Yoseph Janowski
By the Grace of G-d

The Spy

Moshe Maisels was a Chosid of the Alter Rebbe, the first Rebbe of Lubavitch. He spoke French and Russian, so the Rebbe sent him to spy against Napoleon. The Rebbe felt that if France wins the war against Russia, that the ensuing French Enlightenment would facilitate Jewish assimilation.

Maisels offered to assist Napoleon’s officers as a translator. He was thus privy to French military planning, which he secretly relayed to the Russians.

As Russian ambushes and sabotage (blowing up ammunition depots) increased, Napoleon suspected enemy espionage. One day he stormed into the officer headquarters and saw Moshe Maisels, whom he didn’t recognize. He quickly walked over to him, put his hand over Moshe’s heart, and shouted that he was a spy. Moshe later said, that what saved him, was that he remembered the Alter Rebbe’s teaching that the mind has the natural ability to rule over the heart. So he kept calm, and he told Napoleon that he was working as a translator for the officers. When Napoleon saw that Moshe’s heart wasn’t beating fast from fear, he walked away.

Mind and emotion are two different worlds. Yet we are able to effect a synergy, where the intellect controls and guides the heart, and the heart infuses the intellect with passion.

Everything has it’s place. Everything can be utilized constructively and in harmony with everything else. Because One G-d creates everything, and He is One with everything.

By using our faculties, and everything that G-d gives us, to fulfill His will — studying Torah and obeying G-d’s commandments, we reveal His oneness with all of creation, and we help to create a world where G-dliness shines, thus hastening the complete Redemption with Moshiach. May it happen very soon.

About the Author
The author lives in Toronto, Canada. He has written for
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