Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Nissan 5765 - April 20, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

A Visit from Eliyahu?
By Rosally Saltsman

My good friend, Esther Alovitch told me this true story. It is truly remarkable.

Pessach 1950...Seder night in Jaffa.

Avraham and Chaya Coopershlack, religious new immigrants who had barely survived the Holocaust, arrived on Israel's shores in 1948 from Poland via Russia, Germany and the most horrific of the extermination camps. They lived in a small apartment with Chaya's sister and niece and were sharing the Seder night with her brother.

As war refugees, they had no parnossah. Just each other. Avraham Coopershlack was a shoemaker who had come from generations of shoemakers, maybe going back to Yochanan HaSandlar. Who knows?

Seder night. The small group read from the Hagaddah. They came to the part of Shfoch Chamos'cho and opened the door to receive Eliyahu Hanavi. As they were reciting the passage, there was a knock at the door. An old woman was standing there with a basket in her hand. She told them that she had nowhere to sleep and asked for a place to rest. In the small apartment, there was no empty bed to give her but they graciously laid out a blanket for her to sleep on the floor.

Not everyone felt comfortable giving this woman a place to sleep, but who could refuse her request? After the seder, they all went to bed.

Chaya Coopershlack woke up suddenly just before dawn and tentatively went to check on "her guest." The old woman wasn't there. But in her place, she had left the basket she had been carrying. Chaya woke her husband who ran outside with the basket trying to find the old woman who had left so suddenly and mysteriously. The whole episode seemed very strange to them.

After Pesach, Chaya went out with the empty basket and as she went about her errands from place to place, she announced that her husband, a shoemaker, was looking for work fixing shoes. Everywhere she went, they gave her shoes to fix. She went out in the morning with an empty basket and returned home with a basket full of shoes that needed mending. And from that day on, Boruch Hashem, they had parnossah.

After a few months, the basket was lost. But the parnossah kept coming in and Avraham eventually opened a store. He understood that this old woman had to have been a good messenger, perhaps Eliyahu Hanavi in disguise, and that now the basket had gone to someone else in need of a miracle.

May this Pesach bring us all a Yeshuah, individually and as a nation.

Pesach kosher veSomeach!


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