web analytics
July 31, 2014 / 4 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Visiting IDF bases and receiving briefings from IDF officers. Ultimate Mission – November 2014

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Israel off the beaten track, feel the conflict first hand, understand the security issues and politic realities, and have an unforgettable trip!



The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XVII)


Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch

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.

Reb Shmelkeh of Nikolsberg, one of the early chassidic giants, was not properly appreciated by the people of his town. In his region of Germany the followers of the nascent chassidic movement were scarce, and the adherents of the so-called Enlightenment were numerous.

Despite the prevalent liberal ideas of Nikolsbergian Jewry, Reb Shmelkeh did not spare admonishment to his flock who were not especially interested in what their rabbi had to say. Basically, they just closed their ears and paid no heed to what the rav had to say.

Actually, the situation was even worse than just ignoring the rabbi. They despised him, held back his salary and wouldn’t even pay him the decency of a friendly greeting.

Reports of how Reb Shmelkeh was suffering reached as far as Lizhensk, and Reb Elimelech decided to come to his aid. Legend has it that as Reb Elimelech was walking to the mikveh he heard a voice from Heaven proclaim, “Whoever can recue Reb Shmelkeh mi’Nikolsberg from the riffraff of his congregation will be granted passage to the World to Come.”

Reb Elimelech turned to the man who was walking with him and inquired, “Did you just hear something?”

“I didn’t hear a thing!” he replied definitively.

“Since I am the only one who heard this,” Reb Elimelech concluded, “obviously the message was directed specifically to me. I may not ignore this mission.”

Reb Elimelech set off for Nikolsberg and arrived at the home of his friend from long ago. The two had a warm reunion and shared Torah thoughts and matters concerning the service of the Lord. After they concluded their discussions, Reb Elimelech got to the point of his mission. “Allow me to admonish the people of this city.”

“Forget it,” Reb Shmelkeh insisted. “The people of this town listen to no one; it is not worth your efforts.”

Reb Elimelech was eventually able to prevail and word circulated that a guest speaker would be addressing the members of Reb Shmelkeh’s shul. Everyone’s curiosity was piqued. They wondered if this mysterious guest would try and chastise them, just like Reb Shmelkeh had tried.

The shul filled up and Reb Elimelech ascended to the podium. “Not like your rabbi has taught you,” he began, and the assembled fell into a puzzled silence. “Many of the things that you thought were forbidden are in fact permitted.” He then launched into an intricate and erudite pilpulistic excursus to prove that “a, b and c,” as well as “x, y and z,” are indeed permitted.

The audience was mesmerized; the speaker had legitimized so much! The rabbi concluded by inviting everyone to come back the next day at the exact same time when he would continue from where he left off.

To say that the guest speaker’s discourse was a hit would be an understatement of criminal proportions. All of his dispensations were the talk of the town and, needless to say, the next day the shul was Squeeze Room Only, as virtually all of Nikolsbergian Jewry had squished into the shul. It was assumed that yesterday’s talk was merely the “warmup” for even more major dispensations that would be revealed today.

As the guest speaker strode up to the podium the shul was bursting with anticipatory adrenaline. “My dear friends,” Reb Elimelech began, “I have made a mistake…”

Everyone had assumed that he was not lenient enough the day before and would rectify this at once. They were going to be disappointed – profoundly disappointed.

“Everything I said yesterday was incorrect, and patently false.” He then went on to explain that Torah law may never be violated and the very same holds true for rabbinic law. Throughout the length of his discourse, which he interspersed with castigation and teshuvah thoughts, he held their undivided attention.

A very subdued audience shamefacedly looked at each other afterwards and remarked, “He hasn’t said anything different to us than what Reb Shmelkeh has been saying all along.” And they resolved that they would go to their shunned rabbi and beg his forgiveness.

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 XVII)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
caveman cease fire
72 Hour Cease Fire Declared for 8:00AM
Latest Judaism Stories
Lessons-Emunah-logo

Edward was completely mystified, yet had no choice but to obey his captain’s orders.

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Gender Factor
‘Where There Is Loss Of Work…
Three Are Called To The Torah’
(Megillah 22b)

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: Is there a special prayer or specific role for prayer when the totality of the Jewish people is in danger?

Grunfeld-Raphael-NEW

To properly fulfill the mitzvah of listening to the megillah, each word must be heard.

Criticism is but one step below a verbal attack. It isn’t quite as pointed, not quite as aggressive – but not that far off.

The talmid is not allowed to speak up due to any fear. If he remains silent, he is in violation of this prohibition.

One must act as if everything depends on us and pray as if everything depends on God.

When Yoram got home that evening, he went over to Effy: “My day camp is looking for extra supervision for an overnight trip,” he said. “Would you like to come? They’re paying $250 for the trip.”

Unlike the two and a half tribes, when we walk in front of G-d, we must be perfect in our motivation

When someone exercises power over us, they diminish us; when someone teaches us, they help us grow.

Just as the moon waxes, wanes and renews itself, so has the nation of Israel renewed itself through the millennia.

Parshat Masei: Rabbi Fohrman addresses the age-old question, are we our brother’s keeper?

When Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, England declared war on Germany. Thus, by the end of the first week of August all the major powers of Europe were at war.

The Talmud teaches that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred.

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

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

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

Rabbi Hanoch Teller

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.

“I never said I have nothing to complain about,” she intoned with an expression that belied her age. “I just don’t see the wisdom of protesting. I am fine and I am being adequately nourished.” And with that she went back to her cereal.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/chodesh-tov/the-ever-amazing-reb-elimelech-part-xvii/2013/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: