The Crown of Torah

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The Yahrzeit of Reb Tzadok HaKohen Rabinowitz of Lublin zl (1823-1900) is commemorated on the 9th of Elul. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman)

It was the time when Rabbi Tzadok was having his impact, and since his teachings contained matters of contention for his contemporary, the famous Gaon Rabbi Yosef Rosen the head of the Beis Din of the holy congregation of Denenburg, he pursued a dialogue with him. Here’s what he said:

“When you make the blessing,  אתה חונן which brachah was established by the Men of the Great Assembly, it wasn’t their intention to show that they had power. Who would dispute this? It’s just that when ‘From Hashem a mighty man’s steps are established,’ (Psalms 37:23), only then, he will be able to be that which he can be.

[The Brachah, which is from the weekday Amidah is specifically acknowledging the gift of our mental faculties and asking God to give us clarity in our thinking.]

“And so, because of this, it came to me that if it is one’s gift to be a genius, yet, he should know that ‘I am more of a genius in my littleness; I will overcome all the pretensions of grandeur that contend with me’.

“And as I thought about it, I realized afterwards that it is  impossible to merit the Crown of Torah until we grab hold of who the person really is and this is found in the door-opening insights of the students of our teacher the Baal Shem Tov.”

(From Sichat Malachei HaShareit / Dialogue of Ministering Angels, beginning)

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