Simple but Pure

There are many esoteric, kabbalistic thoughts (kavannos) one may have when performing mitzvos, and these are known only to a select few initiates.

Before Rosh Hashanah, Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev announced that he wanted to interview candidates to blow the shofar. Several people volunteered, and Rebbe Levi Yitzchak tested their knowledge of the kabbalistic kavannos.

At the end, one man asked to be interviewed. He was a devout but rather unlearned person, and Rebbe Levi Yitzchak was surprised that this person might be privy to kabbalistic secrets. Perhaps he was one of the hidden tzaddikim who concealed his true identity.

“What are the kavvanos for blowing the shofar?” Rebbe Levi Yitzchak asked him.

The man began to cry. “ Rebbe,” he said, “I have a daughter of marriageable age, but I will not be able to find a shidduch for her because I do not have a dowry. My kavannos are, ‘Ribono shel olam, (Master of the universe), I am fulfilling Your will by blowing the shofar as You commanded. Please, grant my wish that I have a dowry to marry off my daughter.’ ”

Rebbe Levi Yitzchak was touched. “Your kavannos are the finest of all! You will blow the shofar for me.!”