web analytics
September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XVI)


Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch

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.

In a village not far from Lizhensk lived poor Berish, an upright widower who had a daughter. The girl had reached marriageable age and an appropriate match was proposed. The boy did not seek a dowry, but the new government tax was an insurmountable hurdle for Berish. He feared that he may never be able to marry off his only child, and his desperation and depression knew no bounds.

He figured that his only hope would be to seek Reb Elimelech’s intervention – and off he went to Lizhensk. The entire way he mulled over his bitter plight, and was bursting with animosity and ire. By the time he arrived at Reb Elimelech’s court he had lost all composure and broke in and exclaimed, “Rebbe, I have a din Torah against the Almighty!”

The second the words escaped his mouth he regretted what he had said – such a brazen accusation against Heaven – and in the presence of the holy Reb Elimelech no less! He looked for the nearest exit, but before he could even move, Reb Elimelech beckoned, “Come here, my son.

“I understand that you wish to have a din Torah against the Holy One, blessed be He. Fair enough, but a proper din Torah requires a panel of three judges. So please go summon my dayanim.”

Berish could not believe how matters had unraveled. He was appalled at the situation he had gotten himself into, but once the rebbe had spoken, there was nothing that could be done. He tried to focus on how he would present his case.

The dayanim appeared at the court without delay. Reb Elimelech turned to the poor man and instructed, “State your complaint.”

The dayanim peered down at Berish as he stumbled to find his tongue. “Honorable dayanim,” he began, “The Almighty has given us a Torah with 613 mitzvos, the first of which is “to be fruitful and multiply.” Yet the kaiser has decreed that no Jewish man in this country may marry off his daughter until he pays 400 golden coins to the government. There is hardly a family that can afford this astronomical sum and therefore it means that Jewish daughters will be disqualified from marrying and fulfilling the mitzvah that the Torah has commanded.

“I have a daughter who finally has an opportunity to wed and this royal decree will not permit the shidduch. As long as this edict is in force, it will be impossible for us to fulfill the very first mitzvah in the Torah! I therefore request that this law be annulled.” Having finished his recitation, Berish gulped some air and sat down.

“I imagine,” Reb Elimelech intoned, “that the Holy One would respond, ‘My people are not observing my mitzvos. I must therefore appoint a difficult ruler who will make harsh decrees that will cause them to repent.’ ”

He then paused and added, “According to the law, the litigants must exit as the dayanim deliberate. However, the Almighty fills every corner of the world. It would not be fair to request one of the parties to exit while the other remains; therefore the plaintiff may also remain as the judges clarify the law.”

The rebbe fell silent and his face burned like a flame. After quarter-of-an-hour of silence he opened his eyes and requested a Gemara Gittin.

His will was fulfilled and he opened to page 41, where the Talmud ponders whether a man who is only half-free may wed? Such an individual may not marry a servant, for he is partially free. And he may not marry a free woman, for he is partially a servant. Because of this midway status he will be unable to fulfill the mitzvah of being fruitful and multiplying, and therefore his master must set him free so as not to deny him.

Reb Elimelech stressed the last words, “The master is forced to set him free,” and looked Heavenward – and said no more.

Finally Reb Elimelech addressed Reb Berish and declared, “You may now return home, for the decree has been abolished.”

And indeed, as this poor man returned to his village he heard along the way that the decree had been rescinded, fulfilling the words of the rabbis, “tzaddik gozeir, v’HaKadosh Baruch Hu meka’yem – a tzaddik decrees, and the Holy One, blessed be He fulfills.”

(To be continued)

Chodesh tov – have a pleasant month!

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XVI)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Establishment media report PA economy  a disaster. Above: Gourmet restaurant in Ramallah Mall.
Media Sells Phony Story of Suffering Palestinian Authority Economy
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

Thinking about how much we can do in comparison to what we have done serves as a corrective against pride and arrogance.

Separating fun from happiness can liberate, regarding (a) time, (b) money and (c) jealousy.

People expectantly go through their lives awaiting the event that will make them happy.

If you expect more, you will be less grateful; if you expect less, you will be more grateful.

So goes the story about a man in the silly town of Chelm who visited a public bathhouse and found himself in a terrible predicament. Without the distinction of clothing, everyone looked alike. “Among all these men who look alike,” he said to himself, “how will I ever know which one is me?” He solved his dilemma by tying a red string around his big toe.

In the campaign to rob a consumer of any sense of contentedness, which translates into sales, strategy is often focused on confusing need with want and the illusion of being dissatisfied.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/chodesh-tov/the-ever-amazing-reb-elimelech-part-xvi/2013/01/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: