Nutkeh (Part 1)

Rav Zundel Salant was Rav Yisrael Salnter’s rebbi. He was know for his tremendous bitachon. Every year he would change the source of his livelihood in order to remind himself that parnassah comes only from Hashem.

R’ Aharon Kotler told over the following story:

Rav Zundel had a daughter who needed a shidduch. At that time in Yerushalayim there were very few families altogether and there were no boys for her to marry. R’ Zundel’s wive begged him to do something. R’ Zundel said he was going to have bitachon and everything will work out.

The next morning, R’ Zundel headed for the port of Acco to see if any marriageable boys had arrived recently.

At the port there was one ship docked. R’ Zundel asked the captain if there were any single boys on board. “Yes,” replied the captain, “There was one. You can find him over there.”

Not to far away was a young man standing wearing wooden shoes and a piece of rope for a belt. (R’ Aharon would laugh as he said this over. Europeans were very formal and could not fathom someone dressing like that.)

Firm in his bitachon, R’ Zundel approched the boy. “Shalom aleichem. What’s your name?”

“Nutkeh.” (Nosson Nuttah)

“Would you be interested in marrying my daughter?”

“I would.”

So R’ Zundel headed back home with his new son-in-law to be.

The family was horrified! The whole city was talking about it! A boy who looked like a peasant! An am ha’aretz! How could R’ Zundel do such a thing??

But R’ Zundel was not concerned. He had had bitachon, and this is who Hashem sent.

The wedding date was set for after Pesach. In the meanwhile, Nutkeh was sent to the beis medrash where he sat quietly in the back keeping to himself.

On erev Pesach, R’ Zundel’s other son-in-law, Rav Shmuel Salant, was in the beis medrash with his chavrusah. They were discussing a very difficult inyan regarding chometz and were arguing loudly without coming to a conclusion.

Suddenly, from the back of the room they hear, “My zaideh the Shaagas Aryeh explains like this…” And Nutkeh launched into an intricate explanation of the topic.

R’ Shmuel was shocked! He ran home to tell the family. “Not only is he a grandson of the Shaagas Aryeh, he’s also a tremendous talmid chacham!” (The way he dressed was actually for prishus.)

The family was overjoyed! They went to tell R’ Zundel the great news. R’ Zundel wasn’t moved. He had bitachon that Hashem would send him the right son-in-law and never doubted for a second that Nutkeh wasn’t the right one.

R’ Zundel understood that bitachon is guaranteed. If you put your full trust in Hashem, He will respond as you expected.

To be continued.

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