Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach’s Advice to a Young Widow

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach’s Advice to a Young Widow
A brokenhearted widow with several young children once came to the great Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.
This young widow told Rabbi Shlomo Zalman that she feared that she was to blame for her husband’s death, because of something she might have done wrong. And she had decided that she wanted to take upon herself something requiring great mesirut nefesh (self-sacrifice and effort) in her husband’s memory.
The young widow, it seemed, had in mind something like fasting every Monday and Thursday or scrubbing the yeshiva floors every week before Shabbat.
Rabbi Shlomo Zalman, with a tear in his eye and a hint of a smile on his lips, told her:
“My dear daughter, I hear that you want to do something requiring great mesirut nefesh?
“Here are the 3 things you should do:
“Go and buy some toys for your children.
“Try to take your children to the playground at least once a week.
“And try as much as possible to bring a smile into your home.”
The widow’s eyes went wide with surprise. And then a hint of a smile blessed her lips, for the first time in a very long time, as well.
Based on a story told by Rabbi Fischel Schachter

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