Monday, February 8, 2010

Avoiding Anger

The Imrei Chaim of Vizhnitz, zt”l, would conduct his tisch with a great deal of fervor. After learning with diligence the entire day as usual he would devote every ounce of his remaining strength to the tisch that would last for hours. By the time he reached the door of his house, he was depleted. After one tisch, he got home but the man in charge of bringing the key to the house was late. It was winter, and freezing rain showered down as the Rebbe and his companion waited. Throughout the downpour, he told the following inspiring story:
“Rav Raphael of Barshad, zt”l, yearned to wear a tallis katan woven of the high-quality wool raised in Eretz Yisrael. After a long period of toil, he finally obtained enough wool to use as a tallis katan. He was overjoyed with his good fortune and he immediately gave the wool to one of his chassidim to sew him a proper tallis katan. Unfortunately, the chassid folded the garment a second time before cutting the hole for Rav Raphael’s head. The result was two large holes, which rendered the garment absolutely unfit for use.
The chassid was very afraid to show this to his rebbe, but what choice did he have? When he finally got up the courage to explain his error, Rav Raphael was obviously pained, but he responded in a very surprising manner. “Why does Raphael require two holes in his tallis katan? One for his head and the second so that Raphael should not get angry!”


Spiritual Dan said...

how does the second hole stop him from getting angry? as a nisayon?

Micha Golshevsky said...

Absolutely. If we could look at whatever makes us feel upset as a challenge sent from Hashem to help us overcome our tendency to get angry we would not allow ourselves to get upset. After all, if someone we look up to was there we would be much less likely to indulge in a bout of righteous indignation.
The Imrei Chaim would tell this story whenever he was in a situation that was objectively challenging. Possibly to show others how he was able to keep his calm despite such adversity. Or it may have been to remind himself to act like Rav Rephael.
Hashem should save us from anger which is the husk of Haman-Amalek!

Neil Harris said...