The Bottom Line


Rabbi Binyomin Kletzker, a chassid of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, was a lumber merchant. One year, while he was adding up the annual accounts, he inadvertently filled in under a column of figures: TOTAL: ein od milvado (‘There is nothing but He’).

Upon hearing of Reb Binyomin’s slip of the pen, a fellow chassid berated him for his absentmindedness. “Don’t you know, Reb Binyomin, that everything has its time and place?” he admonished. “There’s a time for chassidic philosophizing, and a time to engage in worldly matters. A person’s business dealings are also an important part of his service of the Almighty and must be properly attended to.”

Said Reb Binyomin: “We consider it perfectly natural if, during prayer, one’s mind wanders off to the fair in Leipzig. So what’s so terrible if, when involved in business, an alien thought (‘mach-shovo zoro’) regarding the unity of G-d infiltrates the mind?”

From a letter by the Rebbe, dated Adar 20, 5718 (3/12/1958).


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