Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Power of Hope

The Ramchal zt”l writes that our whole vitality comes from hoping in Hashem. Someone who truly looks to Hashem, even if he has few good deeds, will not be shamed in the future world. As we see, there are many levels of trust in Hashem, from the trust of the wicked all the way to, l’havdil, the refined bitachon of the tzaddikim. It all depends on how much we look toward Hashem, and even within a single person this can change from moment to moment.
Once, Rav Chaim from Volozhin zt”l was feeling ill. As he sat with his Rebbi, the Vilna Gaon zt”l, he had on the leeches that were used in those days to remove the “bad blood.” The Gaon started to speak of trusting Hashem, and as he spoke, Rav Chaim felt a sudden and indescribable bolstering of his bitachon. Eventually, he felt that he no longer needed the leeches, and he removed them.
Afterwards, the Gaon moved on to another subject. Rav Chaim began to feel that he was no longer on such a high level of bitachon, so he put the leeches back on!

2 comments:

Spiritual Dan said...

was he embarrassed to publicly show his lack of emnuah, and so removed them temporarily?

Micha said...

The first rule in avodas Hashem is to be real.
I have no idea if he felt embarrassed. I am also not certain that this story occurred in public; it is plausible that there was only one other student present at the time. Or perhaps he told the story himself to illustrate that one must always keep working on bitachon while being honest with himself regarding his level. In that case it was only himself and the Gaon.