Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Zos Channukah - The forgotten children

I atteneded the Bostoner of Bet Shemesh's hadlakas Neiros last night and he said:
Perhaps the concept of the time for lighting Channulah candles designated as "ad shetichleh regel min hashuk," which is difficult to understand (why Chazal chose to designate that time in such a way) means that the regilus or the habit that some Jews have of wandering in the shuk or marketplace (which is the dwelling of the external negative forces and) together with the gentile nations, and then he sighed saying "A Yid iz azoy und azoy und azoy," which I took to mean that a Jew must remember how truly different and unique he is, even though the gentiles may understand that a Jew is like this or like that i.e. that is just like they are. Therefore we must light a small candle and kindle a flame in such a way that it shall declare and proclaim the miracle of Channukah and survival of us as Jews against all odds! that they shall not be able to feel habituated to us nor us to them, ad shetichleh regel min hashuk," until that habit of us in the marketplace is ended, to the point that they fathom not what a Jewish child is at all!
Afterwards I was zoche to learn from the sefer Birkas Moshe of Lelov as I sat at the Zos Channukah tisch last night in Lelov Bet Shemesh:

Parshas Naso reading for Zos Channukah begins with Bamidbar Chapter 7 verse 54. "On the eighth day, the nasi or chieftain was of the sons of Menashe, Gamliel the son of Pedatzhur.   נד. בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי נָשִׂיא לִבְנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה גַּמְלִיאֵל בֶּן פְּדָה צוּר

The Birkas Moshe, Rav Moshe Mordechai of Lelov zatzal understood this verse which refers to the final eighth day of Channukah on which the light of the Menorah shines brightest with eight lights (the heilige Imrei Pinchas Koretzer and Meor Aynaim of Czernoble taught that light of Moshiach shines through the Menorah),

On the eighth day of Zos Channukah even the forgotten sons are uplifted, anyone who simply declares I too have a G-d! Whoever lets the Rock and Redeemer of Israel into his life! is uplifted on this day! Each and every Jew, no matter how lowly, no matter how forlorn and lost he may feel, like one of the forgotten sons, yet on Zos Channukah Hashem uplifts him and shines for him the light of Moshiach and redemption. All a Jew has to say is I too, have a G-d! I am not lost for Hashem is with me. Then if he lets G-d in, he is uplifted.

How does the Lelover read this into our verse?

On the eighth day (Zos Channukah) Nasi (they shall be uplifted, since Nasi literally means uplifted one),  Bnei Menashe (the forgotten children - from the meaning of the name Menashe which Yosef named him because Hashem had caused Yosef to forget his pain and hardships see Bereishis 41:51) Gamliel (read as Gam Li E"l - I too have a G-d) ben Pedatzhur (Peda Tzur He who has redeemed the Rock - or he who lets G-d in).

Chapter 7 verse 56. One spoon [weighing] ten [shekels] of gold filled with incense.   נו. כַּף אַחַת עֲשָׂרָה זָהָב מְלֵאָה קְטֹרֶת

The Birkas Moshe also cites a teaching from the tzadik Rav Meir of Premishlan on the above verse. He interprets this verse to mean that with just one small bow, just a small demonstration of self subjugation and submission to Hashem's will one is transformed into a goldene yid, a golden Jew. How does the Premishlaner see this in the above verse? Kaf Achas - Kaf is spelled Chaf Fay, which is the root of the verb LaChuf, which means to bow and to submit onself, Achas means One. Thus One Spoon is read as One bow of submission.
Asarah Zahav - Ten Gold - Ten is equal to Yud in Gematria a well known Yiddishism for a Jew a Yid. thus Ten shekels of Gold is read as a Goldene Yid. Mit Ayn Beg - with just one small bow of submission to Hashem's will, vert min a goldene Yid - we are transformed into golden Jews!

May the light of Zos Channukah shine the golden Jewish soul within each of us!

Berditchever Stories for Zos Channukah

Sorry I meant to send this out on time for Shabbos:
Please enjoy the following Stories and Insights for Zos Channukah
Cooling Off in the Snow
The Chossid Reb Shaul Leib Gantz used to relate the following story every year on Channukah, and this was his tale:
Once on Channukah the holy Ropshitzer was seen entering his home while his feet were sore and bleeding. When his family questioned him as to why he appeared so bruised and injured he answered that he had been rolling in the snow (in those days this was a common form of self affliction for penitents to repent their sins).  When his family exclaimed their surprise that an elderly tzadik such as himself still felt the need for such heavy measures of torture and self affliction, he explained himself by telling them the following story:
"When I was a young man I was filled with a great burning desire to see the holy Berditchever Rav light Channukah candles! Nothing could deter me, not the long distance, nor the lack of funds for travel. And so, in the dead of winter, in the bitter cold, I began my trip and set out on foot towards Berditchev. Since I had no money, not only was transportation was out of the question, but I spent my nights sleeping on the hard benches of the beis midrash, warming myself by the oven in the cold winter nights with neither a blanket nor a cover. Many a day I froze as the bitter winds bit at me, and the frost hung on my beard and whiskers. I relied on the hospitality of strangers for food and eventually a carriage driver spotted me and had mercy on me and took me part of the way gratis.
Eventually I reached Berditchev, cold, hungry but with a fire burning inside me goading me on. When I reached the Berditchever Rav's home my heart leapt, however when I entered it dropped into my stomach.
Now the Berditchever's Rav's home was not like the homes of today, large and well furnished, it was but a small cramped flat with only two rooms. In the larger room were congregated a great many Jews who, like myself, had come to observe the holy tzadik's avodah in lighting the Channukah candles. How, I thought to myself, will I ever see the Berditchever with such a crowd here preceding me. I grew dismayed at the thought that all my efforts could have been in vain. But I was determined at all costs to see the Berditchever and then I had an idea. I began to creep on the ground on all fours in between the legs of the assembled crowd.
Now this was in the Ukraine in the winter, all the assembled were wearking heavy boots caked with mud and clay. Nonetheless I continued on all fours pushing my way through the crowd of booted feet as I was stepped on and jostled. Obviously when I emerged I was covered in bruises and mud but I had succeeded in reaching the far side of the room. Thus on my hands on knees I peered through the cracks and crevices of the ill fitted wooden double doors and this is what my eyes beheld:
There stood the holy Berditchever Rav, author Kedushas Levi, his face aflame, his excitement and ecstacy palatable as he stood pouring oil into his menorah! Off course there was more oil on the floor than there was in the menorah but I had seen enough!
Now understand my children," concluded the Ropshitzer, "that today I once again remembered that Channuka and the look in the Berdicthever Rav's eyes, his excitement set me aflame once more, and the only way I could contain myself and cool off was to roll in the snow, which is what I just did."
What Does the Poritz Know About Pleasure and Comfort?
Once the holy Kedushas Levi entered his beis midrash on Channukah and observed a group of chassidim assembled together speaking in undertones. When they noticed the Berditchever approaching their hushed whispers ended and they stood silent. "What were you discussing?" asked the Berditchever. Abashed and silent the chassidim's cheeks burned red with shame as they stood silent unanswering. However the Berditchever was not so easily disuaded, and he pursued the matter once again, "Nu, what were you discussing, eh?" Finally, one of the chassidim confessed, "Rebbe, we were discussing the Graf Potatzski, the local squire and how much wealth and material comforts he has." The Berditchever looked back at them and countered, "does the Graf light Channukah candles?" "Off course not Rebbe!" answered the astonished chassid, "The Graf is a gentile!" "Well then," answered the Berditchever declaring with finality, "then surely he has no true simcha nor joy in his life at all!"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Today 12 Kislev yahrzeit of the Bas Ayin

From the upcoming MeOros Kedushas Levi on Devarim:
Rav Avraham Dov of Avritch, the author of Bas Ayin, once heard a misnaged speaking out against the rav's Rebbe, the Berditchever. The Avritcher defended the Berditchever's honor and protested loudly and strongly against that opponent of Chassidus. The misnaged (who was also a rav) threatened that if the Avritcher would not apologize, he would never have children!

