Once upon a time there lived a very charitable man.
One day --it was Hoshana Rabbah-- his wife gave him ten shekels and asked him to go and buy something for their children. At that moment a collection was being made in the market place for a poor orphaned girl who was about to be married.
When the collectors saw this charitable person they said, "Here comes a very charitable man." They addressed themselves to him saying, "Will you take a share in this worthy cause, for we want to buy a present for the poor bride?"
The good man gave them all the ten Shekels he had. Now he was ashamed to return home empty handed, and so he went to the synagogue. There he found children playing with etrogim, for it was Hoshana Rabba (the seventh day of Sukkot) and there was no more need for the etrogim.
The good man collected a sack full of etrogim and went out to seek his fortune. Arriving in a strange land he sat down on his sack of etrogim, wondering what he was going to do next. Suddenly he was approached by the king's officers, who asked him what he had in that sack.
"I am a poor man and have nothing to sell," he replied. They opened his sack and found it was full of etrogim. "What kind of fruit is this?" the officers asked. "These are etrogim, a special fruit used by Jews during their festival of Sukkot."
When the officers heard that, they grabbed him and his sack and carried him all the way to the palace. It was then that our good man learned what all the excitement was about:
The king was very ill and he was told that only the fruit used by Jews during their festival of Sukkot could cure him. A very intensive search had yielded nothing, and just when all hope seemed to be gone, this good man arrived with a sack full of etrogim, and thus saved the king's life.
The king recovered his health and ordered the sack emptied of the etrogim to be filled with golden dinars. Our good man now returned home richly rewarded for the charity he had been giving all his life.
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