Monday, July 23, 2007


The Mashgiach of Kaminetz, Rabbi Moshe Aharon Stern zt”l related the following incident: The Netziv once visited the Reshash, who was twenty-three years the Netziv’s senior. The Reshash posed to the Netziv a very difficult question that he had raised on Tosfos to Yevamos (81b) The Netziv, after pondering the question for some time, was able to resolve the difficulty by emending a word in Tosfos. The Reshash was satisfied with the answer of the Netziv, and the Reshash quotes the Netziv in his gloss on the Gemora. The Reshash concluded his comment with the praise (Mishlei 24:26): Sfisayim yishak, the lips of one who responds with proper words should be kissed.

Upon hearing the answer of the Netziv, The Reshash wondered why he did not merit providing the correct answer to his difficulty. The Netziv replied that the Reshash was wealthy, whereas the Netziv lived a life of poverty. The Netziv said: “When one studies Torah despite living a life of hardship, Hashem opens for him the wellsprings of Torah.”