The Avritcher answered, "Even so, I will not apologize, since my Rebbe's honor is at stake." He did not apologize (and he never had any children). Ma'amar Mordechai 6.
An Eretz Yisraeldike Yid

Rav Avraham Dov of Avritch, author of Bas Ayin and a student of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, was visiting Zhitomir. He went to see the Toldos Aharon, Rav Aharon Zhitomir, also a talmid of Rav Levi Yitzchak. The Avritcher found Rav Aharon lying sick in bed. Rav Aharon was very glad to see Rav Avraham Dov. "I will only be cured when I drink water that came from Eretz Yisrael," he explained. "I know that you are planning to travel there. In fact, your thoughts are already there, and as we both know, wherever a person's thoughts are, that is where the person is. Please, Rav Avraham, take a mouthful of water and place it in a vessel. It will be just like water that came from Eretz Yisrael. I will drink it and be healed."
 And so it was.
 The Avritcher wondered, though, how Rav Aharon could possibly know of his deep longing to move to the Holy Land. He had not told his plans to a soul. It was just an idea in his mind, and yet Rav Aharon knew all about it!
 When Rav Mordechai of Slonim related this tale, he added that the Avritcher discusses this concept in his sefer Bas Ayin. He quotes Rashi's comment in Vayishlach that the messengers that Yaakov sent to Esav were in fact angels, and Rav Aharon writes: "We must seek to understand how angels from the Holy Land [what does it mean they came from the Holy Land? Don't angels dwell in a spiritual realm above?] could come to Yaakov when he had not yet entered Eretz Yisrael. He hadn't even reached Sukkos yet! The Ramban asks this very question in his commentary and answers that since he was traveling to Eretz Yisrael, it was as if he had already arrived there."
Based on Ma'amar Mordechai 9 and Kisvei Rav Yoshe 4, p. 181. It's important to note that in our printed version of the Ramban's commentary, he does not pose this question in Vayishlach, but rather in Vayeitzei.
The answer that the Bas Ayin gives doesn't appear in the Ramban's commentary at all. HaRav Yisrael Meir Mendelowits, however, in his notes to Bas Ayin (Brooklyn, New York: 2006) adds that perhaps the answer can be found in the Ramban's commentary to Eiruvin 17, where he discusses the concept that everywhere a man's thoughts are, that is where he is. See also Meor Einayim (Yismach Lev, Kesubos), which discusses this at length. See also Shabbos 102a and Eiruvin 99a.
Yearning for the Mitzvos of the Land
Kedushas Levi: The entire commandment that I am commanding you today you shall safeguard to fulfill, in order that you may live and multiply, and come and inherit the land... (Devarim 8:1)
Even if you cannot fulfill all the mitzvos — for example, those commandments that are dependent on living in Eretz Yisrael — if you yearn to fulfill them all, it will be as if you fulfilled them. This is hinted at in our verse: "The entire commandment that I am commanding you today, you shall safeguard to fulfill" — you should yearn to fulfill those commandments that are dependent on living in Eretz Yisrael and thereby you will merit to fulfill them. The word used for "safeguard," tishmerun, also connotes anticipation, as in "V'aviv shamar es hadavar — And his father anticipated the matter" (Bereishis 37:11).18 By yearning and waiting for the time when you will be able to fulfill these mitzvos, then you shall "come and inherit the land" — you will merit to come to Eretz Yisrael and fulfill these mitzvos.

Rabbi Avraham Dov Auerbach of Avritsh was a Rebbe in Europe for forty years
and in Zefat for ten. Before that he had been a disciple of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev and the first two Rebbes of the Chernobyl dynasty.

One of his disciples was Rabbi Shmuel Heller, the chief rabbi of Zefat. His famous book, Bas Ayin, was written in Europe, but he refused to allow it to be printed until he could 'expose' it to the air of the Holy Land and refine it there. His meeting with the philanthropist Sir Moses Montifiore in 1840 led to the beginning of modern Jewish agricultural settlement in Israel.

It was in 1830, at the age of 65, that Rabbi Avraham Dov of Avrush settled in the holy city of Zefat (Safed). But although he had waited many years for the opportunity to bask in the spiritual light of the Land of Israel, once there he found life in the Holy Land too difficult to bear. The hardships were all too apparent, while the holiness of the land was hard to discern.

When he felt he could bear no more, Rabbi Avraham Dov began to think of returning to his home in Avrush, where he had been the Rebbe since 1785. "After all," he reasoned, "I left my relatives and my students behind in order to live in the land, but it is to no avail, for I am suffering so bitterly. Let me return to Avrush; they will be happy to see me, and I will be glad as well."

When Rabbi Avraham Dov reached the decision to return to Europe, the rainy season in Israel was approaching. One day, as he was walking to the synagogue for the afternoon prayer, he heard noises coming from the surrounding rooftops. He couldn't identify the strange sounds, so he asked the townspeople he passed for an explanation. They were amused that he didn't know.

"Here in Zefat," they explained, "we have the custom of performing household chores on our flat roofs. We also use the roofs for storing food and other household supplies. The noise you hear is caused by the women scurrying about, removing everything from the roofs."

"But why are they doing that?" the Rabbi asked.

"Why, so that nothing gets ruined by the rain, of course," was the incredulous reply.

But Rabbi Avraham Dov was still confused. He looked up at a sky as blue as the sea when there are no waves in sight. "It certainly doesn't look like rain," he said, hoping for some further clarification.

"Surely you remember that tonight will be the 7th of the month of MarCheshvan, when we start to say the prayer for rain. We beseech G-d to be merciful and send benign rains to water our crops and provide water for us. Since we are sure that our Father in Heaven will hear our prayers and will heed our request, we take precautions so that our possessions won't be ruined when the rains come."

The unquestioning faith of the people affected the rabbi deeply. Suddenly his eyes were opened and he saw the sublime heights of faith achieved by the simple Jews of the Holy Land. His pain and disappointment were replaced by a sense of awe at the holiness of the land and its people. At that moment, he abandoned all thoughts of returning to Avrush and began a new leg of his own spiritual journey in the Holy Land.

Shortly thereafter, he became established as the leader of Zefat's burgeoning chassidic community.

