Saturday, January 31, 2009

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A Rebbe Story for Motzie Shabbos

Stories of tzaddikim (the righteous) strengthen us in every way, teaching us lessons in emunah (faith), positive approaches to life and life's challenges, and even lessons in halacha (Jewish law). Here's a striking story for this motzie Shabbat (after Shabbos)...

The Rebbe Rashab's (the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe) gabbai (attendant/secretary) entered the beis midrash (the study hall) and walked over to one of the chassidim. "The Rebbe told me to call you," said the gabbai. "He is waiting for you in his room." As soon as the chassid heard this he hurried to the Rebbe.

"I have a shlichus (a mission) for you," the Rebbe Rashab said to him. "I want you to travel to the capital city and take care of a particular matter." The Rebbe detailed for the chassid the shlichus that he was being asked to do in the city, and when he finished he opened his desk drawer and took out a sum of money. He gave it to the chassid for the expenses of the trip.

The chassid was very surprised. He was a rich man and from time to time he would give the Rebbe large sums of money for tzedakah (charity funds). He was most astonished at the small sum the Rebbe gave him for the journey's expenses.

"Rebbe, the amounts I donate to the Rebbe are far greater than the sum the Rebbe is giving me now. Even if I were not wealthy I would be very happy to pay the trip's expenses from my own money, since it involes fulfilling a mission of the Rebbe."

"There is no connection between the large sums that you donate to tzedakah (charity) and the expenses of this trip," the Rebbe explained. "This is a mission for a public matter, and therefore the expenses must come from a public fund."

"You should know," added the Rebbe to the surprised chassid, "that because you are not paying for the journey with your own money, the yetzer hara (evil inclination) cannot stop you next time from carrying out another similar shlichus. If you were to pay for the trip from your own personal money, then next time the yetzer hara would convince you not to do the mission because you would have to pay for it. Now because you received the money to cover the costs of the trip, your yezter hara can't say anything."

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