Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fwd: Kedushas Levi

please enjoy excerpts from the upcoming MeOros Kedushas Levi on Bereishis and Noach


A Tzaddik, or righteous person makes everyone else appear righteous before G-d by advocating for them and finding their merits.

(Kedushas Levi, Noach Bereishis 7:1)


The Ways of Hashem are Sweet

Hashem called the light "day"...

(Bereishis 1:5)

Our Rabbis state in the Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 2:5) regarding the verse "Hashem called the light 'day,' " that "this [refers to] the actions of the righteous Tzaddikim. 'And the darkness He called "night" ' — these are the actions of the wicked. Which actions does He prefer? The verse gives the answer: 'Hashem saw that the light was good' (Bereishis 1:4)."

This midrash is perplexing. How can we doubt which actions Hashem would prefer?

We can answer by paying close attention to the Rabbis' holy words. They did not say, "Light — these are the righteous" and "Dark — these are the wicked." Rather they said, "This refers to their actions." Rabbeinu Yonah explains this idea in his commentary to the Mishnah, in the ninth chapter of Berachos (54a): "[The Mishnah says:] ' "Serve Him with all your heart" (Devarim 6:5) — with both inclinations, with the good inclination and the evil inclination.' How can someone serve [Hashem] with his evil inclination? This is how: because the attribute of the good inclination is to desire and pursue peace and draw Bnei Yisrael with goodness and pleasantness to serve Hashem, while the attributes of the evil inclination are anger and hatred. The evildoer utilizes his anger and hatred to oppose the will of his Creator, to hate and rage against those who serve Hashem. However, the righteous Tzaddik utilizes this very same negative attribute of the evil inclination to serve Hashem — to hate and rage against those who transgress His will. This is what it means to [serve Hashem] 'with both your inclinations.' "

Based on this, we can explain [our verse], "Hashem called the light 'day.'" It refers to the actions of the righteous Tzaddikim. They utilize their attributes only for good, to draw other Jews close in a pleasant manner with gentle words of mussar and rebuke that the heart can accept so that they will leave the path of evil. "And the darkness He called 'night'" — this refers to the actions of the wicked. This does not refer to the wicked themselves, who are not at all desirable, but rather to their actions, which are full of hatred and anger that they utilize for evil intent. Hashem looked at their actions — because with these actions they could serve Hashem and break away from their wicked efforts. Instead, the wicked must be forced to repent against their will; Hashem takes vengeance against them until they are subjugated and pushed to the ground and repent and say, "I shall go and return and repent" (Hoshea 2:9).

Since both the attributes and actions of the wicked and the righteous can be used to serve Hashem, we can now understand how the Midrash can ask, "Which actions does He prefer?" The answer is that even though [the attributes of the wicked can be utilized to serve Hashem], He prefers the actions of the righteous Tzaddikim, since they draw the entire world close to serve the Creator in a pleasant manner, and not through anger, until all repent and return to Him.

Therefore it says, " 'G-d saw that the light was good' — this refers to the actions of the Tzaddikim," that they utilize the goodness [in His service, and not the negative attributes]. Thus the verse states the reason: "ki tov — because it is good [and pleasant]." [Hashem prefers the actions of the Tzaddikim] because Hashem's ways and His attributes are goodness, and He desires that everyone will draw close to Him through goodness, as the verse says, "Its [the Torah's] ways are ways of pleasantness" (Mishlei 3:17).


The Delight of a Mitzvah Waters the Garden

And a river came out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four tributaries.

(Bereishis 2:10)

Our Rabbis say, "Be as careful with an easy mitzvah as with a difficult one, since you do not know the reward given for mitzvos" (Avos 2:1). This means that we cannot fathom the pleasure and delight that HaKadosh Baruch Hu receives from our performance of a mitzvah, but we can understand one thing [about the reward for mitzvos]: that is the shefa and sustenance we receive from performing a mitzvah, which provides an opportunity from HaKadosh Baruch Hu to perform another mitzvah. When HaKadosh Baruch Hu sees how much we desire to do a mitzvah, [He sends us more] opportunities to perform mitzvos and study Torah, like when a father sees that his son understands a piece of wisdom. This spurs the father to ask his son a question to elicit more words of wisdom.

This is the meaning of "A river came out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it divided into four tributaries [literally, 'heads']." [These tributaries or heads symbolize] the brain, which has four areas, since the third portion of the brain is actually divided in two, and the river symbolizes the shefa, which "comes out from Eden." The word eden hints at pleasure and delight [based on the Hebrew word ma'adan]. Thus the verse is hinting that we receive shefa due to HaKadosh Baruch Hu's delight [in our mitzvos]. And [we receive the shefa] in order "to water the garden" — this is referring to the fifty-three sedarim of the Torah [since the word for "garden," gan, equals 53 in gematria] — "and from there it divides into four tributaries [or, literally, heads]." The shefa enters man's intellect, which he can then utilize to understand new and novel interpretations of the Torah and perform many more mitzvos.

This is why the mishnah above says, "Be as careful with an easy mitzvah as a difficult one..." In truth, this statement does not make sense, since we do not know the reward for mitzvos, so how can we call one more difficult than another? It seems to me that "easier" refers to those mitzvos that can be done over and over again, such as Torah study, since if one misses the opportunity to do it at one moment, he can do it another time. And "difficult," refers to those mitzvos that can only be done once a year, such as sukkah [since if he misses the opportunity, he can't perform it again until the coming year]. Based on what we said above, we can now say that one must be as careful with an "easier" mitzvah [even though he knows he will soon have another opportunity to perform it] as with a difficult one [since we cannot fathom the pleasure and delight Hashem derives from our mitzvah performance].

Two types of Tzaddikim:
Those Who believe in themselves and those Who are too humble

These are the generations of Noach; Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations...

(Bereishis 6:9)

Let us analyze Rashi's comment [on Bereishis 7:7]: "Even Noach was among those of little faith." How could this be true? As we see here, the Torah testifies regarding Noach that "Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations" (Bereishis 6:9). Also, [if he was so righteous] why didn't Noach pray to Hashem to nullify the decree [against that generation]?

There are two types of Tzaddikim who serve the Creator. There is the Tzaddik who serves the Creator and desires nothing more; he believes that he has the power to run the higher realms and worlds, controlling them as he wishes, as our Sages teach: " 'A Tzaddik rules through the fear of Hashem' (Shmuel II 23:3) — who rules over Me? [says Hashem]. The Tzaddik. HaKadosh Baruch Hu decrees, and the Tzaddik nullifies the decree for the greater good" (Mo'ed Katan 16b).

The other type of Tzaddik also serves the Creator, but he is exceedingly humble and considers himself lowly. In his heart he thinks, Who am I that I should pray to nullify a decree? And so he doesn't pray to nullify [any decrees].

