Volume One

The Memoirs of Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn
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of Lubavitch
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English Rendition by

Nissan Mindel
Revised Edition

Otzar Hachasidim 770 Eastern Parkway / Brooklyn, New York 11213

Lubavitcher Rabbi's Memoirs Volunie One
Copyright Q 1956-1993 First Editio11-Ten Printings I'\rv~sed Edition Q 20(14
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Preface to the New Edition Preface to the First Edition Founders of General Chasidism and the Heads of Chabad


1. Lubavitch, the Town of Brotherly Love


Jewish Towns and Townletr / The Founder of Lubavitch / The Oldest Elzit Hamidrash / W h e n Robbers Terrorized the Forests around Lubavitch / Binyam~n the Mystic and His Friend Wolfe / T h e Rabbi of Lubavitch

2. The Mystics and the Baal Shem Tov


The Baal Shem Tov As a Mystic / Lubavitch As a Center of Chasidism / Secret Visits to the Baal Shem Tov / Healing of the Body and Healing of the Soul / A Chasihc Doctrine

3. Baruch's New Way of Life


Ancestry of the Founder of Chabad Chasidism / Rabbi Moshe of Posen Settles in Minsk / T h e Orphan Baruch and His Trials / T h e Power of Faith / Baruch's Secret Revealed

4. The Smith of Dobromysl


Baruch Reminisces on His First Visit to Dobromysl /Jewish Honesty / Baruch Arrives in Dobromysl / The Smith's Scholarly Sons-in-Law / Baruch Finds Himself at Home / Torah and Labor

5 . The Fisherman of Vitebsk
6. Baruch's Engagement


Baruch Visits His Hometown i His Learned Brother-in-Law / The Virtuous Fisherman Avreml


Baruch Meets Former Employer / Marriage Proposal and Baruch's Conditions / Baruch's Self-searching / The Cheerful Pauper

7. The Shamash of Yanovitch

The Kernarkable Shamash Who Impressed Baruch Considerably / The Beit H,~midrashin the Marketplace / The Miller and Other Typical Country Folk / Baruch's Second Visit to Yanovitch / Men of Learning and Men of Action / A Painful Incident

8. The Prince of Yanovitch 9. The Cobbler of Vitebsk

133 145

An Extraordinary Jew / A Libel That Failed / The Apple That Fell Far from the Tree The Scholar Who Became a Cobbler / T h e Red-Headed Kohen / T h e Stargazer of Hatinka / Baruch Seeks out More Mystics

10. Baruch Encounters Some Chasidim


The Innkeeperwho Was a Dtsc~ple the Baal ShemTov /Yeshtvah Student Who of Turns Inventor / T h e Chasidtr Son-111-Law of the Smlth of Dobrotnysl / Baruch Learns More about the Baal She111Tov's Teachtngs

11. First Jewish Settlers of Vitebsk 12. A Woman of Worth

181 201

The Swedtsh Prlnce Who Was a Jev, ' Ewpuls~onof V~tebskJews Averted / Founders of thevnebsk Communrty / Mtnsk, a ( enter ofTorah Llevorah, a Rrill~ant Torah Scholar /Vltebck in thel'hroes of the Russo-Poh\h War / Llevorah's Influence tnvttebsk / A Blessing o t Ltfe for Ltte / AYehhtvah Bearing a Woman'\ Narne

13. Echoes of the Massacre of Nemerov


Alartn Near the Smthy / "The Rtch Orphani Sefer Torah" / "The Doves" of Nernerov / Sole Survivor Returns to the Scene of the Massacre / T h e Old Satnt Who Was Kevered by Non-Jew\

14. In Vilna of Old 15. Outstanding Characters in Old Dobromysl

23 1 247

In the Wake of the llusso-Pol~shWar / The Outstandmg Talnludists of OldVilna / "The Rtch Pauper" Nachum T~lvya'sLtfe / Zec-hdryd Yerucham'\ Fatntly / A Plague of 1)lvorces / Jew~shLlfe tn 1)obromysl / Influx of Torah Scholars / The Undeinonstrat~ve Father

