Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"My Anger Proves That I Am A Total Hypocrite!"

The following is an excerpt from "Kovah Ner Ha-Ma'arovi: A Tribute to Reb Osher Freund, zy"a, on his Sh'loshim, 11 Cheshvan, 5764" written by Rabbi Yisroel Moskowitz:

Rabbi Shmuel Eideles, an elderly Yerushalmi who had been a chassid of the old Bialer Rebbe, zt"l, was a lifelong friend of Reb Osher Freund. He once told me a fascinating anecdote from his youth.

One day, Reb Osher walked into shul looking extremely distraught. To Reb Shmuel's query as to his obvious distress, Reb Osher confessed, "I just realized that my entire avodah is false and worthless! Tzivyah [Reb Osher's rebbetzin, of blessed memory] greatly upset me this morning. I couldn't reason with her, so finally I lost my temper.

"Now, if I really believe what I preach - that everything comes from Hashem, and everything that occurs reflects the Divine intention - how could I get angry at Tzivyah, or be the least bit upset with her? The pain she caused me was solely from Hashem, in order to awaken me from my spiritual sleep. She is a good woman, and surely did not mean it. She was only Hashem's emissary.

"My anger proves that I am a total hypocrite! After years of struggling with myself and preaching emunah and forbearance to others, I realize that I have not changed. I have attained nothing!"

As much as Reb Shmuel tried to appease and calm him, all was in vain.

Finally, Reb Osher became thoughtful silence. Then he declared, "There is only one possible rationale. Maybe Hashem sees that I exhort the chaveirim again and again; sometimes years go by, and I see no change; it seems that I haven't made even a dent in their souls - so I lose patience with them. Therefore, Hashem showed me that I am no better. I, too, have not changed - yet Hashem is patient with me. Similarly, I must never, under any circumstances, lose patience with a chaver!"

8 Comments:

At June 13, 2006 at 7:18:00 AM EDT, Blogger Philly Farmgirl said...

This recently happened to me and it is devastating to realize how far we still have to go. I too learned the same lesson and that Abba is very patient with us indeed. Thanks so much for this post, reinforces what I am still learning.

 
At June 13, 2006 at 7:22:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I am glad it was useful to you. I really needed ittoo

 
At June 13, 2006 at 8:26:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you Chabakuk Elisha for sending this to me.

 
At June 13, 2006 at 12:03:00 PM EDT, Blogger Alice said...

Is there anything in the world tougher? I find it even more difficult being patient with people who are older because I think they should know better, despite the fact that I know darn well that life sometimes just gets harder as one ages, not easier. It seems to me that Judaism is all about focusing on helping others by focusing on one's own flaws. Repair yourself and the world gets repaired. It really works.

 
At June 13, 2006 at 12:27:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Alice: Great comment!

 
At June 13, 2006 at 1:26:00 PM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

ASJ,
You're very welcome. It's a very moving piece...

 
At June 13, 2006 at 1:38:00 PM EDT, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice story!

 
At June 16, 2007 at 9:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Rosie said...

Thank you for this story. It helps me. Some time ago I also was extremely distressed at something I did that shocked me into realizing I was a "hypocrite". I actually became depressed for a while till I came to realise this was the result of pride. The right way to deal with seeing our shortcomings is, as Reb Osher did, to use them to try to improve, not to beat ourselves up because we aren't perfect.

 

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