Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Broken Pitam and a Broken Heart

From the upcoming MeOros Kedushas Levi on Moadim:

A Broken Pitam and a Broken Heart

Once there was a great shortage of Esrogim for the Succos holiday, and only
after great exertion and much effort was an esrog acquired. One esrog for
the entire city of Berditchev which was brough to Rav Levi Yitzchak. It was
understood that all the townspeople wpuld come on the holiday to pronounce
the blessing on this esrog.

The Shamash said to himself, "surely first Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev
will make the blessing with the esrog, and after him all the important
personages in town, and then afterwards everyone else. I myself will be
among the last people to hold and bless the esrog." He came up with an idea,
he would wake up extra early and when no one was around he would be the
first to make the blessing and no one would be the wiser! This is what he

However since he was in such a state of fear and panic rushing and hurried
to finish his deed without being discovered, he accidentally dropped the
esrog so that it fell and the pitam broke off! The esrog was now pasul,
unfit for use by anyone!

The Shamash was heartbroken with anguish, because of his misdeed now the
entire town of Berditshev had no esrog at all! Th Shamash came crying
heartrending tears of anguish and despair before the Tzadik Rav Levi
Yitzchak of Berditshev. He was sure that the rebbe would rebuke and berate
him yelling at him for his misdeed. However Rav Levi Yitzchak simply turned
to Hashem and cried out "Ribono Shel Olam! Master of the World, see what a
nation You have?! See how they are worried and distressed to fulfill Your
commandments!" He used the episode to advocate on behalf of the Jewish
(Shemuos VeSippurim I)

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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