Sunday, March 03, 2013

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Fear of Heaven

stories via Lma’an Yishme’u

The Yid HaKadosh of Pshis'cha would travel with the tzaddik Reb Dovid of Lelov to learn from his ways. In one village, Reb Dovid entered a home and spent a long time there, while his talmid waited outside. When Reb Dovid finally came out, he explained, "I found a man at home doing his work while his son abused him for being lazy. The son said, 'You are so lazy that if I didn't fear HaShem I would kill you!' When I heard such words I stayed on: I simply couldn't leave the presence of a man with such yiras Shomayim (fear of Heaven)!"

(סיפו"ח זוין תורה ע' 515)

Racing down a steep mountain, the horses broke into a gallop, and the wagon in which the Chiddushei HaRim was traveling tottered dangerously. It almost toppled into the abyss, yet the face of the tzaddik showed no trace of fear. Surprised, the chassidim asked him how he managed to maintain such self-control at such a time. The Rebbe answered: To someone in constant fear of his Creator, there is no difference between traveling on a level plain and racing down a steep mountain...

(שיח שרפי קודש ח"א תנג)

In the apartment of the Rebbe Rashab (of Chabad) in Rostov, there was a constant worry that the Russian officer who lived downstairs would report him to the authorities. Nevertheless, as Reb Foleh Kahn recalled, when the Rebbe held a Purim farbrengen in his home, he did not restrict the singing and dancing of his chassidim, and no harm came of it.    

When Passover arrived, the regular pots and pans, including the samovar, had to be kashered (boiled to be made kosher for Passover). This the Rebbe and the Rebbitzin did personally. Seeing how much water the Rebbe was pouring, the Rebbitzin remarked, "So much water doesn't have to be poured on the floor when we are afraid of the downstairs neighbor." The Rebbe Rashab replied, "You are afraid of the one below - and of the One Above you are not...?!"

(שמועות וסיפורים ח"א עמ' 155)

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