Weekly Chasidic Story #801 (s5773-30 / 23 Nissan 5773)

The Most Desirable Apples

Everyone eagerly pushed to the stand for the opportunity to buy her apples.

Connection: Seasonal–137th yahrzeit of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz


One day late in the week, a poor woman who was from a well-respected Jewish family knocked on the door of theDivrei Chaim of Sanz. She requested his financial help, saying plaintively that she had yet to accrue sufficient funds to purchase the necessities for Shabbat.

The Divrei Chaim was surprised. “Don’t you have a stall for selling apples in the marketplace?” he asked. “Why is it that you have no money?”

She explained that people were saying that her apples were of inferior quality, and as a result she hardly been able to sell any this week.

When the Rebbe heard the cause of her problem, he rose and, adorned in his elegant rabbinic robe and Chasidic hat, strode off to the woman’s stall in the marketplace. The shoppers were astonished to see him there and the word of it spread quickly.

The Rebbe ignored their stares and calmly assumed a place behind the seller’s table. “My fellow Jew!” he called out. “Here are good apples for sale…very good apples…excellent apples. Who wants to buy them?”

Immediately there was a jostling stampede towards the apple-vendor’s table. People offered two, three, ten times the official price of the apples, because everybody wanted to buy the fruit directly from the hand of the holy Divrei Chaim of Sanz. In a very short time all the apples were sold for exorbitant amounts, and the Rebbe handed over to the woman a sum of money so large she could barely believe that it had come only from her apples.

“Look,” said the Rebbe, “your apples were of good quality; it is just that the townspeople didn’t realize it until today.”


Source: Translated by Yerachmiel Tilles from Sipurei Chasidim ( #299) by Rabbi S. Y. Zevin.

Connection: Seasonal–137th yahrzeit of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz

Biographical note:
Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz [1793 – 25 Nissan 1876] was the first Rebbe of the Sanz-Klausenberg dynasty. He is famous for his extraordinary dedication to the mitzvah of tzedaka and also as a renowned Torah scholar; his voluminous and wide-ranging writings were all published under the title Divrei Chaim. His eldest son founded the famous Sanzer synagogue in Tsfat in the middle 1800’s.


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of 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.