A once-wealthy chassid who had lost his entire fortune came to see Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. "If G‑d has chosen to afflict me with poverty," he wept, "I accept the Divine judgment. But how can I be reconciled with the fact that I cannot repay my debts? That I am unable to meet the dowry I promised for my daughter's upcoming marriage? Never have I reneged on my commitments. Why is the Almighty doing this to me? Why is He causing me such terrible humiliation?"

"Rebbe!" cried the chassid, "I must repay my debts! I must give what I have promised for my daughter!"

Rabbi Schneur Zalman sat with his head in his arms in a state of d'veikut (meditative attachment to G‑d). In this manner he listened to the chassid's tearful pleas. After a long pause, Rabbi Schneur Zalman lifted his head and said with great feeling: "You speak of all that you need. But you say nothing of what you are are needed for."

The Rebbe's words pierced the innermost point of the chassid's heart, and he fell, full length, in a dead faint. The Rebbe's attendant, who stood in the doorway, called to two chassidim who were in the Rebbe's anteroom. Together they carried the chassid out of the Rebbe's room, poured water over him, and finally managed to revive him.

When the chassid opened his eyes he didn't say anything to anyone. He simply applied himself to the study of Torah and the service of prayer with renewed life and with such devotion and diligence that he forgot all else. Although he spoke to no one and fasted every day, he was in a perpetual state of joy.

Several weeks later Rabbi Schneur Zalman summoned the once-wealthy chassid, blessed him with success, and told him to return to his home and business. In time, the chassid regained his wealth, made good on his debts and promises, married off his daughters, and resumed his philanthropy on an even more generous level than before.