16. Blood Libels in Liozna

2 63

C h a m Shitnon / The Smart Boy Who Averted A Blood L~bel/ To the Mlntk Yeshtvah / ".h7e~'echamakCandle$" / Mlraculour End to Another Blood L~bzl / AnotherYeshtvah Frtend

17. Conceit and Modesty 18. A Jew-Baiter Gets His Just Desserts 19. Typical Chasidism

291 307 31 7

TheYoung Man Who Could Not 'lblerate Concett / T h e Scnbe of I)obron~ysI/ Sacred Trust / Chdtttl Sh~n~on,Y~tzchak and Baruch Shaul, The Tyanntcal Squtrc and HI\ Jew-Battng Over5eer / A Cancelled Order for Snow Boots / T h e Squire Reformed
A (:hasid Befriends a Lost Soul /Yearning h r a Scholarly Son--in-Law : Humble ' Veterinariau Who Ilises to Farne / A Lesson in L.ove to Anitnals i Chasidic Father and Son / Rabbi Adarn Baal Shetn

Biographical Data Published Works by Rabbi YosefY. Schneersohn Glossary and Notes

345 349
.5 . i i

Preface to t h e N e w Edition

a brand new, revised edition of L~tbavitcher Rabbi's Memoirs, written by the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. Filled with tales heard by RabbiYosefYitzchak in his childhood, L~rbavitcher Rabbi's Memoirs contains masterfully written accounts of the bygone era of Jewish history in Eastern Europe, tracing the period between the expulsion Gom Spain and the emergence of the Chasidic movement, founded by RabbiYlsrael Baal Shem Tov. Memoirs centers almost entirely around a young man named Baruch, who would later become the father of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad branch of Chasidism. In these masterfully crafted pages, we follow closely behind as Baruch, who was orphaned at a young age, wanders in search of a suitable manner in which to serve G-d. At times, we witness incidents that occur in Baruch's own life; at others, we join him in listening to captivating stories and historical episodes told to him by a variety of personalities. Both of these experiences serve as inspiration to young Baruch. Memoirs was originally published in book form inYiddish; volume one was released in 1947, volume two in 1965. It was subsequently rendered into English by Dr. Nissan Mindel. Due to its tremendous success, Russian, French, and Hebrew translations soon followed. The present edition contains the following enhancements to aid the reader's comprehension:

+ The text has been completely revised, and numerous errors

+ The book has received an aesthetic facelift, presented in a Gesli,
easy-to-read typeface.

+ Subtitles that, in the previous edition, appeared at the start of each chapter have been ad&tionally inserted in their correct places throughout each chapter. + At the beginning of each chapter, a chart has been drawn up indicating the relationships between the persons mentioned. For this edition, special thanks are due to Rabbi Shalom B. Chazan and Ms. Leslie Stackel for their nleticulous proofreading and editing of the text, Rabbis Ari Sollish and Avraham D.Vaisfiche for graphically enhancing the present volume, and to Rabbi Yosef B. Friedmarl for his editorial guidance. We hope that this new edition will grant a new generation of readers a fresh opportunity to discover the setting that gave birth to the Chabad-Lubavitch moven~ent.

Kehot l'i{blication Society
Kislev 10, 5764, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Preface by t h e L u b a v i t c h e r Rebbe to the First Edition
(1945) marked a three-fold jubilee in the life and work of my venerable father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rabbi N"v~?v:
a) the completion of fifty years of public service as a leader in Israel,

b) the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of his leadership as the Head of
the Chabad movement, being the eighth in the line of succession to Rabbi Israel Baal-Shem-Tov, founder of Chasidism, and

c ) the Eighteenth Anniversary of his release from prison in Soviet Russia, where he was imprisoned as a result of his relentless championship ofTorah and Judaism.
In connection with this memorable jubilee, the Editorial Board of "Otzar Hachassidim" undertook to publish a series of cornmemorative publications from the harvest of the 1,ubavitcher Rabbi's N " V ~ V pen. These include a series of dissertations in Hebrew andyiddish, collections of pastoral letters and messages, public addresses and talks (Sichot),and, last but not least, memoirs, published with the authorization of the Lubavitcher Rabbi N"U)?W. The "Memoirs" reveal an important phase in Jewish history in recent centuries, and, particularly, in the history of Chassidism.They portray a gallery of Jews who paved the way for the founders of the movement, and who, as Nistarirn (scholars and mystics in disguise:), prepared the ground for the movement to take root and flourish. The material on which the "Memoirs" are based represents an accumulation of memoranda preserved in the family archives or in the oral tradition of the Lubavitcher Rabbis since the time of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liady, founder of Chabad Chassidism.
*Tammuz 12-13

5716. for the English rendition and glossary wh~ch has executed with great ability and devotion. of saintly memory. author and scholar.The first part of these Memoirs is now published in the present volume in a free and concise English rendition. the present Lubavitcher Rabbi. N. fix the most part. Biographical Data and the list of Published Works by the Lubavitcher Rabbi uvu. Board of Editors Kislev 10. Brooklyn. He was succeeded by his son-in-law. in 1940. passed away-on the tenth day of Shevat. he 0 7 L 4 K H. Schneerson unv40. Brooklyn. Grateful acknowledgment is herewith tendered to Dr. Rabbi Menachem M. Nissan Mindel. Preface t o t h e T h i r d E d i t i o n THE PREFACE THE FRST E D I ~ E O N written. and in view of the considerable demand for the 12ilernoirs.The Memoirs (Zichronoth) were first published Jouraal of New York in Yiddish in serial form in the Jeurislz L/larni~lg from October 7.YCHASSIL>I. SINCE .?a.LI MENDEL SCHNEE~~SON Chairman. 5709. Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn. The first two ehtions having been exhausted.S.we are publishing this volunle in its third edition. 3942>and subsequently. For the benefit of the reader I have added The Line of ChabadChasidic Tradition. in book form in 1947.L u b a v i t c h e r R a b b i ' s Memotus The present volun~e the LUBAVITCHEIL of IIABBI'S repreMEMOIRS sents a part of his notes which he wrote in Hebrew since his arrival in the U. N.Y. 5710. the TO was author. OTUR H A C H A S S I D I ~ I ~ Tammuz 12-13.A. 1940 to February 23.Y.

5754 (1902-1994) . DovBer) Rabbi Shmuel (Son of Rabbi Menachem Mendel) Iyar 2.5588 (1773-1827) Rabbi Menachem Mendel.5643 (1834-1882) Rabbi Shalom DovBer (Son of Rabbi Shmuel) Cheshvan 20. the "Tzemach Tzedek" (Grandson of Rabbi Schneur Zalman.5621-Nissan 2.5505-Tevet 24.5640-Shevat 10.5662-Tammuz 3.5533 (1772) Rabbi Schneur Zalrnan of Liadi.5680 (1860-1920) SIXTH GENERATION CWTERATION Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (Son of Rabbi Shalom DovBer) Tammuz 12. the Maggid of Mezritch (Date of birth unknown)-Kislev 19. son-in-law of R . sixth in direct paternal line from Rabbi Menachem Mendel) Nissan 11.5458-Sivan 6. the "Alter Rebbe" Elul 18.5573 (1745-1812) Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch. the "Mitteler Rebbe" (Son of Rabbi Schneur Zalman) Kislev 9.Founders of General Chasidism a n d the Heads of Chabad THE FOUNDER CHASWISM OF Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov Elul 18.571CI (1880-1950) Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (Son-in-law of Rabbi YosefYitzchak.5520 (1698-1760) SUCCEssoR Rabbi DovBer.5534-Kislev 9.5594-Tishrei 13.

RABBI YOSEF YITZCHAK SCHNEERSOHN y"7t n"ln il"nY?plrt 5640-5719 (1880-1950) .

CHAPTER O N E THE LUBAVITCH. T O W N O F BROTHERLY LOVE Jewish Towns and Townlets The Founder of Lubavitch Thc Oldest Beit Hamidrash W h e n Robbers Terrorized the Forests around Lubavitch Binyamin the Mystic and His Friend W o v e The Rabbi of Lubavitch .

. I .i J. .

and the center of Chabad Chasidism with hundreds of thousands of followers all over Russia as well as in other countries. Such a town. There are towns and townlets that represent in themselves complete movements and complete periods in Jewish life. During 102 years and 2 months. or by their martyrdom. of blessed memory.- ONE J e w i s h Towns a n d Totunlets THrar K H ~ D L . by their good deeds. Chabad Chasidism (the founder of which was the Alter Rebbe. and where the stones and the soil are not soaked with Jewish blood and Jewish tears. Rabbi Schneur Zalman. that cannot tell something of Jewish history. Every town and townlet has its own chapter in Jewish history. This means that for 129 years and 10 months . was Lubavitch in Russia.The very names of certain towns and townlets bring to life for us the great Jewish personalities who for generations cllstinguished themselves by their knowledge of the Torah. Lubavitch was the seat of four generations of Chabad Rebbes. TOWN OR TOWNLET in the whole of Europe that is not bound up with the Jewish past or the Jewish present. or rather townlet. the author of the Tanyu) is 232 years old.A.

5676 (19 1 9 . or was ln cxlle. its role began much earlier. thus turning Lubavitch into a magnet for those who sought solitude and who wished to be near to G-d and nature. which is in the county of Mohilev. It gave the local inhabitants a feeling of isolation. and portray a wonderful chapter in Jewish history Although Lubavitch only began figuring in the history and development of Chabad with the second generation of the Schneersohn dynasty. during the first World War. influenced Jewish life and prepared the way for the saintly Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem 'rev. creating the impression (for those unacquainted with the distant past and later development of Lubavitch) that the town was more legend . Since Cheshvan 18. At the very beginning it was Liozna. was a suitable place for people of lofty spirit. was connected with the rlarrle of the Alter Rebbe. Lubavitch ceased to be the seat of the Lubavitch Kebbes and the center of Chabad. or to start a new life.L ~ b a v i t c l z a rR a b b i ' . o n account of her geographical position. first of all in the lives of the secret tzaddikim and mystics. by the Kiver Dnieper in White Russia. this townlet nevertheless played the main role in the formation of <:habad and perhaps even of the whole of Chasidism. There were good reasons why Lubavitch was destined to play such an important role. based on the highest and purest ethical principles of the Torah. more than any other town. and when my father. Indeed.This is really the reason why so many secret tzuddikim cast in their lot with Lubavitch and put their seal upon her. Later its center was at Liadi which. together with all his family had to wander tbrth. had always been surrounded by huge forests which gave it an appearance of being secluded. But the name "Lubavitch" will always be bound up with (:habad Chasidism and will ever awaken sweet memories. Lubavitch. when nlystics nnd tzaddikim of various kinds and creeds. Here they could find seclusion from the outside world and devote thenaelves completely to the study of the Torah and the service of G-d. Lubavitch. Chabad was actually born 11: Liozna. when Lubavitch was evacuated. and later in the lives of the Chabad liebbes and Chasidism. of blessed ulemory. M e r n o i r s Chabad Chasidism har had ltr center elsewhere.

For. with magical people. What name this small settlement had-if a name was at all thought of at the beginning-is not known. Meir really got busy building up a colony in the very place where Lubavitch sprang up later. t h e T o w n of B r o t h e r l y Love than reality: a town of magic. he and five other families left their native town. according to the tales that are told about him. and went forth to seek some corner where they could settle on the land and earn their living by their own labors. His love for his fellow beings was boundless. And not only towards his fellow beings did Meir show his love and respect. started in earnest on the task of cutting down trees and therewith buildmg houses. even unto our own time. And so Meir. back in the far distant past. To him everything that had life was to . T h e Founder qf L u b a v i t c h In the early history of Lubavitch. introducing an inspiring and charming chapter in Jewish life. there figured a remarkable Jewish personality who has been remembered for generations. wlshing to form a new basis for their own existence and that of other fellow Jews. and. it was a most desirable spot for a colony. arid situated on the banks of a river. be it a four-legged animal. or a wild bird. but he also loved all G-d's creatures. but the name "Lubavitch" which this same colony founded by Meir was later given." Obviously in order to find favor in the eyes of fellowman one must be good and kind to all. Meir by name. in general. Meir distinguished himself by his great love for his fellow Jews and also non-Jews. Not wishing to remain in their old home.L u b a v i t c h . a fowl. Surrounded as it was by forests. As it is related. Apparently Meir already had in mind the creation of a Jewish colony-an idea which was later taken up and carried out with practical results by the Kebbes of Lubavitch. and ready to be self-sacrificing. He was one of those righteous men who preferred to live by the toil of his own hands. He used to quote the Sages that "He who finds favor in the eyes of his fellow beings will also find favor in the eyes of G-d. together with the families that followed him. very well described and characterized its founder.

his rianle very soon became known in his whole neighborhood and even far afield. called Shilova Street. Many stories were told about Meir's kindness. and because of this. though tens of thousands of visiting Chasidim streamed into it from all parts of Russia. whose source is in the village of the sarne . It car1 be readily understood that Meir was a great philanthropist towards Jews and non-Jews dike. One called Brom Street. Lubavitch was about 1% versts long and 1% vevsts wide (that is an area of about a square nlile).ater the suffix "vitch" was added. In the north of Lubavitch flows the big river and in the west. gave great pleasure to the Almighty. leading to Kudnya.The second. from which emanated Jewish authority and leadership which were recognized and accepted throughout the Jewish world. Cold Street. also love towards the Creator of the world. Meir was the forerunner of a line of tzaddikim and mystics who in the course of hundreds of years made Lubavitch their home. Earlier on. For this very reason Lubavitch later merited to become a Jewish center.L u b a v i t c h c r Kalrbi's M e m o i r s be adored and held sacred. and Kiver Street. No wonder then that the new settlement was nan~ed "l.uban-nleanitig "love" both in the Russian and Polish languages.Vigon Street. Three long streets led off froin the marketplace. there was a small rivulet. Apart from these three main streets there were smaller streets known as Siritze. He used to say that showing love towards one's fellow beings. Lubavitch never became a large city. when the Alter Rebbe studied as a boy in Lubavitch iri the years 5516 and 5517 (1756 and 1757). Altogether. In the center of the town there was a large marketplace where the shops were to be found. and symbol of love for G-d's thus Luba became Lubavitch-the Creation. the number of Jewish families there was between 75 and 80. According to reports. as a matter of course. there were 110Jewisfl families in Lubavitch at the time when the Mitteler Kebbc (son of the founder of Chabad) settled there in the year 5573 (1813).The large river was called Berezine (Birch). near the cemetery. as well as to G-di other creatures. and the third called Chachliuka Street. L. leading towards the town of 1)obrornysl. and. leading to Kososno.

Binyamin was a G-d-fearing man who carried out all mitzvclt. the latter deriving its name from the fact of the birch trees surrounding it. Something then happened which greatly aroused not only Lubavitch but also the surrounding area.L l r b a v i t c h . about 400 years ago. t h e T o w n of B r o t h e r l y L o v e name. and he used to go peddling with his small bundle of wares to the surrounhng villages. A band of murderous robbers had gathered in the forest which . The Jews and non-Jews in Lubavitch always lived peaceably together. It took place in the middle of the fourth century in the sixth milleniunl (according to the Jewish calendar reckoning). Aside from these virtues he was thought to be an unlearned person. which he distributed generously. They lived in a house with a large vegetable garden at the river's edge. Lubavitch was already a town with a long history behind it. that this Beit Hamidrash was in the course of its history rebuilt several times after being destroyed by fire. Whe~ Robbers Terrorized the F o r e s t s around Lubavitch Binyamin was a peddler. was another remarkable figure whose memory and good deeds were closely bound up with Lubavitch. Binyamin. The letters on the gravestone were no longer legible and so it is not known whose grave it was. Although Lubavitch was in Polish territory.The injunction not to use the water of the Gravestone River. however. However. an unusual occurrence eventually disclosed Binyamin's true personality. The Oldest Beit Hanzidrask The oldest Beit Hamidrash there was known as Binyamin's House of Prayer. It must be said. had been passed down from generation to generation." because it streamed forth from one of the old gravestones in the old cemetery. that is to say. after whose name this Beif Hamidrash was called. The small river was called "the Gravestone River. either for drinking or washing oneself. its non-Jewish population was always Russian. His wife was barren. especially charity.

