Dreaming of Moshiach

Monday, November 26, 2007

Proper Dignified Description of Tzaddikim II

In the post Proper Dignified Description of Tzaddikim, I inquired if anyone knows the Medrash of the following story: 2 Tzaddikim were learning Torah and when they came upon a difficult pilpul, one of them brought proof from Shlomo HaMelech, zs'l, to demonstrate that his answer is correct. He began prooving his evidence by saying, "Shlomo says ....".

That night he went to sleep and when he woke up, his pajama pants were wet. This unfortunate incident repeated itself nightly till he decided to do she'elat chalom (dream question).

In the dream, a Malach told him that the reason for his 'unfortunate occurrences' are because Shlomo HaMelech is very makpid (strict) on him because he said (just) Shlomo and didn't give the proper dignified description to Shlomo HaMelech. He immediately asked the Malach to beg forgivness from Melech Shlomo for him and promised that from now on, he will always give the proper illuminated dignified description to all Tzaddikim.

After much world-wide inquiry, it seems that many heard of it but no one remembers its exact location. However, one told us a similar story that also proves how important it is to give the dignified title of a Tzaddik or King:

The Talmud relates that Rav Ashi, zs'l, a popular talmudic scholar (in the fifth century, CE), while studying with his colleagues, quoted Menashe, the King of Judah (zs'l, in the sixth century BCE), on a legal issue. Rav Ashi referred to King Menashe as “our colleague Menashe.”

That night, King Menashe, who had long passed away, appeared to Rav Ashi in his dream and reproached him for referring to him as “our colleague.”

To demonstrate Rav Ashi’s scholarly inferiority, King Menashe asked Rav Ashi a question in Jewish law, "What part of the bread is one supposed to cut?", Rav Ashi did not know the answer. King Menashe answered, "In the place where it is well baked."

Although King Menashe was an idol worshipper, Shamayim was strict with Rav Ashi for speaking about Israel's King in an unrespectable manner and King Menashe was given permission to rebuke the Rav thru a dream.

In the dream, Rav Ashi asked Menashe, “If you are such a great scholar, how come you have worshipped idols?”, King Menashe replied, “if you were living in my time you would have crawled on four to worship idols” (B. Talmud, Sanhedrin 102b).




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו