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The Car That Couldn't Make Up It's Mind

I heard this story from Rabbi Menachem Stein of Petach Tikva who heard it from Rebbetzin Knievsky who was an eyewitness.

A certain man has a very rich son who bought his father a very expensive car [300,000 shekels]. The father wanted to use it to give Rav Chaim Knievsky a ride so he would have a zchus.

He was told that if he comes after mincha a certain day, he can give R' Chaim a ride to a bris mila that was to take place in Wagshall Hall in Bnei Brak. He picks up R' Chaim and turns the key. THE CAR WON'T START! So R' Chaim says "It happens" and gets out. The driver is frustrated and continues turning the key and lo and behold the car starts. He calls R' Chaim back into the car.

Uh oh! The car won't start again. So R' Chaim gets out again. Then once again he starts the car and calls R' Chaim back.

Same story. The car refuses to start. Out goes R' Chaim.

Then the embarrassed and frustrated driver manages to start the car again. R' Chaim is invited back. But once again. No go.

So R' Chaim asks the man "Tell me, was the money used to buy this car kosher money? For example, was money used that was "earned" by collecting interest on loans?" ["Ribbis" in the vernacular.]

The man was stunned. Indeed his son became rich by lending out money and collecting interest [without a heter iska].


It's cool to be R' Chaim. But to be him, you have to finish Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi every year. And much, much more......

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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