No Questions Asked

The Veitzener Rav, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Meisels, zt”l, wrote a sefer entitled Sh’eilos Uteshuvos Mekadshei Hashem, a collection of stories from one of the darkest periods in Jewish history: the Holocaust. It includes the following incident: Before the war, the Veitzener Rav had been given a tallis that had belonged to the Yetev Lev, Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Teitelbaum, zt”l.  The garment was very precious to him, so he had it made into a tallis katan so he could wear it all the time. When the war broke out he managed to smuggle this precious tallis katan into the camps. He wore it under the usual prison garb, and felt that it gave him a tremendous shemirah. One day a vicious kapo, infamous for his extreme cruelty, noticed the Veitzener Rav wearing his tallis katan. He grabbed him roughly and started pulling at the strings. “What is this?” the kapo demanded. The Rav replied, “It’s G-t’s kleid (G-dly clothing).” The kapo pounced on him and started administering a beating. After a few blows the Rav was on the ground, bleeding profusely. With a final kick, the kapo then ordered him to follow him back to his room. Going into the kapo’s room was like walking into the lion’s den. Everyone knew that whoever entered it never emerged under his own power. The Veitzener Rav began mentally preparing for his death. Once in the room, the kapo resumed his attack. “Can’t you see that there is no G-d?” he shouted. “If G-d really existed, how could all this happen? Explain it to me or I will kill you on the spot.” The Veitzener Rav thought for a moment and replied with a parable: “There was once a minister of the king whose daughter needed a life-saving operation.

Bar Mitzvah

A world-renowned doctor was hired to perform the surgery. In the middle of the operation, the town shoemaker walked in and observed the proceedings. ‘That’s not the way to do surgery!’ he chided the doctor. ‘It looks like the way I cut up leather for shoes!’ The surgeon paid no heed and continued what he was doing. The patient was healed and made a complete recovery.” The Veitzener Rav looked at the kapo and continued. “The Ribbono Shel Olam is in the midst of performing a very complicated surgery. How can we, mere shoemakers, tell the Master of the Universe how to operate? I had a grandfather, Reb Shimon Yereslov, who died at a very old age. He once explained that the reason he lived so long was that he never asked the Ribbono Shel Olam any questions. If you don’t ask questions, you stay in this world. If you ask questions, you are summoned Above.” The kapo was stunned into silence. Helping the Rav up from the floor he said to him softly, “You can leave now. I will watch out for you to make sure you are safe.”


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