Why were you not Rabbi Zusya?

In last week’s podcast we were talking about the necessity of becoming the person God created. During the show I was trying to remember this Hassidic tale. But then we moved on and I forgot to mention it.

Anyway, it goes like this:

Rabbi Zusya dies and goes to heaven. And he’s a bit anxious as to whether he has been holy enough. Was God going to be angry with him? He imagined that God would interrogate him: ‘Why were you not more like Moses or Solomon or David?’ To his surprise, God turns to him and says, quietly, “Tell me – why were you not more like Rabbi Zusya?'”

I think this comes from Buber’s Tales of the Hasidim, but I’ve lost my copy somewhere.

Nick Page @nickpage