Rebbetzin Lerner Stories – Torah Umesorah – Coronavirus Response


By Rebbetzin Esther Lerner

Inspirational, unusual, dramatic stories, told by Rebbetzin Esther Lerner at a weekly StoryGroup for children at the Kollel shul in Brooklyn, NY, over the past number of years.  Stories will have children sitting wide-eyed and open-mouthed, as they hear a range of contemporary and historical TRUE stories, instilling values of middos tovos, emunash chachomim, hashgacha pratis and more, within their hearts and minds.  Each story is approximately half an hour in length.  The live audience was 6-12 year old girls, however, stories are appropriate for ALL ages, and for both boys and girls (and even teens and adults!).


Story #DescriptionClick to play
1Daniel’s parrot flew away and went missing. His ability to repeat Jewish words has a lasting impact on his finder’s Yiddishkeit. He became a kiruv parrot!
2Little lively Berel’a is doubly orphaned, sinks to the pit of a Turkish prison, and finds his way back to his father’s righteous ways through a single kernel of wheat on Pesach, and the influence of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld.
31) Dr. Yitzi Friedman, a dermatologist in Los Angeles, goes out of his way to do a chessed for a patient, and is repaid manifold for his kindness.

2) Dovid Haber in Boston misses an appointment to measure window shades, gets a second chance – which gives his customer a second chance at life!
4R’ Aharon meets Noach Zeitlin, an immigrant from Russia, at a bus stop in Eretz Yisrael, and is astounded to find that this Jew, who looks completely secular, knows Mishnayos and other parts of the Torah by heart – and has a fascinating background.
51) The third consecutive rainy day in camp leads to a bunk of girls listening in on a CPR class given by the camp nurse….and to saving two young lives.

2) A shidduch suggested to Miriam worked out only because her chosson’s payos were both cut short. Listen to the amazing way Hashem arranged this shidduch!
61) R’ Zushe of Anipoli “returns” 300 lost rubles to ensure that a chasunah should continue, and heaps humiliation on himself to avoid haughtiness.

2) Mr. Friedman helps to save shiploads of Jews from Romania during WWII, and warns those helping him that in order to be successful, they must do everything l’sheim shomayim and not accept money from anyone. Listen to how accurate his words were!
7Victoria and her husband get food poisoning after returning $20,000 which Mr. and Mrs. Bauman lost on the subway. But what seemed to be a punishment, was really a life-saver!
8The Meislik family in Communist Russia, as well as all the Jews, experienced their own Purim miracle in the 1950’s. Listen to this miraculous, thrilling story, and hear about the tzaddik, R’ Yitzchok Zilber.
9Dovid, a businessman on a trip to Eretz Yisrael, merits to have his life saved TWICE in one year – once from a terrorist bomb, and again from the 9/11 attack. Listen to how the two episodes are connected, and to Dovid’s double miracle.


