Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Simcha Can Achieve

A scene from present-day Mezritch.
Yesterday between Mincha and Maariv, the Rebbe told the following story:

The Baal Hatanya once wrote a letter to Reb Zish of Anipoli, addressing him as "HaGaon", meaning the "Torah genius". The Baal Hatanya's chassidim wondered: While Reb Zisha was a great tzadik and servant of the Almighty, he was hardly known for his great genius in learning. In fact, Reb Zisha rarely said divrei Torah at all. Why would the Baal Hatanya write a title like that regarding Reb Zisha?

The Baal Hatanya answered with a story: Once, a very distraught women came to the Mezritcher Magid and poured out her heart. Her husband disappeared, leaving her with no means of supporting herself and her children. She needed a heter so that she could remarry. The Maggid saw that some details of her case pointed in her favor, so he called together the great minds from amongst the talmidim - Reb Shmiel Shmelka of Nikolsburg, his brother the Haflaah, the Baal Hatanya and others - to delve into the matter and try to find a way to free to this woman to remarry.

The Rebbe Reb Zisha saw that there was a tumult, and casually asked the other talmidim what the nature of their discussion was. They explained the issue and Reb Zisha left. A little while later, Reb Zisha returned to the group and mentioned how a particular Tosfos could be understood in a slightly different manner than they had learned it until then. Reb Zisha's pshat opened up a new way of looking at the different sides of the halacha and allowed the talmidim to ultimately permit the woman to remarry.

Astounded, the Baal Hatanya demanded to know how Reb Zisha came up with such an innovative and ingenious understanding of the Tosfos, since he was not known for his "good head".

In his characteristic humble simplicity, Reb Zisha explained, "I heard that this poor women needed a heter. So I davened to the Master of the World for an eitza how to help her. So He sent the Baal Hatosfos, the author of that Tosfos, to teach me the new understanding."

"Is there a greater master of Torah than that?" asked the Baal Hatanya to his chassidim. "One who can ask the very tzadikim who authored the Torah themselves anything that is difficult to him - THAT is a real gaon."

And with that the Baal Hatanya became lost in thought, until finally he exclaimed, "What is my 'good head' worth in comparison to Reb Zisha for he is always b'simcha!"

From here, the Rebbe said, we see that joy and happiness open everything up to person. Even the loftiest heights of Torah can be attained through the simcha of Reb Zisha.

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