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Children's Corner
During lunch break, an exciting game of baseball was going on in the field. Heshy's team was up at bat and the score was close.

But Ari didn't join the game. He had gotten up late that morning; he rushed through breakfast so that he wouldn't miss the bus; he forgot his lunch at home, and he didn't have any money to buy food. He was really hungry by now.

Ari wandered around the school yard hesitantly, until he finally decided to approach Heshy, who was cheering the team's player at bat.

"Heshy," Ari asked bashfully. "Would you lend me some money so I could buy a bagel at the canteen? I forgot my lunch."

"Sure, Ari, but my wallet is in my briefcase. As soon as the game is over I'll get the money from the classroom."

Ari was embarrassed to tell Heshy that recess would also be over by the time the game finished, and the canteen would be closed. He needed the money now.

Perhaps Heshy would have acted differently if he had thought about one of the mitzvos in Parshas Mishpatim, "When you shall lend money to My people, to a needy person."

It also might have helped if he had remembered a story about the Tzemach Tzedek. He was on his way to shul when a chassid, Reb Pinchas, asked him for a loan.

"I'll be happy to lend you the money," the Tzemach Tzedek told him. "Please come to my house right after davening."

The Tzemach Tzedek continued walking to shul and prepared for davening, but as he wrapped himself in his tallis, he remembered that it was market day.

"Reb Pinchas probably needs the loan for business today. The sooner he gets it, the more profitable his business will be. I must give him the money right away," thought the Tzemach Tzedek. He put away his tallis and rushed home to get the money. Then he hurried to the market, found Reb Pinchas, gave him the loan, and rushed back to shul. As he washed his hands before davening, his grandfather, the Alter Rebbe, suddenly appeared to him. The Tzemach Tzedek had been waiting for such a vision for a long time. It was because of the mitzvah that he performed that the Alter Rebbe appeared to him.

(Adapted from Toras Menachem 5710, p. 211ff)
 

 


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