Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Two Pockets

"His brother's name was Yaktan" [Noah 10:25]

Rashi explains that his name was Yaktan  (Joktan) "because he was humble and would make himself small (katan). That is why he was privileged to establish all of these families."

R' Simchah Bunim of P'shischa once told his chassidim "Every Jew must have two pockets: one to hold the verse: " in the image of God He created him " [Bereishis 1:27] and the other to hold the verse "I am like dust and ashes" [Bereishis 18:27].

"When a person has an opportunity to do a mitzvah, to learn Torah, or to do an act of kindness, let him not think: Who am I to merit performing such lofty deeds? I am but a simple man, undeserving of such things... He must not think this way!  Rather, he must immediately take the verse  "in the image of God He created him" out of his first pocket and remember that since this is so, he is capable and worthy of doing all holy acts.

"However, if others deride or insult him, then let him take out the verse "I am like dust and ashes" from his second pocket, and he should think to himself How can someone like me - who is nothing but dust and ashes - feel offended by others?"

"But", concluded the Rebbe, "most often the opposite is how people react. When someone is asked to do a mitzvah, he declines, saying "I am nothing but dust and ashes; I am not worthy". But when others ridicule him or insult him, he at once begins shouting "In the image of God He created him - look at whom you are insulting!"

Source: Rabbi Y. Bronstein

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