A Serious Deliberator

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The Yahrzeit of Reb Meshullam Feibush Heller of Zbarazh zl (d. 1794) is commemorated on the 20th of Kislev. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

He Checked Himself

One time, he was fascinated and gripped by a thought that arose in his mind to lay Shimusha Rabba Tefillin.

However, it was his way in holiness to be extremely deliberate with every single thing and to get himself really clear about it, so that he might take hold of it and separate for himself the evil from the good before reaching his decision whether to do it.

After a time ruminating, he had smoothed out the rough spots of the matter, assessed the pros and cons and, he made up his mind that he would not lay Shimusha Rabba Tefillin, for he said:

“Why does the thought of laying these Tefillin burn in my kishkas like a fire? Is it merely due to the holiness of the commandment?

“But were it only the holiness of the commandment itself that moved me so, then the question arises: Why do I not also feel such a burning about laying Tefillin of Rashi or Rabbeinu Tam which is an important commandment about which all authorities agree?

“But I did not feel the burning with these.

“So then, this must, rather, surely be a strange fire.”

And so he checked himself and did not lay Shimusha Rabba Tefillin.

(New Order of the Generations)

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