In Radin, Lithuania, hometown of the famed “Chofetz Chaim” (Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, 1838-1933), there lived a G-d-fearing man who was an accomplished Torah scholar as well as a successful businessman. His children, too, were wealthy men, but they had departed from the ways of their father to assume a more “modern” and secular lifestyle.
The father was a great admirer of the Chofetz Chaim and consulted with him on everything he did. One day, he came to the Rabbi to show him the will he had drawn up, in which he bequeathed his money to his children and his extensive library of sefarim (Torah books) to the local yeshivah.
The Chofetz Chaim smiled and said: “Your children do not lack for money. But if there were more sefarim in their homes, perhaps their lives would be more in keeping with the ways of the Torah. The yeshivah, on the other hand, has walls and walls of books, but is in dire need of funds to pay its teachers and feed its students. Your estate would be put to far better use if you gave each party what it truly needed….”
Adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Yanki Tauber