Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fear; Laziness' Excuse - Tzadik in the City

I have had a couple of experiences in my involvement with Rav Shwartz's (the Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh author's) current visit to the United States, that have showed me how irrational people's fear of good things can be.

Shabbos morning, my Rebbe quoted the Midrash Raba's pshat on the pasuk in Mishlei 26:13, "אָמַר עָצֵל, שַׁחַל בַּדָּרֶךְ; אֲרִי, בֵּין הָרְחֹבוֹת, "The lazy man says, there is a cub in the road, a lion between the streets." In Parshas Nitzavim, it says in Midrash Raba, "אמרו לעצל רבך בעיר לך ולמוד תורה ממנו והוא משיב אותן ואומר להן מתיירא אני מן הארי שבדרך מנין שנאמר (משלי כו) אמר עצל שחל בדרך)" "They say to the lazy person, 'Your Rebbe is in the city! Go and learn Torah from him!' He answers them 'I am afraid of the lion on the road.' How do we know this? As it says 'The lazy man says, there is a lion in the street.'"

This made me think back on a couple of conversations I'd had the previous week. This is certainly the week for many of us where it can be said that "Our Rabbi is in the city!" Yet, I spoke to a couple of people who I know are sincere and would definitely want to meet with Rav Shwartz who hemed and hawed about actually meeting with Rav Shwartz. Whether it's a fear of not already having any questions for the Rav or a fear of being dissappointed, there were no shortage of excuses. There are no shortage of lions on the road and no shortage of excuses for people's fear of what they will encounter when meeting with a Tzadik.

Last year, my Rebbe gave me an opportunity to have Rav Shwartz over to my house for the Shabbos day seuda. At first, I wanted to refuse, thinking that I couldn't possibly handle the "pressure" I thought I would feel being with the Tzadik for so long. Luckily, Rav Shwartz's current host while he is in town and I were talking at the time and he talked some sense into me. I overcame my fears and we were zocheh to bring the Tzadik into our home. Meeting with such a person is a once-in-a-lifetime type opportunity for us here. We've got to "chap arayn" and take advantage of the opportunity!

Again, you can see the remainder of Rav Shwartz's schedule in Baltimore tonight, Monsey, Woodmere for Shabbos, Far Rockaway/Five Towns, Englewood, NJ & Boro Park HERE.

-Dixie Yid

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Anonymous said...

DY- When Rav Shwatrz ate by you, what was the seating arrangement? Who sat at the head?

yitz said...

in pirkei avot it says you house should be open to tzaddikim, baruch HaShem that you were zocheh to fulfill this :)

I always wonder how I can trick some tzaddikim to come and visit in our home :)

on another note: thanks for posting this now, i've been avoiding my Rebbe for weeks, even though I always want to go, I let weak excuses get in the way :)

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


The men sat on one half of the table & the women on the other half. The Rav sat where my wife usually sits and I sat at the head.


Thanks for the chizuk and B"H if this post was the little nudge you needed to go visit your rebbe. :-)

I'll tell you a couple of ways to trick Tzadikim to come to your home. #1, offer to raise some money for a Tzadik in your community and have an event in your house? Or raise a speaking fee and bring a Tzadik in for a Shabbos and then he'll be able to eat or sleep in your home for that Shabbos. It's totally worth it!

-Dixie Yid