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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: February 6th, 2013

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Reb Elimelech was concerned for every Jew but himself. Even when he was physically assaulted by an over-zealous misnagid, his reaction was typical: “Master of the Universe, I forgive him with my whole heart. Let no man be punished on my behalf.” But when Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev was persecuted, Rabbi Elimelech rallied to support him. He was always there on behalf of others.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: January 3rd, 2013

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

It was when Reb Elimelech assumed the leadership of the chassidic movement that the Austrian Kaiser decreed that before a woman may wed, a tax of 400 golden coins must be paid to the government. This tax was far too exorbitant for the commoner to pay and many feared that they would never be able to marry off their daughters.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: December 6th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Reb Elimelech maintained that just for him alone they will have to make a new Gehinnom, for the one that already exists is not adequate enough. He also commented – in his infinite humility – that the reason people come to him and request his assistance with children, health and parnassah is because it is his sins that are responsible for the absence of these blessings.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: November 8th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

As has been noted in a previous column, Reb Elimelech – like the Baal Shem Tov before him – asserted that pessimism and depression cause sin and spiritual apathy. Repentance (yes, even repentance!) that causes depression and sadness distances the Holy Presence.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: October 11th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

In 1648 and 1649 Bogdan Chmelnitzky and his hordes of Cossack warriors perpetrated an annihilation campaign against the Jews of Poland and the Ukraine. Almost 100,000 Jews and 300 communities perished at the hands of these murderous mobs. All of the Jews, including infants, were targeted for murder; the general populaces nearly always joined in […]

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: September 12th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Wandering from town to village, the Holy Brothers neglected their physical needs and were sustained by meager coins or scraps of food that were donated along the way.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: August 9th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

On the sad day that Eliezer Lipman, Reb Elimelch and Reb Zusha’s father, passed from this world, his children gathered for the week of mourning. At the conclusion of the shivah the sons divided their father’s inheritance in the following way: Avraham received the cash and the house was given to Nosson. The jewelry and housewares went to Elimelech and the outstanding debts were to be collected by Zusha.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: July 11th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

To the misnaged-opponent, chassidus was not perceived as a different strand of normative Judaism, nor as a movement to uplift downtrodden Jews – but as an existential threat to Judaism itself. And the threat was no longer viewed as a futuristic potentiality; it was a real and imminent danger, for the movement was no longer limited to just the commoner but had infiltrated the ranks of scholars.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: June 14th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

The Baal Shem Tov was the founder and the visionary of chassidus, but the architect who built and spread the movement was Rabbi Dov Ber, the maggid of Mezeritch.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: May 16th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Scholars have debated where precisely the Baal Shem Tov was born, few giving credence to the tiny village of Okopy (pronounced Akup). Most likely he hailed from Kolomyya on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains and on the banks of the Prut River. Nearly 300 years have lapsed since the passing of the Baal Shem Tov and all the while the stories of his miraculous abilities have increased. Yet all fail to fully portray his greatness.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: April 18th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

In 1648 and 1649 Bogdan Chmelnitzky and his hordes of Cossack warriors perpetrated an annihilation campaign against the Jews of Poland and the Ukraine. Almost 100,000 Jews and 300 communities perished at the hands of these murderous mobs. All of the Jews, including infants, were targeted for murder; the general populaces nearly always joined in the attacks, and the torture and degradation of Jews was an integral aspect of the murderer’s procedures.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

The popularity of the rise of chassidus did not go unnoticed by those who did not share the same allegiance. As long as the movement was limited to the commoner and isolated in a few pockets of Poland no one perceived it as a threat. But all of this had changed by 1772.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: February 15th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Baruch, from the village of Radovitz, was a sharecropper who barely eked out a living. His income was at the mercy of the infamously cruel Poritz, who owned the Radovitz environs.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: January 20th, 2012

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk was considered one of the finest students of the Baal Shem Tov’s successor, the Maggid MiMezretch. When the Maggid passed away, his disciples gathered for the funeral and then had to decide who would succeed their master.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: December 21st, 2011

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Wherever the two holy brothers went on their self-imposed exile they generated a spirit of repentance. Their standard routine was to admonish themselves out loud for their supposed crimes, when in fact their “sins” were precisely the ones that the villager within earshot needed to rectify.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: November 24th, 2011

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

The parents of Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk, Eliezer Lipman and his pious wife, Mirish, emanated from families that could trace their lineage all the way back to Rashi, Rav Yochanan Hasandlar of Talmudic fame and even King David. They lived in the townlet of Lapachi, not far from Tiktin.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: October 19th, 2011

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Just when it seemed that the Jews could never recover from the ruinous events of the 17th and 18th centuries, their plight was worsened yet, by even heavier taxes imposed by the Polish government.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: July 11th, 2007

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Whereas Salek's father's appearance was rather modern for that period - sporting only a short beard, just like his cousins - his grandfather, Avrohom Orenstein, had a flowing beard and wore a shtreimel on Shabbos.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: June 6th, 2007

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

The shtetl of Apt would rise early every weekday morning when the men would rush to one of the houses of prayer, better known as shteiblech.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch
 

Posted on: May 16th, 2007

JudaismColumnsChodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller

In preparation for Shabbos, Salik Orenstein's (our protagonist, and through his eyes and his memoir are we viewing the shtetl) mother baked challos.

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