Stories of Tzadikim / 32 Hashem picked me
Hold on to Shabbos with
Stories of Tzadikim
With Rav Yussie Zakutinsky
A gut voch everybody, I’ll tell you a maaseh. Everyone’s heard of the Chozeh of Lublin, the great seer of Lublin. The maaseh goes that there was a particular Rov, not a chossid, a talmid chochom that came to visit the chozeh, and the maaseh is that he went to go daven by the chozeh, it was during the week. And he notices as he’s davening in the beis medrash that the chozeh during shmonei esreh was filling up his pipe with tobacco and lighting his pipe and smoking during shmonei esreh.
The Rov sees this, the chozeh during shmonei esreh, dealing with this pipe. Smoking during shmonei esreh. He was very upset by it, very very bothered. He went over to the chozeh after davening and said listen, how could it be such a thing that you, the Rebbeh, during shmonei esreh dealing with the pipe and smoking?
The truth is, in parentheses, by big tzadikim like the chozeh. The inyan of smoking a pipe was considered to be very choshuv. Lots of tikkunim and yeshuos cae from smoking the pipe. The chassdim called it an aspect of ketores.
The real answer probably was, the avodah the chozeh was performing by smoking the pipe wasn’t in contradiction to his shmonei esreh, the pipe was enhancing his avodah and pushing whatever he was trying to accomplish through.
But the chozeh understood that the person will not receive this answer. So he says the following. I’ll tell you a maaseh. There was once a king, and he was going on a daily walk with some of his advisors in the streets of the city. He happens to hear and he notices that at the end of the street there’s a little beggar standing by the street corner playing his guitar. As everyone is passing by, the king hears this music and is completely taken by it. All the advisors are watching this scene and they’re shocked. The king has heard incredible orchestras and musicians before, but the king was infatuated by this guy, song after song. It was very strange.
The chozeh sais that the king even told his advisors afterwards, I want this guy whoever this person is, I want him to be put in my orchestra. I want this person to come and play his guitar in my orchestra. So they invite him to the palace, this beggar on the street and they bring him to the orchestra. They tell the conductor this person the king recommended that he should be part of the orchestra.
He figures if the king hand-selected him he must be a choshuv player. So he plates it, and he’s off-key, the strings are falling apart he can barely play. But the king said so that’s what will be.
While he’s playing and doing his thing, the next time the orchestra is being assembled to be played for the king everyone is told what time to come and everyone comes with their instruments. This poor person comes with his broken guitar, off-tune and falling apart. The conductor says come on, it’s one thing to be part of the orchestra but we have new guitars that you should use. Why are you using this broken guitar?
This poor guy says listen, I have no idea why the king would choose me to be part of the orchestra. But i’ll say one thing. If he picked me for whatever reason to be part of the orchestra, I come with my meshugaas. And what’s my meshugaas? It’s my broken guitar. You picked me anyway, I shouldn’t be here anyway. I come with my meshugaas.
The chozeh says to this Rov, you’re a talmid chochom, I’m a nobody. Why does it make sense that I’m a rebbe of all these chassidim? Hashem walks around the streets and sees a little beggar, the chozeh of Lublin. The king picked me, I’m now put into a position of hashpa’ah. It doesn’t make any sense., But if Hashem picked me, then I come with my meshugaas. And what’s my meshugaas? That I smoke.
What do we learn from this story? It’s not to say we should smoke and do crazy things. We all have our own meshugaas. The gemara says anytime a person sins, it’s because of a ruach shtus. Often we think how can I do mitzvos if I’m a meshuga in other areas? If I’m supposed to be chosen by the king then I have to be completely perfect.
The answer is, why did Hashem choose you to be a yid? It doesn’t make sense, maybe the malachim are laughing. But once I come, I come with my meshugaas. So I’m going to daven. Ah, I’m meshugane and I speak lashon hara. I’m meshuga, but you know what? You come with your meshugaas. Don’t let that stop you from coming in with the orchestra of the king.
Okay you have meshugaas, it’s something for you to work on. But don’t let it stop you. The Chozeh is telling all of us, don’t let your meshugaas stop you from serving in the orchestra of the king.
We should get over and move past our meshugaas, they should dissipate in smoke, but until they’re taken care of, Hashem should bless us that those ruach shtusim shouldn’t stop us from serving in the orchestra. Hashem should bless us, to greet mashiach tzidkenu b’viasgoel tzedek amen.