Sunday, May 4, 2008


Today I remembered a beautiful story that I heard from Rabbi Mendy Schapiro a few years back. Unfortunately I don't recall all the names in the story, but I'm sure you'll get over it.
Once a Rebbe visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe in his office in 770. While they were talking the Rebbe (the Chabad one) said something along the lines of, "Do you know how great the Mesiras Nefesh of my Chassidim in the USSR is? Here's a story to demonstrate...
A Chassid recently wrote me (The Rebbe) a letter that he works as a night watchman for a factory. Unfortunately the job requires that he work on Shabbos, and he's very worried that the wine he uses on Shabbos for Kiddush is Yayin Nesech. (If you don't understand the issue here, then you should check out the following link. Satisfied? You're right, it's not a very helpful article. Basically, if wine which isn't cooked [Mevushal] is touched by a Jew who violates the laws of Shabbos, then it becomes not-Kosher. This Chassid, who didn't have access to Mevushal wine, would invalidate his own Kiddush by making Kiddush) Isn't it amazing that a Chassid has a chance to communicate to his Rebbe and this is what he's worried about?"
The other Rebbe said, and as always, I paraphrase, "That's beautiful. What did you tell him?" The (Lubavitcher) Rebbe answered, "Don't worry about it, it's not important." The (other) Rebbe said, "What did you tell him?" The Lubavitcher (Rebbe) answered again, "Don't worry about it, it's not important."

Nice story, no? It gets better. Many years later the Chassid who had written said that he was soon transferred from his job as a watchman to a different one that didn't require him to work on Shabbos. The Rebbe's answer, "Don't worry, it's not important" was revealed to actually be the answer, not just an excuse to the other Rebbe.
This story is meaningful to me because of its answer. "Don't worry" is not only a rallying cry for hippies, it's a valid lifestyle. Obviously this doesn't mean that you shouldn't live life, and try as hard as you can; rather it means that a person shouldn't worry about things which they have no control over. Even if they do have power over circumstances, if those circumstances haven't arisen, don't worry about them. Live in the present, not the future. As the famous saying goes, "Don't burn your bridges until you come to them."


Eliezer said...

you should have linked to