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A long time ago, I was in someone's house and they had a book about the life of Rashi. In it was a great story, which I will summarise to the best of my memory:

Rashi was travelling Europe and in a certain city, he was to stay at one of the wealthy influential Jews. He arrived early, and the host wasn't home, so he went off to the Beit Midrash to learn until the evening. After leaving the house to go, the butler of the host came out, yanked Rashi's scarf off, and roughed him up a bit, accused him of stealing the scarf. Then the butler headed back into the house.

Rashi picked himself up, took a piece of chalk, and wrotes his name 5 times on the door:
שלמה
שלמה
שלמה
שלמה
שלמה

It was all resolved when the host came home. When asked why he wrote his name 5 times on the door, Rashi said he didn't write his name 5 times, he wrote "Shelama Shelomo shelema Salma shilema" = "Why did Shlomo have to pay for the whole scarf?"

I am interested in the source of this story, and any commentaries that might be available from any Rabbis on this story. Is there any lesson to draw from it?


Personally, when I heard this story, it painted a tangible protrait of what true humility looks like - to be accused and beaten, and yet see humour in it, and make a particularly good, and wise joke.

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  • The way I remember it, the second word was "shalma." But it's been ages.
    – shmosel
    Apr 7 at 10:38
  • 2
    @shmosel just stumbled across this onthemainline.blogspot.com/2011/12/…
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 7 at 11:04
  • 1
    Based on your link, it seems like you're in a position to answer your own question.
    – Harel13
    Apr 7 at 11:59
  • @Harel13 it all happened so fast..
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 7 at 12:05
  • The R' Shlomo Kluger story is the only one that sounds remotely plausible.
    – N.T.
    Apr 7 at 12:32

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