Dreaming of Moshiach

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Hidden Righteous Beggar

You are walking towards shul and see a beggar, asking you for a donation. What is your first thought? This is the story of a mysterious beggar from Tveria (Tiberias). After the beggar's death, zs'l, it was discovered that he was a Tzaddik Nistar and he helped many residents in Teveria. His kever has become very popular and a central ascent for many Jews, just as the Rambam, Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess, the Holy Shla, zs'l, whom are also buried in Tveria. The beggar's name was Avraham Chanuna.

Since the 1800's, on the hill viewing the Kineret, is the old cemetery of Tveria. According to some Midrashim, Moshiach will come to the hills of Tveria and there will occur resurrection. Thruout the centuries, many wanted to be buried on the hill. In the last 300 years, great Torah scholars were buried there, HaRav Chaim Abulafia, Rabbi Mordechai Rokeach of Belz, and many more. Many Rabbanim from all over the world purchase burial plot in Tveria's hills.

The beggar, Avraham Chanuna passed away 10 years ago and was known to most residents. After his death, many chesed miraculous stories were told about him. It is said that he secretly supported struggling families, single-mothers, widows, and families that had no source of external financial help. Many believe that the generous beggar was some sort of a Malach (angel), and he distributed all the donations that he collected, never using it for himself. The mysterious beggar lived in the basement of the shul and ate in places that offered food for the poor.

One of the most fascinating story is about a 40 year old widow, a mother of 6. When she gave the beggar a coin, tears flowed from her eyes. Avraham asked her why she is crying and she told him that she is in heavy debt, owes thousands of shekalim and in addition, has no money to make a Bar Mitzvah for her first-born son. The beggar promised to help her and the widow laughed, "You are a beggar, how can you possibly help me?".

That evening, Avraham Chanuna came to her home with a bag full of coins that was worth over 20,000 shekels. There was enough money for the Bar Mitzvah and to pay back debts.

During the Bar Mitzvah people inquired what the beggar was doing at the celebration, and the widow answered that he is the guest of honor, a very special guest. No one imagined that the mysterious beggar, Avraham Chanuna, was the one who paid for the celebration.

What a zchut to know that in the merit of these 'simple' people, we are alive in this Olam. They don't look like they are the 'pillars of this olam', but in their zchut, the world is not destroyed.

May it be the Will of HaShem that Avraham Chanuna's merits continue to protect Am Israel, amen.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו