Tzadikim

Rabbi Chaim of Krasna

One of the early followers of the Baal Shem Tov.

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Born:
Died: , 1793
 

One of the early followers of the Baal Shem Tov and later the Maggid of Mezritch. A close friend of Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz.

The Baal Shem Tov once remarked to R' Chaim of Krasna about the Maggid of Mezritch : "When the Maggid came to me, he was already a pure, golden menorah. All that was needed was to light the candles...."

'"Comfort, comfort, My people,' says your God." (Yeshayah 40:1)

R' Chaim relates this verse to the discussion between the Jewish people and Hashem which is recorded in the midrash. In that discussion, Hashem says (Zechariah 1:3), "Return to Me and [then] I will return to you." The Jewish people respond (Eichah 5:21), "Return us, Hashem, to You and [then] we will return." In other words, Hashem and the Jewish people disagree over who should take the initiative in order to bring about a reconciliation between us and Him. Hashem says that we must return to Him, but we maintain that He must reach out and draw us in. (This verse is in the the Haftara read on Shabbat Nachamu)

A Reward

A man once came to a town and offered to walk across the river on a tightrope for a hundred guilden. Amongst the many people who gathered to watch the scene was also Rabbi Chaim of Krasna. Rabbi Chaim watched the man very intently as he was walking across the tightrope. When asked why he was so interested in the man walking on the rope, Rabbi Chaim told his followers that watching this scene taught him a great lesson in the service of Hashem.

"Here I saw a man putting his life at risk in order to earn 100 guilden. Yet, as I was watching him walking the rope, I realized that his entire concentration was on the task before him. For had he thought about the reward even for one second, he would have lost concentration and fallen into the river."

"From this I learned that although Hashem promised us reward for the mitzvot, yet when we perform the mitzvah, our entire concentration should be to accomplish the mitzvah to the best of our ability and not to think about the reward."

May the merit of the tzaddik  Rabbi Chaim of Krasna  protect us all, Amen.

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