Monday, December 7, 2009

When Avraham Avinu Visited

A year or two ago, when Chaim L was in, visiting from Israel, he told an unsual story. He recalled from his childhood in the shul, that on Friday nights it was sometimes difficult to make a minyan. Often the eight or nine men who were there would have to wait a while before the tenth showed up. On just such a night, Rabbi Kret, ztz"l explained that if a minyan is worthy, HaKadosh Baruch Hu Himself will send Avraham Avinu to make the minyan. Soon afterwards, it was a Friday night and nine men were waiting for the tenth for the minyan. It was getting late, it was raining and it was cold outside. All of a sudden, the front door opened, and a tall, thin Jew with a long gray beard walked into the vestibule. He asked Rabbi Kret where he could sit, and was directed to the front. Surprisingly, the man stepped up onto the bimah and sat down in the high backed velvet chair to the left of the aron. The man had such an austere look and a dignified face that nobody bothered to tell him that he was sitting in the president's chair. After the davenning ended, and everybody started to prepare themselves to go back out into the cold, someone asked the tall, elderly man where he lived, and, inexplicably, he pointed to the north. This didn't make sense because the nearest Jewish community to the north was several miles away. Was he really coming from that direction? After the man left, Chaim said that the congregants discussed who he was, and came to the conclusion that he must have been Avraham Avinu.

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