In a letter dated 13 Tammuz 5598/1838, Dr. A. Loewy, Sir Moses Montefiore's secretary, wrote the following about Rabbi Avraham Dov. "This man is one of the most learned and esteemed people I have ever seen. It is a simple matter for him to serve the community without receiving any recompense from the communal funds. He distributes everything that he has to the poor of his people. There are always between 10 and 15 people eating regularly at his table" (Devir, Vilna 5622/1862).

In 1838 he was kidnapped by the vicious Druise who were then perpetrating a pogrom in Zefat, as they had done also in 1834. They ordered him to write a ransom note to his community, but he refused. The Druze then put him in a sack and began to beat him. When they thought they heard in the distance the hoofbeats of approaching Egyptian cavalry they fled, leaving the rabbi tied in the sack. He was later found and returned to Safed.

But what he is most famous for (besides his monumental book of chassidic thought, Bas Ayin) is his part in the earthquake miracle of 1837.

In the deadly earthquake of 24 Tevet 5597 (January 1, 1837), 5,000 people lost their lives, of whom 4000 were Jews, more than 80% of the community. It was between the afternoon and evening prayers, when most of the men were in shul, that the tremors and rumblings suddenly began. Of all of Zefat's shuls only two remained standing (Ari-Sephardi and Abuhav), and many hundreds of Jews at prayer perished under the collapsed debris. In the shul of the Avrusher Rebbe, as elsewhere, panic set in, and the congregants began to bolt for the outdoors.

"Come to the ark if you wish to be saved!" shouted the Rebbe in a powerful voice. Immediately everyone crowded around him. The Rebbe threw himself on the ground, praying and weeping. Local tradition records that although most of the building collapsed, the part where the men were clustered remained upright and everyone was saved. A plaque outside the shul today testifies to this miracle. The line between the original structure (over the Ark) and the reconstructed portion is clearly visible. One source (Eden Zion) states that while nearly all the walls collapsed, the domed ceiling miraculously remained aloft, almost as if it were suspended in the air!

Just before Rabbi Avraham Dov passed away in the epidemic of 1840, on the 12th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, he announced that his would be the last life claimed by the terrible plague. And so it was.



[Assembled and adapted by Yrachmiel Tilles from Anaf Etz Avot, L'chaim #527, Safed the Mystical City, Zefat: A Guide for an Inner-Dimensional Journey, and Ascent Quarterly.]


Friday, December 2, 2011

Noam haShabbos VaYeitze

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Enjoy NoamElimelechToldos

Reb Yaakov Leiser (6 Tevet 1907 - 27 Cheshvan 1998) became the second
Pshevorsker Rebbe in 1976. Like his father-in-law and founder of the
dynasty, Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak Gevirzman, great-grandson of the Rebbe
Elimelech, "Reb Yankele" did not seek to open a network of
institutions. Even so, specially chartered planes would bring hundreds
of chasidim to Antwerp for every Yom Tov and occasion. Among the
visitors were often those who had come seeking salvation of one type
or another. Hundreds of stories abound about his Divine inspiration
and the miracles that he performed. His only son, Rabbi Leibish
Leizer, is the current Pshevorsker Rebbe.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Noam HaShabbos Parshas VaYera
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hayyim ben Solomon of Czernowitz author Beer Mayim Chaim


Rabbi Chaim Tyrer of Czernowitz is buried in Safed Israel, there are
descendants of his alive in Israel today with the last name Tyrer. Here are
some resources about him, his works Beer Mayim Chaim on the Torah, Sidduro
Shel Shabbat on Sabbath and Shaar HaTefillah a treatise on prayer as well as
a commentary Eretz haChaim on Talmud tractate Berachoth are in print and
studied by chassidim and others worldwise till this very day.

Free pdf editions of his entire works can be downloaded here: - Warsaw edition of Beer Mayim Chaim - Mogilev edition Vol 1 Beer Mayim Chaim - Mogilev edition Vol 2 Beer Mayim Chaim - Mogilev edition Vol 3 Beer Mayim Chaim - Mogilev edition Vol 4 Beer Mayim Chaim - Mogilev edition Vol 5 Beer Mayim Chaim - Chumash with Beer Mayim Chaim Mogilev edition of Shaar HaTefilah Warsaw edition of Shaar HaTefilah Lemberg edition of Shaar HaTefillah Lemberg edition of Sidduro Shel Shabbos Mogilev edition of Sidduro Shel Shabbat Vol 1 Mogilev edition of Sidduro Shel Sabbath Vol 2 - Czernowitz edition of Eretz haChaim

Here is an article about him from
with photos of his burial cave in Safed

"Without Shabbat, what is life, other than an unrelenting, pressured,
struggle? The Shabbos is so important, that the sages say if all the Jews
would observe just two Shabboses, the Redemption would come." -- Rabbi Chaim
Tirar of Tchernovitz (1760 -- 1817).

Rabbi Chaim's love of the Sabbath was so extraordinary that on the
red-arrowed-marker pointing to his gravesite in Tsfat's famous ancient
cemetery, he is referred not only by his most famous work -- the Be'er Mayim
Chayim, a deep commentary on the Chumash, but by another illustrious work,
Siduro Shel Shabbat, which provides much inspiration and understanding of
the holy Seventh Day.

It wasn't easy to turn Rabbi Chaim down when he explained both the beauty
and importance of keeping Shabbos. In fact, it wasn't easy for a Jew in the
northern Moldovian city of Tchernovitz during the late 19th century, to turn
down any request made by Rabbi Chaim.

Brilliance in Torah, warmth of Chasidus and a big dose of personal charisma
helped Rabbi Chaim Tirar -- "the Tchernovitzer" -- influence both peasant
and nobility during the 18 years he served as the Jewish community's first
head rabbi.. During that time he waged a fierce battle against the
registration of Jewish children in German public schools, as was demanded by
the ruling Austrian emperor.

Rabbi Chaim was a leading disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch and of Rabbi
Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. Over the years, he developed many disciples of
his own, and some of them also traveled with him to Tsfat and are buried
alongside him. Only some are mentioned by name (see story #246).

When he left his post in 1807, a suitable replacement wasn't found until

In 1813 Rabbi Chaim emigrated to the land of Israel and lived his last years
in the holy city of Tsfat. He passed away in 1817 on the third day of

Others may have stayed in Tchernovitz, but probably never forgot their
encounter with Rabbi Chaim -- even if they didn't always give a full
commitment right away.

Once, in a heart to heart talk with a simple peasant, Rabbi Chaim had given
it his best shot...

"All week you work with your animals, planting, plowing doing backbreaking
labor. But on the holy Shabbat you receive a second soul, a pure soul which
enables you to experience a complete rest from the mundane...On the holy
Shabbat, every Jew becomes a king, the son of the King of Kings."

Hearing Rabbi Chaim's straightforward but bejeweled words, the peasant
started crying and promised to start to keep the Sabbath, but begged to
receive exception to work during the plowing and harvesting season as times
were very difficult.

No, Rabbi Chaim told him firmly but caringly. And he explained. "The Shabbat
laws were given at Mara, (a place of bitter waters), to teach that even when
things seem so difficult and keeping Shabbos an impossibility, a Jew must
overcome the obstacles and keep it anyway.

