web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Noam Elimelech’

‘Frumer’ than God?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Summer should be a time of relaxation, of allowing your body to get the needed rest from the harsh winter and yearly toil. While the majority of the Jewish world works through the summer, I am sure that some sort of vacation or time off is on the agenda as we would literally fall to levels of fatigue and overwork, not to mention not taking advantage of the summer warmth and sunshine.

Therefore, when a student asked to see me a few days ago, I assumed that she was intending to thank me, perhaps give me a gift and ensure that my blood-pressure remain stable, as should be during the summer months.

As you can already imagine, the opposite happened.

This former student met with me and was very disturbed. Her quandary revolved around her work in the Maternity Ward of one of Jerusalem’s hospitals. A woman was admitted after her contractions had become increasingly close and, in the midst of the pain and breathing, her “water broke.” At that moment, a moment that she would not only be allowed to violate the holy Shabbat [Code of Jewish Law, OC, 330/1] but must if she didn’t invite it and it was a necessity [Tractate Shabbat 129a],  this women began to look behind her, as if someone was following her.  About a half an hour later, this woman was…gone. All attempts to locate her were unsuccessful. The police were called, and finally, after a (long) hour and a half, she returned. When the aghast staff asked where had she disappeared to, her answer was “The Mikvah. When asked why, she matter-of-factly answered that she would never consider giving birth to a baby without immersing in a Mikvah first, as a segula for an easy birth!

This story, to my dismay, was not the only one that gave my former student cause for concern. She went on to describe other such events, asking if this was a form of higher religious observance, a sort of a מידת חסידות [acts of the pious].

As my blood pressure levels began to rise, I looked out to see the beautiful summer skies, and recalled a forgotten experience I had many years ago, when spending the summer in the USA. As a day camp counselor, my nights were fairly free, and therefore I joined a typical “Daf-Yomi” class that would meet after Maariv each night. Like any Tractate of the Talmud, this one dealt with real-life scenarios, amongst them a known discussion about the punishment administered upon a violator of a sin in the realm of inappropriate sexual conduct. The “Magid-Shuir” [teacher of the class] was a very sweet and modest Chasidic Rebbe, who would teach each “daf” clearly [in a mixture of simple English and Yiddish idioms], and devotedly taught us each night, even in the so-called summer “vacation” months of July and August.

Thus, to my surprise, upon stumbling on this particular folio of Talmud, instead of explaining it, he said: “Look in the English,” waiting about two minutes till all the participants did so. Being a bit “Israeli,” just visiting for the summer, I admit that I didn’t own a translated Tractate and thus a chunk of that evening’s page was left unlearned. As the class continued, I found it rather strange that a part of God’s holy Torah was relegated to “the English” rather than be learned. As I was about 20 years younger than the rest of the assembled, I stayed quite; while another participant, apparently as agitated as me, decided to speak: “Rebbe, why don’t we learn it together, it’s the Torah, after all?

The kind Rebbe smiled, and answered as follows; “When I was a kid, I asked my “Tatte” why don’t we Chasidim learn Tanach like the Litvaken? He answered that we don’t learn it because there are immodest episodes in Tanach that would not be appropriate.” Being young, perhaps (too) cynical, and surely naïve, but having just completed high school saturated in the study of the Bible, I just couldn’t contain myself; “Rebbe,” I asked, “Are you saying that we are frumer than the Bible? Are you suggesting that we are too frum to learn what God said to the prophets?”

My Machberes

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Prelude To The Satmar Wedding

In pre-Holocaust Europe it was a custom that in advance of a chassunah in the family of a chassidishe rebbe, visits were made to the gravesites of grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., to invite them to the wedding. The belief that the souls of ancestors attend and enjoy the chassunah of their descendants is embraced in chassidishe communities. Before the Holocaust, when the burial places of forbears were never too far away, such visits were routine and inexpensive. The chassan, whether a son or a future son-in-law, would usually be included in the visits. Increasingly, the practice is again being upheld.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Teitelbaum, Williamsburg Satmar Rav.

On Monday, May 7, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Teitelbaum, Williamsburg Satmar Rav, returned from a group trip to Eastern Europe where he visited holy gravesites and consecrated places. The eldest son of Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, the Williamsburg Satmar Rav went to pray at the gravesites of his ancestors and to invite them to the forthcoming wedding of his son, Yekusiel Yehuda (Zalman Leib) Teitelbaum, who will marry Rivka Weisz, the youngest daughter of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Weisz, Boro Park Spinka Rebbe. They were engaged in the middle of the summer of 2011. The lineage of both families was detailed in the August 5, 2011 My Machberes column.

