Be a Mendel Drizin

Friday, 21 July, 2023 - 4:41 am

R. Mendel Drizin z”l was big-hearted Chabad chassid. This week, I heard a story about him, told to me by a faithful and exacting friend of mine. He heard the story from Chana z”l, Drizin’s wife.

After Mendel married, he went into the real estate business and began to make good money. They were managing well, but when his wife, Chana, went to a yechidut by the Rebbe, she asked for a blessing that her husband should earn better. Although they were managing and had what they needed to pay the bills, she asked for abundance, so that they wouldn’t have to stop and make calculations before spending money. 

Friends, listen to what the Rebbe said to her – and I am purposely telling this story during the Nine Days, the days of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, because these are the days when we should be increasing out ahavat chinam (baseless love). The rebbe said to her: Tell Mendel to give tzedakah more than the “dei machsoro” – “whatever is lacking to him.” In other words, if a person is asking for tzedakah, R. Mendel should not give only the bare minimum to cover the specific needs of the poor person, but, rather, he should give generously, so that the person receiving the tzedakah will feel the generosity, that he should be comfortably well off, and then Hashem will make sure that R. Mendel, too, will have more than the necessary minimum – he too will be comfortably well off.  

And that is what happened to R. Mendel Drizin. His business dealings were blessed, and just as he gave, so he was granted from Heaven.

The last passuk of the haftara of Parashat Dvarim that we will read on Shabbat in shul, speaks of tzedakah: “Zion will be redeemed through justice and those who will return to her through tzedakah.” As the Metzudat David commentary says: The return from exile will be due to the tzedakah they will give.

Be a Mendel Drizin.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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