7

A man could not afford the wine for the four cups of the seder, and asked the Rav whether he could use milk. The Rav offered to pay for wine, and gave him much more money than wine would require. The wife of the Rav overheard the transaction and later asked the Rav why he had provided so much money. The Rav replied that because the petitioner had suggested milk, it is obvious that he cannot afford meat either.

What's the source of this story? Did it actually occur?

  • similar but slightly different story chabad.org/kids/article_cdo/aid/1612/jewish/Elijahs-Cup.htm which means it probably didn't happen. here's another version with the wife of the beis halevi rebmarko.com/blog/… – Double AA Feb 14 '18 at 20:23
  • The story that I heard had the Brisker Rav giving enough money for meat because of the question being asked about milk and did not have the embellishment of the story about where the money had come from. @DoubleAA – sabbahillel Feb 14 '18 at 20:45
  • @A Bochur I'm not sure I follow you. The book in the answer below is "a daughter's memoir." You've got a different attribution through a book by a grandchild? I'd certainly be interested in that. Could the story have occurred several times with different rabbis? – Chaim Feb 15 '18 at 19:33
  • @A Bochur The [grand]daughter's memoir is a better source than I expected to find. I would be interested to find additional sources, concerning the same rabbi or another; but it now seems pretty likely that the story did truly happen, at least once, in connection with Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik. – Chaim Feb 16 '18 at 14:19
9

In her book about the family heritage, Shulamit Soloveitchik Meiselman writes this exact story about her great-grandfather¹, Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik². Also known as the Beis HaLevi.

The book is titled: The Soloveitchik Heritage: A Daughter's Memoir (the story begins towards the bottom of page 57)

I couldn't select the words to copy, so here are screenshots of the story.

enter image description here enter image description here


1.You can confirm that she was a great-grandchild, using the Soloveichik family tree

2.In the book, he goes by Rav Yoshe Ber, while in some other places, you'll find that he goes by Rav Yosef Dov Soloveichik. You can be sure it's the same person, as the Wikipedia page about him, says that he lived from 1820 to 1892, same as the info found in the book on page 41.

  • 1
    I don't believe that he would insult his wife like that. I also find it difficult to understand why he would be mafsik during bedikas chametz, when speech not related to the bedika should l'chatchila be avoided. – Michael May 6 '18 at 20:59
  • Maybe the details are not %100 accurate, but you cannot disregard the whole thing just because of small details. – aBochur May 6 '18 at 21:32
  • onlineocr.net – hazoriz May 7 '18 at 19:19

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