This is the meaning of the Gemara's statement "Nevuchadnetzar desired to sing and praise [Hashem] — he disparaged the songs and praises of David HaMelech" (Sanhedrin 92b). It is not clear what the word ginah, "disparaged," means in this context. However, based on our explanation above it makes sense. Nevuchadnetzar was wicked and evil, and he destroyed our Holy Temple the Beis HaMikdash. But he understood that the righteous have the power to transform the divine attribute of strict justice into mercy. He was worried that a righteous Tzaddik would pray that the Beis HaMikdash should be rebuilt. He therefore said [regarding Hashem], "He does as He wishes with the hosts of heaven and earth" (Daniel 4:32) — that He does as He wishes regarding the higher realms and the Tzaddikim are unable to abolish decrees. Therefore our Sages say, "Nevuchadnetzar desired to sing and praise [Hashem] — he disparaged the songs and praises of David HaMelech." Nevuchadnetzar desired to sing songs of praise that were the opposite of David's praises. David said, "He fulfills the will of those who fear Him" (Tehillim 145:19) — that Hashem runs the worlds according to the will of the righteous Tzaddikim [meaning that Hashem does the will of the Tzaddikim, who fear Him], and the wicked Nevuchadnetzar had the opposite intention, as we explained.

Even though Noach was a perfect Tzaddik, he considered himself small and lowly. He did not believe in himself, that he was able to abolish the decree. On the contrary, he thought of himself as no better than the rest of his generation. He thought, If I will be saved by entering the ark, and I am no more righteous than any of them, this must mean that they, too, will ultimately be saved. This is why he did not pray on behalf of his generation.

This then is the meaning of Rashi's comment that Noach was among those of little faith. Noach considered himself small and insignificant; he lacked faith in himself as a perfect, flawless Tzaddik who could abolish the decree. He did not consider himself important at all.

This is also the meaning of the verse "I will destroy them from the earth" (Bereishis 6:13) — I will do as I will, because there is no Tzaddik to abolish my decree, and therefore I will destroy them from the earth. And later it says, "I will establish My covenant with you" (Bereishis 9:9) — even though there is no Tzaddik praying to nullify decrees, I will establish this bris with you.

Self-Sacrifice for Kosher Food Cancels the Decree

Once, the Berditchever perceived that there was a terrible decree hanging over the heads of Klal Yisrael, and he went and immersed himself in the waters of the mikveh. He was on the way to pray to rescind the decree, when he passed a Jewish woman carrying a small package of meat and cursing her miserable lot under her breath.

"Why do you utter such oaths?" the Berditchever asked her.

"And why shouldn't I? I lead a poor and wretched existence, and my cupboards are bare! We hardly have any food, but at least for Shabbos I am able to buy a little meat to give my family some nourishment. That wretched butcher gives me little meat for a great sum of money, and half of it is bones!"

"So why don't you go to another butcher?" asked her the Berditchiver.

"What difference will it make?" she spat bitterly. "They are all the same!"

"Why don't you go to a gentile butcher then? Why, I bet you could get some treife meat for next to nothing. If you are so poor, buy some treife meat. It is much cheaper!"

The poor woman had no idea who this old man was, but one thing she knew: he must be either wicked or crazy. "You old fool!" she berated the Berditchever. "Even if I knew that I would starve to death, Heaven forbid, I would rather die of starvation than eat treife food!"

Hearing this, the Berditchiver turned away and left, and immediately pled his case to the Ribbono shel olam to cancel the decree, for now he had a good argument to bring before the court.

"Master of the world! Even a poor simple woman would rather sacrifice herself for You than eat treife!"

With this argument, he succeeded in rescinding the decree.





--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Fwd: The Passing of the Berditchever


in honor of the Yorzeit of the Kedushas Levi - isru chag sukkos

The Passing of the Berditchever

When Rav Yitzchak of Neschiz married the Berditchever's granddaughter, the Berditchever said that under no circumstances could he promise to support the young couple for more than four years. This was quite a surprise to all, since it was customary to support a young couple for longer. It was only when the four-year period was over that everything became clear. At that time, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev passed away.1

Not long before the Berditchever's passing, a wealthy Jew living in Berditchev was involved in a dispute with Rav Levi Yitzchak. This wealthy man had invited the Rav Yechiel Michel of Rachov (another tradition says that he was from Morchov) to serve as a rav in Berditchev. When the Rachover arrived, the townspeople were certain he and Rav Levi Yitzchak, who currently served as rav in official capacity, would clash in a difference of opinion.

It seemed that things might come to a head at a bris to which both rabbis had been invited. Since the Berditchever had decreed that all circumcisions were to be conducted in the shul to honor Eliyahu HaNavi, they brought the baby there for the bris. The shamash misunderstood his instructions and instead of inviting just one of the rabbis to the bris, he invited both of them, the Rachover and the Berditchever, to the Bris.

Both rabbis lived close to the shul, one to the right of the building and one to the left, and both set out for the bris at about the same time and ended up arriving simultaneously in front of the shul. This was their first meeting face to face in Berditchev, and each stood at the doorway, waiting to allow the other to enter first. They stood there in silence for some time until finally one of the guests came out and said, "Let the Berditchever go in first since he was the rabbi here before," and so the Berdicthever entered the shul first.

After the bris, the two rabbis parted ways, but it was clear from this incident that the Berditchever respected the Rachover as a great individual. Theirs was a relationship where reproof was out in the open while their precious friendship was kept hidden from the public eye. Nonetheless, the local populace knew of their affection for each other.


When the Berditchever grew ill and bedridden, the Rachover also took ill. The Berditchever passed away that night, and the funeral was scheduled for the next day. That morning the Rachover called over his son Rav Asher and chastised him for concealing the news that the Berditchever had passed away. "Why didn't anyone tell me that the rav has passed away?" he said. "In any case, I knew it in my own way."

They admitted to him that indeed the Berditchever had left this world. The Rachover asked his son to tell Rav Yisrael of Pikov, the Berditchever's son, that when they carried the bier the funeral procession should pass by his home since he had urgent matters to tell the Berditchever. His son promised, and when the funeral procession passed by, he descended from his sickbed and approached the Berditchever's bier. He whispered into Rav Levi Yitzchak ear, speaking at length. None of what he said was audible to anyone except for the last words he spoke, a quote from a verse: "Count for yourself seven weeks" (Devarim 16:9). Seven weeks to the day that the Berditchever passed away the Rachover rav left this world as well.3

There is a tradition from the Maggid of Petriva and Rav Yisrael of Vizhnitz that Rav Levi Yitzchak passed away right after Sukkos. They related that the Berditchever grew weak after Yom Kippur, and his condition was life-threatening. He prayed that he might live a little longer so that he would merit to fulfill the mitzvah of waving the four species, which he yearned and waited for all year long. His prayers were answered and he lived until Isru Chag (the day after Sukkos). He passed away on the night of the twenty-fifth of Tishrei.4

When news spread of his passing, one of the chassidim of Rav Baruch of Mezibuzh rushed to tell his Rebbe the news of the Berditchever's passing. Rav Baruch was known to criticize Rav Levi Yitzchak's ways, and the chassid thought he was bringing "good" news. Instead, Rav Baruch practically fainted and began to cry and wail in distress.

