Site Meter Yehudi Yerushalmi: Reb Zusia's Absolute Bitachon

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Reb Zusia's Absolute Bitachon

I know I am a few days late, but better late than never.

A Simple Jew posted the famous story of "Reb Zusia is hungry". A recommended read, I have always liked that one.

I have two others I would like to share, but the second one will have to wait for some other posting, as I don't have too much time now.

Reb Zusia lived a very hard life, even by the standards of poverty stricken Poland. The shirt on his back was the only one he owned. He had no teeth, was always sick and never saw a doctor or took painkillers. He just learned Torah, and served Hashem with Bitachon.

Despite everything, Reb Zusia was continually happy.

A person once came to Reb Zusia's teacher, the Maggid of Mezerich, and asked him how can the Gemorah say that one has to say the Bracha on hearing bad news (Baruch Dayan HaEmet) with the same joy as when saying the Bracha upon hearing good news (HaTov VeHaMeitiv)? (Brachot 54a).

How is it possible to have the same joy upon hearing bad news as when hearing good news?

The Maggid told him to go ask the question to his attendant, Reb Zusia.

The person asked Reb Zusia the question, and Reb Zusia replied "You must have the wrong person."

"You are Reb Zusia right?"


"The Maggid said that you could answer the question concerning how one can say the Bracha over bad events with the same joy as a Bracha over good events."

"Then you must surely have the wrong person."


"Because I never understood that statement either. You see, nothing bad has ever happened to me."

This was the same Reb Zusia who had no money, no clothes and no teeth. He had absolute Bitachon in Hashem and knew that whatever happened to him, was for the good.

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