Monday, January 26, 2009
The following story took place during the first or second year of the Rebbe’s leadership:
A non-observant woman turned to the Rebbe in connection with her husband’s health. The Rebbe blessed her husband with a complete recovery and added that if until now she did not light Shabbos candles, she should begin to do so.
The woman contacted the secretariat and argued, “I don’t understand the connection between my husband’s health and my lighting Shabbos candles.” The secretary relayed this to the Rebbe, who responded that the secretary should tell her as follows: “If you do rely on me, and this brought you to write to me, then believe me that lighting Shabbos candles will help your husband’s health. And if you don’t believe in me, why did you turn to me in the first place?!”
Explanation: In an earlier post we discussed the concept that the Tzaddik’s ability to help the person stems from one’s basic faith in the Tzaddik and submission to him. Perhaps the story above can be explained in this vein. The Rebbe was telling this woman that since she did not believe in his ability to assist her, he could not assist her, not only because she wasn’t willing to follow his instruction, but because spiritually she wasn’t a vessel for it.