"And when he does," assured Rabbi Chaim, "the Master of the Universe will
see to it that the bitter waters become sweet to him."

Crouching for the Cave Experience

To get to the burial cave of the "Be'er Mayim Chayim" the quickest route may
be from the bottom of the "new" cemetery and wind one's way up the hill
toward the ancient cemetery. Then again, if one starts at the top of the
hill, the path to Rabbi Chaim passes directly by perhaps the most famous
dweller of the lot, the holy Ari -- Rabbi Issac Luria.

To get to the starting point from the top of the mountain leading to the old
cemetery, take HaAri Street from Ascent to as far as the road goes (which is
right by the Ari Sephardic synagogue and leads to the Ari's mikveh). A
platform built in recent years to accompany the large volume of visitors,
leads directly to the Ari's kever. From the Ari, the same platform winds to
the left and a towering tree, which hovers above the grave of Rabbi Yosef
Karo, whose famous Code of Jewish Law, the Shulchan Aruch, is still studied

From the Beit Yosef, take six more steps down the platform and make a sharp
left, where a sign in Hebrew points to "the Be'er Mayim Chayim and Sidoro
Shel Shabbat -- Rabbi Chaim bar Shlomo." (Continuing just a few steps down
is the burial cave of illustrious Torah commentator, Rav Moshe Alshich).

If you're not too keen on reading the signs in Hebrew, don't worry. There is
almost always a knowledgeable visitor who passes through the ancient
cemetery all hours of the day and night.

The entrance to the cave is only small enough for a little child to enter,
making it necessary for one to bend down until passing several feet into the
cave. It's strikingly quiet in there, the only exception being an occasional
buzz of a fly or some birds singing outside. It's also pretty dark, except
for a foot-high glass jar filled with enough oil and a burning wick to
provide light for probably several months if not a year. But in the heat of
the day, the cool shade provided by the cave is most comforting.

Other than some books of Psalms and other holy works. . . there's not much
else that stands between the visitor and the souls of Rabbi Chaim and his

[Chana Katz, a former South FLorida journalist, lives in Tsfat. Her articles
on life in Israel have reached publications throughout the world.]

MP3 Lectures on his life and works can be purchased here

His Commentary on Torah can be ordered here
A Commentary on the Torah by a famous Chassidic rabbi, Rabbi Chaim of
Chernovitz (1760-1816). Many of his expositions are based on the kabbalistic
teachings of the Ari.

His commentary on Shabbat can be ordered online
A vast compendium about the external and internal meaning of matters
pertaining to shabbat. By the famous Chassidic leader, Rabbi Chaim of
Chernovitz (1760-1816). Many of his expositions are based on the kabbalistic
teachings of the Ari and other books of kabbalah.

Rabbi Chaim is sometimes referred to as the ''Ish Shabbat'' / ''Man of the
Sabbath.'' Chassidic legend records that he was a head taller on Shabbat
than during the rest of the week. Of his three classic works of chassidut,
the only one he published in his lifetime is this work about Shabbat. A
great book to read on shabbat !!!

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and
just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Edgar Hauster" <>
To: "Czernowitz Discussion Group" <>
Cc: "Marla Raucher Osborn" <>; "Yefim Kogan"
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 10:42 PM
Subject: [Cz-L] Hayyim ben Solomon of Czernowitz?


Let's try to demonstrate our collective memory! Yefim Kogan, the webmaster
of the new JewishGen Bessarabia Special Interest Group, online at

wrote to me: "Hayyim ben Solomon, of Czernowitz was also known as Hayyim ben
Solomon of Mogilev, Hayyim ben Solomon Tyrer and Hayyim Chernovitzer
(1760-1813). Rabbi and a cabalist, a Tzadik, and a pupil of reb Israel Ba'al
Shem. After he had been a rabbi in five different towns among which was
Mogilev, Chernovitz and Kishinev, he settled in Jerusalem where he died in
1813. [...] If there is a person in Mogilev-Pod. Cemetery with Chernovitzer
surname it should be a different person, because the Rabbi seems to me was
buried in Israel. What is also interesting about this Rabbi of 18-19 century
that I found references to his work not long time ago in a regular Chabad
siddur, published recently! I do not have any pictures... I have some of the
quotes from that siddur, I think I published it on Bessarabia SIG at some

So far Yefim Kogan's note. Do you have any additional information on Hayyim
ben Solomon of Czernowitz?

Warmest wishes to all of you from sunny Berlin!

P.S.: I'm going to attend - and to report on - Hedwig Brenner's reading

Edgar Hauster
Lent - The Netherlands

This moderated discussion group is for information exchange on the subject
Czernowitz and Sadagora Jewish History and Genealogy. The opinions
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Chassidus on Parshas Noach

Parshas Noach
Divine Judgment and Mercy for Those Who have Mercy on EachOther
Bereishis 6:13 "For the land was filled with theft and robbery."
The story is told of how in Radomsk where the heilge Tiferes Shlomo lived there was a brutal tax collector. This Jew worked for the gentile authorities and his tactis were heartless and ruthless. He would literally steal and rob the Jewish population's money filling the coffers of his emploers and lining his own rich pockets. One day the attribute of Divine judgment took its toll against the man and his young son met an untimely end.
Heartbroken over the death of his beloved boy, a young child who had never sinned a day in his life the rich robber visited the Rebbe, the Tiferes Shlomo and poured out his anger and grief challenging G-d's harsh judgment against him. Shaking his fist to the heavens, he croaked between sobs, "Rebbe, how can this be? My poor son! Is this Divne justice?!"
The Tiferes Shlomo, knowing the error of this man's ways looked him in the eye and answered: "Our sages, Chazal teach that due to the sin of theft young children die."
Unflinching the tax collector further blasphemed against the Almighty questioning G-d's ways," But our sages also said that G-d is merciful and that in His mercy He does not attack people first, but rather their moeny and posessions. G-d has not touched my money at all! I am as rich as I ever was?! What kind of justice is this?!"
"It seems," answered the Tiferes Shlomo, "that none of your wealth is yours at all, it must all belong to others, therefore our Merciful G-d had no choice but to avenge Divine punishment straight on your child. Even regarding the generation of Noach's flood the verse says in Bereishis that the land was filled with theft and robbery, none of their wealth was theirs for it was all stolen, G-d therefore had no choice but to decide to say, "I am destroying them and the land."
The Tiferes Shlomo cites a Midrash in his commentary to the Torah that Avraham questioned Shem the son Of Noach as to why they were saved from the flood. Shem answered him that since he and his family had mercy on all the animals that they saved in the Ark this merit awakened Divine mercy over them and saved them.
We see, explains the Radomsker, that if the people in Noach's generation had mercy on each other it might have saved their lives, unfortuantely they had no so attribute, instead they robbed and stole from eachother, "for the land was filled with theft and robbery," and so the Divine attribute of harsh judgments acted against their collective sin and G-d destroyed them and the land in the flood.
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mosdos Cleveland invite you to hachnasas Sefer Torah

Mosdos Cleveland invite you to hachnasas Sefer Torah
Donated by R' Yosef Raphaelov in memory of his mother Chava bas Malka, Adina Adi bas Elazar ben Tzion
When: Tues 10/25
with partcipation of Rav Yitzchak Peretz and the Clevelander Rebbe Shlit"a
Mincha 16:30 (4:30pm)
Where: At the Raphaelov home Rechov Bar Ilan 64, Ra'anana
Writing of Letters at 17:00 (5pm)
At 19:00 (7pm) a procession & parade accompanied by music will head out from Bar Ilan towards Keren Yesod and Har Sinai 11 Raanana to our beis midrash
Give honor and glory to the Torah
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today 25th of Tishrei is the Yahrzeit of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev the Kedushas Levi

Kedushas Levi by Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditshov

How the Serpent Tricked Chavah

And he said to the woman, "Even though G-d said, 'Do not eat from any of the trees in the garden.' The woman answered... "G-d has said, 'Do not eat from it...lest you might die.'" The serpent said to the woman, "You shall surely not die..."

