It was dusk, and another day in Vilna was
winding down. Laborers and shopkeepers were making their way to the beis
midrash, to spend a sweet hour side by side with bnei
Two women were going on their way through the streets of Vilna. They were the Vilna Gaons wife and her friend. Throughout the day they had been knocking on doors, raising money for an indigent bride so that she might be wed in a respectable fashion. This charitable quest was urgent, as the match itself depended on it. Whenever the womens energy began to flag,
they would remind themselves of the important mitzvah in which they were engaged and doggedly continue on.
As dusk fell, they caught sight of one of the towns wealthy
woman. Eagerly, they waved at her to wait. Rushing up to where she was standing, they poured out the tale of the poor, orphaned bride. The rich woman pledged a generous donation.
Reaching the end of their days work at last, the two friends prepared to separate. As they stood together for a last few minutes, their conversation turned to spiritual matters. One of the things they discussed was the World to Come. Out of this came a mutual pledge: The first of them to depart this world would visit the other within 30 days of her passing, to describe Heavens doings to the friend left behind.
And so it came to pass. When one of them died, she kept her
promise and came back to her friend three days later. It was forbidden, she explained, to describe the World to Come. But there was one thing she was permitted to tell. The wave of their hands, as they had signaled the rich woman to wait so that they could solicit charity from her, had been duly recorded in Heaven -- and its reward was very great indeed.