CHASSIDISHE STORY ON THE PARSHA
ונסתם ואין רודף אתכם… (בחוקתי כו: יז)You will flee with no one pursuing you…
The Gaon Reb Elchonon Wasserman zt’’l wasn’t feeling well and summoned a ‘minyan’ of his talmidim to daven Maariv at his home. Among the students was a new talmid who had recently joined the Yeshiva. Reb Elchonon gave the honor of davening for the amud to the new talmid.
The new talmid came from a city where the worshipers used to daven fast, and he wasn’t used to the “yeshivish” davening – where each word is enunciated slowly and clearly. He started davening fast as if someone were chasing him. Throughout the davening, Reb Elchonon kept glancing at him sharply, but the bochur didn’t get the hint.
After davening, Reb Elchonon summoned the bochur. With a friendly smile, he said: “You should know that when the Torah talks about punishment, it says “ונסת ואין רודף” – you will flee, and no one will pursue you – this alludes to a tefillah that is davened fast without kavanah, which appears to Hashem as if someone flees and no one is chasing him….”
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