In the wake of the death of HaGaon HaRav Avraham Dov Auerbach, z’tl, many stories about him and his accomplishments in Tiveria over dozens of years have been circulating. But davka a story related to his illustrious father, HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, z’tl, is the one that has kindled the most interest.
The story, published in the Hebrew Hamodia on Tuesday, provides much chizuk to those involved in the expensive parsha of marrying off their children.
The story was told to the Hamodia columnist by a Jew who preferred to remain anonymous. He said that shortly before he was ready to become engaged to his kallah, he asked his parents about the financial side of the shidduch. His father told him that the kallah’s father had promised to give $15,000, and he himself will come up with the rest of the money for an apartment. At the time, an apartment in the periphery only cost about $100,000.
“I immediately expressed my opposition,” the storyteller said, explaining that since his father was completely involved in Torah and had never been involved in business, there was no way b’derech hateva his father could come up with such a large amount of money and he was worried the stress would cause his father to become ill.
However, his father reassured him by telling him a story he had heard firsthand.
“When the Posek HaDor, HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, z’tl, was about to finalize the shidduch of his son, HaRav Avraham Dov, with the daughter of HaGaon HaRav Asher Zev Werner, z’tl, the Rav of Tiveria, Rav Werner turned to Rav Shlomo Zalman and said: ‘At the time of marrying off children, a special channel of shefa (abundance) comes down from Shamayim. Do you want it to come through me, or through you, or half and half like is customary?’”
Rav Shlomo Zalman was quite surprised by Rav Werner’s request and since the financial situation in his home was not so rosy, he agreed that the shefa should come through Rav Werner’s side. Rav Werner agreed to take the expenses upon himself.
“Much later, Rav Shlomo Zalman said: ‘My mechutan, Rav Werner, fulfilled all his financial commitments until the very last shekel and everything was fully paid even before the wedding! The money came to him through special ways and with astounding siyata dishmaya.’”
“‘On the other hand, I didn’t accept the special channel of shefa,’ Rav Shlomo Zalman continued, ‘and during that time I had great difficulty paying just for the secondary expenses such as clothing for the wedding, transportation to the wedding hall, etc. It was much easier for me during previous weddings and I saw clearly that I was lacking the channel of shefa.’”
“‘My entire life I regretted that I saw the pure and simple emunah of my mechutan and I didn’t jump into the bandwagon with him,” Rav Shlomo Zalman said wistfully.
The storyteller continued that his father told him that believes with emunah sheleimah that Hakadosh Baruch Hu will help him to meet all the financial obligations he commits to and send him whatever he needs for the wedding. ‘Do you want to cut off this channel of shefa?’ my father asked. I quickly backed off and the shidduch was closed.”
The storyteller added that his father met all his commitments in full and even beyond, without pressure or stress. “There was one yeshua after another that could fill a book. It was an incredible lesson for me in emunah and bitachon for my entire life,” he concluded.