ויאמינו בה’ ובמשה עבדו (בשלח יד:לא)
What is true Emunah, faith?
The Gaon Reb Shimon Sofer zt’’l piously said, “I’m nothing, I know nothing, I’m worth nothing…” His wife responded: “How can you say that? Yidden come to you for a yeshua – salvation, and they are helped in your merit!”
Reb Shimon replied, “That doesn’t show evidence. They don’t get helped because I’m a tzaddik. They receive salvation because of their Emunah – they believe a tzaddik will help them. So they come to me, see an old man with a long white beard, a son of the holy Ksav Sofer zt’’l, and they assume I’m a tzaddik, and in that merit, they’re helped.”
Reb Shimon shared a story to bring out his point. “A Yid once came to the holy Rebbe of Lublin zt’’l and asked for a bracha to merit a child since they were childless for many years. The Lubliner wished him that a son would be born within a year. After the son was born, the Yid came to share the good news with his Rebbe and to accept his Mazel Tov wishes.
Upon hearing the Yid’s good news, a chassid, who was present in the room then, approached the Rebbe of Lublin with a complaint. “I came thirteen consecutive years asking for a child, and this Yid came once and was helped?”
The holy Lubliner Rebbe summoned the newborn’s father and said, “Tell me, how did you come here last year?” The Yid replied, “I’m a poor man, and when I decided to come to the Rebbe for a bracha, I started saving penny by penny until I had enough money to cover my travel expenses and come to the Rebbe. After the Rebbe gave me a bracha, I believed that I would be helped, and since in my hometown, there isn’t anywhere to purchase baby clothes, I made sure to purchase a newborn layette for a newborn child. And thank Hashem we were worthy of having a baby, and I came to give thanks to the Rebbe and accept Mazel Tov wishes.”
The Rebbe of Lublin turned to the other chassid, “Did you hear the other Yid was helped because of his sincere Emunah. But, you don’t come to me for a special visit. Since you come to Lublin to purchase merchandise at the marketplace and know your wife will ask if you paid a visit to the Rebbe, you come and give me five reinush (coins). Is that enough Emunah to get help?”