Monday, November 17, 2008
He Died From Smoking on Shabbos
Here's a funny and sad story I heard from R' Reuven Boshnack, who heard the ma'aseh from R' Mordechai Twerski in Flatbush, who heard it from his uncle, Rav Michel Twerski of Milwaukee, who the story actually happened to.
Reb Michel was on a bus in Eretz Yisroel and he met an old Russian Jew who was not frum and they started talking.
This Yid told Reb Michel that in the old days around Minsk, no one would break Shabbos publicly. If anyone wanted to smoke on Shabbos, they had to go out of town where it wasn't too public. They usually went to the cemetary.
One Shabbos, he went with a friend on Shabbos to smoke in the cemetary. He lit a match and the wind blew it out. He lit another match, but that was blown out too. Eventually, they lit every match in the matchbook, and they were all blown out. Really wanting a cigarette, his friend remembered that by the kever of Reb Ahron of Karlin, there was a light that was constantly lit.
They went over to the kever. In order to reach the fire, this man's friend had to lean all the way over the kever of Rav Aharon Karliner. While he was leaning over, trying to light his Shabbos cigarette, he was struck with a heart attack and died immediately. The whole experience was very upsetting for this Jew.
"So," Reb Michel asked him, "Did that experience cause you to change anything about your life?"
The man admitted that he did have to make one change. From then on, he had to find a different buddy to smoke on Shabbos with!
Oy! Hashem open up our hearts to hear your messages to us!
(Picture courtesy of wikimedia)
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