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The Miracle Chassid

The Miracle Chassid

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At a wayside inn, a dozen chassidic merchants were warming themselves at the fire. The group included men from towns and villages across Russia and Poland, all traveling to the great annual fair at Leipzig. The conversation soon turned to the greatness of their rebbes, as each extoled the virtues of his master.

One by one, the chassidim told stories about the miraculous powers of their rebbes. One told how for fifteen years he and his wife had yearned for a child, until they received a blessing from their rebbe: within a year, they were cradling their newborn son in their arms. A second told of how his rebbe had neutralized the Jew-hating, pogrom-inciting priest in their village, while a third related how his rebbe's blessing and special instructions had brought home his wayward son. And so they passed the hours, recounting the wonders performed by their holy mentors.

Finally, they all turned to the one chassid who had listened in silence to their stories. "Nu, whose chassid are you?" they asked. "Let's hear something about your rebbe."

The chassid said: "I am a Chabad chassid, a disciple of Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch. I deal in lumber, and several years ago I was offered a forest for sale. The price was high, but the opportunities were even greater — there was talk of a railroad to be constructed, raising the demand for and profitability of the local lumber. As I do with all major decisions in my life, I consulted with the Rebbe. He advised me to buy the forest.

"The purchase ruined me. The railroad project fell through and I was left with a basically worthless forest. I lost my entire fortune and was cast heavily into debt."

After a lengthy pause, one of the listeners asked, "And then? What happened?"

"Nothing," said the chassid. "I am still struggling to feed my family and repay my debts."

"So what's the miracle?" they all asked.

"That my relationship with the Rebbe has nothing to do with his wonder-working powers. That I continue to follow his directives in every area of my life. The miracle is that I am his chassid."

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Anonymous Guilford, Connecticut November 13, 2014

A Miracle We Are Still Here After all we have been through and are going through, we will not only survive, but we will bring Heaven down to Earth; not try to, but will. No matter what. Reply

Nozomu Suzuki Willowdale November 13, 2014

Nothing is ever a chance in Judaism, right? Rebbe was specifically given instruction that this merchant's blessing is that he will lose his fortune. Why? Hmmm...I remember a famous christian in Switzerland was made hunchback. St. Paul was said to have epilepsy, and a spirit that caused this illness was not removed from him. Why? Hmmm...poverty is for a man to know humility? I don't know. I honestly don't know because I don't want it! Those problems, hey, let the greater souls handle them! Reply

Anonymous Ashdod, Israel November 9, 2010

Didn't that Chasid learn the Tanya? And the Tanya says (part 4, chapter 22): "From all generations, when have we ever heard in Israel ... to ask about material things even to the wisest of the wisest [Rabbis], even Tanayim and Amorayim?... Only prophets, like Shaul who asked Shmuel for his father's lost asses."
Instead of asking the Rebbe, this Chassid should have asked a prophet, but since there is none since Malachi, he should have asked his financial adviser! Reply

Anonymous November 28, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

To note: although the Alter Rebbe writes this in Tanya, all the Chabad Rebbes have accepted and answered questions regarding material matters. True, he does say that this is prophets' business. This just goes to show that they have the status of prophets. See "Lessons in Tanya" on chapter 22 there, and the talk of the Rebbe from Shabbos Parshas Shoftim 5751. Reply

albert montreal October 25, 2010

chosid i think that is a very hard concept and only a real devoted chasid can appreciate this story Reply

Shushannah Avon Lake, OH October 25, 2010

The wonder is that I still follow This is a wonderful story, I know that I can relate to it when it comes to my relationship with G-d. Things don't always go the way that we wish or the way that we plan, and yet by choice we continue to follow. Reply

Mariam Bahawalpur, Pakistan October 25, 2010

Great ! Thanks for such a wonderful inspiration. I am really blessed through it. Reply

Robert Burdman Prescott, AZ/USA November 6, 2009

Whose chassid are you? We should approach G-d with the same faith and love as the chassid in the story. G-d knows of our needs before we know about them. Do not ask for anything. Raise your prayer of love, praise and acceptance of His dominion over Creation. We are the transparency through which His Love shines onto the world. Reply

Anonymous rochester, ny via chabadrochester.com January 5, 2006

thats so nice Reply

Anonymous August 11, 2004

To me, the greatest thing in this story - was one chassid's love.

Thank you so much for writing this. Reply

Anonymous Ronneby, Sweden May 17, 2004

The Miracle The story was very like I.B Singer's wonderful tales from a lost world Reply

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