"Only The Pasoles" - A Story
Excerpt from Listen To Your Messages:
On yet another occasion, a young man came to see the Klausenberger Rebbe at the insistence of his friends. The young man had been a sincere, religious boy. He survived the nightmare of the concentration camps, but the rest of his family did not. Now he was bitter and angry. Gone were the tefillin and the tzitzis. Gone were the yarmulke and the seforim. He wanted nothing to do with anything religious.
"What happened to you?" his friends wanted to know when they met him after the war.
"I've had enough," he replied. "Hashem took the good and left only the pasoles [debris]. He took my whole family, everyone that was good, and He left only me. Well, I have had enough."
No amount of arguing or cajoling could budge him, until one fellow had a bright idea. "Go and see the Klausenberger Rebbe," he said. "At least, listen to what he has to say before you throw everything away."
The young man reluctantly agreed to see the Rebbe.
The Rebbe took one look at him and saw immediately what was going on with the young man. "What is in your heart?" he asked.
"Hashem took the good," the young man replied, "and left only the pasoles. He took my whole family and left only me."
The Rebbe looked at him, and his eyes filled with tears. "It's true," he said. "It is so true. Hashem took my wife and my 11 children. And He left only me. He took away the good, and He left the pasoles."
For the next 20 minutes, the Rebbe and the young man sat together and cried.
The young man did indeed come back to Torah and Yiddishkeit. Years later, he used to say, "If the Rebbe had given me one word of rebuke I would have walked out and never come back. But the Rebbe didn't rebuke me. The Rebbe cried with me."
(Picture courtesy of Laniado Hospital)
Read more about the Klausenberger Rebbe in this amazing book.