He admonished the harbinger of such terrible news. "Don't think that when I spoke against Rav Levi Yitzchak I did so in order to diminish his stature or blemish his honor! Rav Levi Yitzchak rose to the loftiest levels, to the highest spiritual realms above that of even the ministering angels, and I was afraid they would harm him in their jealousy. Therefore I used trickery and guile to hide my intentions and pretended to belittle and mock his holy ways to silence their jealous accusations."5

When Rebbe Nachman of Breslov talked about the passing of Rav Levi Yitzchak, he said, "Even the average individual should feel the loss of a Tzaddik such as Rav Levi Yitzchak. 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 snuffed out and the world has filled with a great darkness."6

"The Berditchever said before he passed away that when he arrived in the next world he would not rest nor give any other Tzaddik respite rest until he succeeded in bringing Mashiach." Thus spoke Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Apta and Mezibuzh on the day he left this world. Before he passed away, the Apter Rav cried and wailed about our bitter exile. Why does Mashiach ben Yishai tarry so long? That is when he mentioned the Berditchever's promise. "However," he concluded, "when he ascended on high, they showed him such lofty spiritual levels and engaged him in such magnificent supernal chambers that he grew distracted that he forgot his mission.

"I, however, will not forget!"7

Notes:

1. Zichron Tov, Mei'Avodas Hashem 13, p. 16.

2. See the story in Vayeira entitled "In Honor of Eliyahu" above and the tradition of Rav Shalom Gutman of Yas that corroborates this ruling of Rav Levi Yitzchak.

3. Kisvei Rav Yoshe 32, p. 144; Eser Oros 3:40.

4. Toldos Kedushas Levi (Munkacz) 8:103; see also Sichos HaRan 196.

5. Toldos Kedushas Levi (Munkacz) 8:108; Eser Oros 3:22.

6. Toldos Kedushas Levi (Munkacz) 8:105; see also Sichos HaRan 196.

7. Otzar HaSippurim, vol. 18, p. 25.





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Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Simcha, Dancing Sukkos > Simchas Torah

Quotes from my upcoming book on Simcha

The Crown of Shoes – It is said in the name of the holy Baal Shem Tov that the angel Michoel weaves a crown from all the worn out shoes of Jews who danced and rejoiced during Simchas Torah. (Pisgamei Chassidim)

Dancing in Joy Higher than the Prayers – Rav Aharon Karliner taught that when we dance and rejoice on YomTov festivals, this is the highest of all spiritual levels, even higher than the highest level of prayer. This is because when we pray we do so with our mouths, however when we dance wse uplift our entire body above the ground in sheer joy of YomTov. (Beis Aharon)

Reaching for the Heavens – Rav Aharon Karliner once asked his followers rhetorically, "Why do Chassidim dance?" "I will tell you, they dance because they always seek a way to uplift themselves at least one handsbreadth higher above the earth!" (Sichas HaShavua)

Spontaneous Dance – The first Gerrer Rebbe, author of Chiddushei HaRim used to say that the verse in Koheles "a time for dancing," does not fit the same grammatical meter used to poetically balance out the other verses; each other verse begins with a Lamed, however this verse says in the Hebrew Es Rekod, instead of Es Lirkod. "The reason for this is," he explained "is because you don't command someone happy to dance, rather the happiness naturally causes you to break into spontaneous dance, "SeTantz Zich Alayn!" - (Siach Sarfei Kodesh #8)

Dancing Sifts and Separates the Body and the Soul – The first Gerrer Rebbe, author of Chiddushei HaRim taught that the Hebrew word for dancing meraked, is the same word used for sifting the good from unwanted waste; meraked is one of the thirty nine forbidden categories of labor on Shabbos. This teaches us that dancing achieves the same result as sifting. When you dance in holiness then you separate the good from the unwanted waste, you separate the body from the soul and you can reach such lofty levels as to divest yourself completely from this world entirely. (Ramasayim Tzofim 20:33)

Dancing Above The Physical – When a person dances they lift themselves up above the ground as they spring and hop. This hints to us that all forms of physical actions should similarly be sanctified and refined, so that they separate us from the physical desires and lusts and passions of this world. Just as the forbidden category of work on Shabbos is called meraked, this also means to dance, when we dance we uplift ourselves above the physical. (Shem MiShmuel Korach)



--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

RETURNITY COVER


Sample Images

A few people asked me for sample pages from the book here they are attached

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Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Click Here for Sample Images of the New Book - Returnity The Way Back to Eternity Selected Teachings from the Chassidic Masters on Teshuva New Book Launch

Click Here for Sample Images of the New Book - Returnity

The Way Back to Eternity

Selected Teachings from the Chassidic Masters on Teshuva

New Book Launch


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Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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New Sefer Sneak Preview - Returnity - The Way Back to Eternity - Book Launch

Please pass on this message to your friends
and see below for samples from my new Sefer titled: (cover art attached)

Returnity - The Way Back to Eternity
Selected Teachings from the Chassidic Masters on Teshuvah (112pgs SoftCover)

The holy Rav Menachem Nachum Chernobler, author of Me'or Einayim, once said that he firmly believes, with complete faith, that any awakening to do teshuvah that exists in the world until Mashiach arrives (speedily, amen) flows from one source: the great awakening of the holy prayers of the Ba'al Shem Tov, may his merit shield and protect us.

To order your copy for just $9.99 plus $5.95 S&H to anywhere in the USA by standard mail

click here to
Order Your Copy Today
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Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Contents
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1. Teachings of the ba'al shem tov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
2. Teachings of rav Yaakov Yosef of Polnoy. . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3. Teachings of Rav PInchas of Koritz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
4. Teachings of rav Moshe chaim efraim of sudilkov. . . . 18
5. Teachings of rebbe nachman of breslov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
6. Teachings of rav dov ber, the maggid of mezritch. . . . . 29
7. Teachings of rav menachem mendel of vitebsk. . . . . . . .33
8. Teachings of rav chaim tyrer of czernowitz. . . . . . . . .35
9. Teachings of rav meir of premishlan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
10. Teachings of rav menachem nachum of
chernobyl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
1 1 . Teachings of rav mordechai of chernobyl. . . . . . . . . . 40
12. Teachings of rav asher of stolin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
13. Teachings of rav elimelech of lizhensk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
14. Teachings of rav meshulem zissel of anipoli. . . . . . . . . 45
15. Teachings of rav shmuel shmelke horowitz of
nikolsberg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
16. Teachings of rav levi yitzchak derbamdigger,
the berditchever rav. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
17. Teachings of rav shneur zalman of liadi. . . . . . . . . . . . 54
18. Teachings of rav yisrael hopstein of koznitz,
the koznitzer maggid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
19. Teachings of rav avraham yehoshua heschel
of apt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
20. Teachings of rav yaakov yitzchak horowitz,
the chozeh of lublin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
21. Teachings of rav klonymous kalman epstein
of krakow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
22. Teachings of rav mendel of rimanov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
23. Teachings of rav tzvi hirsch hakohen of
rimanov. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75
24. Teachings of rav naftali horowitz of ropshitz. . . . 77
25. Teachings of rav moshe teitelbaum of ujhel. . . . . . . . . 79
26. Teachings of rav mordechai of lechovitch. . . . . . . . . 80
27. Teachings of rav noach of lechovitch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 1
28. Teachings of rav moshe kobriner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
29. Teachings of rav avraham of slonim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85
30. Teachings of rav moshe midner (Minder) of
slonim-baranowitz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
31. Teachings of the yid hakadosh of peshischa. . . . . . . . . 92
32. Teachings of rav simcha bunim of peshischa. . . . . . . . . .93
33. Teachings of rav menachem mendel morgensztern
of kotzk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
34. Teachings of rav yitzchak meir alter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
35. Teachings of rav shalom rokeach of belz. . . . . . . . . 100
36. Teachings of rav yehoshua rokeaCh of belz. . . . . . .102
37. Teachings of rav yissachar dov rokeach
of belz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
38. Teachings of rav yisrael of ruzhin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
39. Teachings of rav tzvi elimelech spira of dinov. . . .109
40. Teachings of rav shlomo hakohen of radomsk. . . .1 1 0

