14 November 2010

ון דער רעבע האת געלאכת And the Rebbe laughed

In the middle of Shmone Ashrei, the Alter Rebbe burst out laughing. Later a chosid asked him why. In answer, the Rebbe said that  during Shmone Ashrei he would ascend to upper realms looking to help neshamos in need of assistance. One such neshama was that of a chosid on its way to Gehenom. In his earthy life the chosid had been a simple Jew, not particularly learned,  struggling to make a living, but with a strong connection to the Rebbe. His brother-in-law, in contract was a wealthy misnaged (opponent of Chassidism) who was successful, a Torah scholar, a philanthropist, etc.
The hapless chosid once in a while would approach him for a loan. At every such encounter the misnaged would deride the chosid and his ways. In answer to that, the chosid would say that, yes, in the world that’s how the things seemed but in the next world, the truth would prevail and he would be  proven right.
Eventually the misnaged passed away, his neshoma was judged favorably and was on its way to Paradise. A short while later, the chosid also died and his neshama was judged unfavorably and thus was on its way to Purgatory. At some point, the two neshamos’ paths crossed and the misnaged began to  poke fun at the chosid, just as he had done in body on earth, in answer the chosid told him “kish mir in tuches”. When he heard that, the Alter Rebbe explained, he broke into laughter.
As told by R. Yossi Jacobson

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