Sunday, December 30, 2012

Working Together

Once upon a time, not too long ago there were two twin sisters, one was named Aliza and the other was named Ahuva. They were in the same 4th grade class at school. They looked the same, they dressed the same, they even sounded the same. Everyone thought it was so cute! Well, everyone that is except for Aliza and Ahuva.

They did not like being the same at all! Instead, each sister would try to outdo the other one. If Aliza got a 100% on a test, then Ahuva would try to get 105%.
If Ahuva did a somersault in karate, then Aliza would do two somersaults. If Aliza hurt her thumb in the car door, then Ahuva would smash her whole hand!

"Girls!" said their mother one day when they were fighting yet again, "you need to work together. You'll get much farther in life than if you also argue with one another!" 

But the sisters didn't listen and kept on fighting.

A few days later in school, the girls were busy pulling each others hair during class. The teacher moved them to opposite sides of the room to separate them. Then they started throwing spit balls at each other!
The teacher stood them up and marched them straight into the principal's office.

"Oh no!" said Principal Weinberger, "not Ahuva and Aliza again!"
"You girls need to work with each other and stop fighting! You are twin sisters after all. I know, for your punishment, you both are going to have to help the janitor. Then you'll see that you need to work together!"

So the girls went and found the janitor.
"Principal Weinberger says we need to help you." said Ahuva.

"Okay!" said the janitor. "My name is Mr. Schlamazale!"
"We have to go to the basement because there is a leak from a pipe, let's go!"

The entire way down the steps the sisters kept fighting.
"I go first!" said Ahuva. "No, I go first!" replied Aliza.

"Girls, please stop fighting." begged Mr. Schlamazale.

"OK, now you see that leaky pipe, I need one of you to hand me the wrench please."

"I got it!" said Aliza as she dashed to get the tool. 
"No! I'll get it!" said Ahuva grabbing the wrench out of Aliza's hands.

"Girls!" said Mr. Shlamazale, "you really need to stop fighting. I'll just get the wrench myself. Sheesh!"

Mr Schlamazale wasn't the best plumber in the world. In fact, he really didn't even know how to fix a leaky pipe at all!

"Hmmm" thought Mr. Schlamazale to himself "do I turn the wrench to the right or to the left...?" He decided to turn it to the left.
At first, the pipe was very hard to turn, but then he gave it a strong hard turn, and the pipe started moving. Then he turned it again, and this time he heard a 'whoosh' sound. Suddenly, the pipe burst and water started pouring into the basement!

In a matter of moments, the basement was almost half filled with water! The girls ran higher up the steps to get out of the way. But the water kept creeping higher and higher.

"Help!" cried Mr. Schlamazale, "I can't swim! Please save me!"

"I'll save you!" said Ahuva.
"No way! I'll save you!" said Aliza. The girls began fighting and pushing each other out of the way. All the while, the water was getting higher and higher, and was almost up to Mr. Schlamazale's neck!

"Please," begged Mr. Schlamazale, "stop fighting and save me! This is worse than Hurricane Sandy!"

Ahuva turned to Aliza and said: "We need to work together. Otherwise we won't be able to save Mr. Schlamazale." 
"You're right!" replied Aliza, "I'll hold onto the railing. You grab my hand and reach as far as you can and grab Mr. Schlamazale."

So the sisters starting working together. With Aliza holding tight to the railing, Ahuva leaned as far as she could until she grabbed Mr. Schlamazale's hand. Then with both Ahuva and Aliza pulling, they dragged Mr. Schlamazale to the safety of the steps! 

"Thank you girls! Thank you!" Mr. Schlamazale kept repeating.

Principal Weinberger had to  hire professional plumbers to repair the damage and get rid of all the water. Mr. Schlamazale is still the janitor, but he doesn't do any more plumbing.

But mostly, the sisters learned an important lesson that day. It's better to work together than to fight. They can achieve much more by working as a team. 
They started helping each other with the homework, practicing their karate together, and from that day on, they never fought again.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy With What You Have

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a man named Yankele. He was a nice man and was friendly to everyone. Whenever his wife needed help, he would readily lend a hand. If a friend needed something, Yankele was there in an instant.

There was only one thing that Yankele didn't like, and that was his job.
He would have to get up very early in the morning and would work until late at night. His job was to go into a cave and to dig up big rocks. Then he would have to carry these rocks up to the edge of the river. When he would collect 50 big rocks, a boat would come and take the rocks away to build homes and buildings. 
He would always come home late at night with his back and arms hurting, very tired from all his hard work.

One day, as Yankele was almost finished bringing all the rocks up, a little butterfly came floating in. It gently landed on the big pile of rocks Yankele had assembled. As it fluttered its wings, the big pile started to rumble, and suddenly, all the rocks fell into the river! 

