi, "it is because I have been put to shame by a certain person."

How could any one dare to do such a thing to you! Please tell me who it was!

The Rabbi replied that he could not tell him the name of the person. The Jew was persistent, however, and asked the Rabbi:

"Tell me then, Rabbi, what did you do to the man after he had insulted you?"

"I embraced him and kissed him," came the astonishing reply.

The Jew could not restrain himself any longer and begged the Rabbi to give him the name of this person whom he treated so contrarily, kissing and embracing him as a reward for putting him to shame!

"It was Rabbi Elijah HaCohen, the author of Shevet-Mussar (Rod of Admonition) who put me to shame. I had become deeply interested in his book and then it dawned upon me that I had not even begun to serve the Almighty sufficiently, that I was not worthy of being a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and I felt very much ashamed of myself.

"I realized the truth of all he had written, and then in my appreciation and gratitude to him for showing me the truth, I took his book and kissed it."

Excerpted from The Complete Story of Tishrei, published and copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY
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