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Monday, February 13, 2012

From an ongoing translation of the holy words of Saba Yisroel

Rav Alter the Karlin Butcher


Did I ever tell you that I once met with Rav Alther the Butcher? He was a Karliner, a Chasid of Karlin. He had such a reputation that he is a big tzadik, that he serves Hashem, that he does charity and kindness, such a brilliant name. So I wanted to travel to Jerusalem, but without money it is impossible to travel, so I saw Rav Alter, he had a small fund for loans, I said, maybe he'll lend me? I said, “Rav Alter, I have a request from you! What is it? I need a loan of a half a lira.” So he looks at me as a mad man, “what does he say? I am rich? I have a half a lira in the bank? There is a half a lira? There are liras?! But I only pennies, what does he say, a loan of half a lira?!” but my request didn't give him rest, he couldn't remove this from his heart, this entered his head, his heart, it didn't want to leave. I said with strength, with conviction, I need half a lira, that he should end me half a lira. So he said, “when will he return it to me? Is it possible to give a half a lira? It is possible to give a penny, two pennies, five pennies, but not half a lira!” but my words didn't leave his conscious, how is it possible half a lira? Half a lira? But he gave half a lira, he gave me, yes. He said to me he will consider and he will see whether or not to give me. Afterwords he saw me in the marketplace and he called me and said to me, “R' Yisroel Ber, what did you do to me? The half a lira that you asked from me doesn't leave my head. From when you asked me it doesn't want to leave my head. So, good, I will give you the half a lira, but not now. I will give you half a lira, tomorrow, in two days, I will give you half a lira. I will give you.” Nu, nu, my joy that I had, I already have the trip to Jerusalem... nu. There was no travel by car, straight from Tiberius to Jerusalem. First there was Haifa, from here it was necessary to travel to Haifa on donkeys, and afterwords there was the English train, and from Haifa to Jerusalem by train....

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