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Status, Empathy, Dignity

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From Am Yisrael Chai/Israel Is Living by Rabbi Schlomo Carlebach:

Reb Zusia was a poor humble rebbe and on this particular day he looked it. He was taking a coach to the city and waited to board with a few other passengers.

One of the passengers was a rich man and he was looking at Zusia, thinking to himself ‘Ah ha, now here is a man I can make fun of; . . and that is what he did.

They arrived in the city and thousands of people gathered around the coach. Zusia stepped off and disappeared into the crowd. The rich man got off and asked someone what was going on. He said that Reb Zusia has come and we’ve gathered to greet him.

When the rich man found out the man he had been making fun of was Reb Zusia he went up and apologized.

Reb Zusia said, “It’s not me you should be apologizing to . . it’s all the poor people of the world you’re insulting. You have to ask every poor person for forgiveness.”

Memento mori

Written by Sister Y

April 29, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Posted in dignity, empathy, poverty, status