Oh no! Now Yankele was going to have to carry another 50 big rocks up to the river edge, otherwise he wasn't going to get paid.

When Yankele got home that night, his wife realized he was not in a good mood. He complained about his hard work, and how he had to work twice as hard today. "And what's worse," continued Yankele, "is that I work so hard but all our neighbors work less but still have bigger homes and better cars. It's not fair!"

"Well" replied Yankele's wife "it says in the Torah:
Who is rich? Someone that is happy with what they have. 
So you just need to be happy and then you'll feel rich too!"

Yankele didn't like that answer at all. Before he went to bed that night, Yankele Davened to Hashem. He asked to not have to work so hard any longer and to be rich. 

While Yankele was sleeping, he had a dream. In the dream, the Malach Gavriel came to him and said;
"Yankele, Yankele. Hashem has heard your request and will answer your prayers. Tomorrow morning, go to the big rock by the beach and start digging. There you will find what you are looking for!"

When Yankele awoke the next morning, he took his shovel and went to the beach. When he found the big rock, he started digging. After a few minutes, there was nothing but sand. He dug more and more, and still, all he could see was sand. He was about to give up when his shovel hit something hard. It made a 'Thunk' sound. He dug ferociously, and there he saw, a big metal chest!
He pulled the chest up onto the beach, and slowly opened it up. Inside, was tons of money and jewels and old silver coins! It was worth millions of dollars! Yankele was so excited! He lugged the chest home and told his wife of their good fortune!

As the days passed, Yankele grew very fond of his money. So much that he never wanted to leave his house anymore. If friends wanted Yankele to go out with them, he would say "No!" Soon, he never even left his room, for fear that someone would steal all his money. He would have his wife bring all his meals to his room, so he could keep a watchful eye on his money 24x7.

"Won't you please come out for just a little bit?" begged his wife.
"No!" responded Yankele, "I am never leaving this room again! We are rich and i want to make certain that no one takes our money away."

A few months passed, and Yankele wasn't looking so good. He never saw his friends, never got any sunlight, and hardly slept for fear that someone would take his money.

Then, one day, there was a knock on the door to his room.
"Who is it?" grumbled Yankele.
"It's me, Mr. Schlamazale." said the voice. "Your wife asked me to come and install a kitchen in this room for you, so you don't have to leave to get food."
"Wonderful!" said Yankele, and he let Mr. Schlamazale inside.

Now, Mr. Schlamazale wasn't really so good at building things. Actually, this was his first ever job! He tried his best, but he didn't really understand where everything went. "Hmm," he said thinking to himself, "do I connect the green wire to the blue or to the yellow? Or maybe the red to the black? Or maybe the white to the purple?! Well, I guess it doesn't make a difference!" So he connected all the wires together!

 After Mr. Schlamazale was done, there was a brand new kitchen in Yankele's room.
"Now I will never have to leave this room, and I can always watch my money.. hahahaha!" said Yankele
"Come Mr. Schlamazale, let me make you some food as a thank you for installing this kitchen for me." said Yankele.
"Oh boy, that would be great!" said Mr. Schlamazale.

Yankele went to turn on the stove, and as he turned the dial, a humongous BOOM was heard. The room shook and in the next minute, the entire room blew up into a billion little pieces!

After the smoke settled, all that was left of the room was Yankele, Mr. Schlamazale, and a pile of ashes. All the money, jewels and coins were nothing but dust.

"My money...!" cried Yankele, "it's gone, every last penny!" And he started sobbing.
"Uhh, I'm sorry." said Mr. Schlamazale as he got up and ran away.

The next day, Mr. Schlamazale stopped by the house to apologize to Yankele.

Yankele came to the door, and when he saw Mr. Schlamazale, he lifted his hands.
"Don't hit me!" said Mr. Schlamazale in panic.
And with that, Yankele grabbed Mr. Schlamazale and gave him a big hug and a kiss!

"Wha..?" said Mr. Schlamazale.

"I've been living in this room for months," said Yankele, "not going outside, not seeing any of my friends, and hardly even seeing my wife. But now that I don't have any more money, I don't have to live like this anymore. I realized that I have a good wife, a nice house, and great friends. I don't need anything more in life. It's like the Torah says, a rich person is someone who is happy with what they have."
"So thank you Mr. Schlamazale for blowing up my room and all my money! Otherwise, I would never have left that room!"

"Oh," responded Mr. Schlamazale "you're very welcome! But, is there any way I can still get that breakfast from yesterday...?"



Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Chanukah Miracle

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a Tatty. He was a Rebbi and a true Tzadek! Every Yom Tov, he would love to go to shul and sing and dance and read from the Torah. He had a son named Menashe, who was 12 years old. Menashe loved to go daven with Tatty.