Story #DescriptionClick to play
1A victorious “War” is waged in the city of Zehvil, by Rav Shlom’ke of Zehvil, to protect Limud HaTorah & Shmiras Shabbos. Listen to Rav Shlom’ke’s brilliant and suspenseful “war tactics”!
3Elimelech Kinderlehrer is almost killed by the Nazis y”s, and is saved through an amazing chain of hashgacha pratis – an abandoned shed, a dog, a dream, and a group of British soldiers. An incredible story of Yad Hashem and bitachon!
5Two Stories about a Bris – 1) A very special Kisei Shel Eliyahu 2) A Mohel in Communist Russia performs a secret bris for an army officer’s baby
6Chanukah Story – The journey of a valuable, unique silver menorah brings back a lost soul on a journey back to Torah and mitzvos.
7Chanukah Story – In Communist Romania, a childhood memory of Chanukah candles inspires Anna (Chana) to return to Torah and mitzvos.
9Miracle in the vineyards of Tokay, Hungary – an unusual refuah for a chassid of the Stoliner Rebbe, Rav Asher
10Nachman, Gershon and Shlomo – three bochurim in Yerushalayim – are taught a chilling life lesson of the meaning of respecting elders. See how even as adults, the lesson from the Abarbanel comes true.
11In a Siberian labor camp, hear about the Mesiras Nefesh for Shmiras Shabbos by Rav Tuvia Goldstein and Kaminetz Yeshiva bochurim. Listen to how they were saved from a life and death trial at the last moment through the most unlikely messenger of Hashem.
12Yossi’s shidduch with Ruti was off, and then on again – Listen firsthand about the tremendous importance of Shmiras HaLashon
13Rav Shmuel Shmelke Rubin switches a sefer with another Survivor right after the Holocaust, and years later, in a shul in Far Rockaway, NY, the astounding Hashgacha Pratis becomes evident
14Three MIDAH K’NEGED MIDAH stories: 1) Chaya Shoshana, a little girl in Poland, does a chessed for a blind woman, and is repaid measure for measure. 2) Mrs. Lerman is repaid for a chessed done years before by one electrician for another. 3) Rav Nosson Einfeld of Beer Sheva’s pure hachnosas orchim yields more than he imagine!
15Power of Tefillah – Gidon, a fisherman in Akko, saves a life of a little girl, has his life saved from behind the locked door of a freezer in a fishing boat, and returns to Torah
16SHLACH LACH’MECHA EL HA’MAYIM – Cast your Bread Upon the Waters… – two stories: 1) A very large favor is returned by Mr. Rockove to Mr. Rubinfeld for a very small favor. 2) R’ Berish, a Survivor left with nothing, receives surprisingly large returns from the tzedakah and letter writing of his father.
17Rewards for Keeping Mitzvos in the US Army – Two stories: 1) Dovid’s life is saved by keeping kosher during the Vietnam War. 2) Robert’s sacrifice for Netilas Yadayim during fierce fighting in Vietnam was his ticket to life.
18Power of Tzedakah – Two stories: 1)Reb Leibel Drebin’s pledge to tzedakah saved him from danger when surrounded by lions on a Safari. 2) Mr. Davis lets his tenant Mr. Goldman live rent-free, and never loses out!
19Parnassah comes only from Hashem! 1) Boruch & Dovid working in a tire company, with an amazing twist at the end involving a shidduch. 2) Menashe learns that a failed business deal with Walmart was the best deal he ever made!
20Reb Mottel Segal – a great baal tzedakah who withstood a tremendous nisayon, and was rewarded in a huge way
21Two stories: 1) R’ Berel’s life is saved in Russia by having the patience to be late for work and join a minyan. 2) R’ Dov Orenstein’s is saved from armed robbers in Yerushalayim, because of his mitzvah of hachnosas kallah.
22Dan Le’Kaf Zechus – 3 Stories: 1) Shlomo learns how to judge Rabbi Davis favorably about a “clown” in Florida. 2) Ariella learns to judge her roommates favorably while in seminary in Eretz Yisrael. 3) The Goldbergs learn about Dan Le’kaf Zechus while eating out at a restaurant and seeing something inexcusable… or so they thought!
23Chanukah Story – A Baal Teshuvah in Italy returns to Torah because of a shattered bottle of olive oil
34HASHGACHA PRATIS – The miracle of the Jews saved at Entebbe in Uganda in 1976
35Rav Dovid Tevel, a talmid of Rav Chaim Volozhiner, shows his strength of Daas Torah in the face of the wealthy and powerful R’ Leibel Polanski, in a difficult Din Torah between two brothers, Yochanan and Shimon.
