But when will I do something for my own self? (30:30)

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch once told:

There was a time when they used to say the truth. And it worked.

Once a chassidic businessman came to my grandfather [the fourth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Shmuel, 1834–1882]. This was a man who always kept Gates of Light and The Gate of Faith1 in his breast pocket, and was fluent in both.

During his private audience with the rebbe, the latter inquired as to his daily schedule. “What do you do before the morning prayers?” asked the rebbe.

The chassid replied that he studies the G‑dly concepts which are expounded upon in the teachings of Chassidism, and then meditates upon them during his prayers and afterwards. The rebbe continued to go through the chassid’s entire day: every available minute or thought was likewise occupied in the pursuit of the divine.

“And what of the reading of the Shema before sleep2?” the rebbe finished. Then, too, the chassid “thought Chassidus.”

“So you are forever thinking of G‑d,” said the rebbe, “but when do you think of yourself?”

The chassid fell in a dead faint.

The rebbe summoned the servant Reb Pinyeh Leib to carry the chassid out of the room and revive him. “One needn’t faint,” the Rebbe remarked, “one should do . . .”