A chassid (Reb Shmuel Levitin)1 once related a story about his imprisonment in Siberia. He was deprived of any holy books with which to pray and study, and when it came to the morning blessing “הנותן ליעף כח — He Who gives the weary strength,” he was unsure whether the word was “ליעף” or “לעיף,” even though both words mean the same thing.

The Rebbe commented: The only thing this chassid had on his mind while in the worst of places was the above question, and the only thing that remained with him twenty years after he was liberated was the memory of this struggle.

We can easily see the impact of a Rebbe on his chassid in spite of suffering and constant struggle when we witness what remains the priority in the chassid’s life when all is said and done: how to pronounce a word in davening.

Sichos Kodesh 5734, Elul 18