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)

In the days when Rabbi Tzadok was well-known, when the illustrious Gaon Rabbi Yosef Rosen, the head of the Beis Din of the holy congregation of Denenburg, visited him, the latter wanted to engage in dialectics with him.

Rabbi Tzadok said to him:

When you make the blessing אתה חונן  / You endow a person with knowledge, which The Men of the Great Assembly set as one of the blessings, it wasn’t their intention to show their strength in this regard, i.e., who was better in dialectics.

Just that when the steps of a man were established from Hashem, he might be able to be a genius, (if being so were his privilege), and I believe that he came to me for this reason. But know that while still a youth, I was a genius who could hold my own with all the great ones who would engage with me in dialectics.

But with all this, I later saw that it is impossible to merit the crown of Torah until they themselves take hold onto the door of students of our teacher the Baal Shem Tov.

(From Sichat Malachei HaShareit / Words of Ministering Angels, at the start)

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