Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Rebbe sees the heart

Some people only learn the lesson of a Rebbe’s superior powers of perception the hard way:

A Lubavitcher student told me [Rabbi Rafo’el Nachman Kahn] the following story. He had been a shochet[1] in one of the settlements near Moscow, and a dispute arose against him, and his opponents wrote to the Previous Rebbe, and the young man also wrote to him. The Previous Rebbe instructed him to give up slaughtering. The shochet was very angry at the Previous Rebbe, because on the surface there was no reason to warrant this prohibition.

When the Previous Rebbe was in Moscow, the shochet visited him for Yechidus in the house of Reb Chaim Zalman Gordon. When he left Yechidus, he told me that he had demanded of the Previous Rebbe, “Why had he been forbidden to slaughter? What had disqualified him?” The Previous Rebbe responded: “It is written, ‘For man sees [what is] before [his] eyes, and G–d sees the heart.’[2] We [referring to himself] are connected with the second half of the verse.” Once the Rebbe said this to him, he did not ask further.[3]

Shemu’os V’Sipurim, Vol. 1, p. 204:2.

[1] Ritual slaughterer.

[2] I Shmuel 16:7.

[3] The Previous Rebbe sensed that this shochet was not fit for his position, which requires exceptional fear of G–d.


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