(Bereishis 3:1–4)

The usage of the word af, "even though," does not make any sense [even though Hashem said not to eat of the tree — then what?] Also, we must analyze why Chavah changed the facts when she said that Hashem said to her, "Lest you might die." She made it sound as if there was some doubt, but Hashem Himself declared, "On the day you eat from it you shall surely die" (Bereishis 2:17). Death was certain. In truth, however, as our Sages point out, man did not die on that day — he lived a thousand years.

We must understand what trickery the serpent employed to fool the woman into transgressing Hashem's commandment. The serpent built his argument by saying, "Heaven and earth were formed by the word of G-d" (Tehillim 33:6), and it is known that all the worlds and all the creatures came into existence by G-d's spoken word, as we see from the ten utterances, "Let there be light..." and so on. Their primary life force and existence comes from that utterance of Hashem. Now, since He is the source and life of all life, and His words are living and everlasting, how can it be that the tree of knowledge, which was also created by the word of Hashem, could be something so harmful and deadly, when it was created by the source and root of all life itself?

Therefore the serpent said, "Even though [af] G-d said, 'Do not eat from any of the trees in the garden,' how can this be? It [the tree] was created by G-d's spoken word, which gives it life and existence since it was drawn from the Source of all life, and so surely it is something that gives life and not something that causes death! Therefore, although Hashem said not to eat it, who says you have to listen to that command? Rather, you should listen to the utterance that G-d spoke to give life when creating the world."

However, this was just a trick of the serpent. In truth, we know the root and source of the tree of knowledge are the 288 sparks before they fell and were shattered, which have such a high supernal source.

[The Noam Elimelech explains that "this alludes to the 288 sparks of holiness that fell to a lower spiritual state and were scattered during the shattering of the vessels. It is our divine duty in this world to rectify and elevate these sparks..." During Creation, the sefiros (divine attributes), which are compared to vessels, were unable to contain the great awesome light of the Infinite and therefore shattered. The sparks of holiness from that light were exiled and dispersed among all mundane physical matter. This created a state of imperfection that can only be rectified by tikun — effectively refining this material world and elevating the sparks back to their original source. This is accomplished by performing the will of the Almighty in this physical world through His holy Torah and its commandments, the mitzvos. The sparks of holiness that are scattered among the world from the breaking of the vessels were swallowed up by the klippos, literally, "shells" or "husks." Thus the good, holy spark is like a fruit or nut, which is surrounded by an outer shell or peel. In order to eat and benefit from the goodness of the fruits, one must first break the shell or remove the peel. So, too, everything in this world has an outer exterior, a false shell, that can be peeled away to reveal its true inner beauty.]

Adam's sin caused these 288 sparks to fall and shatter, and they descended very low until they were clothed in a mixture of good and evil — in the husks and shells known as "klippas nogah" and in physical matter. Now this is man's primary objective when serving Hashem in this world: to transform darkness into light and to elevate those sparks back up to their root source. Therefore Hashem commanded Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge — because he did not have the ability to draw the light of those sparks down here below in the same form that they existed up above, since their source and root were very lofty. Thus, when Adam sinned, the sparks fell and descended down and down [and became clothed in the husks and shells of impurity].

Through the service of the Tzaddikim, as they engage in Torah study and mitzvos, the darkness in which the sparks are clothed is transformed into light, and they ascend higher and higher back to their root source. And when they ascend, their light increases so that the light dominates the darkness, as our Rabbis said, "In the place where ba'alei teshuvah, penitents, stand even completely righteous Tzaddikim cannot stand" (Berachos 34b). We can compare this to a son who grew distant from his father and strayed to the crooked path. When he later repented and returned to his father, his father derived great joy and delight from his return [more than if he had stayed on the straight path all along].

Therefore Hashem said, "On the day you eat from it you shall surely die," meaning that on that very day, when you eat from it, you will be drawn into an aspect of death, since you are causing the sparks to descend and clothe themselves in the physical world and in the husks and shells of the klippas nogah, which is an aspect of death. However, afterward, due to the service of the Tzaddikim through Torah study and mitzvos, they will be transformed from darkness into light and ascend higher and higher to their root source, and this will bring even greater joy and delight [than before].

Before Adam and Chavah sinned, they did not fully grasp this idea of elevating and refining the sparks, and therefore they did not understand Hashem's warning about temporary death. They thought "death" meant death forever, and they therefore had difficulty understanding how this [tree], which, as we explained above, had been created by the Source of all life [could cause death]. They misunderstood Hashem's intentions and thought that He meant that since the tree of knowledge had such a great light that they themselves could not draw down, they could not handle such a light, as our Rabbis said, "Four entered the orchard..." (Chagigah 14b). Therefore they said, "Lest you might die" — meaning that perhaps we shall not merit this great light, and it will be impossible for us to grasp it and endure it, and perhaps it may even cause death. This doubt was planted by the serpent's arguments.

This is why the snake told them, "You shall surely not die..." There is no reason to doubt — you will certainly not die, since you are on such a lofty level you can surely endure and bear this [great light]. Especially once you eat from it and "you shall be like G-d, knowing good and evil" — you will advance to such a high level that you will surely be worthy of such a great light. This is how the serpent tricked them. Understand this.

The Stolen Spoon: The Tale of a True Penitent

The Rebbe Reb Baruch of Mezibuzh was well known as an outspoken critic of Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. One Friday night, during the Rebbe's tisch, when his chassidim were

gathered around his table, Rav Baruch declared, "If anyone here will speak evil of the Berditchever Rav, I promise that he will be rewarded with a portion in the World to Come."

Immediately a young man stepped forward, prepared to offer Rav Baruch an evil report about the Berditchever. Here was the perfect opportunity to acquire his portion in just one moment! Eager to secure his claim, the chassid did not even stop to think for a second that perhaps Rav Baruch might have ulterior motives behind his request. The elder chassidim standing near him were horrified and dissuaded him from coming forward. "Heaven forbid that you should do such a thing!" they said.

The next day, during the Shabbos day meal, Rav Baruch repeated his offer. "My proposal stands. Whoever can bring me an evil word about the Berditchever is guaranteed a portion in the next world!" he announced. Just like the previous night, silence prevailed. None dared open their mouths to utter a word against Rav Levi Yitzchak — none that is except for the same young man, who without any compunctions seemed intent on speaking ill of the Berditchever and claim his reward. The opportunity had presented itself — how could he hold back what he knew about Rav Levi Yitzchak? Why, it was a veritable sin to hold out on his Rebbe, was it not?