In their house, there was a special glass cabinet where Tatty kept all the things he would need for Yom Tov. On Purim, he would take his Megillah case and read the story of Haman from it. On Pesach, he would take out his Pesach Seder Plate and relate the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim. On Rosh Hashana he would use his silver honey jar, and on Succos he would take out his Esrog case and sing and dance with Menashe in shul on Simchas Torah.

It was soon time for Chanukah, and Tatty's menorah couldn't wait! 
"I love Chanukah!", said the menorah to all the other Yom Tov items.
"We know," said the honey jar, "you've been waiting all year for Tatty to use you for the Mitzvah!"
"Just one more week and then Tatty will take me out and light my candles for eight straight days!" said the menorah. "I've been Tatty's menorah ever since he turned bar mitzvah and I love Chanukah so much!"

Well, it was now just one day before Chanukah. When Tatty got home from work, he turned to Menashe and said "You better bring your menorah down from your room. Tomorrow night is Chanukah and we should set up!"

Menashe ran to his room and took his menorah off the shelf. Menashe made his menorah all by himself in kindergarden. It was made out of a tissue box, and had stickers and crayon markings all over it! Nonetheless, Menashe loved his menorah and couldn't wait to use it again.

At the same time as Menashe was in his room, Tatty started walking to the glass cabinet to get his menorah. 
"Oh Boy!" said the menorah, "Tatty's coming to get me! I'll see you guys in a few days!!"

As Tatty was about to open the glass cabinet door, his wife stopped him and said; "Tatty, I have a present for you!" and she handed him a huge box.
"A present?" asked Tatty, "but it's not even Chanukah yet!"
"I know," replied his wife, "but I want you to open it now."
"Ok" said Tatty.

Tatty slowly removed the wrapping paper, and from inside the box he removed the biggest, most beautiful, awesomest menorah you've ever seen! 
"Wow!" said Tatty "this is beautiful! Thank you so much!"
"I thought it was time you got a new menorah," said his wife. "You've been using that old one since you were bar mitzvah!"
"I'll go put this on the Chanukah table right now!" said Tatty.

As Tatty was busy arranging his and Menashe's menorahs' on the table, his old menorah in the glass case started to cry; "Waaaah! I've been waiting all year for Tatty to use me! I love Chanukah, and I've been Tatty's menorah for so many years!"

None of the other Yom Tov items knew what to say to console the menorah.

Then, the old Megillah case said; "You have to remember menorah, even when everything looks bad, Hashem always does things for the best. We may not understand it now, but you'll see in the end it'll be for good." But the menorah kept on crying..

The next day, while Menashe was at school and Tatty was at work, the doorbell rang.
Mommy opened the door and there was a man standing there. "Hello," he said, "my name is Mr. Schlamazale. I'm here to pick up the clothing for the poor people."

"Oh yes," said the Mommy, "I put a big box together of clothing, food, books, and games for the poor people. It's right by the Chanukah table. But be careful, it's very heavy!"
"Don't worry" said Mr. Schlamazale, "I'm very strong. Yup."

Just then the phone rang. "You get that," said Mr. Schlamazale, "I can take the box myself."

As Mommy was in the kitchen talking on the phone, Mr. Schlamazale went to go pick up the box. "Ooooof!" he said trying to lift it, "it really is heavy."
So he bent down low, grabbed onto the box and with all his might starting lifting it. His whole body was shaking from the weight of the box! Without even realizing it, Mr. Schlamazale bumped into the Chanukah table, and Menashe's menorah fell into the box! 
Just as Mr Schlamazale got the box lifted up high, his pants gave a loud "RRRIIIIIPPP!"
"Uh, I have to go" said Mr Schlamazale loudly to Mommy, "thank you for the Tzedakah for the poor people!" and he ran out of the house before anyone could see!

When Tatty and Menashe got home that night, Tatty said "It's time to light the Chanukah candles!" Tatty's old menorah was still crying in the glass case, thinking that it will never be used again.

"Where's my menorah?" asked Menashe, "I left it here last night!"
Menashe, Tatty and Mommy looked all over the house, but couldn't find his menorah. 
Just then, Menashe started crying "I want my menorah, what happened to it?!"

Tatty said to Menashe "You know, I wanted to give you my old menorah when Mommy got me this new one since you are almost bar mitzvah. But since you loved your menorah so much, I didn't want you not to use it anymore. Now that it's missing, you should use my menorah!" With that, Tatty opened the glass case and took his old menorah out.

"Huh, wha?" the old menorah didn't know what was going on.

"I want you to use my menorah from now on!" Tatty said to Menashe. "And when you have a son, I want you to give him this menorah when he turns bar mitzvah!" 
The old menorah couldn't believe it! Not only was he being used again, he was going to be passed on from generation to generation! The Megillah case was right, everything did turn out for good!

After Tatty and Menashe lit menorah and sang the Chanukah songs, Menashe turned to Tatty and said; "I love my new menorah very much. I just wonder what happened to my old one." 
"Well," said Tatty, "even though we may never know, everything that Hashem does, it always is for good." 
And as Tatty was saying these words, a poor little boy, in a small dilapidated house, was thrilled to be lighting his very own tissue box, crayon markings, and sticker menorah!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Aleph Binah

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a little boy named Menashe. 
He was in first grade and his class was busy learning the Aleph Bais. While the entire class was busy singing the Aleph Bais out loud, Menashe wouldn't join along. If his Rebbe would tell everyone to turn to page Gimmel, Menashe would turn to a different page! And when his Rebbe would ask Menashe to stand up and read aloud from his Aleph Binah, he wouldn't listen!

Some boys tried to talk with Menashe, but he would scream at them and say "Get away from me! I don't like you!"

It didn't take long until he was known as Mean Menashe. 

Throughout the year, Menashe would be rude to his fellow classmates, and never listened to his Rebbe.

One day, as Menashe was sitting in class not paying attention, he realized he was really bored. The class had their Aleph Binah's out, and Menashe had his open to the first page. He took the fingernail of his thumb and started scratching on the letter Aleph. Soon, he scratched away the entire letter! Next, he scratched off the Raish, then the Nun, and then the Hey. He was about to erase another letter, when his Rebbe caught him "Menashe" he screamed "what are you doing? You are destroying your Aleph Binah!"
And with that, Menashe was sent to the principal's office.

Even though Menashe erased the four letters from his Aleph Binah, they were not gone. Everything holy is still around. So the four letters, the Aleph, Raish, Nun and Hey flew up to Shimayim to where Hashem is.
They cried, saying: "Hashem! We have been in that Aleph Binah for many years. Hundreds of little Jewish boys have learned to read the Aleph Bais through us, so that they can read and love the Torah. But now, because of Mean Menashe, we will never be able to teach another little Jewish boy the Aleph Bais! What is going to be?!"

Hashem replied "You will see, it will all be good."

First grade came to a close, and Menashe was still mean. 
Second grade began, and Menashe did not change his ways. He never looked in the Chumash or played with the other boys.
At the end of second grade, the Aleph, Raish, Nun and Hey again went before Hashem:
"Hashem, it has been one year since Mean Menashe has erased us. And still, nothing has changed! What is going to be?"

Once again, Hashem replied "You will see, it will all be good."

Third grade came, and Menashe was still mean. His parents didn't know what to do with him. They thought that maybe he was sick, so they took him to see Dr. Schlamazale.

Dr. Schlamazale poked and prodded, looked at his eyes, in his ears, at his throat and at his big toe.  "Hmmmm.." he finally said, "he needs to have grape jelly three times a day!"
Menashe's parents never heard of this, but if that's what the doctor says to do...
So three times a day Menashe ate grape jelly. But he was still Mean Menashe.

He went back to Dr. Schlamazale, and after looking at his tongue and nose and right pinky finger, he said "Four times! He needs grape jelly four times a day!"
So four times a day Menashe ate grape jelly. But he was still Mean Menashe.

Once more he came back to Dr. Schlamazale, and after looking at his hair and chin and left leg, he said "Umm, maybe five times...?"
But even five times a day, he was still Mean Menashe.

At this time, Menashe also stopped talking to everyone. All he would ever say was "No!"

Fourth grade began, and he was still the same Mean Menashe.
The Aleph, Raish, Nun and Hey again went before Hashem and complained:
"It's been three years since we have been erased from the Aleph Binah, and still he is Mean Menashe. What will be?"

Yet once again, Hashem replied "You will see, it will all be good."

It was now the beginning of fifth grade, and the Yeshiva had enough of Menashe. He never played with the other boys, never listened to the Rebbe, and never did his Hebrew homework. They wanted to throw him out of Yeshiva!

But this year, he had a new Rebbe, and his name was Rabbi Zalman. 
Rabbi Zalman always had a smile on his face, and never had anything bad to say about any of his students. "Wait!" said Rabbi Zalman "Don't throw Menashe out. Let me work with him and see if I can figure out what is going on."

So Rabbi Zalman called Menashe's parents, and asked if he could come over after Yeshiva to learn with Menashe. His parents were thrilled that Rabbi Zalman offered to help, since they did not know what to do anymore.

Everyday after Yeshiva, Rabbi Zalman would come to Menashe's house. He would sit in the dinning room with Menashe, while his parents would look on hopefully.
Rabbi Zalman would say "Would you like to learn some Gemorah tonight?"
But Menashe would not answer. So Rabbi Zalman would open the Gemorah and start learning.

The next night, Rabbi Zalman would ask "Would you like to learn some Mishnah tonight?"
Again, Menashe would not answer. So Rabbi Zalman would just open the Mishnah and start learning.

