Countdown to Pesach-22-Berditchever
The Berditchever learned that a poor Jew who earned a few cents daily by digging clay and carrying it by horse and wagon to builders, had lost his horse, and was compelled to carry the clay in a box on his shoulders. The clay-digger refused to accept charity though he didn’t earn enough for even Matzah.
The Rabbi thought about how to help him prepare for Pesach without it being “Charity.”
He disguised himself as a peasant, placed a small bundle of wood on his shoulders, dropped it in the poor man’s hovel, and then quickly ran away.
The poor clay-digger rushed to thank his benefactor, but with no success.
When he returned to his home, he placed the wood in a corner, and as he did so, noticed a cloth hidden in it. When he untied the cloth, he discovered within a sizable amount of money.
The clay-digger went to his Rabbi, the Berditchever, and asked for guidance.
The Rabbi explained that he need not hesitate in using the money since it must have been sent by God in reward for the man’s trust and faith.
The man bought a kiln, began to bake bricks, and greatly prospered (Niflaot Kedushat Levi, Page 25).
One of the most important steps in preparing for Pesach is the Mitzvah of Ma’ot Chittim, helping others fulfill their Pesach obligations of Matzah etc. The Berditchever taught us to figure out ways to help people make money rather than accept charity. This is why Matzah Baking facilities usually hire poor people to work. This is also why my family will only eat hand-baked matzah on Pesach from a bakery that gives jobs to poor people.
iAttach-Amidah-Sim Shalom: “You have given us…love of kindness.” Request that God grant us the wisdom to perform kindness in empowering ways.
Haggadah: “And afflicted us,” as it is written, “They set taskmasters over them in order to oppress them with their burdens.” The Egyptians imposed work that would never provide a sense of fulfillment.