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Jacob's Stuff

Jacob's Stuff


In 1807, the Russian town of Zhlobin hosted an encounter between two great Chassidic communities. The occasion was the famous "Zhlobiner Wedding" in which a granddaughter of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi wed a grandson of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev.

At the wedding, Rabbi Schneur Zalman lifted his glass and proclaimed: "Lchaim! May the Almighty provide His people with all that they need, both materially and spiritually!"

"Shouldn't it be the other way around?" objected Rabbi Levi Yitzchak. "Shouldn't one put 'spiritual' before 'material'?"

"I'm only saying it as our forefather Jacob did," answered Rabbi Schneur Zalman. "First he asked (Genesis 28:20) that G‑d should 'provide me with food to eat and clothes to wear,' and only then, in the following verse, did he pray that 'The L-rd shall be my G‑d.'"

"Can you compare Jacob's material life with our material life?" challenged Rabbi Levi Yitzchak.

"Can you compare Jacob's spirituality with our spirituality?" countered Rabbi Schneur Zalman.

See also: Body: The Physical World According to Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

Told by Rabbi Y.S. Zevin's in Sippurei Chassidim; translation/adaptation by Yanki Tauber.
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Eric S. Kingston North Hollywood, CA September 22, 2005

Preparing Inspired by Rabbi Schnuer Zalman:

The only way to bring Heaven to Earth is to make certain that Earth is prepared to receive Heaven, just as new wine is put into a new wine flask, so too must the body be prepared for its mission, and that is: to be a container for the Light! Reply