Defining Need


A once-wealthy chassid who had lost his entire fortune came to see Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. “If G-d has chosen to afflict me with poverty,” he wept, “I accept the Divine judgement. But how can I be reconciled with the fact that I cannot repay my debts? That I am unable to meet the dowry I promised for my daughter’s upcoming marriage? Never have I reneged on my commitments. Why is the Almighty doing this to me? , Why is He causing me such terrible humiliation?

“Rebbe!” cried the chassid, “I must repay my debts! I must give what I have promised for my daughter!”

Rabbi Schneur Zalman sat with his head in his arms in a state of d’veikut(meditative attachment to G-d). In this manner he listened to the chassid’s tearful pleas. After a long while, Rabbi Schneur Zalman lifted his head and said with great feeling: “You seem much preoccupied with what you need. Why aren’t you as concerned over what it is that you are needed for…?”

Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber



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