There was a Rabbi who was very righteous and noble, he loved his community and loved Torah. Because of his humility and godliness people began to notice something about the Rabbi. When he prayed, it seemed as though God answered his prayers instantly. This went on over time until the Rabbi became an old man. One day when the Rabbi was an old man he was walking through town and saw a woman crying.
Being a caring man, the Rabbi stopped and said, “Woman, why do you cry?”
She said, “Rabbi, my husband is a poor cobbler, no one has come to have their sandals repaired or to purchase sandals in a very long time. It is Passover soon, and we have no money. That’s not so bad for us, but we always invite the poor to come and we have nothing to offer them this year. Would you pray for us?”
“Of course,” the Rabbi said.
The Rabbi went to the synagogue and began to implore God on behalf of this Godly woman who wanted to serve God by inviting the poor over on Passover. On the way back the rabbi saw the woman dancing next to her house talking to a man who looked strangely familiar.
“Rabbi, Rabbi, guess what?” The woman said. “This man came looking for you, and when I told them that I knew you he gave me a bagful of coins, more than enough to invite all of the poor over and care for them.”
The man said to the Rabbi, “Do you remember me? Many years ago you prayed for me when I was very sick, and God healed me. I’ve come to ask you to pray again. My wife and I have been married for many years and have no children. Would you pray for us that God would bless us with a child?”
The rabbi said, “I will pray and by this time next year you will have a son.”
There was a long silence, and then a voice from heaven said, “Rabbi, it was not my will for this couple to have children, but because you promised I will give them a son. But because of this you will have no place in the life that is to come.”
There was a long silence and then the rabbi began to dance.
As he danced the woman said, “Rabbi why are you dancing, the voice just said you will have no place in the life to come.”
“You don’t understand,” the rabbi said with tears streaming down his face. “My whole life I’ve loved the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might (Deuteronomy 6:5) because I wanted to go to heaven. Now I can love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might just because he is God.”