Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev once sought to demonstrate the dedication of the Jewish people. On the morning of the third day of Passover he turned to his followers and asked them to find for him some contraband, “I would like to save two rubles and avoid the government’s tax” he explained.

The word quickly spread, “The Rebbe desires some illegal material.” Within thirty minutes a Chassid came forward and brought the Rebbe a spool of yarn that had been smuggled illegally across the border. Then the Rebbe said, “Find me some leavened bread in the house of a Jew! I will pay two thousand rubles for a single slice.” His followers protested, “That is impossible, Rebbe.

The Torah prohibits the possession of Chametz during these days, there is not a single piece of bread in any Jewish home in Berdichev!” At this point, the Rebbe turned to God and said aloud, “God, see the love of your people!

The czar has thousands of soldiers and police. He prohibited possession of this yarn with a penalty of death. His soldiers are looking for these infractions and eagerly punish those they catch; people are afraid of his men. Nevertheless, with a meager sum of two rubles I could display disobedience of this human king. You have no policemen nor soldiers.

You wrote in your Torah that Jews should not have Chametz on Passover; and see, no Jew in Berdichev has a drop of Chametz! I offered thousands of rubles and the people thought I was mad, they had no desire for such funds, they observe your commands with disregard of monetary loss and gain.

Why is this so? Because they are committed to You!”