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THE GREATNESS THAT WAS RAV SHLOMO ZALMAN

317521_10151539826755930_1979246254_nA newlywed couple in Jerusalem was spending their first Passover Seder at her parents. The girl was from a very prominent religious family. The boy was a budding Torah scholar. Both came from families of sterling character and reputation.

During the meal, the young man noticed something floating in his soup. He stared at it in disbelief. He didn’t know what to say. Others inspected it and soon the entire table was horrified with the realization that it was a grain of wheat. A grain of wheat floating in hot soup will quickly turn into chometz which is a serious violation of kosher for Passover.

Commotion ensued. The offending bowl was put away, and profuse apologies were offered to the young man. The young man graciously accepted the embarrassed apologies and the seder continued.

The father of the bride noticed that the young man became very somber after the incident. The father detected a hint that perhaps the young man felt a tinge of doubt, or even remorse that he married a girl from a family that didn’t take Passover seriously.

The father decided to waste no time. He took the bride and groom to see the Rabbi, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztl. The wise Rav Shlomo Zalman listened carefully to the whole story, then asked the young man to hand him his shtreimel (round fur hat). The Rabbi shook the shtreimel.

Behold… a grain of wheat fell out! He turned it over and shook it again. Another grain of wheat fell out!

It was customary in Jerusalem to throw grains of wheat at a bride and groom at their weddings. The Rabbi realized that the newlywed may have missed a few grains when cleaning his hat. One of these grains fell from his shtreimel into the soup. The hosts were vindicated.

There are many lessons we learn from this story, not the least of which is; before you cast aspersions on others, make sure you… CHECK YOUR OWN SHTREIMEL!!

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