36Three gold coins from Rav Moshe of Lelov are given to protect little Shaul… and they are missing, and they reappear to save Shaul’s life, just in time!
371) A Russian soldier, Ilya, fighting in the mountainous region between Russia and Afghanistan, stares death in the face when he encounters a cobra, and transforms his life to Torah and mitzvos when he realizes why. 2) Nochum’s life was saved from an unusual crash because of his devotion to Limud haTorah.
38Uri urgently needs a serious operation to live, and his sister sells her apartment to raise the money. Hear about an unusual taxi ride,a forgotten surgical instrument, and an inspired taxi driver reward and surgeon!
39B’MIDDAH SHE’ADAM MODEID BO MODEDIN BO Rav Menachem Mendel of Rimanov teaches the Chevra Kadisha a powerful and chilling lesson they would not forget about showing respect to those who were niftar.
40A modern-day Purim miracle! A doctor in Yemen, Dr. Dovid the tzaddik, treats the King’s nephew and almost gets hanged.
41Throughout Shabbos, Yechiel the builder blocks all thoughts of losing money from the open barrels of cement at his building site in Ramat Gan, Israel. There was a great surprise awaiting him in the barrels after Shabbos!
42The wonder horse at the flour mill in Yerushalayim is sent to correct a secret “aveirah” of the manager of the flour mill. Hear why the Turkish Pasha wanted to buy the horse, and how things changed at the last moment.
43Yochanan, a chassid of Rav Dovid of Tolna, was stripped of his business by the Russian authorities. The Rebbe advises him to make a “cheshbon ha’nefesh” – and the powerful lesson he learns transforms Yochanan into a new person.
44During WWII, a group of Jews from Germany are imprisoned in England, shipped to Australia on the Dunera, and only at the end of their journey realize that what they thought was the worst moment in their lives, was their moment of salvation!. A thrilling story of boats, submarines, British and German soldiers.
45Chezkel serves in the Russian army during WWI, risks his life to bury a Jewish soldier, and is rewarded by having his own life saved – at the very last moment!
46Two Chanukah Stories: 1) Anshel, the wealthy forest owner, is saved from robbers through his Chanukah lights and the tzedakah he gave, in his isolated mansion in the forest. 2) A group of Jews lighting their menorah past the curfew during wartime in Poland, suspected of being spies, save the life of a Polish officer, and their own lives as well!
47SENSITIVITY TO ANOTHER’S FEELINGS: 2 stories: 1) Dovid, a bochur in the Novardok Yeshiva stays in his rented room even though the landlady is unusually cruel to him. Find out why! 2) Reb Dovid Schlesinger in Vienna, renowned for his hachnosas orchim, walks away from two guests in shul and does not invite them. Find out why!
48TWO STORIES OF BAALEI TESHUVAH – 1) Kim, a young girl, is saved from a raging fire in her home by a broken doorbell that rang, and she saw Yad Hashem 2) A woman in Los Angeles davens for a soldier in Eretz Yisrael, and a meeting arrange by Yad Hashem brings the soldier back to Hashem.
49MAKING A KIDDUSH HASHEM – 1) A bochur chases a taxi to pay his fare, and the driver’s life is transformed. 2) The Kokish family in Vienna is saved by a Nazi y”s whom they helped in his childhood.
50Rav Aharon Kotler goes to the Mafia to help save 40 bochurim stranded in Italy during WWII, and firmly tells the US Secretary of the Treasury that his position is worth nothing if he won’t help save Jews from the Holocaust – with astounding results!
51POWER OF TZEDAKAH – A mysterious piece of parchment written by Rav Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, buried with R’ Naftali, was the mystery to R’ Naftali’s reward for his secret tzedakah.
52A young Jewish boy in a Catholic school in New England writes a book report on the Rambam, and is led by his non-Jewish teacher, a “galach,” to Aish HaTorah in Yerushalayim.
53MAKING A KIDDUSH HASHEM: 3 STORIES 1) A car breaks down in a dangerous neighborhood in Far Rockaway, NY, and the Rebbi and his bochurim in the car are saved by a most unexpected non-Jew. 2) R’ Yidel drives through a toll booth in Manhattan without paying, in a rush for his wife to give birth, and discovers an amazing surprise on the way back 3) A young Shabbos Goy is treated so nicely by a Jewish family, and does something positive for Jews when he becomes President of the United States.
