In the early 1990s, a group of real estate developers purchased land in the heart of Tel Aviv with the intention of constructing a massive development project, replete with office buildings, malls, and shops. It was to become known as the Azrieli Center. Many sharp-eyed investors recognized the opportunity and invested huge sums of money, some purchasing entire floors of the towers, plucking down large sums of money even before the building plans were drawn up.

One young Israeli developer was building his portfolio and was a success story at a young age. He lived in a bachelor pad in a trendy part of Tel Aviv, enjoyed the local night life, and was far, far away from a Torah or even religious lifestyle. He really didn’t have many friends but that was okay as his life was all about making money and it was all he cared and thought about on a daily basis. He inquired into the new Azrieli Center project and learned that if he acted quickly, he could purchase the entire 17th floor of one of the towers at a bargain discount price. It was an amazing deal and just before he could pull the trigger on the deal, another investment deal came across his desk. This one sounded even more attractive. A huge parcel of land in one of the most up-and-coming cities in Romania became available and he could have it for less money than the Israeli project. The potential return was huge, as the land was so much more voluminous, and he grabbed the Romanian deal.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? The Romania deal collapsed. The Israeli investor had pumped all he had into it and now, it seemed that he had lost everything! He was devastated. He did not know where his next dollar would come from. He was left totally broke! Meanwhile, the Azrieli Center was built and became an instant success. Investors who had the good fortune to put their money into the project did remarkably well, and this young Israeli entrepreneur could only watch and eat his heart out.

One day, with no money and no business to speak of, the Israeli man decided that he had no choice but to take a loan. But as no conventional bank would touch him, he found that he could only get a “Black Market” loan in cash. He needed to go to a certain office on the 17th floor of the Azrieli Center, where it could be arranged. As he rode the elevator up to the same floor that he had almost purchased years ago, he couldn’t help but wonder at the turn of events that led him to this place at this time. Thankfully, he was able to procure the loan and walked out with an envelope full of cash. He decided to take a quick look around and rode the elevator up to the top floor of the tower. There, he walked out onto the roof to get a panoramic view of Tel Aviv. Suddenly, and without warning, the roof door slammed shut and he was stuck on the roof! He banged and shouted, but no one heard him. He looked down and could see people walking on the street, 49 floors below, but there was no way anyone could see him.

He thought for a moment and realized that the only way people might notice him is if he tossed something down from the roof. But what? All he had on him was an envelope of cash. That’s it! People will stop for cash. So, he took a few bills, rolled them up and tossed them down 49 floors. He watched as people saw the money hit the ground, grab it up and run off. He did it again and again, but nobody looked up. All they did was grab the heaven-sent cash and run off to celebrate their good fortune.

The man was crushed. For the first time in his life, he looked up to Heaven and said, “G-d, please hear my call. Save me. I have nowhere else to turn!” He really truly meant his words and he prayed with a broken heart. Suddenly, he noticed a pile of stones on the roof. With newfound resolve, he picked up the stones and threw them down one by one. This time, people looked up to see who was throwing rocks from the roof. They alerted a security guard who ran up to the roof and found the man throwing rocks. He was arrested and it took quite a bit of explaining as to why he was on the roof and what he was doing.

Eventually, the guard was convinced and let the man go. But this singular event changed his way of thinking. When he threw money down from the roof, nobody looked up. But when he threw rocks, it made an impression. The same goes for him. When life was good, and Hashem was “throwing money” down on him from Heaven, he never gave it a second thought. He never said thanks and didn’t bother with G-d. But when Hashem was “throwing rocks” at him and his life was a disaster, suddenly he took notice. Suddenly, he was praying, and the Good Lord heard his plea. The man became a baal t’shuvah and his life took on new meaning. And within a few months, he got a call that the Romania deal had turned to gold – he was rich!

Rabbi Dovid Hoffman is the author of the popular “Torah Tavlin” book series, filled with stories, wit and hundreds of divrei Torah, including the brand new “Torah Tavlin Yamim Noraim” in stores everywhere. You’ll love this popular series. Also look for his book, “Heroes of Spirit,” containing one hundred fascinating stories on the Holocaust. They are fantastic gifts, available in all Judaica bookstores and online at To receive Rabbi Hoffman’s weekly “Torah Tavlin” sheet on the parsha, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.