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Selected Short Stories
Volume Five


Published by
770 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11213
5758 " 1998

Copyright ©1998
Nissan Mindel

Published by
Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch
770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11213
(718) 774-4000/FAX 774-2718

Order Department
291 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11213
(718) 778-0226/FAX 778-4148
merkos@chabad. org



The Rewards of Shabbos

Everyone who knew Shmuel knew that he had come by
his wealth only recently and that at one time he had been
a very poor man indeed. But the change in his status
from poor man to successful jeweler hadn't changed him
one bit. He was the same honest and G-d fearing Jew
now in the years of plenty as he had been in his earlier
years of hunger a fine Jew who loved the Torah and
mitzvos and who had great faith in Hashem.

He always knew that it was Hashem Who deter-
mines who is to succeed and become rich and who, G-d
forbid, the opposite. He was also certain that, since
Hashem is all-good, everything which happens to a per-
son is for the person's benefit and is good. Shmuel's deep
faith became even more obvious through the following

It happened one Friday night, when Shmuel and his
entire family were sitting around the Shabbos table en-
joying the wonderful Shabbos songs and delicacies, and
even more the Torah thoughts which Shmuel shared
with his family between courses.

The meal was suddenly interrupted by the maid's
announcement that the governor's envoy was here on an
urgent matter. Shmuel instructed the maid to show the
messenger into his private study. Soon after, Shmuel
came into the study and greeted the envoy, and the envoy
in turn apologized for disturbing his Shabbos rest but ex-
plained that the matter was most urgent. His master, he
relayed, had invited some very prominent guests, each of
whom he wishes to present with a gift of gold or silver.

"The governor is certain that you will be able to fill
his order," said the messenger. "Here is a list of items he
will be needing by tomorrow morning. Price is not an ob-
ject, and besides, since he knows you to be a man of in-
tegrity, he trusts that you will deal fairly with him." With
these words the servant concluded and got up to leave.

"One moment please," said Shmuel. "Kindly tell his
Excellency that I am truly sorry that I cannot fulfill his
wish. On Shabbos I keep my business closed and I cannot
so much as take an order. But as soon as Shabbos is over,
I will gladly do my best to fill the order."

The messenger put the list back in his pocket and
thought to himself that his master will surely be dis-

Shmuel returned to the Shabbos table and reassured
everyone that all was in order. As he started singing the
sweet songs of Shabbos Menucha v'Simcha Ohr Laye-
a peace and joy permeated the home once more.

Shmuel conducted the meal in a leisurely manner,
as he did each Friday night. His inner calm helped to
ease everyone's unrest. Soon after the Grace After Meals,
the maid came in again and announced that the gover-
nor's envoy had returned.

Once again, in his composed manner, Shmuel arose
from the table and politely greeted the messenger who
was waiting in his study. He handed him another letter
from the governor, this time written in a more severe
tone, in which the governor reminded Shmuel of the
years during which he had been his good customer and of
the many profitable contacts he had made for him. He
excuses himself again for disturbing his Shabbos rest and
he will therefore not discuss price and like. But since it
was most urgent that he have the items, he will send his
representative who will do all the necessary work himself
without having to disturb Shmuel. 'You, Shmuel, will
have to do nothing with the transaction until after Shab-
bos at which time you will present me with the bill," For
this, reassured the governor, he will be handsomely re-
warded. On the other hand, he warned, if he does not co-
operate, he will not only lose the business of the governor
and his fee, but he will also have to face more serious

After reading the letter, Shmuel said to the messen-
ger: "Please convey to his Excellency that my answer re-
mains as before. This is not a matter of good will our
Shabbos is holy and the divine laws connected with the
Shabbos are far more vital than any man-given laws and
certainly more important than money. With all due re-
spect and devotion to my governor, my loyalty to Hashem
comes above all else."

This second visit of the envoy was enough to instill a
terrible fear in the hearts of all the members of the
household. All that is, except for Shmuel. He remained
firm and content in his resolve.

The time had come, decided Shmuel, to tell his wife
and children the entire story. "The governor simply
wanted to purchase from me some gold items which he
needed by tomorrow morning. . .." Shmuel started telling
them in his matter-of-fact way. "Naturally, I had to ref-
use him, since this would have meant a desecration of
Shabbos, G-d forbid. And you know of course, that when
it comes to our Shabbos queen not even the governor
himself can change our devotion to her. There is nothing
to worry about, my dear wife and children Shabbos can
well handle this. If we keep Shabbos, Shabbos will keep
and protect us. Hashem will not let us down trust Him."

Right after Havdala on motzai Shabbos, even before
Shmuel had a chance to sit down to melave malka, the
governor's envoy came for the third time. This time he
came with an order from the governor for Shmuel to
come to his palace immediately.

Shmuel took leave of his tearful family with words of
encouragement. He reassured them that everything will
turn out for the best that only faith in Hashem is
needed. He then followed the envoy to the waiting car-
riage and they drove off to the appointment with the gov-

On the way, Shmuel thought over all that had tran-
spired this past Shabbos, and concluded confidently that
he had done the right thing. He hoped, with the help of
Hashem, to be able to convince the governor that he
couldn't have acted any differently and regardless of his
response, he was ready to face any consequence.

How pleasantly surprised Shmuel became when, as
he entered the governor's chamber, the governor walked
towards him with a broad smile and extended a warm
hand as he said, "My good friend! You have made me a
very happy man today and very rich. You with your
Jewish stubbornness...."

The governor offered the bewildered Shmuel a seat
and continued with the explanation.

"These past few days I was host to some noblemen
from the royal court as well as to a number of princes
from nearby countries. When we came to talk about
Jews, one of the foreign princes made some belittling re-
marks against the Jews, claiming that they are money-
hungry and cheap; that nothing could satiate their thirst
for money they would sell their G-d, father and mother
for money, said he. On and on he spoke in this vein. I pro-
tested strongly and said that these ideas are fabricated
lies and prejudices against an upright and gentle people.
I proposed that we make a bet and set up a situation
which will prove who of us is right. You, my dear friend
were chosen to prove my point. We wagered a huge sum
of money and the rest of the story you well know. I
must say that I am very pleased and proud of the way
you handled yourself. We have indeed shown this anti-
Semite how foolish and dishonest it is to repeat such
falsehoods and in his case, how very costly! He had to
pay quite heavily for his foolishness. My other guests
were also extremely impressed with your strength of
character and integrity. They will surely think better of
Jews now because of you, Shmuel.

"To come to the matter at hand. Firstly, I apologize
for disturbing your Shabbos and for any inconvenience
and fear I might have caused you and your family. Now,

about the items I ordered, I would really like to purchase
them, and since I won so much money in the bet, this
purchase will be a real bargain! I am also certain that
quite a number of my guests will now become your cus-
tomers as well.

"If at any time you will need a favor from me, for you
or for your fellow Jews, feel free to come and ask me. I
will do my utmost to help you.

"I wish you continued success you have surely
earned and deserve it."


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