Image by Darryl Willis Carpathian Mountains near Yaremche, Ukraine

What Business Does He Have In God’s World?

A story about Moshe Leib of Sasov:

Late one night, Rabbi Moshe Leib was deep in study of the Torah when he was interrupted by shouting and a rattling noise at his window. It was a drunk peasant at his gate beneath the window, begging for a place to spend the night.

In a moment of irritation the Rabbi thought to himself, “What kind of nerve is this? What business does a drunk have in my house?” But then his heart spoke to him, “And what business does he have in God’s world? If God can live with him in his world, how can I turn him away from my world?”

Immediately he threw open his door and made a bed for the man.

When I first heard this story years ago, I was cut to the heart. I would like to say that I have grown into a man much like the Rabbi who opened the door rather than remaining the kind of man who would be insulted by the request. I do not know if I can make such a claim, though.

What of you? How does this story touch your heart? How does it confront you?