The importance of learning not to take things too personally is apparent in the following tale about the nineteenth-century Hasidic master, Rabbi David of Lelov.

Once, while on the road, Rabbi Isaac of Vorki and his teacher David of Lelov stopped in an unfamiliar town. Suddenly a woman approached Reb David and began beat to him, having mistaken him for her estranged husband, who had abandoned her and her children several years earlier. While screaming and hitting Reb David, the woman suddenly realized that the man she was beating was not her husband but a famous Hasidic Rebbe who happened to look a lot like her husband. Completely mortified, she immediately began to beg the Rebbe's forgiveness, apologizing profusely for her terrible mistake. Instead of getting angry, Reb David responded with words of comfort, saying: "It's okay, don't worry; it wasn't me you were hitting." The woman was completely baffled, but she went away feeling as though a heavy burden had been lifted from her soul.

Estelle Frankel, Sacred Therapy