Teachings of the Ba'al Shem Tov
rav yisrael ben eliezer, known to chassidim as the "holy Ba'al Shem Tov ," the founder and leader of the chassidic movement
Sparks of Teshuvah


During Creation, taught the holy Ba'al Shem Tov, when there was a shattering of the vessels (that is, when the sefiros, the divine attributes, which are compared to vessels, had been created to channel the light of the Infinite One into the world, but they could not contain the light and so "shattered"), sparks of divine light were scattered and dispersed
all over the world. These holy sparks are found everywhere and in everything, even in such mundane things as trees and stones, even in our actions and deeds — and even in our sins and transgressions. Our mission in this world is to release these holy sparks by performing the will of the Almighty using those mundane, physical things.
What are the sparks found in a transgression — and how can they be elevated? They are the sparks of teshuvah, repentance. When a person repents of his transgressions, he elevates those sparks to the highest spiritual realms on High.
This is the deeper meaning of "Nosei avon — Forgiver of sin" (Shemos 34:7), which literally means "Carries up sin." Through repentance, the sin is elevated and refined. Similarly, this is what Kayin meant when he complained, "My sin is too great to 'carry up' " (Bereishis 4:13) — he felt he was unable to elevate it to the upper realms above with true repentance. Tzavas HaRivash

Masters of Return
Two types of Tzaddikim are hinted at in the verse "A Tzaddik will blossom like a date palm and grow tall as a cedar" (Tehillim 92:13). Our Sages noted (Ta'anis 25b) that the date palm is a fruit-bearing tree, whereas the cedar does not produce fruits. So, too, there are righteous people who are involved in bearing fruit — in influencing others to do
teshuvah and helping to produce more Tzaddikim in this world — and there are Tzaddikim who are more focused on deveikus, on attaching themselves to Hashem, but they are not engaged in influencing others.
With this idea, we can shed a different light on our Sages' teaching that "in the place where ba'alei teshuvah stand, even the righteous cannot stand" (Berachos 34b). Usually ba'al teshuvah is interpreted to mean "penitent." But we can also say that a Tzaddik can be known as a "ba'al teshuvah" — a master of return. Such a Tzaddik is one who has turned many away from sin and returned them to the path of Hashem. It is because of this Tzaddik that there is teshuvah in the world. His reward is many times greater than that of the other kind of Tzaddik, who, righteous as he is, does not seek to "bear fruit" and guide others onto the path of teshuvah. Tzavas HaRivash

A Lost Opportunity
There is no one in this world, not even the most lowly and wicked, who does not at some time experience pangs of remorse. Those who cast these thoughts aside instead of seizing the opportunity to repent are like someone who takes the keys to the king's treasury that the king himself handed him as a gift and throws them away. He is throwing away the opportunity Hashem gave him for teshuvah. Kesser Shem Tov

The Four Ministers Who Stole the King's Riches
A parable by the Ba'al Shem Tov:
There was once a king who appointed four ministers over the royal treasury. Too greedy to control their desire for all that fabulous wealth, they each stole from the treasury and fled.
The first minister was soon seized by feelings of remorse and returned on his own.
The second minister, too, began to rethink what he had done. He sought out the counsel of a wise man who spoke to his heart, saying, "What have you done and why?" The wise man convinced the minister to give back the treasure he had taken, and the second minister, too, returned.
The third minister came across a thief who was sentenced and punished harshly for his act of robbery. Witnessing the thief 's punishment, he was seized with great fear — what would happen to him if he, too, were caught? His fear compelled him to return.
The fourth minister fled and never returned.
The king confronted the ministers who had come back. The minister who returned of his own volition was rewarded for his loyalty and sincerity with even greater wealth than he had taken. To the second minister the king gave nothing. "If you had never found the counsel of the wise man, you would have never come back," he admonished.
Finally, the third minister, who had returned out of fear after seeing the harsh punishment that thieves suffered, the king appointed to oversee all the sentences meted out to sinners, so that he would continually witness their sufferings.
"And that minister," concluded the Ba'al Shem Tov, "is I." Kesser Shem Tov

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Chozeh MeLublin a Lesson in Emunah

A Beracha LeVatalah

Someone once came to the holy Chozeh the Seer of Lublin, and complained, "Rebbe this morning I made a Beracha LeVatalah! I recited a blessing in vain! I recited the blessing in Birkas HaShachar SheAsa Li kol Tzorki - Blessed is Hashem Who fulfilled all my needs"
"But Rebbe," he bemoaned his fate, "I am so poor and impoverished that I have no money, no food, Rebbe I dont even own a proper pair of shoes! So Rebbe, I recited a Beracha LeVatalah, do I say now say Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso to compensate (as is the halacha in Jewish law?)"

The Chozeh answered the distraught chossid, "No, you did not recite a blessing in vain," explained the Rebbe, "it was not a beracha levatalah because whatever Hashem has given you is what you need, whatever you do have that is what Hashem in His infinite wisdom has decreed that is what you actually need."

May hashem open our eyes, may we all be granted the emunah and butachin, the faith and trust to see that what we have is what we need, Amen

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

An Amazing Chassidishe Story

TESHUVA

There was once a Jew who heard about the great Rebbe Reb Zisha of hanipoli, it was during the days of awe and repentance around Rosha HaShanna YomKippur time and he traveled to meet the Rebb in person. When he arrived in the beis midrash he found Reb Zisha wrapped in Tallis and Tefillin reciting viduy, the confession while at the front of the shul an amazoing spectacle was taking place: a man lay there on the floor wracking with sobs and crying out "O woe for me I am a sinner and a criminal and a good for nothing," as he sobbed and cried he banged his fists into the floor and writhed in sheer agony! Witnessing the newcomer's obvious bafflement, Reb Zisha turned to him and explained, (calling himself by name in the third person dimunitive humble way which was Zisha's!) "this man was a grievous sinner, finally they caught him in the act and brought him to Zisha, but he still refused to confess and own up. Zisha tried to get him to repent to no avail, finally Zisha saw no choice so I bound and attached my soul to his and as Zisha recited viduy and confessed all of his terrible sins the man became a baal teshuva." Eventually he became a true baal teshuva, and the newcomer a fiery chassid and disciple of his new Rebbe. (Siach Sarfei Kodesh)




--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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chassidusonline@gmail.com
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Emuna From Darkness to Light

I recently came across an amazing little kuntres (pamphlet) which details the teachings of Rav Chatzkel Levenstein who was the menahel ruachani of Mir and Ponivitch Yeshivas on Emunah

He used to say Emunah is the key to life!

He taught that all success in spiritual avodah hinges upon Emunah, dveykus, Torah, Davening everything is dependent upon true genuine sincere Emunah in Hashem, as R' Yona writes in his magnum opus Shaarei Teshuva 2:10 that whoever accepts upon himself to follow the guidance of the sages in faith, at that very moment he is going out from darkness into great shining light! Whoever reaches true faith and emunah the root source of all, immediately goes out from darkness to light.