Night after night after night, Rabbi Zalman would come to learn with Menashe, but Menashe would never even look inside.

It was about two months since Rabbi Zalman started coming over to learn with Menashe. Even though Menashe did not look inside, Rabbi Zalman was not giving up.

On this night, Rabbi Zalman asked "Would you like to learn some Chumash tonight?"

Menashe thought to himself; "This Rabbi Zalman is not so bad. He comes over everyday, he tells me stories, makes some funny jokes, and even gives me candy.."

Again, Rabbi Zalman asked "Would you like to learn some Chumash tonight?"
This time, Menashe replied! He said "I can't."

Rabbi Zalman never even heard Menashe speak! "Why can't you Menashe?"

With this, Menashe began crying "I can't because I never understood the Aleph Bais! While everyone else was singing along, I never could follow! And when the Rebbe would tell us to turn to a certain page, I never knew what page it was because I couldn't read the Aleph Bais! But, I didn't want my friends to call me stupid. So I became mean to them, so they wouldn't realize I didn't know and wouldn't be embarrassed!"

At this point, Menashe was crying many tears. Rabbi Zalman's eyes were all watery as well. 
All this time, everyone thought Menashe was mean because he didn't want to learn. But really, he was mean because he didn't know how to learn!

"Your secret is safe with me" said Rabbi Zalman "but I know what we are going to learn tonight."
With that, he took out Menashe's first grade Aleph Binah! He opened it to the first page, and saw that the Aleph, Raish, Nun and Hey were missing. He carefully wrote each letter back exactly the way it was. And then he began singing "Aleph Bais Vais..."

In two weeks' time, Menashe knew the entire Aleph Bais. In another two weeks, he knew all the Nekudos. In a month, he was reading Chumash!

Even though fifth grade came to a close, Rabbi Zalman didn't stop learning with Menashe, and he continued to come over every night. By the time Menashe was to start eighth grade, he didn't need Rabbi Zalman anymore. He would come to school early to prepare the Gemorah, and when his Rebbe would ask a question, his hand would be the first to go up. After school, Menashe would review what he learned that day.

He also was much friendlier to the boys in his class and started playing with everyone.
They stopped calling him Mean Menashe, and started calling him Masmid Menashe.

Well, Menashe grew up and he himself became a Rebbe to help teach other little boys. He soon got married and had a little baby boy. 

At the Bris, the Mohel asked Menashe "What do you want to name your son?"

And Menashe thought about the Aleph, the Raish, the Nun and the Hey he erased from his Aleph Binah. He realized that if you switch the letters around, it spells Ahron.

"I want to name my son" said Menashe "Ahron Zalman!
Ahron for the letters I didn't know how to learn, and Zalman for the Rebbe who showed me how to learn and love the Torah."

Menashe taught his little Ahron Zalman to love and enjoy learning the Torah. 
That little Ahron Zalman grew up to be one of the biggest Rebbi's of all time. He authored many Seforim, answered many difficult questions and was the leading Rabbi of Klal Yisroel.

And just like Hashem said, it all turned out for good.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Baker

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a mean and terrible man. His name was McEvil.
He was a tall man with a mustache and pointy chin. His eyes were steel gray, and when he spoke every bone in your body would shake with fear! 

McEvil was the adviser to the King. He would give advice and tell the King what to do.
The problem was, that he hated the Jewish people. Everytime he saw Jewish people helping each other he would spit on the ground. It made him so mad to see how nice and kind the Jewish people were.

One day, McEvil told the King; "We have to get rid of the Jewish people!"
"But why?' replied the King, "they are nice people and are not bothering anyone at all."
"I said" replied McEvil, his eyes burning withe fire, "we need to get rid of them!"
"OK, OK," stammered the King, fearful of the man "take my golden ring and just leave me alone!"
And with that, the King removed his golden ring and gave it to McEvil.

Whomever had the golden ring was able to pass any decree he wanted. Having the ring meant that the King himself approved of whatever this person did.

With the ring in McEvil's possession, he wasted no time. He quickly passed a horrible law. It stated that at the end of 30 days, all Jewish people would be forced to leave this place and go to a far away land. They would not be allowed to take any money or belongings with them.
The town criers went out announcing the law throughout the land so that everyone was aware of it.

At first, the Jewish children were very happy, since there were no schools in the far away land. But when they saw their parents crying, they knew it wasn't a good law.
The parents explained that if they left their house, they would have no food, no water, no clothing, and no place to live. It was a very bad law indeed!

That evening, a big meeting was held where all the Jewish people in the land attended.
The Rabbi got up and told the people to have faith in Hashem, and not to give up hope. That they should Daven more and Hashem will save them from this terrible decree.

