There was a yid who lived in Vilna in the times of the Alter Rebbe and his name was Mendel. He was a learned man but he was a big opponent of those who followed in the path of the Baal Shem Tov and his followers. So what he would do was make fun of every single minhag (custom) that the Chassidim would employ. The way that the Chassidim dressed being careful to button their coats right over left, the gartels, the way the Chassidim behaved and so on and so forth.
They say of course that all jokes get old and so Mendel set out to devise a plan to come up with new material of how he may make fun of the Chassidim and their ways. As most of his material was already outdated he decided that he will go to Leozna himself and see the Rebbe, and this way he will have the best possible way to make more jokes and fun. He set out to Leozna, arrived there and was greeted by the Chassidim. He informed them of his desire to see the Rebbe. "See the Rebbe?" they said, "you cannot just go in to see the Rebbe so easily". First you have to prepare. They told him that you have to learn these certain books, Musar seforim and so on for examle Chovos Halevavot (Duties of the Heart) and Reishis Chochma. Then you have to go to the mikva. You have to farbreng with the chassidim. you have to write out your request to the Rebbe on paper, you don't speak to the Rebbe. You have to make an oppointment and wait to be let in to be seen. So he agreed to do all these things. He went back to Vilna and learned all the books that he was insturced to learn and came back to Leozna. He fargbred with the Chassidim, immersed in a mikva, wrote out a request on paper and made an appointment to be go into the Rebbe's room.
The day came for him to be seen. He went into the Rebbe sat down and handed his paper over to the Rebbe. The Rebbe took it and read the letter to himself. Then he picked up his head sat back and answered Mendel in a musical voice.
Mendel's reqest was that the Rebbe should give him a tikkun (corrective measure) to dirtying his tziza (fringe of his garment). This too was all made in a manner to make fun of the whole idea of Rebbe and Chosid and so on and so forth. then instead of signing his name Mendel he signed his name Chaim ben Sarah.
So the Rebbe looked up and answered, there are more things that you require a tikkun for besides getting your tziza dirty, isn't there Mendel? the Rebbe said using Mendel's real name. This had such a great effect on Mendel that he immediately fell into a faint. He eventually woke up exited the room, stayed in Leozna for a few months, realized his great error and become a very big and devout Chosid of the Alter Rebbe.
So they said about him, I cannot remember who says the Rebbe or the Chassidim that this was a case that his yetzer ha Tov was able to outsmart his yetzer ha Ra. How is this? His yetzer Ha Tov wanted that he should come to the Rebbe realize what truth is realize what the Rebbe is and so on and so forth. But unfortunately his yetzer ha Ra would not let him go so easily. So his yetzer Tov decided to trick it. His yetzer Tov told his yetzer Ra, come to Leozna, there you will see all the Chassidim and their silly and foolish ways and activities, you will see the Rebbe himself, you will have what to talk about and laugh at your whole life! And this way he was able to drag his yetzer Ra also to the Rebbe and all this was to realize truth, chassidus and the Rebbe.
We are faced with a similar situation this year. For what ever reason many people are afraid and do not wish that Moshiach will come in the year 5770. So can trick our yetzers to do a lot more in order bring Moahiach a year earlier, this year, in 5769.
This story was heard from Rav Shalom Jacobson shlita.
Moshiach Now. 5769 (2009).