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shavous and Pirkei Avos and also some cheescake

Its Erev Chag, we have counted Sefiras HaOmer for 49 days anticipating and leading up to and culminating in . . .Cheese Cake...um no lets try that again, culminating in . . .sleepless caffeine highs while we try to keep our drooping eyelids open over a sefer and dreaming of bed, no that does not sound right . . .how about snoring through Akdumus? scratches his head....something seems missing?!

Yom Kippur has a fast, Rosh HaShanna has a shofar, Purim has a Megillah, Channukah has candles, Sukkos has a Sukka, A Lulav an Esrog, Pesach has Matzo, Marror and a Seder and Shavous has (drum roll) Cheesecake!

Something does not add up!

Rav :evi Yitzchok of Berditchev suggests that the reason Shavous is called Atzeres is because the only mitzvah it has is the cessation of creative work known as melacha whoch charecterizes it as YOMTOV. I would like to suggest the chiddush that the mitzvah of Shavous is the hearing of Aseres HaDibros and acceptance of the Torah. However even putting my chiddush aside, what is it that Shavous means. We dont even count Sefirah on Shavous we finished that the night before...

I learned an amazing insight from the Chasam Sofer today. It is found at the end of his commentary to parshas VaYikra. There he discusses Pirkei Avos, the chapters of the fathers which we have been studying weekly each Shabbos to prepare for Matan Torah.

He asks why is the tractate or Meseches called Avos - he answers with an amazingly novel concept. All of the Oral Torah, the Shas and the Talmud are Toldos or offspring of the written Torah Shebiksav. That is our sages, Chazal based their Oral laws and traditions expounding upon through the principles of logic and derasha to create the corpus of the Oral Torah. Thus the Shas and Torah SheBaal Peh can be seen as offsrping or Toldos of the written Torah.

However this Mesachta, Pirkei Avos is called Avos because it is the opposite. The sages extrapolated and learned out midos and minhagim tovim, good character traits and posiitive ways of actions from - their own hearts  - this just straight mussar then lead them to use derashos and logic to base them on the verses of the written Torah. This is why the Mesechat begins with Moshe receiving the Torah from Mt Sinai, because even these where Divinely inspired and received from one shepherd. However since the sages are the founders, teachers and innovators of these teachings of mussar, they are the forefathers and these teachings are the fathers, the Avos whereas their foundation in Torah is the Toldos.

That is a radical chiddush. The Chasam Sofer is telling us that the mussar found in Pirkei Avos was innovated by the sages from the character traits and paths of positive actions drawn from their hearts and later based on the writtten Torah. How can this be? I think the answer is this:

The Gemara says "How foolish are those that rise to honor a Torah scroll, but fail to rise before a scholar!" Why because a true Torah Scholar a real Talmid Chacham is a living, breathing walking Sefer Torah. It is no wonder then that our sages who embodied Torah and were walking sifrei Torah were able to innovate and draw out the mussar from their very own hearts!

This is the mitzvah of Shavous, to absorb Torah so that it transforms us.

Now enjoy a slice of cheesecake.

GutYomTov Chag Sameach
Happy Matan Torah

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Tonight the Yorzeit of Reb Mottele of Czernoble


Connection: Seasonal—176th yahrzeit of the 2nd Chernobyler Rebbe.

From: http://www.ascentofsafed.com Story #805 (s5773-34) 19 Iyar 5773
From the desk of Yerachmiel Tilles <
editor@ascentofsafed.com >

Dedicated by the founders of ASCENT-of-SAFED in loving memory of
Rabbi BARUCH-AKIVA (ben Moshe) GREENBERG,
Ascent's very first "summer scholar in residence"
and original Saturday night storytell
er,
and THE master of chasidic melody,
who passed away last year on Shabbat, 20 Iyar 5772


A Rebbe's Debt to a Hitchhiker

As he approached Chernobyl, the chasid was in a happy mood. And why not? Silently he counted his blessings: a loving wife and children, a flourishing business, and soon he would be in the presence of his holy Rebbe, the famous Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl.
With these thoughts in mind he was enjoying the scenery, when suddenly he spotted a poor Jew trudging along with a bundle on his shoulders. Stopping the carriage he offered the traveler a lift, which was gratefully accepted.

For the first few miles both men were silent. But after a few minutes the poor Jew turned to the Chasid and asked him where he was headed. "To Chernobyl," the man replied, "to my holy Rebbe."

"Aha!" the traveler said with a smile. "So you're going to Mottele."

The Chasid was immediately offended. How dare this shabby-looking fellow refer to his holy Rebbe in such a familiar manner, as if they were intimates! On second thought, he decided to remain quiet.

"Are you indeed one of Mottele's chasidim?" the stranger persisted. "Yes," the man replied curtly in an attempt to end the conversation. "What chutzpa!" the Chasid thought to himself. Under other circumstances he would have put this impudent clod in his place, but he had no wish to ruin the journey further.

But the stranger was clearly in the mood to talk. "How do I know that you're really a chasid?" he inquired. The chasid was very surprised by the question and said nothing.

"A man is measured by his deeds, and especially by his pocket," the stranger continued.

"I'll tell you what - if you will pay me the 20 gold coins your Rebbe owes me, I will believe that you are his chasid."

The chasid was shocked. What kind of nonsense was this? "If you can prove to me that my Rebbe owes you the money I will gladly pay his debt," he blurted out. The stranger smiled and fished around in his knapsack until he found a piece of paper: a promissory note for 20 gold coins, signed by the tzadik of Chernobyl. The chasid examined it carefully. Yes, it really did appear to be the Rebbe's signature, and try as he might he couldn't find any evidence of forgery. Nodding his head, he folded the note several times and placed it in his snuffbox. He then took out his moneybag, counted out exactly 20 gold coins and pressed them into the stranger's hand.

The rest of the journey was conducted in silence. On the outskirts of Chernobyl they reached a crossroads and the stranger asked to be let off. Before he climbed down from the carriage, he thanked the chasid for his kindness and blessed him with success.

The chasid watched the stranger walk off into the distance. Within minutes the man and his bundle were no bigger than a tiny dot that eventually disappeared over the horizon.

The chasid took out the promissory note and inspected it even more closely, but again could find no fault with it. By that time, however, he realized that he had arrived in Chernobyl. With more important things to attend to, he slipped the note back into his snuffbox and promptly forgot about it.

It was a busy Friday when he arrived, and Chernobyl was filled with hundreds of other Jews who had come to bask in the Rebbe's presence. Shabbat was spent in a state of spiritual elevation. To the chasid, the opportunity to pray with the Rebbe and hear his words of Torah was nothing less than a foretaste of Paradise.

When Shabbat was over the chasid requested a private audience with the Rebbe. Oddly, the first thing the Rebbe asked him was whether he had any snuff with him. "Certainly," the chasid replied, immediately proffering his snuffbox. As he opened it he saw the note he had forgotten about, and after a moment's hesitation handed it over to the Rebbe, who had noticed him pause.

"How did this come into your hands?" the Rebbe asked him. The chasid related the whole unlikely story of the stranger who had claimed that the Rebbe owed him money, and was shocked when the Rebbe verified it as true. "As Divine Providence has led you two to meet, I can reveal to you that that stranger is one of the 36 hidden tzadikim in every generation in whose merit the world exists," he explained, adding that he had taken it upon himself to uphold him financially.