Although the Rabbi tried to comfort the Jewish people, they were too panicked and nervous. Soon, people began crying and shouting and the entire room was in an uproar.

Suddenly, a man stood up and loudly yelled for everyone to be quiet!
"I am Mordechai the Baker" he said. "I know you are anxious and worried, but we must listen to the Rabbi. We must go to work and to school, and when we are not busy, we must Daven and pray that Hashem will help us. Have faith in Hashem, and this will all turn out good."

Mordechai the Baker helped calm the people down. But soon after, they began worrying again. It was 5, then 10, then 15, and now 28 days since the decree was passed. In another few days, all the Jewish people would be evicted from their homes and still no salvation came.

In the meantime.....
McEvil almost had everything he wanted. The Jewish people were soon to be kicked out of the land and he was overcome with joy. But, there was still one thing he wanted that he didn't have yet.

The King had a daughter who was a lovely young lady. Her name was Princess Esther. McEvil was madly in love with her. But she hated him and wouldn't even look at him, since he was so mean and terrible.

McEvil wanted to win her affection so that she will marry him.
"Hmmmmm" thought McEvil "maybe I can buy her something and she will like me."
"Maybe I'll buy her a.. Pillow Pet!  No, she won't like that!"
"Maybe, maybe I'll buy her an American Girl Doll! No No, she doesn't want that either."
 "I know! I'll make her something! I'll make her a chocolate cake! Then, she'll fall madly in love with me and we'll get married! Hahahaha!"

The problem was that McEvil didn't know how to make a chocolate cake.

Early the next morning, while Mordechai the Baker was in his shop saying Tehillim, the door burst open and in walked McEvil!
"You will teach me how to make a chocolate cake so that Princess Esther will love me!" commanded McEvil.
Mordechai was too scared to speak, and just shook his head yes.
Mordechai got all the ingredients together and made a beautiful chocolate cake. It just needed to be placed in the oven to bake and then it would be all ready.
McEvil took the cake to the oven. 
The oven was huge, with a door the size of a house door, and went from the floor all the way to the ceiling. He opened the door and was about to place the cake inside..

Mordechai the Baker had a helper, who assisted him with baking cakes. His name was Mr. Schlamazale.
Mr. Schlamazale was picking up a large box of challahs that was very heavy. He grunted and groaned, but finally he was able to lift the box up. But just as he got the box off the floor, he lost his balance and bumped into McEvil, sending McEvil into the oven headfirst!

McEvil yelled, but by the time the Baker got there, all that was left of McEvil was the golden ring.

"Oh No!" said Mordechai the Baker, "once the King realizes that we burnt McEvil, he'll probably chop off the heads of all Jewish people!"
"But I have to have faith in Hashem. I'll go tell the King what happened and take the blame all on myself."

So Mordechai the Baker went to the palace to speak with the King. He came into the throne room, where the King was sitting on the magnificent throne. 

"Your Highness," Mordechai began "I have terrible news. McEvil came to my bake shop to make a cake for Princess Esther. But accidentally, he fell into the oven and got burnt up! Please, don't hurt the Jewish people, it's all my fault!"

The King said nothing and just stared at the Baker. 
"Are you telling me the truth...?" the King asked
"Yes," replied Mordechai "all that is left is this golden ring."

When the King saw the golden ring in Mordechai's hand, he got off his throne and ran over to the Baker. Mordechai thought the King was going to punch him, but instead, the King gave him a big hug and kiss!

"Thank You, Thank You!" beamed the King. "McEvil made me do terrible things, but I was too afraid to stop him. Now that you got rid of him, I don't have to be afraid anymore!"

"And," continued the King "since you now have the golden ring, you are my new adviser and in charge of making decrees!"

The first decree Mordechai the Baker passed was that no Jewish person should be kicked out of their house. Then, he passed another decree stating that if any non-Jewish person bothers a Jewish person, they would be put in jail for the rest of their lives!

Soon afterwards, the Jewish people of the town were jumping with joy! Not only where they saved from the terrible McEvil, but now the Jewish Mordechai is the adviser to the King. 

A few months later, Mordechai the Baker married Princess Esther and served a huge chocolate cake at the wedding. Mr. Schlamazale was given a big piece and was allowed to sit right next to the King.

From that day on, every Jewish person was happy, and all because they believed in Hashem and never gave up hope.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Old Miser

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived an old miser. 
Whenever a poor person would ask him for money, he would scoff and turn away from them.
He was very mean and never gave Tzedakah to anyone. 

One day, when he was at home, there came a KNOCK on his door. When he opened the door, standing there was a mother, father, and a little girl. Their clothing was ragged and they looked like they haven't eaten food in many days.

"Please," said the father "we are very poor and very hungry. I can't get a job. I have no food, no clothing, and no house. Please, Please, can you give us a little Tzedakah money?"

