Weekly Story: Turning Disaster into Joy

by Rabbi Sholom Avtzon

Reviewing the Rebbe’s sichos of 5752,where he implored us to have simcha throughout the 60 days of the two Adar’s, the following story came to mind.

Reb Pinchas Koritzer was one of the greatest students of the Baal Shem Tov.  [During the first year of the Histalkus of the Baal Shem Tov, in addition to the Maggid, he was thought as one of the three possible successors. (The other one was the Toldos Yaakov Yosef).]

One day he was honored to be the Mohel.  However, after the bris, the bandage and medicine which he always used didn’t help, and the baby continued to bleed.  The parents were beyond themselves and everyone was at a lost- what can be done to stop the bleeding and save the child?

Amongst the assembled, was Reb Zusha.  He told the distraught parents, “Make the meal larger than you were planning and invite the entire community to participate.”

Knowing that he was a talmid of the Maggid, although terribly concerned, they followed his advice and as soon as the meal began, the bleeding stopped on its own.

Reb Pinchas was relieved and extremely happy, but bewildered.  He turned to Reb Zusha, who was many years younger than him and asked, “Where did you learn this Segulah?”

Reb Zusha replied, “It is written openly in the Torah.”

Reviewing quickly the entire Torah, Reb Pinchas couldn’t find it, so he asked Reb Zusha to explain.

Reb Zusha said, “It says so clearly in the Possuk in Parshas Mishpatim 24:11 ויחזו את האלוקים ויאכלו וישתו. (While Rashi and other Meforshim explain it in a negative context, Reb Zusha gave the following explanation.)  The meaning of this Possuk is, when they saw the judgment of Hashem, as it is represented by Shem (name of) Elokim, they sat down to a seudah and wished each other L’Chaim.  This mitigated the judgment, as the Possuk says, and to the elders of Bnei Yisreol, Hashem did not send his hand.

So let us farbreng this Shabbos mevorchimn and may any potential bad be mitigated and may there be only happiness by each and every one.

One Comment

  • 1. Like this story wrote:

    Thank you for posting the storys every week! I really enjoy reading it.

    Just one request: can it please be posted earlier on Friday? I usually get to see it after shabbos.
    Thank you!


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