Stories of Tzadikim / 07 Between me and Hashem
Hold on to Shabbos with
Stories of Tzadikim
With Rav Yussie Zakutinsky
Gut Voch everybody, they say a maaseh that the Baal Shem Tov once said the following story. He said there was once a yid going back a few hundred years before the Baal Shem. This yid lived in Eretz Yisroel, a very simple jew. G-d fearing, good jew, and the Baal shem Tov said that in shamayim there was a huge commotion going on around this person.
What was the issue? When this person became bar mitzvah, he did a particular mitzvah that mamash shook up shamayim. And in shamayim the malachim were talking about it for years. As years went on it was forgotten what the mitzvah was, but the residual effect and impact of the fact that this guy was mamash shining with this light he was the talk of the town for years in shamayim, even though they didn’t know exactly what the inyan was.
The Baal Shem Tov said Eliyahu Hanavi is in shamayim also and he hears this commotion and sees that this person is mamash the center of the universe. Eliyahu Hanavi tries to do some investigation to figure out what this mitzvah was, what did this person do that he became such an amazing radiant neshama? No one really knows, until Eliyahu Hanavi decides that he’s going to pay this guy a visit and find out for himself.
Eliyahu Hanavi shows up to this guy’s house, knocks on the door and introduces himself and proves he’s actually Eliyahu hanavi. He says to this yid that in shamayim they’re mamash talking about you all day, because there’s something you did when you became bar mitzvah and no one knows what it is. “Can you please tell me what it is?” The person answers that he’d rather not say, “it’s between me and the ribono shel olam.” Eliyahu says “listen, I understand and appreciate that, but you know, if you tell me I promise I'll give you brachos, shefa. Hatzlachah and all good things.”
The person looks at Eliyahu Hanavi in the eyes and say “listen to me, what I did was between me and the ribono shel olam, you can offer me all things of this world, it doesn’t make a difference to me, things of this world and the next. What I did was for G-d and for Hashem Himself, nobody else.”
We live in a generation where everyone is in everyone’s business, we see what everyone else is doing. Sometimes that’s good but very often it’s not. Even if it’s good things, it’s important to have that private relationship with G-d and once in a while do something that is just for Him. Not for anyone else, no one has to know about it, just between me and the Ribono Shel Olam. That’s how the Baal Shem Tov develops, that’s how a big tzadik develops, by having that personal, intimate, privacy between you and the Ribono Shel Olam.
You do a mitzvah, no one has to know about it. You have a good thought, say a good word, no one has to know about it except for you and G-d. That’s how you build that relationship. Hashem should bless us with a week that’s full of that, that deep Hiskashrus, personal attachment between us and G-d that comes with being modest and internally pnimiyusdik. Hashem should bless us with a week of Pnimiyus, a week of bracha and hatzlachah, on all madreigos, b’gashmius and b’ruchniyus ad bli dai.