Again his fellow chassidim appealed to his common sense and convinced him to stay silent. He agreed, certain that he would be given one more opportunity to finally do what he wanted, later during shalosh seudos, the third meal of Shabbos.

The time indeed came. Rav Baruch repeat his request, and this time the young chassid paid no attention to his friends imploring him to refrain from speaking out. He ran forward, eager to unburden himself. Seeing the young man pushing his way through the crowd, Rav Baruch beckoned to him. "Come close, son, and tell me all that you know about the Berditchever!"

The young man told his tale. "I once traveled to Berditchev on business during the trade fair, and I decided that this would be a good opportunity to visit the beis midrash where the Berditchever davens and observe him in prayer. I had been told that it is a spectacle to behold his devotions, which are so wonderful that they can only be described as supernatural. I felt that it would be of great benefit to me to observe such pure and holy worship. So I set aside some time during my working hours to visit the beis midrash.

"As I neared the entrance to the study hall, and I the sound of the Berditchever's ecstatic prayers. I did not dare venture inside. I could not enter. I just stood rooted to the spot in wonder and awe. Then the Berditchever reached the passage "Yotzer mesharsim va'asher mesharsav kulam omdim b'rum olam — He fashions the ministering angels, His servants who stand at the heights of the universe" (found in the morning blessings preceding the Shema). Suddenly he jumped up and ran toward me, and he yelled in a fit of hot anger, 'Vus vet der malach Michoel zogen?! Vus vet der malach Gavriel zogen?! What will the angel Michael say? What will the angel Gavriel say?' He raised his hand and slapped me soundly on the cheek! Then he ran back to his place and resumed his prayers.

"Now I ask you," said the indignant young man, "how was the Berditchever allowed to speak in the middle of the blessings? And to strike a fellow Jew in anger? What did those strange words about the angels mean? And why did he do all this in the midst of his prayers. The whole thing sounds crazy!"

Rav Baruch patiently listened to the young man's story till the very end. When the chassid finished, Rav Baruch addressed everyone present.

"You should know that Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev is an advocate on behalf of all of Klal Yisrael before the heavenly court. He speaks out in defense of all Jews and searches for merits to defend them and quell the forces of judgment against them. He even searches for merits to defend them when they have sinned, Heaven forbid! At the time when this young chassid came to the Berditchever's beis midrash, they were davening the Yotzer blessing that precedes Shema. At that time in the morning, when Jews all over the world reach the verse that speaks of the ministering angels, who as servants stand at the heights of the universe, that is the very moment when the archangels such as Michael and Gavriel and all their hosts gather together to defend Klal Yisrael and seek their merits, as it says, 'If there will be even one defending angel out of a thousand to declare a man's uprightness on his behalf' (Iyov 33:23). They try their best to seek out a defense for each Jewish soul to protect it from the rod of judgment hovering over him and to send down an abundance of blessings upon him to cleanse him of the stains of guilt and iniquity.

"When the Berditchever Rav reaches that point in his prayers, he enters the fray and joins the supernal ministering angels, seeking to find merits for Jewish souls. While you were standing there and observed that he reached this point in the davening, proclaiming that the ministering angels stand at the height of the universe, his soul ascended on High. He was spiritually elevated to the highest heights to seek out merits and advocate on behalf of Klal Yisrael. Then he saw you standing there before him, besmirched with the sin that you had committed that very day at the inn — when you stole that silver spoon during the meal — he was enraged, because he could find no merit on your behalf to bolster his argument in your defense before the heavenly court.

"You see, sometimes a thief steals in desperation, out of poverty and hunger. Then Rav Levi Yitzchak can argue that the thief did not steal in order to purposefully transgress the commandment prohibiting theft, nor did he steal because he yearns for luxuries or because he desires that which is not his own. He only stole to satiate the pangs of hunger that assail his wretched existence and to quiet the rumblings of his empty stomach. He steals knowing that he might get caught, but what can he do? What other choice does he have?"

Rav Baruch's temper rose, and his anger reached its boiling point as he turned to the trembling young man who stood dumbstruck, like a thief caught in the act. Rav Baruch pointed an accusing finger and thundered, "But you are a prosperous and wealthy merchant who lacks nothing! Why did you yield to the temptation of the evil inclination? Why did you steal that silver spoon? The Tzaddik of Berditchev could find no defense on your behalf, and that is why he shouted at you, 'What will the angel Michael say? What will the angel Gavriel say?' What will they say to defend you against the crime you committed?"

The young man began to cry and begged forgiveness for his repugnant conduct. But Rav Baruch could not comply. "Only by approaching the Tzaddik of Berditchev can you repent and receive atonement for your crime. Ask him to prescribe to you a path for repentance and that he should forgive you!"

The young man did so and became a true ba'al teshuvah.

The Story of his Passing

There is a tradition from the Maggid of Petriva and Rav Yisroel of Vizhnitz that Rav Levi Yitzhak passed away right after Succos. He related that the Berditshever grew weak after Yom Kippur and his condition was life threatening. However he prayed that his days might be lengthened so that he might still merit fulfilling the mitzvah of shaking the four species of the lulav and esrog which he yearned and waited for all year long. His prayers were answered and he lived till Isru Chag and passed away on the night of the 25th of Tishrei. (Toldos Kedushas Levi Munkacz 8:103) (See also Sichos HaRan 196)

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said "Even the average individual should feel the loss of a Tzadik like Rav Levi Yitzhak. Everyone now feels that there is something lacking in the world. There is a depressed mood everywhere. One might feel it in his business, which no longer runs as smoothly as before. Another might feel it in his bones, which somehow seem displaced. If your eyes are truly open you will see that world has become dark, for a great light has been extinguished in the world. A great candle's light has been truly snuffed out and that the world has filled with a great darkness." Many had reported that flames had been seen rising from the bier of Rav Levi Yitzhak. (Toldos Kedushas Levi Munkacz 8:105) (See also Sichos HaRan 196)


Friday, October 7, 2011

Gemar Chasima Tova! Chassidus for Yom Kippur

Our sages said that on Erev Shabbos one must ask those in his home the following 3 questions:
Isartem, Eravtem, Hadliku es HaNer -
Did you remove the one tenth tithe of Maaser from fruits? Did you make an Eruv mixing the domains? Please light the candles!
I heard that they can also be applied to our teshuva Process! These are the three opportunities for returning to Hashem:
Isartem - from the wording of ten refers to the Aseres Yamey Teshuva - Ten Days of Repentence between RoshHaShanna and Yom Kippur
If you delayed Teshuva then Eravtem - meaning Erev Yom Kippur, you can still repent on Yom Kippur
Hadliku Es HaNer- if you have still tarried in your Teshuva you can still do Teshuvah till Channukah (see Bnei Yissaschar)
May we all be zoche to do Teshuva and merit a Gemar Chasima Tova
A healthy happy sweet new years, signed and signed with our family and friends for life, health and happines Amen!
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Avigdor's Helping Hand

