The Blessing of Elijah the Prophet
on Yom Kippur
TOLD BY DVORA FUS
It was right before the Shavuot* festival. Many of the Hasidim were making preparations to travel to the rebbe's** court and spend the Holiday of the Giving of the Torah with him. Two Hasidim, who had once been very rich but had lost their wealth, remembered their bygone days of affluence when they used to travel to the rebbe by carriage, bearing many gifts, their trunks full of delicacies. Now, however, they made their way to the rebbe on foot, empty handed.
The two were so engrossed in their conversation and thoughts that at first they did not notice that night had fallen. When they did, they found themselves near an inn at a crossroads. Seeing a light shining in the window, the two decided to enter and rest for a while.
The old innkeeper greeted the two cordially, gave them a good meal, and found them a place to sleep. When he heard that the guests were on their way to the rebbe and would arrive on Shavuot eve, he took a bottle of wine from the cupboard and asked them to give it to him. The two Hasidim were glad to accept this commission. How wonderful it would be not to come to the rebbe with nothing to offer him!
The next day the Hasidim resumed their journey and reached the rebbe's, court by late afternoon. Wherever you looked, the place was jammed with Hasidim eager to see the rebbe. The tzadik§ sat in his study, sunk in his thoughts, while his shammes§§ stood outside the door and collected the Hasidim's petitions. When it was the two travelers' turn, they gave him their requests, along with the bottle of wine.
*The holiday celebrating Moses' receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.
**A Hasidic rabbi.