A cold wind swept through the Jewish section of Regensburg, Germany. Inside the tiny, dilapidated homes families slept peacefully, snug, and warm. Only a handful of the most elite Torah scholars, the pride and joy of the Jewish community, were learning at this early hour of the morning.

Oblivious to the wind and sleet blasting through the flimsy door of the shul, these giants of Torah sat together and learned with fiery passion. Their voices echoed around the empty shul, their arguments forming the holy opinions that would eventually be recorded inside the Gemara itself.

Indeed, some of these angels among men were the lofty Baalei Tosafos, the scholars who contributed to the Tosafos on the side of every page of Gemara. Among these men sat Rav Eliezer ben Yehudah, one of the future Baalei Tosafos.

Rav Eliezer did not realize that today would mark a very important day in his life. In just a few moments he would embark on an incredible and dangerous journey. He sat among the group, his body frozen from the cold, but his mind ablaze with the wisdom he studied from the tattered scrolls on his lap.



“The Rebbi has arrived!” a voice called out and everyone watched with reverence as the leader of these great scholars, the famed Rav Yehudah Hachassid of Regensburg, sat down among them. Rav Yehudah began delivering a powerful drashah, challenging his students to rise to even greater heights in limud haTorah.

“Rav Eliezer.” Rav Yehudah suddenly stopped his discussion and focused his razor-sharp gaze on his disciple. “You must go.”

Rav Eliezer looked up in confusion.

“Where does Rebbi need me to go?” he asked, glancing at the wind-driven snow hitting the shul’s thin windows.

“I need you to go buy candlesticks for me,” Rav Yehudah said, his eyes never leaving Rav Eliezer’s face.

“Th-the shops haven’t opened yet…” Rav Eliezer stammered. It was clear from the faces of his fellow talmidim that they were as flabbergasted as he was. “Perhaps after we’ve finished learn—”

“You must go now,” Rav Yehudah said, his voice calm and even. “There is a ferry that leaves in 20 minutes. Take the ferry across the river and proceed to the old repair shop near the eastern park. There you will purchase candlesticks and then return to me.”

Rav Eliezer sat in shock. What did Rebbi want from him? But, faithful to Rebbi no matter what, Rav Eliezer replied, “I will do it.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 692)