Many of you have seen a copy of my sefer the Noam Elimelech generously sponsored in memory of Avigdor Glaser Z"l by his family
Although his yahrzeit, 25 Elul fell on Shabbos this year and I could not be at the beis chaim
I still wanted to do something to perpetuate his memory and so I appeal for you to help Avigdor's Helping Hand (AHH), a charitable organization that was formed a few years ago by the family and friends of Avigdor Glaser, z"l, after his untimely petira. Avigdor's Helping Hand provides financial assistance to widows and orphans.
Kesiva veChasima Tova

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Chassidishe Rosh HaShanna Message based on the Shela

In Keren LeDovid, the Puppa Rov, Rav Greenwald has an amazing short but succint message for us Rosh HaShanna:
He begins with a question:
In mussaf on Rosh haShanna we recite a blessing saying "Because You hear the sound of the kol shofar and listen to the teruah blast of the shofar and there is none like You,"
Why does the verse seemingly repeat the fact that Hashem hears us blowing shofar twice, once saying that He hears the kol shofar and once saying He listens to the teruah of the shofar, isn't that saying the same thing twice?
And what does the end statement mean, and there is none like You,? we know that no one and nothing can compare to or with Hashem, what connection does this idea have to the fact that Hashem hears our shofar?
In essence the answer is based on the well known statement of our sages, Chazal tell us that where the baal teshuva, the masters of repentance stand, not even the righteous can stand.
Citing the holy Shel"ah, the Keren LeDovid teaches that there are two distince forms of blowing shofar and what they represent. The holy Shel"ah says that the kol shofar the simple basic trumpet like blast is the sound of a righteous tzadik. Whereas the wailing cries of the teruah represent the penitent baal teshuva, he crying repents over his sins and mistakes.
Thus we now understand the symbolism and language, the Puppa Rav writes, that hearing and listening are also different. In Hebrew one can hear (Shomea) from afar, but (Haazana) listening connotes intimacy and closeness.
Thus G-d is saying that he hears the kol shofar, He is saying that He hears and accepts the prayers of the whole and simple righteous tzadik. Yet when it comes to the penitent baal teshuva, the master of return, Hashem listens up close. There is a closeness and intimacy there that the tzadik does not share.
This is why the blessing ends declaring there is none like You Hashem, because normally we would expect that a blameless righteous tzadik should be the closest to G-d, yet Hashem shows us that just the opposite is true, He values the close intimacy of the baal teshuva, thus none is like You,
The story is told about a student studying in a yeshiva for newly devoted returnees to Judaism who himself came from a religious background. He once approached a famous rabbi and introduced himself. "And in which Yeshiva do you learn?" asked the rabbi. "I study in such and such yeshiva," he answered and quickly he added, "but I am not a baal teshuva!" The rabbi smiled looked at him with a piercing glance and asked him "Nu why are you not?"
May we all merit to make this new year our best year, repent and correct our mistakes and learn from the holy words of the advocate for Klal Yisroel the holy Berditchever who declare all month long during Elul, "Today I shall repent and  return Hashem!" "Who are you kidding?" he would berate himself, "thats what you said yesterday." "ya, but yesterday I didnt really mean it, today, I mean it." And thus he would try again and again. let's give ourselves a second chance and we will all be masters of return.
Shana Tova -  A Sweet New Year to you, your family and loved ones
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Friday, August 19, 2011


"And you ate and were satiated and you blessed Hashem your G-d."

Rav Shlomo of Karlin once remarked that the verse juxtaposes statiation of hunger with blessings because, the real truth is that one is ultimately truly satiated from the blessings recited after the meal than from the meal itself!

Rav Baruch of Mezibuz once declared: the verse says "Eat and be satisfied and then bless Hashem!" That is what the Torah commands. Some fools however, he explained, think that they can rise in holiness by only bettering their soul with elevated thoughts, and afflicting their bodies with constant fasts. Well I compare them to the drunken peasent who sits drinking himself into a stupor at the bar, while his horse is tied up starving in the cold outside!"

Once there was a chassid, a follower of Rebbe Elimelech, who worked
very hard to rise in chassidus (piety), Torah learning, and prayer. But the
Rebbe could tell that the man's appetite for food was still unconquered.
The Rebbe invited this chassid to come and eat breakfast with him. Of
course, the chassid was overjoyed at the privilege of eating together with
his Rebbe.

The chassid arrived to find that the table was set with only three items:
a loaf of rye bread, salt, and a knife.

They washed their hands and broke bread with the blessing hamotzi.
Before the Rebbe took another bite out of his slice, he began to mutter to
himself: "Melech, Melech, see how you eat! With what a detestable appetite
you eat! You chew the bread so that you could swallow the whole piece in
one shot. Your desire is greater than that of a beast…"

Then he retorted: "No, that's not really so. I am not eating out of greed,
but rather to satiate my hunger alone. If I don't eat, how will I learn Torah
or pray and serve my Creator? I am eating simply to restore my soul and
give it life." He then cut another slice and ate it.

Before he finished chewing and swallowing, the Rebbe muttered again:
"Melech, Melech, who do you think you're fooling! You say you are eating
only to be satiated and serve G-d. All your words are lies and falsehood!
How do you expect to save your soul with such false remarks? See for yourself
how your whole body and all its limbs are filled with animal desire. You
want to swallow the whole loaf at once! How dare you make up such lies
and say that you eat for the sake of Heaven," and other such remarks. Then
he retorted again, "No, no, I don't eat with desire. What can I do if I was
created as a physical being? I must give my body what it needs to survive;
otherwise it will not serve me. I cannot live without eating. I am not doing
it out of animal desire, but simply to give myself life." And he ate another

The guest was astonished and then brokenhearted when he heard the
Rebbe's inner debate. His heart melted at the Rebbe's rebuke of himself as
the chassid thought of his own inner desire for food. He could not move
from the remorse he felt and became still as a stone. The Rebbe saw the
chassid's anguish and saw that his medicine had been effective.

The Rebbe stopped eating and bentched, and the chassid finally fainted from his distress.
And from then on the chassid's level of piety increased until he ate
purely for the sake of Heaven for the rest of his days.
Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here:
Author Page
some people stumble upon the truth, sadly most people pick themselves up and just keep on going
live the life you want, dont live the life that happens
ASK me about the monkey!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Giving of the Torah During the Time of Moshiach קדושת לוי - שבת נחמו

בשבת נחמו קורין עשרת הדברות, ובשבועות קורין גם כן עשרת הדברות, כי בשבועות נתן הקדוש ברוך הוא תורה לישראל, וכן כשיבא משיח צדקינו כתיב (ישעיה נא,ד) תורה חדשה מאתי תצא לכן קורין עשרת הדברות בשבת נחמו: קדושת לוי - שבת נחמו

The Giving of the Torah During the Time of Moshiach

On Shabbos Nachamu we read the ten commandments.
And on Shavous we also read the ten commandments. This is because on Shavous the Holy One gave the Torah to Bnei Yisroel. And similarly regarding when our righteous Moshiach arrives it is written that (Yeshaya 51:4; VaYikra Rabbah 13:3) "A new Torah will come forth from Me." Therefore we read the ten commandments on Shabbos Nachamu as well.

