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
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