Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Chofetz Chaim’s Compassion

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838-1933)

The “Chofetz Chaim,” once was told of a flood in Mississippi that claimed many lives. “If Divine Providence has caused us to hear of this disaster here in Radin [Lithuania],” the sage observed, “then we must do teshuvah - repent of our sins!” He made a similar remark after hearing that Mount Fuji had erupted in Japan, causing widespread destruction (Oral tradition of the Chofetz Chaim’s family, as heard from Rabbi Hillel Zaks; also cf. Kol Kisvei Chofetz Chaim, vol. 3, Michtavim 10, 12, 30, 40).