Thursday, December 3, 2009

Don't Push!

Although chassidic “tischen” are very often inspiring, sometimes the pushing that goes on at such places is scandalous. At times, certain rebbes have done their utmost to limit the shoving so that everyone is able to best experience the holiness afforded to those with enough menuchas hanefesh to feel it.
During one of the many weeks that the son of the Me’or VaShemesh, Rav Aharon of Cracow, zt”l, spent Shabbos by his rebbe, the Tiferes Shlomo, zt”l, the rebbe praised him publicly. It was at the tisch and many of the chassidim were jostling each other trying to get as near to the rebbe as possible. Despite the pushing, Rav Aharon remained in a corner of the room, listening intently but not making any effort to procure a closer spot.
After the rebbe concluded his deeply inspiring Torah lesson, he commented on Rav Aharon’s behavior. “Our rabbis teach in Bava Basra 99 that although all the vessels of the beis hamikdash took up space, the aron did not. Yet it is surely significant that the luchos were kept in the aron which didn’t take up any space, and not in the other vessels which did.
“This parallels what we find with Rav Aharon standing in the corner there. Although he did not jostle to make himself closer, you will find that he knows the Torah very well. This is precisely why: when a person doesn’t push ahead and attempt to take up anyone else’s space, he will find that the luchos, the Torah, is within him!”

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