Connecting Through a Card Game

Connecting Through a Card Game

You need to have every spice in the mixture of Ketores for it to fit the requirements. There were Chassidic greats who made it their job to bring back some of the lost souls of their generation to ensure the unity of the Jewish nation was complete and that the service of the Jews would be a pleasing aroma to G-d.

The holy Reb Simcha Bunim of Psicha did not start off in life in the rabbinate. He was first busy in the business world, and then transitioned and went into the “business of G-d”, becoming a Chassidic leader. One of Reb Simcha Bunim’s former business partners had a son who headed out the door of Torah observance, what we call in our times, OTD (off the derech). Reb Simcha Bunim wanted to help this young man find his way back to the Jewish hertiage…but nothing he said penetrated. There was no common language between sage rabbi and rebellious youth.

At a standstill and not knowing how to make the breakthrough (but not wanting to give up on this precious soul), Reb Simcha Bunim decided to tag along and shadow the young man, meeting him at where he was at. I suppose pool tables and basketball courts were not the hobby of that generation. Card playing was the big thing. This OTD kid played cards frequently and avidly. This was where he had to be met, but Reb Simcha Bunim had no clue how to play cards. With a prayer on his lips, the good rabbi signed up to play a round with the errant young man. Sure enough, the rabbi won. One game, another and another. The OTD kid was impressed and wanted to know how Reb Simcha Bunim managed the “win”.

In recounting the tale later, Reb Simcha Bunim explained, “I couldn’t answer and didn’t tell him, and so he decided there must be some secret strategy. He kept badgering.” There was no answer that would make sense for this kid, because there had been no strategy other than prayer. Finally, Reb Simcha Bunim took the young man on a scenic walk. The kid agreed to go, hoping to crack the secret to the rabbi’s card strategy. The rabbi took the boy to a place that had gorgeous mountain views. He threw his hands out in a gesture and stated, “Mee bara ayleh” — Who created all these, the mountains, the heights, the heavens?” Whoever created this majesty, created the win for Reb Simcha.

The boy was explained that the win was from Hashem…as were greater miracles such as mountain formations and Heavenly realms. The words penetrate and the boy came back onto the paths of our saintly forebears.