Becoming a Simple Jew

By Rabbi Dovid Markel


Once[1], the third Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch said: “When Moshiach comes, he will spend his time talking to the simple Jew’s of innocent self-sacrifice. These Jew’s will have their own palace which the greatest of thinkers will be jealous of.”

When the chossid Reb Chaim heard this from the Rebbe, he turned to him with a question: “Rebbe, how can I become an innocent, simple Jew of self-sacrifice?”

The Rebbe responded: “What do you think?! It is much more difficult to be simple than it is to be an expert on the entire Talmud[2]!”

After a short while of contemplation the Rebbe continued:

“There is though one way that this can be accomplished and this is through accepting the yoke of Heaven. Having the yoke of Heaven upon oneself completely transforms and individual. Through having the yoke of Heaven upon one’s self in a manner of simple servant that even while he is asleep it is recognizable to others this yoke—than even a brilliant sage can reach the level of simple Jew of sincere self-sacrifice.”

[1] Igros Kodesh, Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Vol. 4, Pg. 148.

[2] Reb Chaim happened to have been an expert on Talmud and well versed in Chassidic thought.

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