Tevet 17: the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Wolf Krantz, the Maggid of Dubno

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Here’s one of them:

There were once two dear friends, one wealthy and one destitute. In order to help his poor friend, the rich man lent him some money and then advised him to purchase merchandise and sell it to specific merchants who were sure to give him a good price.

Unbeknownst to the poor man, his rich friend had contacted all the merchants and asked them to give his friend a good price, all so that he could turn a handsome profit without knowing that he was receiving a handout. And so it was.

Flush with success, the grateful man came to his friend to repay his loan. “You know,” he said thoughtfully, “I never knew that business was so easy. Everyone was so eager to take my wares, and they were so generous with their payments!”

“You’re right,” his friend replied, without giving away his secret. “I would have never expected it either. How fortunate you are.”

G‑d is our rich friend, determined to help us as we battle with temptation. And so He stands at our side and helps us overcome the hurdles of life. Yet, even though our success is all due to His largesse, He generously rewards us for our efforts, attributing it to our faith and grit.

From ‘Mishlei Yaakov’ (141). Translated by Rabbi Rabbi Menachem Posner.

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