Story of the Week

Today is the Yahrtzeit of the holy Reb Shloma Karliner. Reb Shloma learned mainly from the Rebbe Reb Ber of Mezritch and from Reb Aharon Hagadol of Karlin.

When Reb Aharon was Niftar, he came to Reb Shloma in a dream saying that he should take upon himself the leadership and he promised that he’ll be able to see from one end of the world to the other.

When Reb Shloma awoke, he saw that he can see everything that’s happening in the world and its secrets. A while later, a family of a Gevir (wealthy person) came running to Reb Shloma that their father, the Gevir, is dying. They asked for a Yeshuah and they gave a large sum for a Pidyon.

On the same day, Reb Shloma received a request from a woman who was having hardships in giving birth. This woman was part of the “Hekdesh”, which was the homeless society in the town. Reb Shloma saw that the Neshamah of the Gevir was to be a Gilgul (reincarnated) in the baby of the poor woman, and as long as the Gevir is not passing away the woman can’t give birth.

Soon after the Gevir was Niftar and the baby was born. Reb Shloma was told that the woman is in a dire financial state. Reb Shloma gave her a large sum from the money he received from the Gevir’s family. He said, it’s most appropriate that money of the Gevir should go to this child who has the Neshamah of the Gevir.

A while later, the Gevir’s son had his Bar Mitzvah. The family prepared a lavish event and, as was the custom, they also prepared for all the poor people to come to the event.

The poor boy that had the Neshamah of the Gevir was there. By then he was about six years old. The child started making a ruckus that he wants to sit at the head table. The family was dismayed of such behavior. Reb Shloma was there and he knew that this child has the Neshamah of the father of the Bar Mitzvah boy. Reb Shloma said to the family, “let him sit there, he is just a child”; so they allowed him to sit at the head table. In middle of the Seudah, the family distributed money for the poor guests. The child started making a ruckus again that he wants more than everyone else.

The family was already fed up with his behavior and threw him out of the banquet. This bothered Reb Shloma to the extreme because he knew what’s behind it all. After this story and other such stories, Reb Shloma Davened that this spiritual level should be taken from him because he can’t handle it anymore.

This story gives us a fascinating glimpse of how much we don’t know of the hidden workings of Hashem.