Monday, October 18, 2010

"Greater than an Angel"

The cashier's eyes lit up. "The Rebbe is greater than an angel!", he exclaimed in Yiddish when he saw the Sudilkover Rebbe enter his store.

The Rebbe, however, did not appreciate these praises and corrected him, "No. A Jew is greater than an angel!!"

The cashier once again repeated his statement about the Rebbe, and the Rebbe firmly repeated what he had said previously but this time with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, "A Jew is greater than an angel!!"

I witnessed this brief interchange when taking a walk with the Rebbe in Boro Park during my last visit. I am still trying to internalize its lesson of how to view a fellow Jew and how to view myself.


At October 18, 2010 at 11:01:00 AM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

This exchange shows how an Adam Gadol can really have the right perspective on things.

We each have an unbelievable potential to do amazing things by exercising our bechira (free choice), unlike an angel who had no option other than to perform a specific mission.

Some call it "pintele yid" or "gadlus ha'adom"... it really makes no difference. Seeing the greatness in every Jew is an avodah in and of itself, IMHO.

At October 19, 2010 at 7:12:00 AM EDT, Anonymous YY said...

The true meaning of the rebbe's words, it seems, is to tell the cashier that what he happens to feel inspired by in seeing the rebbe is actually the same thing that is within every Jew. Hence be careful about revelling in the association of “more than an angel” with a "Rebbe"... and use it as a springboard for seeing the divine within every Yid.

How to do it? First believe it!


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