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Sages & Mystics

Sages & Mystics

More classical Jewish stories

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How could the rabbi claim to be supporting orphans with this money?
A Tzaddik's Repentance
When the two pupils approached, they saw their master sitting in the snow, weeping and praying. They hurriedly departed from that place.
Original Ideas
At a nearby table sat a man who would come every evening for an hour of study. Although his business consumed the bulk of his day, and his study skills were limited, he diligently pursued his nightly page of Talmud.
The Witnessing Tree
"Under a tree? Very good!" cried out Rabbi Chaim excitedly. "Go and summon that tree as a witness"
Israel Goy
How could a Jew be so indifferent to the needs of his brothers and sisters? People started referring to the rich miser in their midst as “Israel Goy,” and the epithet stuck
A Minority View
“If your Bible says that you must follow the majority,” argued the king, “then you should forsake Judaism and believe as we do!”
Channels of Truth
Whenever a human being is called upon to decide a matter of Torah law, we are faced with a paradox: how can the finite and error-prone human mind possibly determine what is G-d's will?
The Loan
Rabbi Shmuel was very careful in keeping the accounts of the free-loan fund, marking every transaction carefully in his books...
The Gift
When no one was in the synagogue, he brought in the loaves under his cloak. He prayed that G‑d should look upon his offering with favor, and eat and enjoy the lovely, freshly baked bread . . .
Tainted Soup
Ettel burst into tears as soon as she entered the famous scholar's room. She had nine sons, eight of whom were both dedicated and successful in their Torah studies. But she was upset about Moshe-Noach, her fifteen-year-old
A Prerequisite for a Blessing
He was perched on a white steed, accompanied by an entourage of soldiers. He wore a flashy uniform, and a glossy medallion, indicating his high rank, hung from his neck...
A Tzaddik’s Tear
The rabbi interrupted the narrative and said, "I don't know what the Chafetz Chaim said to that student. I only know that they were together for a few minutes. I would give anything to know what he said to the boy..."
A Purim Secret
After completing the circumcision, as he dipped his finger in the wine to place a drop in the baby’s mouth, the Chatam Sofer called out: “When wine goes in, secrets come out.” Seventy years were to pass before the significance of the great sage’s words would be revealed.
The Man Who Mistook His Wife's Foot for His Own
The doctor may have been taken aback... But actually, he wasn't mistaken.
Shlomo's Scales
It was a drastic move, but they felt they had no choice. They fasted and recited Psalms all day. Evoking ancient Kabbalistic formulas, they asked to be given a sign that night in their dreams.
The Problem
One day a rich and learned Jew came to one of the great European centers of Torah learning to search for a fitting match for his wise, pious and beautiful daughter.
A Guest, a Fish and a Prayer
The Iron Necklace
Poor brides lacking the requisite necklace had been known to weep for shame on their wedding days; some even ran away so as to avoid the embarrassment.
The Wonder Horse
Finally, Reb Yehoshua set a price of 25 Napoleons--a sum that would support a family for two years. Surely, no one would be so foolhardy as to pay that kind of money for a horse...!
The Oath
Upon hearing the verdict of the bet-din, Rabbi Shlomo turned pale. Never in his life did he imagine that he would be required to take an oath in court!
The Rooster That Did Not Crow
The squire asked Shmuel to bring the priceless diamond he had inherited from his parents. All the guests waited breathlessly to behold this rare, precious gem . . .
Rabbi Samson’s Great Escape
Purim Hebron
A new pasha came into power as ruler over Hebron, and he was a Jew-hater. He lost no time in introducing new edicts against the Jewish community . . .
The Butcher in Heaven
When she saw me, she began to cry and plead with me to rescue her. Apparently, these merchants had kidnapped her and were planning to sell her as a slave. I paid full price for her, brought her to my house, and raised her as if she were my own daughter.
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