"Harumph!" replied the old miser "it's not my fault that you are poor. Too bad!"
And with that, he slammed the door in the poor family's face.

Astonished that the old miser wouldn't have pity on them, they went to the local Rabbi.
When the Rabbi heard how cruel and mean the old miser was to the poor family, he decided it was time to pay the old miser a visit.

That evening, while the old miser was having his supper, there came another KNOCK on his door.
When he opened the door, he was surprised to see the Rabbi himself standing there.
"Please come in" said the old miser to the Rabbi.

"Today," began the Rabbi, " a very poor family came to your house begging to be given a little Tzedakah. Instead, you slammed the door in their faces!"
"It's my fault that they are poor" replied the old miser, "maybe Hashem made them poor because they are bad people."
"Or maybe Hashem made them poor so that you can do a Mitzvah!" replied the Rabbi.

Upset over this comment, the old miser took out three pennies from his pocket and threw them at the Rabbi!
"Here," said the old miser "give this to them!"

Disgusted, the Rabbi got up and left the house.

The old miser had enough of people constantly asking him for money.  He decided that he was going to move someplace where no one knew him, and then no one would ask for Tzedakah from him.

Early the next morning, he packed all his money and possessions in a large trunk, tied it to his horse and buggy, and left town. The new town was a few days journey away, and he was half way through the journey when the old miser's life changed forever.

As he was riding, a band of thieves stopped him and took his horse, buggy, and his trunk filled with all his money and belongings! He was left with nothing but the clothing on his back, in the middle of nowhere.

The old miser decided that he would start walking back to his old town. By foot, it would take him a few days until he returned. As he was walking, it started to rain causing the dirt road to become very slippery. The old miser tripped and fell many times, tearing his clothing and giving him bruises on his face and hands.

In the meantime, the thieves decided that they needed to hide the trunk of money they stole. They decided to sink the trunk at the bottom of the river, and would come back later to retrieve it. 

It was now three days later, and the old miser finally made it back to his town. He was very hungry and his torn clothing and dirty appearance made him look like a beggar. 
In addition, he got very sick from all the rain and walking so that he was unable to speak.

When he got to town, he stopped the first person he saw to ask for help. The passerby looked at the dirty old man and said "I don't give charity to dirty beggars!"

The old miser tried to get the next person to help, and she responded "It's not my fault you are poor! Now get away from me you horrible person!"

Devastated, the old miser tried to ask one more person for help.
"Here," said the person, taking three pennies out of his pocket and throwing them at him "now get away from me!"

Exhausted, the old miser went to the edge of the river and sat down.
Then, he began crying. He realized that everything that happened to him was because he was always mean to people that asked him for Tzedakah. He cried and cried, begging Hashem to forgive him. He realized how wrong he was, and asked for forgiveness. After crying for most of the night, the old miser fell asleep by the river's edge.

The next morning, he awoke starving, for he has not eaten in over three days. Knowing that no one would give him money for food, he decided to try to fish for food himself.
He took off his shoelace and hooked one of his buttons around the end. He then threw that end into the river, hoping that a fish would bite it.

Instead, the shoelace got stuck on something.
He tried to pull it free, but to no avail. He once again cried out to Hashem for help, for now he truly has reached the bottom. He lost all his money, has no food, and now he can't even catch a fish to eat! How sad and lonely the poor old miser felt.

With one last tremendous effort, he gave the shoelace a strong tug.
Suddenly, it began to move! Struggling, he continued pulling and pulling, until finally, the shoelace broke the surface of the water. And attached to the end... was his trunk with all his money and possessions! 

He thanked Hashem and knew what he had to do.

After he got cleaned up and ate some food, he went straight to the poor family he was mean to. He apologized to them, and bought them a house to live in, new clothing, and enough food to last them a lifetime.

He then told the Rabbi to send any beggar to him, for he would make certain to help them out in any way possible. The old miser was very generous with his money. He was never mean to any poor person, and was always glad to be able to do a Mitzvah. 

From that day on, the old miser never forgot what it was like to be poor and lonely. And now, everyone calls him the Good Old Tzaddik!


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a lady named Rochelle who was married to Yankele.
All that Rochelle wanted was to have a little baby. All her friends had a baby, but sadly, she still didn't have a baby after being married for many years.

When her friends would tell her how cute their babies were, Rochelle would sigh and be very sad.
"My baby is so cute" said one friend, "because last night he threw up all over the house!" Rochelle just sighed and wished she had a baby.
"Well," countered another friend, "my baby is the most adorable because he woke up at 2am, kicked me out of my bed, and stole my blanket!" Again, Rochelle just sat there and sighed.

Every night, before going to sleep, Rochelle would take out a Tehillim and daven to Hashem that she should have a little baby.

