by Rabbi Sholom Avtzon
Being that we celebrated this week the birth of the Rebbe Maharash, I am publicizing the following story that I heard from my father HoRav HaChossid Reb Meir a”h Avtzon:
A chossid once came to the Rebbe Maharash and asked him if he can enter for yechidus. The Rebbe responded that he didn’t have sufficient strength at that time to conduct a yechidus.
The chossid was surprised. Why does the Rebbe need special strength to listen to my problems and give me a brachah?
Seeing his puzzled expression, the Rebbe told him:
“In general, it is recommended to go to sleep lying on one’s left side and wake up on the right side. While most people can simply turn over in bed, it is extremely painful for me to do so. Instead, I wash negel vasser, get up, walk to the other side of the bed, and lie down again.
“However, I was once too tired to get up, so I decided to flip over to the other side while lying in bed. The effort involved caused a vein to burst and I starting bleeding profusely. I quickly grabbed a towel, tore it down the middle, and made a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding. You can just imagine how painful that must have been.
“But you should know that this doesn’t come close to the energy a Rebbe must exert when he accepts someone into yechidus. To leave yourself, enter the other person [to understand and feel his predicament], and then return to yourself [to give a brachah] is much more difficult.”