Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Silver Candlesticks

The Degel Machaneh Ephraim lived much of his life in poverty. However, as time passed and his reputation became known in the world, Chassidim began to travel great distances visit him. When his shtetl finally appointed him as rabbi, the people from the shtetl even purchased silver candlesticks for him to replace his crude earthenware candlesticks.

Upon using the new silver candlesticks for the first time, the Degel noticed how much his wife enjoyed them. After she finished making the brocha, the Degel looked over at her and said, "Dir iz yetzt lechtig, un mir iz frier gevezen lechtig!" ["For you it is light now, but for me it was light before."]

10 Comments:

At January 17, 2006 at 8:54:00 AM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

Perfect example of the common use of the term "Ohr Chadash" (a new light).

 
At January 17, 2006 at 9:04:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Pearl: Interesting, although what was the message that you took away from this story? I am curious to hear your interpretation.

 
At January 17, 2006 at 9:23:00 AM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

"Dir iz yetzt lechtig, un mir iz frier gevezen lechtig!" ["For you it is light now, but for me it was light before."]

He understood that the light of Shabbos -- both literal and metaphorical-- came for his wife with the lighting of these new, silver candlesticks. They were lit, and now it's Shabbos...

For him, however, being a simple Jew, he was content with the earthenware candlesticks because they brought the spirit of Shabbos into his home.

As well, another way to look at what he says: Shabbos is marked for his wife primarily by the lighting of the candles, but for this rav, *every* day is deemed holy and sanctified and spiritual...like Shabbos.

 
At January 17, 2006 at 9:30:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Exactly. It made little difference to the Degel what the candlesticks were made of. What mattered to him was the fact that they could be used to perform a mitzvah.

 
At January 17, 2006 at 1:53:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

It's not exactly the same, but it reminds me of a story of the story of the Tzemach tzeddek and his youngest son Reb Shmuel (later to be the 4th Rebbe of Lubavitch).

The Tzemach Tzeddek had virtually no worldly possessions. His son R' Shmuel on the other hand was successful in business and had many fine possessions. In addition, he had large glass windows, which were unheard of in his time except among the wealthy.

The Tzemach Tzeddek once questioned his youngest son about this, and R' Shmuel said that he wanted those windows so that his home would be full of light.

His father, the Rebbe, responded that he never saw such a thing in his grandfather's (the Baal HaTanya) home. To which Reb Shmuel replied, "Well then, there probably wasn't a lot of light inside the house."

The Tzemach Tzedek answered, "Not at all; Indeed the house was full of light..."

 
At January 17, 2006 at 2:41:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Another great story. You sure seem to have a lot of these in your back pocket!

 
At January 18, 2006 at 1:35:00 AM EST, Blogger Dovid said...

Very nice story. But shouldn't the light perceived by the wife have added to the overall light? I mean, isn't the point of neiros shaboos to bring shalom bayis?

 
At January 18, 2006 at 6:21:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Dovid: Yes, but the point of this story is to be happy with what you have.

 
At January 18, 2006 at 11:42:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

(I've been meaning to post this for a couple days, but I keep forgetting to do it)

On the subject of silver vessels...

R' Baruch of Medzibuz said about R' Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk (who had some silver possessions, like a becher, candlesticks, menorah, and similar items):

"I envy Reb Mendele who has so many silver vessels! From the fact that he owns these silver items I can assume that he has absolutely no desire for them."
(Butzena D'nehora)

 
At January 19, 2006 at 6:23:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Interesting thought!!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home