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“When They Ask Me in Heaven Why I Didn’t Help, Can I Say I Was Cold?

A winter storm wouldn’t stop the ageing Chafetz Chaim from helping a neighboring town build a mikvah

| 25.07.17 | 20:20
“When They Ask Me in Heaven Why I Didn’t Help, Can I Say I Was Cold?
Once the Chafetz Chaim was invited by the Rabbi of his neighboring town called Lida to come visit and prevail on the town’s residents to open their wallets and invest in a mikvah for the town. The Chafetz Chaim, who for decades traveled to distant Jewish communities to strengthen Torah observance and prevent Jews from stumbling in sin, accepted the invitation to visit. He came to the town and spoke to many people but hadn’t reached the goal of raising the necessary funds to build the mikvah.

One snowy Friday morning the Chafetz Chaim arose and after prayers announced that he was going to the neighboring town Lida to complete what he started and finish raising the necessary funds for the mikvah. His household was very surprised because the Chafetz Chaim in order to properly honor the Shabbat and stay clear of transgressing it would stop his travels on Thursdays. But here it was Friday and he wanted to travel to another town. Besides it was freezing cold and the roads were frozen over and covered with snow. Besides the danger of travel on such a day the Chafetz Chaim was coming on in years and catching a cold could be dangerous.

His household tried talking him out of what they thought was an ill-advised idea which actually went against one of the Chafetz Chaim’s own principals besides the dangers of the road and the dangers to his health.

The Chafetz Chaim would hear none of their dissuasions and said: “They will surely ask me in the world of truth “why didn’t you go?” What should I tell them, that I was cold? Will they accept that excuse?!”

The Chafetz Chaim went and succeeded in his endeavor. He raised the necessary funds for the mikvah in Lida and made it back home on time for Shabbat.

Story Courtesy of Dirshu