A Deal Of A Lifetime

by Yossi Katz

For many years I worked from morning until evening. I came home for dinner and would then go back to work for another four hours. I was overworked but very successful, and the money made me feel great about myself. But after ten years, my neshomo began to seek something more meaningful and I was no longer satisfied. That summer I decided I would find a chavrusa to learn with every evening.

First I thought of my brother. But he didn’t know much more than me, and I remembered once attending a shiur with a teacher of similar caliber and not finding any satisfaction. My friends were all businesspeople and they really couldn’t think of a good match.

For the first time since I was a yeshiva bachur, I began to feel empty when I did not learn. I so desperately wanted to find a good match.

Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur passed. It was now the end of Succos and still nothing. I felt angry and decided that without a chavrusa, I would waste away my evenings. If nothing developed, then after Yom Tov, I would give up.

I began to talk to Hashem, I told him in my own words how much I needed a chavrusa and implored him help me.

The next day was Isru Chag. In the middle of davening I got so frustrated that I walked out to the beis medrash where people were learning and stood by the door, utterly jealous. In the distance I noticed someone nodding at me, so I naturally I nodded back, but then returned to finish davening.

The next day as I walked out of shul, someone approached me and asked if I was the one he had nodded to yesterday. I replied that I was. He told me that yesterday had been the Ribnitzer Rebbe’s yahrzeit and he needed help with an issue. He had gone to the tziyun of the Rebbe and davened, and then promised in the zechus of the Rebbe to offer his services as a talmid chochom to the first businessman who looked like he was in need of a chavrusa. As he prepared a cup of coffee the next morning and was getting ready to learn for a few minutes before davening, he spotted me.

Now, he wanted to apologize for telling me about his private deal that maybe I wanted nothing to do with.

I immediately replied, “Offer accepted!”

We have since finished two mesechtos and I have had a hand in helping him with his issue as well.

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