Stories of Tzadikim / 17 Real Mesirus Nefesh
Hold on to Shabbos with
Stories of Tzadikim
With Rav Yussie Zakutinsky
A gut voch everybody. I’ll tell you a maaseh. The tzemach Tzedek, the third Lubavitcher Rebbe was a tzadik yesod olam, a genius of geniuses in Torah, Nigleh and Nistar on of the gedolei hador on all levels. He was raised in the house of the Baal Hatanya. So the maaseh goes that after the Baal Hatanya passed away, every once in a while the Baal Hatanya would visit his grandson the Tzemach Tzedek in a dream at night. Some questions that the Tzemach Tzedek would have in learning the Baal Hatanya would give answers to. Sometimes they were clear and sometimes not so much.
There was a time when Tzemach Tzedek was learning a hard topic and he had many kashyas on it. He davened very much that his grandfather should visit him, no anwer. No one’s answering him, the Baal Hatanya doesn’t answer. It goes on for weeks like this and it’s eating him up inside that for whatever reason the Baal Hatanya isn’t coming anymore. He’s staying with these questions: it is what it is.
It happens to be one particular morning the Tzemach Tzedek was walking to shul and it was the shuk. The fair in Lubavitch where businessmen would come and do business. The Tzemach Tzedek is traveling to shul and there was a yid who the Tzemach Tzedek knew. Clearly it seemed like he was preparing himself to get involved with the shuk that day. He comes to the Tzemach Tzedek with an innocent question. I’m sorry to bother. I know you’re very busy, but is there any chance I can borrow 15 Rubles? It would be a huge help. There’s something I’m trying to purchase today. The Tzemach Tzedek said yes sure I’d love to lend it to you, I just don’t have it with me. I’m on my way to shul for shachris after davening I’ll stop at my house and we can meet there and I’ll give you the money. Okay fine, thank you very much and he goes on.
The Tzemach Tzedek goes to shul, puts his talis over his shoulder, he's checking his tzitzis and he has this nagging feeling that maybe he did something wrong. This yid who needs the money, he’s trying to make a parnassah and working hard. Maybe by the time I finish davening and meet him, the deals will be missed. Maybe I should’ve taken care of it right away. He says you know what it’s not too late I’ll take care of it now.
He takes off his tefillin and runs home, gets the money but he doesn’t know where this yid is. Because they were going to only meet later. But he says, this is the Yetzer Hora trying to prevent me from doing the right thing. And that’s what he does, he takes the money and runs to the shuk. He looks for this yid, and finally after some time he finds him. The yid is so thankful and says, thank you so much you could’ve waited from later. But I very much appreciate having the money now, like the Rebbe thought of and was concerned about. Thank you.
The Tzemach Tzedek runs back to go daven, puts his talis on his shoulder, wraps himself with Tallis and tefillin. All of a sudden he has a vision with his grandfather. But this time it’s not when he’s asleep it’s when he is wide awake and he sees clearly. The Baal Hatanya answers all the questions with complete clarity, and gives advice for questions that will arise in the future. It’s mamash one of the greatest visions in his whole life.
The Tzemach Tzedek was bothered, why did I merit this extreme nevuah right now? A person can do many mitzvos to open certain gates in shamayim. But the biggest key to open the biggest gates, is doing a Toivah for another yid. Doing a toivah with mesirus nefesh and l’shem shamayim, it opens the biggest doors in shamayim. That key that’s called ahavas yisroel, gemilus chassadim with mesirus nefesh. The Alter Rebbe says, I know how much davening with Kavannah and with a minyan means to you. For you to go out to help this yid and give him the money, was exxtreme mesirus nefesh and opens all the gates.
We should be zocheh to be gomlei chassadim like that, we have it in our blood from Avraham Avinu. To do kindness with another yid, that should open up all gates of shefa bracha v’hatzlacha for all of us.
It should be a mazaldik vovh, a geuladik voch, a yeshuadik voch b’vias goel Tzedek Amen.