An involuntary shiver passed through the Chasid's body. A hidden tzadik had traveled in his carriage - and he hadn't known! He had even mistaken him for an impudent clod....

Noting his distress, the Rebbe eased his mind. "Don't worry, you've done nothing wrong," he reassured him. "If you were chosen to share in the mitzva of supporting a hidden tzadik, there is no doubt that it is a good sign."

From that day on, each year during his annual visit the Chasid gave the Rebbe 20 gold coins for the hidden tzadikim. And for the rest of his life he hoped to meet stranger again. But it never happened.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Source: Supplemented by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition on //lchaimweekly.org (#668), with permission.


Biographic note:
Rabbi Mordechai ("Mottel") of Chernobyl [1770 - 20 Iyar 1837], successor to his father, Rabbi Nachum, was the son-in-law of Rabbi Aharon the Great of Karlin and subsequently of Rabbi David Seirkes, an important disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. His eight sons all became major Chasidic leaders. One of them, Yaakov Yisrael Twerski of Cherkassy, the first Hornsteipel Rebbe, married Devora Leah, one of the six daughters of Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch, son of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (match arranged by the two grandfather-Rebbes), in order to maximize the possibilities for fulfillment of the prediction, "the Moshiach will be born of the elder disciple of the Maggid of Mezritch or the youngest."



--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
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Segula tofay Rav Menachem Mendel of Rymanow Yorzeit

Today is the Yorzeit, anniversary of the passing of the righteous Rabbi Menachem Mendel Riminov Zatzal
He promised that he would do a favor for anyone who would light a candle for his soul.
Light a candle for the benefit of the soul of
Rabbi Menachem
Mendel ben Rabbi Yosef
May his merit shield us

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Some thoughts on Teshuva

Remorse and Regret Rubbing Out Sin - The Alexander Rebbe taught that the primary component of Teshuva is remorse. Now true remorse does not mean simply regretting the evil actions and deeds, this is not remorse because you could argue that these deeds are cosmically insignificant and meaningless as our sages put it: why should Hashem care whether we slaughter an animal from the front or backside of its neck?!

True remorse is over the fact that you did not listen to Hashem Himself and to His commandment. Remorse over this causes you to repent and return to Hashem wholeheartedly. Then you will listen and hearken unto Hashem's voice and all that He commands. We see that true regret and remorse is for your act of rebellion against Hashem Himself.

"Charatah," the Alexander Rebbe continued, "can be translated as remorse or regret over past misdeeds. I say however, who doesn't regret past misdeeds? Rather I translate Charatah as from the same linguistic root as the verb to engrave as in the verse (Yeshaya 8:1) Man engraved, one must engrave and rub out those detestable and despicable traits within him, scratch them off and erase them until they are gone." (Chashva LeTova p36 & p38)

Teshuvas HaMishkal - Reb Yisroel the Maggid of Bahapoli explained that in previous generations there was a concept called Teshuvas HaMishkal which meant to repent and do Teshuva in equal measure corresponding to the sins and transgressions committed. He should weigh and measure the amount of pleasure and enjoyment he experienced while sinning and correspondingly inflict just as much pain and torture and afflict himself equally in order to make amends for his misdeeds. Such forms of self mortification and torture including rolling around nude in the snow and immersion in ice cold mikva baths, accepting blows and whipping and similar practices. However in our generation we have a new way to understand this concept. You should weigh and measure in your mind what mussar and what lessons you can learn from your previous misdeeds and misbehavior. See how you ran after sinful acts, how swift and quickly you carried them out and with how much energy you expanded. Whatever sinful passions, lusts and desire you chased whether it was the wanton pursuit of earning money and acquiring possessions or even to cheat, swindle and steal for a life and home of prestige, wealth and luxury; nothing held you back, neither rain, nor sleet nor snow, not cold winter or hot summer days. Or when someone angered you or wronged you, how you endlessly plotted and with hatred you went after that person to defeat and conquer him, and if you succeeded how happy and overjoyed you felt, immeasurably!

These are the types of calculations you must make and now when you repent and return to Hashem you are obligated to use all of your energy and all of your resources to serve Hashem just as much as you did to sin against Him. Serve him with just as much zeal and passion, with as much pleasure and joy, with a glad heart overflowing to the point where nothing could hold you back from serving Him, nether rain nor snow nor any barriers or obstacles that were in your way would prevent you from doing Hashem's will. Then when you study or pray or recite psalms of Tehillim and praise it should be with as much fiery passion aflame with wondrous excitement! (Ateres Yisroel Ki Seitze p162)

Why didn't you do Teshuva?! - The Dezukover once said: On High they do not ask you, what sins did you commit or why did you sin? No! They ask why did you not repent and do Teshuva!? Since you knew full well that you erred and sinned, why is it that you did not repent and do Teshuva!? If you did not even know that you sinned, that is even worse, how could you not have known that or realized?! You were a man not a beast or an animal! You should have realized your mistake and your sin and you should have repented and done Teshuva! (Imrei Noam p20)

Broken Hearts Purify the Vessel - The way Teshuva works is solely based on the amount we nullify ourselves before Hashem. If you are as a worthless and frail as a fragile earthenware pottery shard before Hashem, then when your heart breaks, this act purifies you, since the law is that earthenware vessels are purified when broken. Therefore once you nullify yourself before Hashem you sins are automatically distanced and separated from you as our sages taught (Yoma 85b) just as a the waters of the mikvah ritually purify the contaminated so does Hashem purify the Jewish people (Shem MiShmuel VaErah p59)



--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Parshas Tazria Metzora

The Yalkut Lekach Tov cites the Be'er Yosef who asks a fascinating question. Why is it regarding tumah and tahara, impurity and purity that there are some animals, birds, fish and insect that are tameh and some that are tahor and they remain this why forever, their status never changes. Yet man changes status over and over again depending upon many factors he can become tameh or tahor from within or without?!

To answer this question he cites the Midrash quoted by Rashi, that Rav Simlai asked why did the Torah of man's tumah and tahara follow at the end after the Torah of the all the animal kingdom? He observed that just as man was created at the end so his Torah is stated at the end.

The Be'er Yosef based on the Zohar therefore explains that man was created at the end because he was given the segulos, abilities, powers and capabilities of all the animals. (It comes to my mind the teaching of our sages which opens the Tur you should be fierce like a leopard, fast and light as an eagle, run as swift as a gazelle and courageous and brave as a lion, man somehow can emulate the powers of each of these animals because Hashem imbued with them latently)

Thus depending on his actions he can be compared to them and to their state of tumah and tahara, thus while they are immobile and their state of purity or impurity is a permanent fixed and unchanging, man's depends on himself and his environment and contact with others and his relationship(s) with them.

