Passover

The right shiur

A Yid living in Eretz Yisrael was in dire financial straits. To add to his financial burden, he had a child who was getting married. Realizing he wouldn’t be able to collect much money from his poor brethren in Eretz Yisrael, he flew to New York. After a few days he saw that he would have to stay for a while to collect the large sum he needed. Unfortunately, this meant he would be away from his family for Pesach. The poor Yid realized he didn’t have a choice; he either had to stay in New York or go home to a starving family. He decided to make the best of his predicament and asked to attend the Satmar Rav’s Pesach seder. He arrived at the Rav’s house just as the seder was beginning. The Satmar Rav welcomed the Yid and showed him where to sit. The Rav then called out to his gabbai, “We have a chashuve guest here, a Brisker. Please set up his ke’arah and give him matzah that is very burnt. Give him the biggest matzah you can find.” As the gabbai handed over the matzah, the Rav called out to the Yid, “Is this big enough for you? Are the matzos burnt enough? Is it the proper shiur?” When the gabbai started handing out bechers to all the guests, the Rav called out again, “Make sure to give this Yid a big becher for the proper shiur.” He then asked the Yid, “Is this becher big enough for you? Is it the proper shiur?”The guest nodded silently.

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The seder began. With each ritual, the Rav asked the Yid if it was good enough, big enough and the right shiur for a Brisker. He wanted the guest to feel at home. When it came to the maror, the Satmar Rav once again said to the gabbai, “Make sure to give the Yid an extremely bitter piece of maror—and it should be very large, the right shiur for a Brisker.” At this point the Yid thought the Rav was teasing him. “Teasing also has a shiur,” he said. When the Satmar Rav heard this, his face turned white and he started to apologize profusely. “Reb Yid, I didn’t mean anything. Please forgive me.” The guest nodded. But the Rav was not convinced he had his full forgiveness. He vowed to the Yid, “You will leave New York right after Pesach, and you will never have to return here again. Whenever you are marrying off a child, call me and tell me the exact amount of money you need.” Twelve times the Yid called the Rav to inform him that one of his children was engaged. Twelve times the Satmar Rav personally collected money for the wedding to atone for having embarrassed a fellow Yid.

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