The following story is told over in chasidishe circles and has been handed down for generations. A local villager once traveled to the Polish town of Zidichov, to see the tzadik, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Eichenstein zt”l, with an urgent request. He was not a wealthy man, but an opportunity to lease a small inn near the city of Helmutz just presented itself and the local poritz was awaiting his decision. What would make this deal truly profitable, he told the Rebbe, was if he could dig a well of water behind the inn and use it for his guests, as well as to sell water to the local populace. As of now, if anyone needed water in the area, they had to travel into town. The question was where to dig and if he would find water.

Rav Tzvi Hirsch listened carefully and then told the man, “You should be matzliach in all that you do. Lease the inn and dig a well in the backyard. But don’t dig all the way down. After a few meters, come back here and I will tell you what to do.”

The chasid did as he was told. He haggled with the poritz until they settled on a good price, and he began to dig his well. But after a few meters, he halted the dig and returned to Zidichov. This time, the Rebbe took out a piece of paper and told the man to write the following words on it: “Va’yavo’u avdei Yitzchak, ya’yagidu lo al odos ha’b’eir asher chafaru; va’yomru lo: ‘matzanu mayim’ – And Yitzchak’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug, and they said to him, ‘We have found water.’” The Rebbe instructed the man to dig down a bit more and then place the slip of paper inside the pit. The chasid returned to the inn and placed the paper inside the well and, instantly, water began to spring forth and fill up the well. Word spread, and soon the inn was full of customers. Anyone who was traveling in the area stayed at the Jewish inn, and the locals purchased their fill, enjoying the fresh and plentiful supply of water. The villager turned a huge profit and became a very prosperous man.

This did not sit well with the gentile innkeepers in the area, and a jealous streak burned within them. One man ran to the poritz and reported that the Jew was extorting the locals and becoming rich at everyone else’s expense. He offered to pay the poritz a larger sum of money to take over the inn, and the greedy man immediately accepted the offer. The Jewish innkeeper was duly informed that his lease was being terminated and he must move out within a few short days.

The chasid quickly ran to Zidichov to ask the Rebbe what to do. Rav Tzvi Hirsch told him: “Take another piece of paper, and write on it, ‘V’chol ha’b’eiros, asher chafru avdei aviv biymei Avraham aviv, sitmum P’lishtim va’y’mal’um afar – And all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Avraham his father, the P’lishtim stopped them up and filled them with earth.’ Then, throw the paper into the bottom of the well.” The man did it and, lo and behold, the water stopped filling the well. By the time he was ordered to leave the inn, there was no more water in the well. The gentile took over the inn, but it was clear that all of his customers had left. As long as the Jew was there, water filled the well; the moment he was gone, so was the water.

The man could not bring himself to face the poritz, but since he had no customers, he was unable to pay the rent. Soon he had no choice but to tell the poritz about the miraculous well that only gave water when the Jew was running the inn. The poritz was intrigued and called the Jew to his estate. He told him, “You know what? I’ve changed my mind. I should not have broken our contract and I wish you to return to oversee the inn. What do you say? Will you come back?”

The Jew looked at him and said, “What good is this inn if the well has no water? How will I ever pay you the rent that is due?” The poritz agreed to lower the rent, but the Jew insisted, “I cannot give you an answer until I speak to my Rebbe!”

The next day, he traveled once again to Zidichov to update the Rebbe on the unusual turn of events. This time, Rav Tzvi Hirsch told him, “Very good. You should not have to pay the full amount of rent. This is what you must do. Throw a third piece of paper into the well that says on it: ‘Va’yachpor b’eir acheres, v’lo ravu aleha; va’yikra sh’mah R’chovos, va’yomer: ki atah hirchiv Hashem lanu u’farinu ba’aretz’ – And he dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it R’chovos, and he said, ‘For now, Hashem has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.’”

The chasid did it and the water returned. Soon, he was once again running a thriving business, which continued to support his family, his children, and his grandchildren for many, many years.

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.