By Rabbi Dovid Markel
Once, at a popular fair, where various merchants would purchase their wares, a group of rich Chassidic merchants were present. Each of them began extolling the virtues of their respective Rebbe’s. They decided that each would recount a miracle performed by their Rebbe.
Indeed, they each told over awesome stories which expressed how their Rebbe was not confined to the natural limitations of the physical world. When their Rebbe decreed something, it indeed came to fruition.
Amongst the merchants, was a Lubavitcher chossid by the name of R. Shmuel Gurarie. He was a chossid of the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Shneersohn.
When his turn arrived to recount a story of his Rebbe, he said: “Once, I was offered a certain business deal to purchase vast areas of forests. This deal required a hefty investment but was promised a tremendous return if everything went according to plan. If there were any problems though, the loss would be substantial as well.
“Understandably, I asked the Rebbe’s advice. He advised me to invest my money. Not a long time past, the deal went south and I lost a substantial amount of money.”
The listeners, who were waiting for the miracle, were surprised when R. Shmuel sat down, as if he had finished the story and extolled the greatness of his Rebbe.
“Where is the miracle?!” –they all asked—“on the contrary, this story seems to express how your Rebbe gave bad advice!”
“You don’t understand,” said R. Shmuel. “The miracle is that I remain a chossid of the Rebbe and believe in his words in exactly the same way as before I did this deal!”
True faith is not that we are happy when things turn out the way that we want them to, but that we continue to believe even when they don’t.