Day 34 of the Omer

חֲסִידוּת אִיז אַ גֶ-טלִיכעֶר פאַרשׁטאַנד, דעֶר פאַרשׁטאַנד וואָס ווַייזְט דעֶם מעֶנטשְׁן וִוי קלֵיין עֶר אִיז, אוּן וִוי גרוֹיס עֶר קעֶן זִיך דעֶרהוֹיבְּן.

Chassidus is a G‑dly understanding — a perspective that shows a person how humble is his station and, [simultaneously,] to what heights he can elevate himself.1

A Story with an Echo

One of the Alter Rebbe’s chassidim, R. Elazar, had left his home in Jerusalem and had overcome severe obstacles in order to make the arduous journey to Russia so that he could study under the Alter Rebbe in Liadi. The chassidim there once asked him: “In Jerusalem you spent your entire day in prayer and study, and here, too, you spend your entire day in prayer and study. Why did you need to uproot yourself and make such a drastic move?”

R. Elazar replied: “The answer to your question revolves around two questions and one answer. Before I studied Chassidus, I would ask myself: ‘How could G‑d possibly grant me sufficient reward for all my diligence in prayer and Torah study?’ And I would answer: ‘G‑d is a kol yachol — He is capable of anything, even giving me the rich reward that I deserve.’

“After I began studying Chassidus and recognized how lowly and materialistic I really was, I would ask myself: ‘How can G‑d possibly allow such a coarse and unrefined person to study His Torah? How can He bear hearing my self-centered prayers?’ And I would give myself the same answer: ‘G‑d is a kol yachol — He is capable of anything, even listening to my prayers and Torah study.’ “

“And the transition from asking the first question to asking the second was worth the long and difficult journey from Jerusalem to Russia.”