Out of the Mouth Of Babes

Click here for Hebrew text.

The Yahrzeit of Reb Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (“Tzemach Tzedek”) (1789-1866) is commemorated on the 13th of Nissan. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

The Sharp-Witted Youngster

When he was still in the season of his youth, around five or six, his grandfather, our great Rabbi, (whose soul is in Eden), asked him before Purim:

“Did you study the Megillah?”

The boy answered him:

“Yes, I’ve studied it.”

And so, Reb Shneur Zalman asked:

“Do you understand it?”

He answered him:

“No.  I have a question:

“Why was it necessary for Haman to make the gallows fifty cubits high? Is it that Mordechai was nearly that tall?

And our great teacher didn’t reply. But…

Subsequently, on Purim, he did answer the child’s question with his famous teaching on the verse, ‘Let them make a gallows fifty cubits high,’ (a wonderful, precious teaching):

Haman wanted to exert power through raising himself to the fiftieth gate and thereby gain power over Israel, etc.

But, from that place of the fiftieth gate of Binah which transcends time and space, the limitation of a finite body was his downfall.

(Beit Rabbi, section 3, page 3.)

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