54Little Basya Meislik and her parents live in Communist Russia Basya is forced to go to school on Shabbos and many other unimaginable difficulties. Basya and her mother miraculously leave Russia, all because they believe in the bracha of the Chernobiler Rebbe.
56HASHGACHA PRATIS AIRPLANE STORIES: 1) Chassidim re-routed from Cleveland to Washington, DC daven in the airport and attract a Jew who needs to say kaddish. 2) R’ Yosef’s deep sleep takes him from Greece to Lebanon to Bangkok, where he spends Rosh Hashana with astounding results!
57Wealthy Asher Trachtenberg of Elizabeth, NJ supported yeshivos in Yerushalayim of 150 years ago. A visit to Rav Shmuel Salant, an insult by the disrespect shown him in favor of a poor man named Reb Hershel, leads Mr. Trachtenberg to gain a new appreciation for those who learn Torah for its own sake.
58Bob Black of Millstown, Montana is convinced to renew giving tzedakah to a yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael by the chazzan of Yakov Avinu – all because of the power of an old, tattered set of Yerushalmi Shabbos clothing!
59The Kellemer Maggid transforms Yanekele the Moser’s life through a powerful speech, but it wasn’t enough. See what he does to help Yankele do COMPLETE teshuvah!
60A thrilling story of a Pajama Costume for Purim. Zevulun and Mottel, childhood friends from Poland, are reunited after over 70 years, when the “costume” reminds Mottel of their imprisonment by the British in the 1940’s in Eretz Yisrael.
61A story of Chicken Soup and Cholent – A halachic shayloh about the kashrus of a chicken is posed to the Kaf HaChaim and Rav Shimshon Aharon Polanski, with different answers. Something unusual happened to the chicken, which resolved the entire question!
62Mrs. Minna, the cook of Yeshivas Chevron in Yerushalayim, receives a special promise from Rav Yechezkel Sarna, the Rosh Yeshiva of Chevron. The promise leads to an unsual night of adventure for a few of the yeshiva’s bochurim…. and miraculously the promise is kept!
63Why does R’ Naftoli Katz, the Smichas Chachomim, instruct his student to go out and buy him snuff during a raging snowstorm? The thrilling story reveals the ruach ha’kodesh of the Smichas Chachomim, and how he saved his student’s life.
64In Gibraltar, a wealthy man – Yosef Levi – refuses a huge shipment of goods in order to refrain from chometz on Pesach, and is rewarded in a surprising way!
65Why was R’ Naftoli, the Gabbai Tzedakah, buried in the garments of a “galach” and his body as whole as the day he was buried? Listen to an incredible tale of R’ Naftoli’s mesiras nefesh for tzedakah, the humiliation he endured, and the instructions he received from Rav Chaim of Sanz.
66R’ Berel Meir Tanenbaum in Yerushalayim leaves Kollel to take a job as the manager of the post office in Yerushalayim. Why? Read about his special task at the post office assigned to him by Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin, and R’ Berel Meir’s mesiras nefesh for Shmiras Shabbos.
67Journey of a Shofar – From R’ Aryeh Leib in Poland, to his son Samson in NY, to his grandson Martin in Eretz Yisrael. See the power of the memory of a shofar, and how the Rav’s predictions came true!
68A Baal Teshuvah in Yerushalayim – A thrilling tale of the wealthy Radiner family of Toronto takes us to Yerushalayim of the 1800’s, to the Rav of Brisk and Rav Akiva Schlesinger, through the hunger of WWI, and to an abandoned hallway in Yerushalayim
69The over 100-year travel of an unusual Kamayah created by Rav Chaim of Volozhiner saves many lives in its path, and is buried by Rav Benzion Shapiro in Yerushalayim.
70Little Moshe Noach in Lomza can’t seem to understand Gemara, and Rav Akiva Eiger’s puzzling answer reveals the reason. A chasunah, a crying shochet, the Baal HaTanya and a trip to Yerushalayim are all part of this amazing story.
71The strangest bris in Chulon for the Golan family leads Rabbi Abuhav, the mohel, to cry – and those tears went a very long way….
72Two Stories: 1)MIDAH K’NEGED MIDAH – Shlomo is saved from a Pan Am flight crash due to someone who was saved decades earlier during the Holocaust. 2) DAN LE’KAF ZECHUS – Why was the Weisskopf chasunah so lavish when they claimed they had no money and accepted tzedakah to pay for it?
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