Yeshiva Students Save Their Rabbi
Editor’s Note: The following story is fictitious. It is presented to stimulate thought and discussion.
The Rabbi of a small Hasidic congregation in Brooklyn developed a life-threatening clinical disorder. He required expensive medical procedures to save his life. Having devoted his career to the study and practice of Torah, the Rabbi didn’t have the means to pay for the medical expenses. The local Bikur Cholim charity organization was able to reduce the Rabbi’s costs to $10,000. Yet this was still too much for the Rabbi to pay. So four of his devoted yeshiva students decided that they would try to collect money from the other congregations in the neighborhood to pay for the Rabbi’s medical expenses. The names of the students were Beryl, Mendel, Yankel, and Heshel.
After several weeks of pounding the pavement, the students were able to collect $9,400 and gave it to their Rabbi. Mendel collected $1300 more than Beryl, who in turn collected $500 less than Yankel. Heshel collected $300 more than Mendel. How much money did each of the students collect for their Rabbi?
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Solution: From the information given, we can determine that the least amount of money was collected by Beryl. So if Beryl collected x dollars, then the other students collected the following amounts:
Mendel collected x + 1300
Yankel collected x + 500
Heshel collected x + 1600.
So we can make the following algebraic equation:
4x + 3400 = 9400. x=1500 So the students collected the following amounts:
Beryl – $1500
Mendel – $2800
Yankel – $2000
Heshel – $3100.
The boys continued to study Torah with their Rabbi for many years. They each became Talmudic scholars and served as role models for other boys in the community. When the Rabbi died at age 92, he was mourned by his 12 children, 64 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and hundreds of former students.