Reb Chaim Moishe Alperovitch was a chossid with an extraordinarily refined character who was very much spiritually inclined[1]. It is told that when he arrived in Eretz Yisroel a certain shochet offered him a job to serve as shochet as well, reasoning that it wouldn’t diminish from his clientele because he was very well established. Came Erev Yom Kippur and everyone in town heard of this new shochet who was very scrupulous in Torah observance, and they decided to use R’ Chaim Moishe. A long line of customers waited outside his home so that he may slaughter their chickens. Noticing the influx in customers, R’ Chaim Moishe instructed his son to go to the home of the other shochet and to see if he too had a long line of people waiting. The answer was that his line was considerably shorter than that of R’ Chaim Moishe. Instantly R’ Chaim Moishe announced that he was ceasing permanently to serve as shochet.  This was not only for that day, but permanently.

This was R’ Chaim Moishe; he cared about others more than about his own livelihood.

Soon after he received another job which required tremendous physical work. Along with him worked another exalted chossid, R’ Leib Kahan, (a brother of R’ Refoel (Foleh) Kahan.) The head of the company which employed the two men noticed that these two chassidim were of exalted quality and not just regular workers and therefore decided to ease their work by promoting them to managerial positions which didn’t require the physical aspect, rather just overlooking others’ work. This positively affected their pay as well. R’ Leib reacted with great satisfaction.

After a few days on their new job R’ Chaim Moishe told R’ Leib that he wanted to change back to the previous, physically difficult position. In response to the obvious wonder on R’ Leib’s face, he said, “It’s true that previously we worked physically hard, however then only our hands were preoccupied, and our heads were free to think Mishnayos and Tanya by heart. By contrast, now in this new position, our hands are free but the mind is occupied with responsibilities, and for me that makes it impossible to think Torah. For you it is possible to balance the brain work and thinking Torah,” R’ Chaim Moishe told R’ Leib, “but for me this is not possible.”

This was a unique person who was completely in sync with what was the best for him spiritually even if was at the expense of his physical and financial comforts.

[1] Bidarkei Hachassidim pg 370.

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