This reminded me of a teaching I saw in the name of the heilige Rizhiner. The holy Reb Yisroel Friedman founder of the regal royal dynasty of Ruzhin asked: How is it that Teshuva pardons us from punishment for our sins and misdeeds? When a person acts inappropriately, that action no matter how much he might regret it, remains done. No amount of remorse and Teshuva can erase the fact that we acted and did that thing. Why then does Hashem not punish the Baal Teshuva? He answered by citing the sages teaching that man only sins if a spirit of foolishness called a ruach shtus enters into him. This, explained the heilige Rizhiner, transforms a person into a state and level similar to that of an animal, as the pasuk says that when we are lowly we are as beasts, "ke'behemos nidmu." When an animal acts like an animal you dont punish it. Even more so once a person does Teshuva, he transforms himself and uplifts himself back to the level of a human. So, who will you punish? Asked the Rizhiner. The animal and beast that "sinned" is gone, there is only a human standing before us now.

The main teaching which forms the common thread through all these ideas is, man is inherently similar to beasts and animals in our physical form and makeup. We are a strange dichotomy, formed of two opposing forces, an animal body and a G-dly angelic soul. If we harness the beast within and his powers, fierce as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, brave as a lion to serve Hashem, then we have channeled those forces into holiness. However if they take charge of us, then we are no better than the other animals who have them. Thus we rise or fall in our state of tumah and tahara while they stay the same. May we all go from strength to strength in Avodas Hashem. Good Shabbos

For those of you who have asked my sefer The Glaser Edition of Mipeninei Noam Elimelech is back in stock shipping from Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1568714629/ref=ag_xx__xx/?condition=new

Open your heart to the compelling words and thoughts of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk.

As the Rebbe of all Rebbes and the recognized third-generation leader of Chassidus, the Noam Elimelech is revered for his holiness and brilliance. His profound sefer of Torah elucidations has been diligently studied for centuries. But how many can truly understand his lofty teachings? In this groundbreaking English rendition of selections from the Noam Elimelech's classic sefer, Rabbi Tal Moshe Zwecker has opened the world of Chassidus - the world of the Noam Elimelech - to the English speaking public. With essays based on the weekly parashah and various appendices, including the famous "tzeitel katan" and stirring "prayer before prayer," everyone will be deeply moved and inspired by this important and profound work.

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
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Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003VH9D48

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mipeninei Noam Elimelech (Hardcover) In Stock on Amazon

For those of you who have asked my sefer The Glaser Edition of Mipeninei Noam Elimelech is back in stock shipping from Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1568714629/ref=ag_xx__xx/?condition=new

Open your heart to the compelling words and thoughts of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk.

As the Rebbe of all Rebbes and the recognized third-generation leader of Chassidus, the Noam Elimelech is revered for his holiness and brilliance. His profound sefer of Torah elucidations has been diligently studied for centuries. But how many can truly understand his lofty teachings? In this groundbreaking English rendition of selections from the Noam Elimelech's classic sefer, Rabbi Tal Moshe Zwecker has opened the world of Chassidus - the world of the Noam Elimelech - to the English speaking public. With essays based on the weekly parashah and various appendices, including the famous "tzeitel katan" and stirring "prayer before prayer," everyone will be deeply moved and inspired by this important and profound work.

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here: http://groups.google.com/group/beermayimchaim
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Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003VH9D48

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tiferes Shlomo Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan

Today Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan is the Tiferes Shlomo's Yahrzeit

I was speaking with Rav Isaac Shiff a descendant of the Noam Elimelech and the Lizhensker Rebbe of Ramat, Jerusalem' son and he told me the following story which he heard it from Reb Osibil an elderly chossid from Lizensk who had heard it from the gentile boy who knew the protagonist personally.

The young gentile boy from Lizensk was familiar with the elderly gentile neighbor who lived just on the outskirts of the beis ha'chaim - the cemetery in Lizensk where the holy Rebbe Reb Melech is buried.

This elderly gentile had a small home near the beis ha'chaim and he would observe the annual yearly gathering of Chassidim who came on pilgrimage to the holy Rebbe Reb Melech on 21 Adar. Among them, was the tzadik who organized the annual nesiyah, none other than Rav Shlomo HaKohen of Radomsk author of the Tiferes Shlomo. Because he was a Kohen, he could not enter the beis ha'chaim but nonetheless he would stand at the gates and look directly upon the tzion. Out of respect the chassidim lined up on either side and allowed him a direct view in a straight line into the tzion at the Rebbe Reb Melech's maitzeiva which he would gaze upon as he davened from the gates. The gentile neighbor observing this annual ritual and seeing the respect given to the Tiferes Shlomo would come and bring the Rebbe water to drink and wash his hand, as well as a chair to sit on in the shade of a tree just beyond the beis hachaim's boundary. Occasionally he even invited the Rebbe into his home and afforded him a place to rest. The Rebbe told the gentile neighbor that he would merit arichis yamim a long life, "you shall live as long as that tree grows," and he pointed to the old tree which shaded him near the beis hachaim." And so it was. Tzadik Omer, Sigzar Omar VaYakam Lach - just as the tzadik decreed so it was. The gentile boy related that the older gentile neighbor lived to a venerable old age. One day he passed away. That morning the tree had been cut.

Wishing you all a Chodesh Tov and a Chag Kasher veSameyach

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003VH9D48

Friday, March 8, 2013

Segula for Rosh Chodesh Nissan

Three Stories that are a Segulah for Parnassah for Pesach

1.) A certain Jew was selling brandy before Pesach, to provide
for the upcoming holiday expenses. He went from country to
country, but at one border, the guards seized his barrel, since he
lacked the proper licenses. The Jew quickly traveled to the Rebbe
Reb Meilech and poured out his heart. The Rebbe Reb Meilech
told him to tell the guards to taste the contents of the barrel; it
was only water. The Jew did as the Rebbe had told him. They
were surprised to find that the Jew was telling the truth! They returned
the barrel to him, but then he went back to the Rebbe,
crying: "Now how can I provide for my family for the holiday?
The barrel of brandy was my only way of earning a livelihood and
now it's full of water!" The Rebbe Reb Meilech told him to taste
the contents of the barrel. To his delight, it was full of brandy
once again!
2.) A king lost his ring. He proclaimed that he would pay a
handsome salary to everyone who searched for it. There was a
poor Jew who had no money for Pesach. His wife advised him to
take up the king's offer. So he joined in the search, and with the
money he earned, he bought all the necessities for Pesach. This
Jew was also a generous fellow; he invited many guests for the
seder that year.
Among the king's advisors was a wicked anti-Semite. On the
seder night he went to the Jew's home and peeked in through the
window. When he saw the Jew eating and drinking and not
searching for the king's ring, he saw his chance. He quickly went
back to the palace. "Your Majesty," he said. "You've been fooled.
I'll show you!" The king followed his advisor to the house of the
poor Jew,and peered in the window. There was the Jew at a table
full of guests, eating and drinking like a king! Still, the king was
loath to think ill of his Jewish subject. He told the advisor, "This
Jew is probably interrogating these men to see if they know the
ring's whereabouts."
This Jew's custom was that at "Dayenu," he would recite each
verse and all the guests would respond, "Dayenu." It so happened
that the advisor's name was none other than Dayenu. Just then,
they all answered in chorus "Dayenu!" The king's advisor paled.
The king understood this to mean that his
trusted advisor had in fact stolen the ring.
He commanded his royal guards to seize
the advisor and jail him, and he confessed
to the crime.
3.) There was a certain Jew who
worked hard for his landlord, the poritz.
One day, the poritz said, "It's lucky for
you that I support you. Otherwise, you
would starve!" In his simple faith, the Jew
answered, "What are you saying? There's
a G-d in Heaven and He provides for all
His creatures. If the poritz won't serve as
G-d's agent, G-d will find me another."
The poritz angrily banished the Jew from
his property.
This occurred right before Pesach.
This poor Jew now had no money to buy
the necessary provisions.
The poritz had a huge treasury where
he kept all his gold. He would go in from
time to time to count and polish his coins.
He would spit on each coin and then polish
it till it shone. The poritz' pet monkey
would go with the poritz into the treasury
and watch him. He saw his master
put the coins close to his mouth; he
thought that the poritz was eating the
coins! Monkey see, monkey do. The
monkey copied his master. It stole alone
into the treasury and feasted on the gold
coins. The monkey ate so many coins that
it died.
When the poritz came into his treasury
and saw the dead monkey, he didn't
realize the cause of its death. His anger
had not abated, and he commanded his
servant to throw the monkey into the
Jew's house, to teach him a lesson. "If I
don't provide for him, no one will!" The
servant threw the monkey in through the
window. When it landed, its stomach
burst and all the gold coins came pouring
out. Then the Jew was able to buy an
abundance of provisions for Pesach.
On the seder night, the poritz sent his
servant to see how the Jew was suffering
without food. But the servant reported
that the Jew's house was full of food and
drink. The poritz later sent for the Jew
and asked him from where he'd had
money. The Jew told the poritz how
someone had thrown a dead monkey
into his house and that hundreds of gold
coins had burst from it. The poritz then
admitted, "Now I truly see that it's
Hashem Who provides for us all."



