Thursday, February 7, 2008

Return to the roots

Today is the first day of Adar, and therefore the first of sixty consecutive joy upping experiences. To celebrate I read some stories from Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin about Purim, and here's one of them, with some commentary by myself. (A Treasury of Chassidic Tales, Artscroll, 1979)
One year, at the festive Purim meal of Reb Noach of Lechovitch, he told his Chassidim that he would be giving out spiritual gifts to anyone who wanted, as it is written in Shulchan Oruch that whoever stretches their hand out on Purim for charity is given. All the Chassidim began to ask for help in their divine service, besides one, Reb Moshe of Kobrin. Reb Noach asked his Chossid why he didn't want a Brocha, a blessing? Reb Moshe answered, "I want to be a soldier, to work my way upward through my own efforts."
This story reminded me of one of the Tzemach Tzedek, who was given a similar offer by his grandfather, the Alter Rebbe, and declined for the same reason. Later on he said that he would have rather taken the gift, because then he would be even greater.
From these two stories it appears that there are three types of people. The first takes the gift and uses it, without bothering to put any effort of their own into their spiritual growth. The second types doesn't want the gift, because they want to grow through their own effort. The third type is really the best, because they use the gift to go higher than they could ever possibly go in any other circumstances.
Make sense? Tremendous.

6 comments:

Eliezer said...

Check out chabad.org/613889 for more on this topic.

Eliezer said...

How are there sixty consecutive days? one of the Adars has 30 days, and the other 29, no? I couldn't bother to double-check on a calendar, but anyone who gives a flying hoot about the Rebbe's words will try be bothered by this issue.

The Real Shliach said...

Since Purim is on a Friday, it's like it's two days rolled into one, and therefore there are in fact sixty days. And what do the Rebbe's words have to do with this issue?

pertzovka said...

The 60 days start from the first day Rosh Chodesh Adar Rishon, 30 Shvat (sefer hasichos 5752 p. 378, note 24).

Eliezer said...

How wise, the Rebbe thought of my question! Amazing!

The Real Shliach said...

You're lucky to have such a Rebbe, Eliezer.