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Count Pototsky traveled abroad in the company of his valet and wagon driver. At one point the two assistants plotted to assassinate the count and when they arrived at a distant land they implemented their plan.

Afterward one pretended that he was Count Pototsky and the other claimed to be his valet. Acting out this charade they traveled from land to land, enjoying the luxuries afforded to dignitaries. At one point during this excursion the fake count became ill and the very finest doctors of that land were summoned and prescribed medications. But these drugs had no effect at all.

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When they saw that there was no improvement in his condition they summoned a simple doctor accustomed to treating the common folk. The new doctor administered a far heavier dose than what the initial doctors had prescribed and this gave rise to a cure.

Explained Reb Elimelech, “The renowned doctors thought that they were treating Count Pototsky and therefore gave him light medications that should have impacted upon a refined body accustomed to a delicate diet. But a simpleton, accustomed to coarse food, requires far more potent medications. Hence only the less-skilled country doctor was able to heal.

“The holy Reb Shmelkeh of Nikolsburg assumed you to be wise and deep-probing scholars, for he is not familiar with how a simple mind works and why one sins. Hence he delivered an erudite discourse as one would to an intelligent, refined audience. However, I am the simple doctor who knows how to prescribe the proper and appropriate amounts for you to comprehend.”

Reb Elimelech then delivered a fire-and-brimstone sermon, enumerating their sins until they began to weep from remorse and embarrassment. Their contrition was sincere, and Reb Elimelech, as always, managed to generate genuine teshuvah.

(To be continued)

Chodesh tov – have a pleasant month!

Those interested in screening Rabbi Teller’s acclaimed documentary, “Reb Elimelech and the Chassidic Legacy of Brotherhood,” should e-mail hanoch@hanochteller.com.

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