--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003VH9D48

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Parshas Teruma

The pasuk says from each person whose has a charitable heart shall you take My teruma tithe - MiKol Ish Asher Yadveynu Libo Tikchu es Terumasi

This is how the holy Sabba Kadisha, Rav Avraham of Slonim would explain this verse:

There are those tzadikim who are so charitable that if they could they would give their own hearts to Hashem, however since this is impossible they settle for wholeheartedly giving donations of money. Says Hashem, from this type of person I want you to take my beloved tithe.

--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003VH9D48

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Simcha in Avodas Hashem

Simcha in Avodas Hashem

You should exceedingly rejoice over anything that you do and any service that you perform in the act of serving Hashem. Your Avodas Hashem should be something very dear and precious to you. You should feel as if you have made up your mind to never part with even the smallest act you have done in Avodas Hashem, to the point where if someone were to offer you a large amount of money you would not be willing to sell any of it for all the money in the world! Whether it is a single spoken word or even just one act, even if all it took was a moment's time surely it was not lost. Rather this action has had a great effect and an immense lasting consequence for you and perhaps for the entire Jewish people as well, as is known. Is there any greater joy and happiness than that? That the Creator's will was done and fulfilled and the entire purpose of Creation was actualized? Do whatever you can, and desire to strive and do whatever possible whether it seems to be a small insignificant act to you or not as is known from the tzadikim R' Elazar and R' Shimon [bar Yochai]. As people say, as the folksaying goes – whatever opportunity you can get at the trade fair is good.

(Rav Asher from Karlin Stolin – Intro to Beis Aharon #3 pg 4)



--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
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Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003VH9D48

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sadness and Depression

Sadness, Fears and Phobias

Try not to be too punctilious and exacting with every thing you do, because such thoughts are products of the evil inclination. He causes many to have excessive fears and phobias that constantly plague him causing him to fear that he has not done his religious duty properly and that he has not fulfilled his religious obligations. This brings a person down and causes sadness and despair.

Sadness is one of the greatest obstacles in serving Hashem as is known. Even is you stumble and sin inadvertently, nonetheless do not be overly sad and depressed because this will stop your Avodas Hashem and prevent it. Rather you should be sad or upset about the sin itself you committed and you should return and be happy once more, rejoicing in Hashem, your Creator. because you sincerely regret your mistakes and promise not to do so again.

Even if you are sure that you actually cannot fulfill your religious duty or obligation because of the many obstacles in your path, still, do not be sad or despondent. Rather think to yourself that the Blessed Creator who examines your innermost heart and knows what is really going on inside, He knows what your true sincere intentions are and that your will was to do your best.

(Rav Asher from Karlin Stolin – Intro to Beis Aharon #2 pg 3)



--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Story and Commentary

The Holy author of the Sefas Emes once retold of his first visit to Kotzk.

He observed that there was no order and no one watching and safeguarding the Kotzker's household and court. People and guests came and went and the doors were always open.

This lack of organization and supervision led to a series of "missing" objects which no doubt went missing along with those "missing" persons who had pilfered them.

The Shamash, the Kotzker's attendant was named Feivel, and his argument with the Rebbitzen was so loud as he bemoaned the missing, presumed stolen silver candlesticks on that erev Shabbos, that everyone in the house heard it. Even the Rebbe himself.

"Feivel what is all the commotion?!" the Kotzker demanded.

Reb Feivel was yelling "And why shouldn't they steal?! Eh? Why not? When everything here is hefker! Open and free for all!? Why should'nt they steal?!"

"What!" roared the Kotzker, "Feivel how can anyone steal, it says in the Torah "Thou Shall Not Steal!!!"

Years later the Sefas Emes related:

"Now when I heard the holy Kotzker roar those words it seemed to me at that very moment that there was no possibility of stealing anything at all because of the negative commandment not to do so!"

This is what the Sefas Emes took back with him from his first visit to Kotzk.

Siach Sarfei Kodesh - Yisro

Commentary:

There is a fine line between should not and can not. We are given free will and we are also challenged with the evil urges and temptations which try and test us to sin. We are free to resist and overcome temptation and thus be rewarded. We are free to give in and succumb to our desires and be punished for our misdeeds. The choice is ours. This is because we do not see or experience Divine revelation first hand. Hashem is hidden from us. We believe and our faith and emunah carries us to the strength needed to overcome those urges temptations and desires. However we do not see. If we did see or hear Hashem first hand we would automatically lose our free choice. There is no choice or freedom to disbelieve that which is clearly and plainly right in front of your eyes. If Hashem 's presence is first hand knowledge and you Hear him command, you are not free to disobey any longer.

It seems to me that the Sefas Emes was transported on that Erev Shabbos to Har Sinai. The holy tzadik, the Kotzker became a channel and a medium for the Shechina which spoke from his throat as he uttered the commandment "Thou Shall Not Steal." The Sefas Emes heard this mitvzva as is from Hashem Himself, and thus at that time for that moment he was transformed from a free willed chooser to one who has no choice but to obey. This is why he felt that at that moment he could not understand how anyone could steal?! How can you steal if Hashem tells you not to! It went from the meaning of "you should not steal" transformed into the words "you can Not steal." It is impossible to steal, it cannot be done, it simply is not a choice.

We all go through such stages in our lives. Our intellect and our logical reason tell us we should not do things, yet the evil urges tempt us beyond reason to do them and so we give in. However at the point where we strengthen our resolve an say, no I can not do this! At the point where we triumph and defeat the evil urge, then we lose the free will to choose evil and we transform the suggestion of "you should not sin" into "you can not sin."
--

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim Publishing
Chassidic Classics in the English Language
www.chassidusonline.com
chassidusonline@gmail.com
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022 / eFax: 1-832-213-3135
join the mailing list here: http://groups.google.com/group/beermayimchaim
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