Reb Aisel Harif was a man of the people. He was not interested in creating rabbinic dogma or hardships for those in Slonim, where he served with such distinction. And he especialy resented what he felt was the unnecessary strictness of the dayyanim, the judges of his day.
" You enjoy forbidden things, " he told a senior dayyan.
" What do you mean," asked the dayyan, deeply offended.
" Simply that you enjoy your own severity and forbidding matters to others."
Rabbi Aisel also worked unceasingly to help the poor. He would often borrow in order to give money to the poor. So, it was understandable that he was often in debt.
Somebody once asked him how he could possibly extricate himself and pay off his debts.
Rav Aisel replied:
Thank G-d, there are enough rich men in Slonim who are in position to pay back what I lay out for their poor."
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