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The Rabbi's Blessing

retold by Doug Lipman

One day, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak entered the House of Study in Berdichev. At the pulpit was a guest preacher, one of the wandering maggidim who made their living speaking in one town after another.

Levi Yitzhak listened to the preacher enumerate the failings of the Jews, giving a vivid account of their sins and unworthiness.

When the sermon was over, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak lifted his eyes in prayer. "Master of the Universe," he called, "please give this man money!"

The parishioners next to Rabbi Levi Yitzhak looked at him in shock. Their rabbi was praising such a maggid? Their Levi Yitzhak, famous as the compassionate defender of the Jewish people?

Rabbi Levi Yitzhak continued his prayer. "Obviously, Almighty, this preacher needs the few coins he is given for these bitter sermons. I beg you, please give him some other source of income, so he will no longer need to chastise Your children!"

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This story is presented as one of two stories about Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, and his attitude toward criticism of others:

  1. The Rabbi's Smile
  2. The Rabbi's Blessing

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This page was last updated on Monday, March 10, 2003
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