Reb Zusha and the Power of Perception

Learn how even in the most challenging of circumstances, one can always find the good and feel blessed when he knows it's from Hashem.


A man once went to the great Maggid of Mezeritch with a question that deeply troubled him. He could not fathom how one could follow the Talmudic counsel that ‘One should bless God for the bad just as one blesses Him for the good’ (Berachot 9:5). Is it possible to be thankful for one’s troubles and misery?

The Maggid replied that he should go seek out his disciple, Reb Zusha of Hanipol, and ask him this question.

The man followed the Maggid’s advice and travelled to Rabbi Zusha. The tzaddik received him warmly and invited him into his home. As soon as the guest entered the house, it became obvious that the family was extremely poor. The furnishings were simple and bare, there was little food to eat, and the family members were beset with various afflictions and illnesses. Nevertheless, Rabbi Zusha was happy and cheerful. The guest was astonished.

The man posed his question. "I asked the Maggid how is it possible to bless God for the bad just as one blesses Him for the good, and the Maggid told me that only you can help me in this matter."

Reb Zusha replied,"This is indeed a very difficult question. But why did our holy master sent you to me? How would I know? He should have sent you to someone who has experienced suffering!"

Submitted by Debbie Stone