The shidduch was proclaimed at Camp Imrei Yosef in South Fallsburg, where Rabbi Dovid Dov Berish Meisels, Boro Park Satmar Rav and grandfather of the chassan, delivered divrei Torah honoring the event. Dozens of buses brought participants from the Satmar bungalow colonies in Monticello. Simultaneously, hundreds of chassidim joined the Satmar Rebbe, paternal grandfather of the chassan, at Beis Medrash Machazikei Hadas in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, celebrating the simcha. In addition, the Satmar camp in Liberty, where the Williamsburg Satmar Rav was for the summer, celebrated the shidduch.

Praying And Singing In Cemeteries

The Williamsburg Satmar Rav departed for Eastern Europe on Monday afternoon, April 30. Together with immediate family members and a select group of chassidim they landed in Frankfurt on Tuesday morning, from where they continued on to Krakow, Poland.

There, they immersed in the mikveh at the Eden Hotel and davened Shacharis at the Remuh shul, built in 1557 and presently led by Rabbi Boaz Pash. The Remuh shul, the smallest of Krakow’s eight surviving synagogues and its only active one, is named in honor of Rabbi Moshe Isserles, zt”l (1525-1572), who authored the preeminent commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch and whose yahrzeit is on Lag B’Omer. His commentaries are accepted by Ashkenazic communities throughout the world. After Shacharis, the group visited both nearby Jewish cemeteries and prayed at the gravesites of great rabbis.

They group then traveled to Brigel, to the gravesite of Rabbi Aryeh Leib Lipshitz, zt”l (d. 1850), rav of Vishnitza, author of Aryeh D’bei Ilouie and son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1759-1841), Uheiler Rebbe, author of Yismach Moshe, and founder of the Sighet and Satmar Chassidishe dynasties. From there the group went directly to the ohel of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, zt”l (1797-1876), venerated Sanzer Rebbe and author of Divrei Chaim, where they prayed. The next stop was Dinov, where they spent the night.

At each gravesite the Williamsburg Satmar Rav recited divrei Torah authored by the tzaddik buried there. On their way to the burial place, the Rebbe would retell tales and stories concerning the tzaddik about to be visited. At some gravesites, inspirational songs attributed to the tzaddik and his followers were sung. Inside the ohel of the Divrei Chaim the group heard the Williamsburg Satmar Rav learn aloud from the tzaddik’s sefer.

On Wednesday morning, May 2, after prayers in the ohel of the tzaddikim of Dinov, the eternal resting place of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Rubin, zt”l (1740-1803), Linsker Rebbe and founder of the Ropshitzer dynasty, the group proceeded to the two ohels in Rimanov. At the gravesite of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Turim, zt”l (1745- 1815), Rimanover Rebbe, the Williamsburg Satmar Rav movingly intoned Tehillim chapters 23 and 24, verse by verse, which were repeated by the assemblage.

The next stop was Reisha, at the burial places of Rabbi Elimelech Weissblum, zt”l (1817-1849), Rudniker Rebbe, and his son Rabbi Elazar Weissblum, zt”l (1838-1910), Reisha Rebbe who was raised by the Divrei Chaim, had a special gift of healing, and authored Mishnah Lemelech. In honor of the Reisha Rebbe a charity collection was made for Kollel Toldos Elazar in Jerusalem. The group then went to Lijensk, where they immersed in its mikveh and davened Minchah. The Williamsburg Satmar Rav then conducted a L’chaim Tisch before entering the ohel of Rabbi Elimelech Weissblum, zt”l (1717-1787), Lijensker Rebbe and author of Noam Elimelech. The prayers there were exceptionally inspirational, especially during the recitation of the Tefillah Kodem HaTefillah, authored by the Noam Elimelech. This was followed by a verse-by-verse recitation of Tehillim 130.

Desecration At The Ohel Of Rabbi Elimelech Of Lejask

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

         It was only last week that thousands of Chassidim went to Lejask (Lizhensk) in order to commemorate the 222nd yahrzeit of the tzaddik, Noam Elimelech of Lejask (1717-1786). As always, these pilgrimages are a boon to the local community and usually bring good relations between the two groups.

 

         Just days after thousands of Chassidim had been to the town, someone had gone and spray-painted the holy Ohel (burial chamber) with swastikas on every side of the building.

 

         The Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland has said that the damage will be cleaned up as soon as possible, and the site will be ready for the coming commemoration in two weeks. It has been said that the plans to greatly expand the guest facilities will continue.


 


 

 


 

 


 


(Photos by Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland)


 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/desecration-at-the-ohel-of-rabbi-elimelech-of-lejask/2008/03/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: