Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't Push!

The Chassidim pushed and crowded around the tisch of their Rebbe, Rav Yitzchak of Vorki zt”l, and many were crushed in the confusion.

The Rebbe spoke up: “Every single Yid is like a holy sefer! How can you push each other like this? You have to treat one another with respect, like you would treat a holy book! You can’t lean on your friend or push him!”

One of the Chassidim spoke up boldly: “But, Rebbe, doesn’t the halachah permit stacking one sefer on top of another as long as it isn’t Tanach?”

The Rebbe smiled and answered, “True. But each of you shouldn’t see himself as a holy sefer at all—just his friend! If your fellow is like a sefer kodesh and you are nothing of the sort, how could you possibly push him and climb on top of him?!”

How can we come to true love and unity? By seeing the holiness of other Jews, and not focusing on ourselves!


yitz said...

Once there was a large crowd at the Tish of Rebbe Yechezkel of Kuzmir, a contemporary of the Vorker Rebbe. The Rebbe noticed that there was one foolish man pushing his way into the entire crowd, disturbing them all.
He quoted the verse in Mishlei/Proverbs 27:22, "If you crush the fool in a mortar...his foolishness will not leave him." Did you ever see a fool crushed in a mortar? he noted. That's for crushing peppercorns, not fools!
He answered that even though "the reward of a gathering is the crowded quarters," the fool, even if he will push his way around the crowd, will not be affected by the [holiness of the] gathering, and his folly will not depart from him.
This story is brought in the sefer Divrei Yisrael, by the first Modzitzer Rebbe, who was the Kuzmirer's grandson.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Thank you for the great story!