A Rebbe's Sweat
"I am dismissing you as of today," said Rabbi shmuel schneersohn of Lubavitch. "Please go home, and I will send you your wages there every week."
Connections: Seasonal-132nd yahrzeit of the Rebbe Maharash
A Rebbe's Sweat
It once happened that R. David-Zvi Chain, the chief rabbi of Chernigov, arrived late for his yechidus [private audience] with his rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch. He decided to forego the special merit of a private audience, and just wait in the room adjoining the rebbe's study to ask a certain question of the rebbe as he passed, for he had to return home within a short time.
After a while, he was joined there by the rebbe's attendant, who had brought the change of clothing which the rebbe would soon need, for whenever he received a long series of Chassidim for private interviews, he always perspired heavily.
"Would you happen to know," the attendant asked Rabbi David-Zvi, "why he perspires so much when he grants yechidus in there? The whole thing lasts only an hour, but does he perspire!"
The chassid remained silent, so the attendant asked again: "Why, in heaven's name, does he perspire so much?"
The door to the study opened at once, and the rebbe addressed the questioner: "I am dismissing you as of today. Please go home, and I will send you your wages there every week. And by the way, why is it so hard to understand why I perspire?
"In the course of this past hour I received twenty-five people
for yechidus. If I am to counsel each man well, then I must experience
his distress exactly as he himself experiences it: I must divest myself of my
own garments and clothe myself in his. When the time comes for me to offer him
advice, I cannot do this while I am still dressed in his spiritual garments
- just as he was unable to advise himself while in that condition. I therefore
have to get out of his clothes and dress myself again in my own. In brief, for
every person who comes in with a question, I have to undress and dress twice.
Now work it out for yourself: if in the course of one hour a man has to undress
and dress fifty times over, how can he not perspire?"
Connection: Seasonal-132nd anniversary of birthday of the Rebbe Maharash.
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