Rebbe Moshe Chaim Ephraim, the Degel Machane Ephraim’s, impoverished lifestyle contrasted sharply with that of his brother, the Rebbe Reb Baruch of Medzibuzh, who had a “king’s table.” Reb Baruch once went to Sudylkov to spend Shabbos with his brother. Aware of his brother’s extravagance, Rebbe Moshe Chaim told the members of his household to make the fanciest Shabbos possible.
When the brothers arrived home after the Shabbos davening, the table was set: with two small wax candles flickering in clay candlesticks, a simple linen tablecloth, two small challas, metal cups, wooden plates, and herring with onions and pickled cabbage to eat.
After making Kiddush and HaMotzi, Reb Baruch could no longer restrain himself. ”Brother Ephraim, how can I see you live like this? How can you live such an impoverished existence?”
“Is there anything lacking in my house?” retorted his brother.
“In my house, we light candles on silver candlesticks, and the table has all the good things: choice wine in a crystal goblet, meat, peppery fish, and all sorts of delicacies.”
“But where do you get the money for all those things?” asked The Degel.
“I travel around Ukraine and Poland, guiding the Jews in avodas Hashem and the ways of Chassidus, and they support me generously.”
“Ah,” said the Degel. “You see, my situation is really better than yours. While it’s true that you have silver and gold in your home, you yourself are not at home, but are wandering about in galus. But my lot is a fortunate one, for although the silver and gold are in galus and not in my home, I myself am always at home and close to my family.”