Thursday, June 5, 2008


In Teplik lived a man named Feivel who was a sincere servant of G-d. Each night without fail, he would arise at midnight to say Tikkun Chatzos. He would feel so happy that he would then dance a great deal and sing with great fervor, “Ashreinu ma tov chelkeinu!” People thought that he was strange for rejoicing so much in doing mitzvos, and because he took such delight in the simple fact of his Jewishness. As a mark of their derision they started to call him “Feivel Ashreinu.”

When Rav Nosson of Breslov, zt”l, would visit Teplik, Reb Feivel would always greet him joyously. One time, however, Reb Feivel failed to meet him when Rav Nosson came to town.

When Rav Nosson asked “Where is Feivel?” the townspeople wondered which Feivel he meant. When he made clear who he meant, they said in a dismissive tone, “Oh, him? Since you were here last, ‘Feivel Ashreinu’ passed away.”

Taking note of their disrespectful attitude, Rav Nosson spoke to them sharply. “One of the punishments of the next world, the experience that is called Olam HaTohu, is that one is forced to repeat the acts that one did in this world for what seems an endless time. Generally, this is very humiliating, because after a person is no longer blinded by his this-worldly self-interest, the repetition brings home to the person how exceedingly foolish his actions really were. Most of us spend almost all of our time without having a sense of how privileged we are to be part of the Chosen Nation. So why should you denigrate Rav Feivel? Do you think he will be ashamed in the next world when he is dancing ecstatically as he sings joyfully, ‘Ashreinu ma tov chelkeinu?’”

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