The visitor from Hungary stopped a passerby on a street in the town of Lizensk, Galicia, with the request: “Can you please direct me to the home of the great Rabbi Elimelech?”
The man raised his eyes in astonishment: “You mean to tell me that you journeyed all the way from Hungary to see this ‘Rebbe of Lizensk’?! Have the exaggerations and embellishments about this man traveled that far already? I know this Rabbi Elimelech personally, and I can tell you that there is nothing exceptional about him. I’m afraid that you’ve wasted your time and money on these silly rumors.”
The visitor was outraged. “You lowly, despicable man!” he cried. “What do you know?! You obviously have no understanding of anything holy and spiritual!” Still fuming, the visitor stormed off.
Later that day, when he entered Rabbi Elimelech’s study for his appointed audience, he nearly fainted with shame and remorse. The man he had derided earlier on the street was none other than Rabbi Elimelech himself! With tears in his eyes, he begged the Rebbe’s forgiveness.
“Why are you so upset?” asked Rabbi Elimelech. “There’s no need to apologize. I told you the simple truth, and everything you said was also true…”
Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber