Yeshiva.org.il - The Torah World Gateway
שנה טובה באתר ישיבה!
Beit Midrash Series Other Great Leaders

The Secret of Success

How did Rabi Mordechay Eliyahu ZTL succeed in convincing a Jewish boy not to marry a non-Jewish girl? " If the mitzvah is the motive, then the words of anyone who has Yirat Shamayim are heard, but the second time your real motive was money, so your words were not heard..."
Click to dedicate this lesson
Once Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was in the United States and visited one of the affluent community leaders who devoted his energy and money for the public. Rabbi Eliyahu saw that he was sad and worried and asked why. The man told Rabbi Eliyahu what weighs on him: "I have a single son who has a non-Jew girlfriend and wants to marry her. All of my grandchildren will not be Jewish and all of my money will go to the Gentiles."

"Did you send people to talk to him?" Asked Rabbi Eliyahu.

"Sure," the man answered, ‘Several people have tried, but he still insists - he wants his girlfriend."

While they were talking, the son came home with his girlfriend, said a quiet 'hello' and went to his room.

The father sighed, tears at the corners of his eyes poked out and he said: "I am in despair."

"Tell your son that I want to talk to him for five minutes," said the rabbi.

The rich man went to his son and gave him the rabbi's request.

"I'm tired of the rabbis," said the son, "you already sent all the rabbis and they haven’t convinced me. What will one more rabbi say?"

"Only five minutes," pleaded the father.

"Okay," the son said, adding, "and then do not send me any more!"

The son told his girlfriend he will come back in a few minutes and went to his father's room to speak privately with the Rabbi . Twenty minutes later, the son came out, went to his father kissed his hand and told him that he is leaving the girl and will not go against his will in choosing a wife. Then, he went to his room and told his girlfriend that now they must separate and later he will explain why.

When Rabbi Eliyahu came out the happy father approached him and said:

"I do not know how to thank you. You saved my life. What can I give you in return?"

"Nothing," said the Rabbi.

Yet, the rich person took from his pocket a checkbook, wrote a check for a million dollars and handed it the Rabbi saying "it's for your kids, so you can marry them happily as I will marry my son."

"No need," said the rabbi, "I have enough of my own. I have an organized salary and I do not need your money."

The rich man pleaded, "Please take this small gift for the grace you did with me."

Then again he refused and the father tried another tactic:

"Maybe take the money for a Yeshiva in Jerusalem?"

"You give the money to the Yeshiva," said the rabbi.

Rabbi Zafran secretary to Rabbi Eliyahu was present. At this point he intervened and asked the rabbi:

"There are so many facilities in the country that could use this money. It is possible to do with this donation so much good. Why don’t you take it?"

The rabbi continued with his refusal and left the house empty-handed.

When they left, he explained to his secretary:

"You should know that those who take money have a personal interest, and then the words are not pure and are not received by the listener."

Rabbi Eliyahu began to tell his secretary about an incident that occurred in the times of the Ben Ish Chay zt"l in Iraq. A Scholar studied once in the Yeshiva until late at night and then returned home when all of the city was dark. Suddenly he saw a light and thought there might be a sick person. He approached the house and knocked on the door . As he entered he saw a crowd of rich people sitting and playing cards.

He told them: "I pardon for bothering you, but it is not right for you to be playing here. Your wives await you at this time."

The rich people were ashamed of him and his reproach. One of them said: "We are in the middle of a game and do not know who the money in the middle of the table goes to. Because you are a poor scholar, you can have the money and we will return to our homes." All of the rich people agreed and gave him the money.

Several months passed and the money ran out. His wife asked him to get money and he thought he will do like last time. After learning until late he passed by the house and again saw the light. As then he thought that perhaps there is a sick person inside, and again saw the rich people playing cards.

The scholar repeated what he said last time, but this time they raised their voices, scolded him and threw him from the house in disgrace. The scholar did not understand what was different between this night and the first night. He went to the Ben Ish Chay and asked what this meant. The Rav said:

"It depends on what your motive is: Mitzvah or Money. If the mitzvah is the motive, then the words of anyone who has Yirat Shamayim are heard, but the second time your real motive was money, so your words were not heard..."

Then the Secretary understood why the words of Rabbi Eliyahu made an impression where other rabbis did not succeed.
More on the topic of Other Great Leaders

It is not possible to send messages to the Rabbis through replies system.Click here to send your question to rabbi.

את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il