Weekly Chasidic Story #815 (s5773-43/1 Menachem-Av 5773)

A Fail-Safe Financial Plan?

When his father-in-law passed away, the Yismach Moshe realized that he would need to find some way to support his family.

Connection: 5th of Av (2013: July 11-12) is the 541st yahrzeit of the holy Ari of Tsfat.


During the first few years of his marriage, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum of Ujhely, now known as the Yismach Moshe, was supported by his father-in-law so that he could study Torah undisturbed. When his father-in-law passed away, he realized that he would need to find some way to support his family.

He had an idea that delighted him: he would procure ten thousand silver reinish, and entrust it to some merchant for business purposes; from that he would have a reasonably secure means of respectable support.

There was only one problem with his bright idea: he had no way of securing such a sum!

One day, while trying without success to concentrate on his Gemara, R. Moshe began to cry over his situation. Then he fell asleep over his large open volume and began to dream.

In his dream, he entered a great hall in which sat a charismatic-looking sage, engrossed in deep Torah study. The man motioned to him to go into a side room. He went.

Another man who was there asked R. Moshe if he knew who the scholar was. When R. Moshe replied in the negative, the man exclaimed, “That is Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the holy Ari-zal of Tzefat!”

When R. Moshe returned to where the tzadik was learning, the Ari-zal addressed him, “Young man, if a person should have ten thousand silver reinish, is he then no longer dependent on the favor of G-d? In any case, we are dependent–in order to be able to eat, talk, walk and live. And just as the Al-mighty grants you these favors, so too will He grant you a livelihood, even without ten thousand silver reinish!”

R. Moshe woke up, refreshed and at ease.


Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Lma’an Yishme’u #161. (In Sipurei Chasidim by Rabbi S. Y. Zevin, the source of this story is said to be Rabbi Chayim Halberstam, the famed Divrei Chayim of Sanz.)

Biographic notes:
Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum
 [1759-28 Tammuz 1841], known as the Yismach Moshe after the title of his book of Torah commentary, was famed both as a scholar and wonderworker. A disciple of the Seer of Lublin, he was instrumental in the spread of Chasidut in Hungary. His descendants founded the dynasties of Satmar and Sighet.
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (1534-5 Av 1572), Known as “the holy Ari,” revolutionized the study of Kabbalah and its integration into mainstream Judaism during the two years he spent in Zefat before his death at age 38.
(For a more full biography) (For teachings of the Ari translated into English)


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.