Friday, 26 June 2009

The Candle That Did NOT Give Light

The story is told of Rav Nachum of Chernobyl and his devotion to Shabbos. Rav Nachum barely slept on Friday nights, remaining awake to study Torah. In order to make this possible, Rav Nachum would light a large, thick candle that would last throughout the night.

One Friday evening, when Rav Nachum was out, a wind came up and blew out the candle. Rav Nachum had a gentile servant who noticed this and relit the candle.

Some time later, Rav Nachum returned. His family had already retired for the night, but heard strange sounds. It sounded as though the Rebbe were groping around in the dark. How could that be, the candle was burning.

They heard a shuffling of feet, bumping into things, they even heard Rav Nachum hit his head on the wall. "What is the matter?" his family wondered. "Why can't he see?"

His family came rushing in to where Rav Nachum was to find a solution. Upon hearing their footstpes, Rav Nachum asked "Why is it so dark in here? Who put out the candle?"

"But father! The candle is burnign as always. Can't you see it?" they asked.

"Well then." Rav Nachum replied. "Something must have happened to the candle. The candle must have gone out and then be relit, the Shabbos has been desecrated. That is why I can not see its light."

The gentile servant solved the puzzle by admitting that he had relit the candle.

Even though the candle ws relit by a non-Jew, Rav Nachum was so pure that he was unable to benefit from its light. (adapted from a story in Tales of Tzaddikim)

May we all merit to keep Shabbos to the full and to merit from the real light of Shabbos, that we too be sensitive enough to know instinctively if any error has occured (G-d forbid) and to be protected from gaining benefit from that which is forbidden.

May every Jew keep 2 consecutive Shabbosim so that we merit the coming of our Righteous Redeemer.

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