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Of Home and Heart

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Of Home and Heart
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Revach L'Neshama

In the 1920's, there was a businessman in England who toiled countless hours for the sake of the community, but could not maintain peace in his own home. His wife wanted him to decrease his involvement in the community so he could devote more time to his business responsibilities. The businessman consulted the great gadol, R' Yechezkel Abramsky, chief dayan of the Beis Din in England about his shalom bayis problems. R' Abramsky told the man who was actually the lay leader of the Orthodox community, that he is unable to objectively answer his question because he will be personally affected by the decision. Instead, R' Abramsky advised the man to consult the Chofetz Chaim. The man agreed and Rabbi Abramsky wrote to the Chofetz Chaim and asked him to invite the man for a Shabbos in his home. The lay leader would then describe his dilemma and the Chofetz Chaim would help him decide whether he should continue his involvement with the community.

The man traveled to Radin and arrived at the Chofetz Chaim's home shortly before Shabbos. The Chofetz Chaim reassured the visitor that they would sit down to discuss his problem, of which the Chofetz Chaim knew nothing about, immediately after Shabbos.

The Chofetz Chaim spoke to the public only once a week, at seudah shelishis. That Shabbos the Chofetz Chaim spoke about the words of Dovid Hamelech in Tehillim 23, "Only goodness and loving kindness should pursue me all the days of my life. The Chofetz Chaim asked, "Why the word pursue? Pursue seems like an inappropriate word to accompany goodness and loving kindness. What does this mean?"

The Chofetz Chaim expounded, "Many people have serious troubles. One has financial difficulties, another has problems with his children, and a third suffers from poor health. These types of troubles purse them their entire life. Dovid Hamelech was begging Hashem that He should bless him that the only things that will pursue him should be goodness and performing loving kindness for others."

After Shabbos, the Chofetz Chaim said to his visitor, "Let us sit down now, and discuss your problem." The businessman replied, "I no longer have a problem to discuss. The Chofetz Chaim has already answered my question, and I thank Hashem that the only things pursuing me are goodness and loving kindness." (Source: A Fire in His Soul)

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