who seemed afraid to enter this townlet where. But these dreadful highwaymen were not satisfied with merely attacking wayfarers. This brought out all the girl's obstinacy and determination to save herself and her honor from this beast. too. Covering her mouth with his hand. innocent Jewish girl realized the terrible danger she was in and started wrestling with the savage brute with all her strength. to stay at home. In addition they chose this house knowing that no one but a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl was in it. never reaching the houses which were some distance away. The terrified young girl began screaming. Every person travelling through this forest was attacked by these robbers. People were ah-aid to travel on the road and afraid. O n entering the house. and made an attempt to rush to the door leadulg outside. after all. hoping by her screams to attract a passerby to come to her aid and drive ot'ithe robbers. they started to take everything that carne to hand. cattle. But once. and in desperation freeing her nlouth from the robber's hands.was on the route between Lubavitch and Dobronlysl. but went into the nearby villages and robbed the peasants of all their possessions. as if . and would not dare retaliate or oppose them. he prevented her from making any further call for help. Despite his superior strength he found that he could not manage her. and herds. Evidently the robbers did not want to risk too much. so h e began striking her with his fists until blood carne trickling down her face. For some time Lubavitch alone was left untnolested by the robbers.They robbed them of their horses. one of the robbers blocked her way. two of these robberr who thought that the people of Lubavitch were surely as scared of them as the rest of the people in that area. The first house they chose for their attack was on its outskirts. scratching and biting and kicking him. there was a conlparatively considerable population. catching her in his brawny arms. But.They did not lie in wait for victims. renewed her cries for help with all her might. The whole area was gripped with terror. left their forest hideout and went forth to Lubavitch. Her screams would probably have gotten lost in the wind. The poor. But before she reached the door.

which led to their wholesale roundup and arrest by a party of armed police. let alone having secret powers possessed only by great mystics! Binyamin now had but one thing to do. The two robbers lay helpless on the floor. he sprang forward and burst into the house. Only when the robbers were safely behind bars. the little Jewish girl became calmer. hardly able to grasp what had taken place before her very eyes! True. It seemed now as if Binyamin was in great danger for his life. and with the aid of a good thrashing. she had seen everything. Whether the townspeople did not know the . Thus Lubavitch. turned towards them and uttered a few words known only to the nlystics. puny Jew. Binyamin the Peddler just happened to be passing by. and stood looking at the scene in wonder. not stirring from where they had fallen. the two robbers eventually gave information of the whereabouts of the rest of the gang in the forest. still in their helpless condition. Immediately the two robbers were stricken by an overpowering drowsiness and sank to the floor. attempt to pit his feeble strength against the greater might of these two powerful and ruthless robbers? But Binyamin. thin. and all the surroundng area. Orthodox.L u b a v i t c h . but couldn't imagine that the overpowering of the robbers had come through the secret powers of Binyarnin. together with all the other inhabitants of Lubavitch.7'he girl was still struggling in the robber's arms while the second robber was engaged in gathering together anything of value that he could find in the house. did they regain consciousness. and that he was in fact a mystic. as if in a swoon. The robbers were soon taken away to prison. but nevertheless quite an ordinary person without any special claims to spiritual talents. She. consiclered him to be a respectable. t h e T o w n of B r o t h e r l y L o v e drawn to the spot by a hidden power. for how could he. The police then set to. unafraid. and it only remained for him to notifjr the local police. was finally freed from the band of robbers who for so long had cast a wave of terror over the population. The danger being over. good-hearted Jew. and hearing the desperate cries for help. a small. As soon as the robbers saw the intruder. they both hurled themselves at him.

