The Newly Weds
They were "returnees to Judaism" who had renounced their secular, assimilated Jewish backgrounds and adopted a more fervent, religious lifestyle. And they were poor. When they renounced their roots, their wealthy parents had renounced them, cutting them out of their inheritances.
Their wedding was simple, and the "sheva brochos" celebrations (seven traditional evening feasts) were austere. But their happiness was abundant. After the first night's celebration, they took the lowly subway home. The husband told the wife how much he wished he could take her on a proper honeymoon to a nice hotel. He felt that e had failed her. "You are all I need," she said.
Just then, a black man in tattered clothing entered the car. He appeared to be drunk. It was past midnight and no one else was in the car but them. The man stared at them. Then he began to chuckle.
"Hey , brother and sister! Are you two in love?"
They told him they were newlyweds.
When the man exited the car, he turned and shouted: "Hey, catch! It's a wedding gift." He tossed them a small shopping bag, And then he was gone. Inside the bag was $500-
The couple stared at each other in shock. "Let's get off at the next stop and find one of those opulent hotels," the husband said.
They wondered how the man could have had that amount of money and why he had given it to them.
The husband said, "Legend has it that Elijah the Prophet disguises himself as a poor wayfarer in order to wander among the common folk and perform good deeds. Maybe we just met Elijah and we never even recognised him.
Originally told by Rabbi Sblomo Carlebach - Retold by Yitta Halberstam