Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dubno Magid Gives Mussar to the Vilna Gaon

17 Teves is the yartzeit of R' Yaakov ben Zev Wolf Kranz ZY"A(1804), the legendary Dubno Magid. He was once asked by R' Eliyahu, the Gaon of Vilna ZY"A, to give him mussar. The Dubno Magid refused, saying, who is he to give musar to the holy Vilna Gaon. The Gaon insisted until the Magid agreed. He said something along the lines of the following: "You get to sit all day indoors learning Torah and davening. What's so difficult about that? You don't have to spend time in the marketplaces with the tests of being honest in business and seeing things in the streets. How well would you fare there?" The holy Gaon broke down crying and said: "You're right. That would be more difficult."
The lesson from this is that if we do spend our time in the "outside" world and pass the many tests that we get, we are really accomplishing a huge amount in the spiritual realm. It's not just working anymore but Avodas HaKodesh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An alternate ending to the ma'aseh I have heard is that when the Dubner Maggid asked, "Vos iz der kuntz . . ." (What is such a great trick that you sit indoors . . ."), the Gro replied, "Der aibershter zucht nit kein kuntsmachers" (Ha-shem is not looking for people who can perform great tricks").