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Monday, March 06, 2006

An old Thought

I had at one time had a disccusion with my rabbi on Soloveitchik’s views on ratzon elyon (higherwill). We discussed that our real identity, the center of thespiritual personality, is expressed when we make certain decisions without consulting the intellect. When we “lead with our gut.” This is when we are truly our”selves.” Anyway, I cam across this quote from Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s book Jewish Wisdom and I think it dovetails nicely with the above:

The Hasidic rebbe Zusha (d.1800) used to say: “When I die and come before the heavenly court, if they ask me,’Zusha, why were you not as great as Abraham?’ I will not be afraid. I will say that I was not born with Abraham’s intellectual capabilities. And if they ask me, ‘Zusha, why were you not Moses?’ I will say that I did not have Moses’ leadership abilities. But when they ask me, ‘Zusha, why were you not Zusha?’ for that I will have no answer.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, for offering your thoughts on my Judaism/lent debacle/puzzle/angst. I have heard this Zusha story before that you cited here, though I've not read Telushkin’s Jewish Wisdom. At any rate it's a question we all have to answer for ourselves.

I think the Zusha story also speaks to the issue that we each much answer (to ourselves, if to no one else) why we have left our own work undone. And that there may well be no good reasons for doing so. Not that I would try to interpret the rabbis, but that's just what I take away from this teaching.

6:35 PM, March 09, 2006

Blogger Valke said...

Sounds like a good interpertation to me. I guess the trick is figuring out what our work is.

9:39 PM, March 09, 2006


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