Wednesday, June 16, 2010

True Greatness

Rav Aharon Yosef Luria, zt”l, authored “Avodas Hapanim,” a very deep work filled with deep chassidus and concepts in avodas Hashem. It is not surprising that the Beis Avraham of Slonim, zt”l, praised him highly. “Rav Aharon Yosef was of the rare few who toiled to an unusual degree in their Divine service.”
Despite his great accomplishments, Rav Aharon Yosef was also filled with humility. When a certain young man addressed him in Yiddish using the plural form as a sign of respect, he demanded to know why he addressed him so. The young man replied, “It is a sign of my esteem of an older Jew who is always learning Torah.”
The rav immediately demanded that the young man cease speaking to him in this manner. When the young man asked why, Rav Aharon Yosef replied, “Speaking to me in the third person creates distance between us and could damage our friendship.”
When people would come to him to learn chassidus, he would groan out of his innate recoil from receiving honor. On more than one occasion he said, “I feel like a person who has the reputation of being a very wealthy entrepreneur and is always being solicited for donations. In truth, he can not afford to give a penny since his entire wealth is nothing more than a front and he himself must collect in secret to maintain his own household.
“The same is true about people who come to me to learn chassidus. They figure that I am a respected elder who is filed with chassidus. Although they think I am very wealthy, I am actually quite poor and am nothing more than a beggar myself!”

No comments: