Story Time: This Year Will Be Easier


    הצלה 1290

    Story Time: This Year Will Be Easier

    When Rabbi Avrohom Korf landed in Miami, Florida, there were no shluchim there to greet him. You see, he was the very first shliach to Florida! The Rebbe sent him there with a special mission: to make Yiddishkeit in the Sunshine State thrive • By Baila BrikmanBeis Moshiach Magazine • Full Story

    By Baila Brikman, Beis Moshiach

    When Rabbi Korf landed in Miami, Florida, there were no shluchim there to greet him. You see, he was the very first shliach to Florida! The Rebbe sent him there with a special mission: to make Yiddishkeit in the Sunshine State thrive.

    Right away, Rabbi Korf got to work and began teaching Torah classes to Yidden of all ages. As he got to know them, he realized that so many wanted to become frum! There was only one problem, though. Since they were already adults, there was no school for them to go to! How would they learn about Torah and mitzvos?

    When a nearby motel was put up for sale, Rabbi Korf got very excited. If he bought it, he could turn the building into a yeshiva for baalei teshuva! Although the motel was selling for an expensive $415,000, Rabbi Korf immediately bought it.

    His hands shook with excitement as he signed the contract. Finally, whoever wanted to learn more about Yiddishkeit would have a proper school to go to! They would be able to study the Torah in depth and learn how to live as proper Jews.

    To spread Yiddishkeit even more, Rabbi Korf hired many more shluchim to join the team. Soon, there were Chabad houses all over Florida! Under the Rebbe’s guidance, Rabbi Korf worked day and night to fulfill his shlichus. Slowly, Yiddishkeit in Florida began to grow.


    A few years went by. One day, Rabbi Korf heard terrible news: the local children’s school owed a tremendous amount of money to the bank! They had no way to pay it back, and the bank was running out of patience! They were even threatening to take away the school building!

    What will be? Rabbi Korf worried. If they take away the school building, where will the students learn Torah?

    Immediately, Rabbi Korf sprang into action. He had to save the school! Right away, he wrote to the Rebbe: Should I take over the school and become responsible to pay the debt?

    When the Rebbe didn’t respond, Rabbi Korf hesitated. Taking on such a burden was like jumping into the ocean without knowing how to swim! How would he manage to pay such a huge amount of money?

    He already had so many things to pay for, like his Chabad House and his yeshiva for baalei teshuva. He was even paying the salaries of five other Chabad Houses! Maybe it isn’t such a good idea for me to take over the yeshiva… he thought.

    A short while later, word reached Rabbi Korf that the bank was about to sell the school building! Uh oh! Rabbi Korf panicked. I can’t sit quietly and watch them take away the building! Quickly, he wrote to the Rebbe again: “If the Rebbe agrees, I will take over the school.”

    As soon as the Rebbe received the letter, he agreed to the plan. Overnight, Rabbi Korf took over the school, becoming responsible to pay back all the money to the bank!

    To have enough money, Rabbi Korf was forced to stop paying for the other five Chabad Houses. It was very hard for him and for the other shluchim, but he had no other choice. The debt was enormous, and he had to save the school from closing!

    Rabbi Korf worked as hard as he could to come up with the money. He tried to pay the bank on time, but one day, there was nothing left.

    There was no money in his bank account. There was no money in his wallet. Ok, maybe there were a few dollars there—but how would that help when he needed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bank?

    Rabbi Korf held his head in his hands. When the bank had called him that day, threatening to take away the school again, he had called everyone he could think of. But no one could help. His head ached. He had tried so hard to save the school, but it looked like everything was about to collapse. Was there any hope at all?

    What does a Chassid do in a situation like this? He turns to his Rebbe! Around Chai Elul, Rabbi Korf boarded a plane and traveled to New York.

    Rabbi Korf wanted to write to the Rebbe, but the situation seemed so hopeless, he didn’t know what to write! Instead, he decided to pass by the Rebbe when the Rebbe was giving something out.

    After waiting in line for a long time, it was finally his turn. As soon as he passed by, the Rebbe looked straight at him. “Miami?” the Rebbe asked. “This year will be easier.”

    Stunned, Rabbi Korf kept walking. Again and again, he replayed the Rebbe’s words in his head. This year will be easier? What a mysterious message! What did the Rebbe mean?

    He had no idea. All he knew was that he had the Rebbe’s bracha, so everything would be okay.


    When his time in New York was up, Rabbi Korf returned home. The next day, his phone rang.

    “Hello, is this Rabbi Korf?” an unfamiliar voice asked. “I’m a real estate broker, calling about your motel. Are you interested in selling?”

    Rabbi Korf blinked in surprise. No one had ever asked to buy the motel before! Unfortunately, his yeshiva for baalei teshuvah had been closed and the motel was not really being used.

    “How much are you offering?” he asked.

    When the broker named a price, Rabbi Korf’s eyes opened wide. If he would sell, he would make $200,000 in profit!

    The offer sounded really tempting. After all, he was desperate for money! But somehow, he felt that this wasn’t what the Rebbe had meant. All the profit would go toward paying off the school’s debt, and then he would be left with nothing, not even the motel!

    “Thank you for the offer,” Rabbi Korf finally said. “But I’m not selling at the moment.”

    Two weeks later, another broker approached Rabbi Korf. This time, Rabbi Korf would make a profit of $400,000!

    Although this offer was even more tempting than the first one, Rabbi Korf said no. He didn’t know why, but he still believed that this wasn’t what the Rebbe had meant.

    To his surprise, the offers kept coming. Another two weeks later, one of Rabbi Korf’s baalei teshuva asked if he could buy the motel. “I’ll pay you a million dollars!” he begged. When he saw Rabbi Korf hesitate, he waved the stack of papers in his hand. “I already prepared and signed the contract!”

    Rabbi Korf couldn’t believe it. A million dollars?! That would be $600,000 dollars in profit!

    Rabbi Korf asked for some time to think about it. Everyone thought he was nuts! “Nu!” they yelled at him. “A million dollars? What are you waiting for?? You think a better offer will come up??”

    Although Rabbi Korf agreed that this was an amazing offer, he still had in his head that this wasn’t what the Rebbe meant. So he said no!

    Another two weeks later, two non-Jews from Spain came to Rabbi Korf with an incredible offer: “Sell us the motel, and we’ll give you $1,350,000 in cash!”

    Aha! Rabbi Korf thought to himself. This must be what the rebbe meant!

    “Sold!” he shouted.

    Just as the Rebbe promised, that year was much easier for Rabbi Korf in Miami. Baruch Hashem, the massive debt was paid off, and the school was no longer in danger of being shut down. Thanks to the Rebbe’s brachos and Rabbi Korf’s devotion, Yiddishkeit in Miami continued to flourish.


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    Story Time: This Year Will Be Easier