What did it matter to anyone anyway what had brought them tc Lubavitch? He couldn't expect much of a living there. from a small town in Wohlyn. and listen.Ltdbavitcher R a b b i ' s Memoirs exact details of Binyamin's exploit. This Wolfe in no way distinguished himself. tefillin. No one was sure that the cobbler grasped and understood the nleaning of the lesson. or . his bit of lunch which his wife had wrapped up for him. and a poor n ~ a n that! at Wolfe. which surely contained not much more than his tallit. Binyamin t h e Mystic and H s Frierid I. He became a mernber of the Chevrah Tehillim and. He also became a member of a society called Poalei Tzedek that came together to study Mishnayot and Ein Yaakov. when on his return anyone asked him where he had been. used to come regularly very early in the morning to the Beit Hamidrash to recite Tehillim before the morning service. patching and inending the villagers' boots. and his cobbler's tools. No one thought of taking any notice of this newcomer. for what was he after d l but a simple cobbler. the fact is that the affair was soon forgotten. The cobbler certainly had a good heart and good intentions. shoes. was the cobbler's name.Wolfe did not show himself in Lubavitch for several weeks and then. but were these sufficient reasons for making a fuss of this simple man? And so no fuss was made of him. together with other workpeople. and no one was interested enough to enquire. From time to time this Wolfe had a habit of disappearing from Lubavitch. He came with his wife. he said. He was seen to leave his house with a bundle on his shoulders. He gave no reason for their corning to Lubavitch. but this apparently didn't worry Wolfe. he had becoine a crony of a man who ]lad suddenly appeared in Lubavitch.Vu!fi. or did not choose to believe that this was a result of his secret powers. i The main reason why people stopped paying any attention to Binyamin was because just about this time. he used to say that he had been wandering about from village to village.Wolfe used to sit at the end of the table where the members of IJoalei Tzedek had their lesson.

it is obvious that one is no better than the other. it appeared that they accompanied each other in their wanderings in the surrounding villages. the Town of Brotherly L o v e sandals. and that by his mystical powers he overcame the robbers. "What is the meaning. Now it was with this cobbler Wolfe that Binyamin had suddenly become so friendly. of your respectful manner regarding Binyamin?" the people asked in bewilderment. there could be no room for doubt about the matter. This would never have occurred to them. O n arrival in Lubavitch he greatly astonished the local Jewish inhabitants by enquiring.To which the visitor replied. as always. Then it was remembered that it was already some weeks since he had left Lubavitch and.L u b a v i t c h . Anyone could see that Wolfe was nothing more than a very ordinary though honest cobbler. "Seemingly you do not know that Rabbi Binyarnin is a mystic. when there appeared in Lubavitch a then-famous personality. while Wolfe was occupied in his capacity as a cobbler. astounded. they would not have believed it. after Binyamin the Peddler. at the same time as Wolfe the Cobbler had gone away. But where was Binyamin now? A search was made for him in the town. or con~petitors. Had they heard this from anyone other than fi-om such a great tzaddik as Rabbi Betzalel Uri of Polotzk. with obvious respect. even here and there reaching some nobleman's mansion and making new boots for the nobility. This was Rabbi Betzalel Uri of Polotzk. A year or so had passed since the affair of the robbers. When two people become so thick and do not move an inch without each other. But now. who was known to be a great mystic with wonderful powers. Rabbi. that there was some connection between these two? That their simultaneous disappearances and their friendship for each other had some special significance? . For. of course. and so Binyamin could hardly be considered in any way on a higher plane. Binyamin even used to leave Lubavitch at the very same time as Wolfe and return at the same time as he. Was it really possible then. they were not business rivals Binyamin traded in various kinds of merchandise." The people listened. after all. In short.