Tu BeAv

Remembering Our Father
"There were no other days as good for Bnei Yisroel as the the 15
th of Av and Yom Kippur." (Taanis 26b)

This can be explained based on the verse (Shemos 17:8) "Amalek came and battled Israel in Refidim." Before this it is written (ibid 17:7) "Is Hashem among us or not?"

This can be understood by the following parable:

A son was on his father's shoulders, he sicked the dog on him etc. (See Rashi ibid; Pesikta Rabbasi 13) "The parasha of Amalek follows the previous verse asking whether Hashem is among us or not? To teach us that Hashem says I am always among you and I am found ready to fulfill all of your needs and how can you ask if Hashem is among you or not? By your life! A dog shall come and bite you and you shall cry out to me and then you will know where I am! This can be compared to a parable a father went out on a journey with his son on his shoulders. If the son saw an object he desired he said father give me this thing and he would give it to him. This repeated itself a second and third time. They happened upon a man and the son asked him, have you seen my father? The father said to his son, don't you know where I am? He threw him off his shoulders, and a dog came and bit him."

We see that the father frighten his son in order to remind him that he has a father who can save him from that frightening thing. And as soon as he knows that he has a father then his father draws him close in many ways to demonstrate that closeness.

This is why this month is called Av – which means father, and why our temple was destroyed during this month, in order to remind us of our Father.l Once we recognize this fact and this knowledge will penetrate into us then the Holy One will rebuild the beis hamikdash.

The Gemara explains (ibid) regarding Tu BeAv that it is a time [of happiness since it is] when the tribes were allowed to intermarry. . . Study it at length.

. . . Each and every tribe has its own special way and path, (Pri Etz Chaim Shaar Tefillah). Down here below this is represented by a hue for each tribe as the colors of the precious stones found in the Choshen, the Kohen Gadol's breastplate. Each color of each stone represented the unique character of each tribe as is known. (Rabbeinu Bachaya Shemos 28:15)1 When all the ribes reach the level of self nullification and effacement known as Ayin then all the colors mix and intermingle together with eachother. Now when the Jewish people grasp the understanding that (though we are different and unique individuals) we all have one father, this is the meaning of [Tu BeAv being] a day when the tribes were allowed to intermarry. It alludes to what we explained.


1. The Rabbeinu Bachaya in his commentary to Shemos 28:15 explains that it is a Kabbalistic wonder how each one of the tribes was given a colored stone for the Choshen which matches their attribute up above. He then matches the stones and their colors to the attributes and characteristics of each tribe according to Kabbalah.

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Chassidus for 9 of Av (Tisha BeAv) & Eicha

From the upcoming English translation MeOros Kedushas Levi on Moadim
For Megillas Eicha and Tisha Be'Av

"She cries bitterly at night and her tear is on her cheek." (Eicha 1:2)
When a person cries his tears make an impression, and heaven forbid etc. And
truly regarding the destruction [of the bais ha'mikdash] when a person cries
then his crying makes an impression. This is the meaning of "her tear is on
her cheek," the tears leave an impression up above.

"Her enemies became the heads etc. Because Hashem spoke and afflicted her to
her due to her numerous transgressions. Her children gone into captivity
before the enemy." (Eicha 1:5)

This question which seems wondrous is why do foreign thoughts come to a
person while he is praying? The idea is that whatever has fallen
spiritually, through a person's sins and transgressions, now desires to be
uplifted especially during the service of prayer. This is the meaning of
"Her enemies became the head masters." The foreign thoughts which attack a
person's head and mind, "because Hashem spoke," this language connotes
speech, meaning that this refers to Hashem's words "because of her numerous
transgressions," this is above all sins, "her children walked, captured
before the enemy," these are now uplifted above the enemy. "Her children,"
refers to the sparks of holiness, "which walk captured before the enemy,"
they are above the enemy due to the word of Hashem.

"An lurking bear, a lion in hiding." (Eicha 3:10)

The general idea is that Hashem destroyed His beautiful house and we Bnei
Yisrael are now in exile. Surely this all a benefit to Bnei Yisrael, since
surely Hashem shall have greater and greater mercy on us and then He will
rebuild the bais mikdash with even greater strength. We find therefore that
although our current exile seems to be negative, however all things hidden
are revealed before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, that in reality all this is to
benefit Bnei Yisroel. "A lion in hiding," the lion symbolizes the attribute
of chessed or kindness (Zohar Chadash Yisro 39a) since he comes from the
right-hand side of the heavenly chariot in Yechezkel's vision (1:10) which
connotes chessed. This "in hiding," refers to the true intentions behind our
troubles and our distress. The exil and the destruction of the bais
hamikdash is truly just loving kindness and chesed for Bnei Yisrael, as we

"He shot into my kidneys the arrows of his quiver and I became a
laughing-stock for my nation." (Eicha 3:13-14)

Generally speaking the anguish and pain over the destruction of our bais
ha'mikdash will in the future, be revealed to be only chessed - kindness,
when HaKadosh Baruch Hu in His great mercy and kindness rebuilds with even
greater fierceness and strength.

We find therefore that this suffering and anguish gives birth to great joy
and happiness. The pain and suffering becomes a symbolic father who gives
birth to joy, and the joy and happiness itself becomes a symbolic child
which is born from the pain and suffering.

This is the meaning of "he shot into my kidneys" meaning Hashem placed into
my thoughts the memory to anticipate for salvation and happiness which will
come from this pain. This is is also the meaning of "bnei ashpaso," the
children which shall be born from this anguish and pain are the joy and
"bnei," literally means children. "Therefore I was a laughing stock before
the nations," once I uplift my thoughts towards laughter, joy and happiness
which shall be born from this pain and sufferings then I can "laugh at the

"And I said my eternal strength and expectations from Hashem are lost.
Remember my afflictions and sorrow. Wormwood and bitterness. . .This shall I
take to heart therefore I hope. Hashem's kindness surely has not ended, nor
are His mercies exhausted." (Eicha 3:18-22)

We should pay attention to the order of the verses, since it would have made
more sense to write I shall take to heart that Hashem's kindness surely has
not ended etc. and therefore I hope. Why does the mention of "therefore I
hope," which is the result and effect precede the cause which is the
"kindness of Hashem that has not ended?"

The reason which we call the Shabbos preceding Tisha Be'Av by the name
Shabbos Chazon, is due to something about Bnei Yisroel which is not
praiseworthy. Chazon refers to a vision, which shows the great reward of
goodness which is hidden and waiting for those who wage the great war and
conquest which with G-d's help, is fought by the Jewish souls that have been
sent into this world.

Since these souls are lovers of Hashem and their entire purpose is to serve
Him, before they are sent down into this world to wage that war they are
shown a vision of the hidden reward of goodness which awaits them.
However due to our numerous sin our enemies seek our destruction. However
when we remember our afflictions and sorrow and our soul remembers and grows
despondent, this proves that our victory and eternal strength and
expectations are not lost heaven forbid. For it is decreed that the dead
shall be forgotten by the heart (Pesachim 54b). And if there is no victory
up above without any expectation of its return that is the case. However
the living, are never forgotten.


Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
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