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How do I become truly idealistic and altruistic?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

Library » Jewish Identity » Love thy Neighbor | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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I will answer you with a story:

During the lifetime of the Baal Shem Tov, the first teacher of Chassidism, there lived a man who had a reputation for being a Tzadik (a saintly individual). Once, the Baal Shem Tov’s students wished to check him out; so they asked their teacher for some tips on how to tell a real one from a fake. The Baal Shem Tov told them to ask him the exact question that you asked: how to rid oneself of selfish motivations? “If he has an answer,” said the Baal Shem Tov, “you can be sure that he is a charlatan. There is no answer. No remedy. It is the condition of man—something that he must struggle with all of his life.”

That’s the story.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Love thy Neighbor

Baal Shem Tov
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), Polish mystic and founder of the Chassidic movement.
Tzadik
(fem. Tzidkanit; pl. Tzadikim). A saint, or righteous person.