Stories of Tzadikim / 30 Delivering a package
Hold on to Shabbos with
Stories of Tzadikim
With Rav Yussie Zakutinsky
A gut voch everybody. It once happened that there was a group of chassidim of the Tzemach Tzedek, the 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe. They were sitting amongst themselves and they were talking about stories of mesirus nefesh. Stories about how jews sacrificed their lives, if need be sacrifice their time, their money to help other yidden with mesirus nefesh.
So the Tzemach Tzedek was there and he heard what they were talking about and he said obviously any level of self-sacrifice that a jewish person offers, is of great value. But the Rebbe said the truth is, sacrificing your money or your body for Hashem’s sake or for the Jewish people’s sake it’s a big deal but that's not how far reaching mesirus nefesh can be. You want to kn ow what mesirus nefesh really is? I’ll tell you a story about Reb Boruch of Medzbyzh.
He was a grandson of the Baal Shem Tov. He was known to be very fiery. It was well-known that it wasn’t so simple to be in his presence; he was very very strong. Only a select few were able to claim the title of being his chassidim.
It was a particular shabbos that he was in town leading Tish and there was a guest in the neighborhood for that shabbos. A chossid, but no one knew who he was, he came for shabbos. All of a sudden when this guest walked in Friday night for the Tish, Reb Brouch’l looked at him for a few seconds and saw something. The rest of the night at the Tish he was just making fun of this guy. Talking about his chesronos, his deficiencies, his aveiros, mamash embarrassing him in front of everyone. He was mamash a guest.
So that was very odd, chassidim were used to strange things with Reb Boruch’l and his fire but this was something very difficult to hear. To be a part of, And the next day, the same thing repeated itself by shalosh seudos and the whole shabbos Reb Boruch’l is making fun of this yid. Really being mevazeh him. To thi schossid’s credit he didn’t leave, he just stood there and took it but it was very very strange.
That shabbos, besides this particular guest that was there there was also a visiting tzaddik that was with Reb Boruch’l the whole time as well and he was also taken aback by this experience until after shabbos was over. This tzaddik went over to Reb Boruch’l, Rebbe if you don’t mind me asking, doesn’t the mishna say that if a person embarrasses another jew in public you lose your portion in the world to come? Reb Boruch’l said I know the mishna. But let me explain.
This jew, I never saw him before I don’t know who he is. But when he came, I looked at him and I saw something. What he does for a living, for his parnassah is that he’s a courrier. If a person has to take a product, something of value that has to get to a particular place, they hire this jew as a courier to bring the object or the money whatever it is from point A to point B. This jew he says as a courier right before shabbos he was given a package by a jew to deliver to a particular place.
The problem was, he planned on being able to get to the town of Medzbyzh where Reb Boruch’l was with enough time before shabbos to make the proper arrangements to have this package with product was sent and protected in a particular way. The problem was there was traffic, the weather was not good and they ended up coming to town extremely late. They had no time to set up arrangements to make sure this package that was given to him by this yid was going to be safe. So what did he do, he wanted to come to the tish.
He was a little bit negligent. He went to the first place he saw, the first inn that he found which was owned and run by a goy. He takes this particular object that this yid gave him to bring to another place, it was of great value and he went to the owner of the hotel, i’m here for the weekend, if you don’t mind keeping this by you I’ll come by Saturday night to pick it up.
There was no documentation, no witnesses, nothing. Just him giving this object to the non jewish innkeeper. So Reb Boruch’l says, I saw this when I looked at him and I realized without a question that this goy, this innkeeper at the end of shabbos when this jew goes back to collect this package, whatever it was that was valuable this goy will deny the whole thing and there’s nothing the jew can do. There was no proof, nothing.
So, Reb Boruch’l said and what’s going to happen? This jews parnassah is going to be damaged by it, he’s going to develop a reputation of someone that’s careless and the jew that gave him that product is going to lose that particular product so he’s going to have a loss of money. This jew, the carrier, is also going to lose money.
Reb Boruch’l says, so I decided that I had to be moser nefesh to take away that din, that gezeirah this issue. Reb Boruch’l realized that the only thing I can do was to be mevazeh this guy. To mamash embarrass him in public. And by the busha, embarrassment that he’s going to receive by me talking about him like this in public will alleviate in shamayim whatever is going on.
It all caused this goy motzei shabbos to give this product back. Whatever monetary loss this jew was going to incur because of the goy holding on to the product, both the courier, and the jew that sent it, by me being mevazeh him it’s going to take that away and it’ll neutralize the situation. So everyone can continue on with their parnassah, as a courier, and the sender will continue with his product either.
So the Tzemach Tzedek said, you see what that maaseh is? Reb Boruch’l knew that by embarrassing a jew in public you lose you piece in olam haba. But he was willing to do that, not to save a jewish person’s life, and not to save a jewish person’s neshamah. But to save a Jewish person’s parnassah. He was willng to sacrifice his own neshama for that. That’s mesirus nefesh. To sacrifice your body for a jew, to sacrifice your money for a jew that’s gevaldik. But to sacrrifice your neshama for a jew that’s real mesirus nefesh.
No jew should need mesirus nefesh to be held, we shouldn’t be put in that position. But we should know that any level of devotion we can offer to help another jew both in gashmiyus and in ruchniyus. Sometimes mesirus nefesh demands a level of time and commitment to help another jew and it means to sacrifice sometimes of your own avodas hashem. That’s part of what it means to be a yid, to help another yid.
Hashem should help up, in zechus of our mesirus nefesh, our willingness to help other yidden we should be zocheh to have a lichtigeh voch, a simchadik voch, a mazaldik voch we should be zocheh to all the yeshuos and neshamos that come with mesirus nefesh, amen.