Mandella was Rochelle's best friend. She would try to get Rochelle out of the house and to do a Mitzvah and in that merit maybe she would have a baby.
"Come Rochelle," Mandella said one day "a Tzedakah needs extra help. Let's go over and see if we can volunteer."
"I can't" said Rochelle. "I'm just too busy! I have to go to work, then to my gym class, and then I have to say Tehillim. I just don't have time to help out!"

Another time, Mandella told Rochelle; "Our shul needs people to cook food for sick people. Could you help out?"
"I can't" said Richelle. "I'm just too busy! I have to go to work, then I have to see my therapist, and then I have to say Tehillim. I just don't have time to help out!"

Each time that Mandella tried to get Rochelle to volunteer and help out a fellow Jew, she always responded that she was just too busy. Eventually, Mandella gave up trying to get Rochelle to do Mitzvos.

One Sunday, while Rochelle was working out on her treadmill, there was a KNOCK on her door.
Rochelle opened the door and standing there was an old man, with a shimmering white beard and a long flowing coat.
"Hello Rochelle." said the man.
"Wha..? How did you know my name?! Who are you??" asked Rochelle astonished.
"My name is Gavriel" he said. "I need your help."
"Oh," said Rochelle, "I'll get my purse and give you money."
"No!" responded Gavriel. "I need you to help by saying Tehillim for a friend for a Refuah Shelama."
"I can't" said Rochelle, "I'm just too busy! Sorry!"
And with that, she closed the door on Gavriel.

The next Sunday, at exactly the same time, there was once more a KNOCK on the door.
"Hello Rochelle" said Gavriel when she opened the door.
"What? Do you want Tzedakah this time?!" she asked.
"No, I just want you to say Tehillim for a friend for a Refuah Shelama."
"I can't" said Rochelle, "I'm just too busy! I told you that last week. Sorry!"
Once again, she closed the door.

Week after week, Gavriel came to her house asking for her help. But each time, she would say she was too busy.

One Sunday, at the same time, there came the familiar KNOCK on her door.
Knowing that it was Gavriel at the door, Rochelle decided that she didn't want to open it this week.
But Gavriel kept knocking and then starting ringing the door bell non-stop. Exasperated, Rochelle opened the door for him.
"I told you," Rochelle shouted, "I am too busy to say Tehillim for your friend!"
"But it's not for my friend" replied Gavriel, "it's for your friend."
"What are you talking about..?" asked Rochelle. 
Just at that moment, the phone rang. Rochelle turned to look at the phone, and when she turned back, Gavriel was gone, nowhere to be seen.

When she picked up the phone, it was her husband, Yankelle, on the other end.
"You have to come to the hospital right away!" he said hurriedly.
"What? Why? What happened" asked Rochelle.
"Your best friend Mandella was in a horrible car accident! Come quick!" he said.

Rochelle rushed to the hospital, and waited in the waiting area to hear of news of her best friend.
While sitting there, she took out her Tehillim and starting davening like never before. She was crying and begging Hashem to help her friend. She davened with such intent, that she didn't see the doctor waiting for her.

"Will she be OK?" Rochelled asked of the doctor.
"Thank G-d" he replied, "she'll be fine. She broke a few bones, but nothing too serious. She should recover nicely."

Every night, for the next month, Rochelle took out her Tehillim and davened that her friend should be better and heal up fully. At the end of the month, her friend came home from the hospital.

Rochelle cooked meals for her, and made sure that she was well taken care of. Whatever Mandella wanted, she got. Soon, Mandella was up and about and back to her old self.

Soon afterwards, Rochelle realized that she was pregnant! A few months later, she gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, baby boy.

It was the night before the bris, and Rochelle was getting ready to go to bed. All of a sudden, there was a loud KNOCK on the door. Rochelle went to answer the door, and standing there was Gavriel.

"Mazel Tov Rochelle! Mazel Tov!" he cried.
"How did you know I had a baby?" asked Rochelle.
"Could I please come in?" he asked.
Instead of walking into the house, he sort of floated inside.
"My name" he said "is really Malach Gavriel. Hashem sent me here to help you."
"You wanted a baby for a long time" he continued "but you weren't ready. All you ever cared about was yourself. How could you take care of a baby if you only think of yourself?! Only after your friend was hurt did you start putting the needs of others before yourself, and then did Hashem see that you were ready to have a baby."

As soon as he finished telling this to Rochelle, he vanished, never to be seen again.

From that day on, Rochelle made certain to help and care for others. Whether it be a Tzedakah organization, a friend that needs help, or any fellow Jew, Rochelle made sure to go out of her way to help them. She instilled this value in her little baby boy, who grew up to be one of the greatest Tzadikkim of all time. 
All of this because Rochelle finally realized, that you must always help a fellow Jew.

                                                  THE END