No one could get Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev angry. No matter what anyone
did, he would always find something nice to say. He believed in treating all
Jews kindly, no matter how much his patience was tested.
Levi Yitzhak’s neighbor had a son who did not want to keep any of
the mitzvot. One year, during the seder, the family was about to make
a sandwich of matza and maror for korekh. To everyone’s surprise,
the boy pulled from his pocket two slices of bread and some meat, and
made himself a sandwich. His father started to cry: “How dare you
bring bread to my seder?”
father,” the boy answered, “I’m hungry after reading
the Haggadah. What difference does it make if I eat bread or matza? I’m
sure Rabbi Levi Yitzhak wouldn’t mind. The father jumped up from
the table and grabbed his son. “Oh wouldn’t he? Lets go ask
him.” The whole family marched next door, the father leading the
boy by the ear. “Rabbi,” the man said, “even you would
not tolerate what my son just did. He ate bread at our seder. I have four
sons, rabbi, and I don’t have to tell you which one he is.”
room was shocked; everyone, that is, except for Rabbi Levi Yitzhak.
He smiled at the boy and asked if it was true.
course, Rabbi. I was hungry so I made myself a sandwich.”
you know that on Pesach Jews don’t eat bread,” Rabbi Levi
Rabbi,” the boy answered, “to be totally honest, I don’t
really believe in all this. What difference could it possibly make if
I eat bread or matza?”
entire room was silent. Only the boy’s mother could be heard sobbing
in the doorway. “Please come here,” Rabbi Levi Yitzhak called
to the boy. The boy walked slowly, afraid that this time he had gone
he approached the table, the rabbi hugged him.
a fine boy,” he said to the father, “and so honest too,”
he added to the mother. “He’s ready to admit what he did and he’s
acting according to his beliefs. Such a fine, honest boy must sit with me
at my seder. I have so much to learn from him! Just one thing though.”
The rabbi turned to the boy and said, “There’ll be no sandwiches
at the seder table - unless you make them with matza.
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