The widow Rochel Leah Cheshin stood in her little
kitchen, kashering some bones for the cholent.
She felt relieved to be able to supply her family with
`meat' for Shabbos, as well as fish, vegetables and even
a watermelon for dessert. "Boruch Hashem!" She felt the
helping hand of Hashem.
Since the death of her husband, R' Yitzchok Cheshin, the
burden of supporting her family fell upon her shoulders
and she could barely make ends meet. Still, her nine
children were adequately fed and clothed and she was
grateful for that.
There was a knock on the door and without ceremony,
Gittel her kind-hearted neighbor walked in. She was glad
to see Rochel Leah preparing food for Shabbos. "I see
you received your payment on time," she commented.
"Thank G- d!"
"Mending clothes does bring in enough for our immediate
Gittel looked intently at Rochel Leah and saw a wrinkle
between the brows, a sure sign of worry. "Feeding the
family is of prime importance, I know. And we must not
complain. But what about Shayele? It's time you
considered a shidduch for him."
Rochel Leah looked up and met Gittel's gaze. "It's hard
enough to worry about food for the family and immediate
expenses. Any worries beyond that, like
shidduchim, is beyond me," she answered
Gittel felt sorry for the young widow and sighed. "It's
not easy, I know. But listen, Yeshaya is a brilliant
boy. You must find the best shidduch for him,
otherwise his abilities will be wasted."
"I know he is a treasure, but what can I do? I can only
keep up my firm bitochon that Hashem will bring
forth the right match. Meanwhile, there haven't been any
matchmakers pounding on my door..."
Reflecting a moment, she added realistically, "In the
not-so-distant past, matchmakers demanded from the
girl's side a hefty dowry for every boy who was
considered a fine Torah scholar. Nowadays, it's
different. The financial burden falls evenly on both
sides. Of course, I know that in His marvelous ways,
Hashem can make it happen..." She left the rest unsaid
and fell silent.
"I hope the right girl will show up soon. But if only
the shadchonim could come up with some ideas,"
Rochel Leah added as an afterthought.
"Actually, there are two ways to arouse the interest of
the matchmakers!" said Gittel in her practical manner.
"Either you have lots of money or something equivalent,
like a good name. Since money you haven't got, we'll
just have to stimulate their interest in Shayele's
abilities and good name."
"And how do you think we can go about doing that?" asked
Rochel Leah quizzically. "What, actually, are you
"I think that Hagaon R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin, the
Brisker Rov, can help you in this matter. I have a plan.
I know that R' Yaakov Orenstein learns together with R'
Yehoshua Leib. All we must do is get them to agree to
include Yeshayele in their chavrusa! You'll see
how all the matchmakers in Yerusholayim will come
"I wonder..." Rochel Leah smiled. She was grateful to
Gittel for taking so much interest in her problems. "It
might just work. Go ahead and try to talk those great
rabbis into agreeing. As for me, I certainly have no
objections! But I can't be the one to do it, either."
Gittel walked out of the house and went directly to the
home of R' Diskin of Brisk. She presented her plan and
he agreed. Thus it happened that Yeshayale Cheshin, all
of eighteen, was included in the elite chavrusa
of those two world famous Torah scholars.
The news spread and people started praising Yeshayele's
abilities. But others became envious and wanted to do
the same. Why exclude other young geniuses from this
exceptional learning group? Indeed, why not expand
It was R' Noach Hacohen, a noted Torah scholar and
disciple of the Ksav Sofer, who approached R' Yaakov
Orenstein and asked that his son, also considered an
iluy, come and join the elite group. "My son is
just as good as Yeshaya. Why not include him as
"How can you compare the two?" said R' Orenstein. "Why,
can't you remember that at the age of fifteen, Yeshaya
Cheshin already gave shiurim in Yesod
v'Shoresh ho'Avoda? He had the entire city of
Yerosholayim touting his praises. He has truly proved
himself an exceptional boy. You can't compare him to any
of his peers."
R' Noach Hacohen stood there somewhat abashed. He
desperately wanted his son to join this special group,
but he had been bluntly rejected. His pride was hurt,
but something could be done to salvage it.
"R' Yaakov, I have a fine daughter of marriageable age.
What do you say to a shidduch between her and
your disciple, young Yeshaya Cheshin?"
It was a match made in heaven, and the two were soon
married. They lived together happily ever after for over