neither was at present in Lubavitch and nobody. But where had Binyamin disappeared to? No one knew. Kabbi Betzalel Uri. But once.L z r b n v i t c h c r R a b b i ' s memoirs Really the people could see no way other than to conclude that he Wolfe the Cobbler must also be a mnybtic. in a Beit Harnidraslz there. Rabbi Betzalel Uri had only sought the peddler and not the cobbler. they would give hini too much honor. What worried Binyamin the rnost was the fact that he would need to return to Lubavitch where everyone knew him. Al Lubavitch was now talking of the lllystic and "wonder-work-l er" Kabbi Binyarnin. as people would come to him with requests from all sides. and been acknowledged as a miracle worker. knew exactly when they would return. but this he on no account desired. A~~yway. judging by his anxiety to tind hinl. Obviously he could not avoid going to Lubavitch as his wife was there. Above all. left the town in search of h1111. which he made no attempt to disguise. He could have attained great fame and honor. Binyamin-meanwhile-had been wandering from town to town and from village to village. and continue with his life of wandering. He wished to reniain unnoticed.nounce his identity. Now they were all ready to acclaim him and offer him their respect and hero worship. unknown and unrecognized. . not even their wives. We could no longer remain in the background! He would no longer have any peace. where no one knew him and where he had uo need to an. like a guilty man caught red-handed. and was greatly disturbed. seeing no point in waiting in Lubavitch for Binyamin's indefinite return. So he returned to Lubavitch with a very heavy heart. Rabbi Betzalel Uri must have had a special mission for Binyamin. and all their household belongings. Now it was clearly seen that his victory over the robbers was indeed accomplished by his supernatural powers. he happened to overhear some fellow Jews discussing him and his wonders. arriving finally at E>obronrysl. seeing how closel)~ and Rabbi Binyamin were befriended together! But Rabbi Betzalel Uri had only talked of Kabbi Binyanlln and not ofWolfe.

Logs were quickly brought from the forest and soon houses were again standing in the streets of Lubavitch. What was the meaning of it? they wondered. At last it had dawned upon the minds of the people what had . Each could quite expertly handle an axe and saw. cutting down trees. A great fire broke out in the town. the people began to doubt whether Binyamin was in fact building a house for himself. Did Binyamin intend to replace his small burnt-out cottage with such an imposing dwelling? They shrugged their shoulders. AU the homeless had to get to work rebuilding their houses. In all this great catastrophe which had befallen the inhabitants. Soon the mystery was cleared. Binyamin also began the rebuilding of his house. swallowing up all the houses and buildings in flames. they observed that Binyamin seemed to be erecting rather a large building. and it only necessitated their going to the forest. or through some other cause? In Lubavitch something dreadful happened soon after Binyamin's return. But as the building came nearer completion. no particular attention was paid to Binyamin. He had no children to help him in the task. The Jews living in Lubavitch at that titne were a hardworking lot of people. t h e T o w n of Brotherly L o v e NOWWAS IT BECAUSE OF BINYAMIN'S TROUBLED MIND (and let it be said that the anxieties of a righteous man are not overlooked on High). did it themselves. It was.L u b a v i t c h . They dared not ask Binyamin. and the bewildered and stricken victims recovered from the shock and set themselves to putting a roof over their heads.Those who could not afford to employ laborers for the job. While all the people were busy building their houses. and bringing back the logs for building their homes. So the forests echoed with the blows of axes and the voices of the woodcutters. not a house for himself but a House of G-d! Binyamin had built a Beit Hamidrash. And even afterwards. and he himself told them nothing. Binyamin's house was also among them. Binyamin was naturally enough forgotten. when the last glowing logs of the burnt-out houses were extinguished. so he engaged workers. The only Beit Hamidrash which Lubavitch possessed was likewise destroyed.There were forests enough at hand. after all. He was now an old man.

"I am nothing more than a plain peddler. nor could he visit the villages on his peddling rounds. L3uring the plague of cholera which had raged in Lubavitch as well as 111 nearby towns. was during their absences from Lubavitch. was a niystic. Binyarnin meanwhile became older and weaker. Wolfe the Cobbler was also childless. His legs refused to carry him.They had all been $0 concerned with thc erection of-their own homes. In truth. Not so Binyamin."The people now remembered all that Rabbi Betzalel Uri of Polotzk had told of him. He gave prior place to the building of a House of Prayer. still considered by the local inhabitants as a simple worker. too. His wife.They now needed someone to look after them and their home. however.Lubavitcher Rabbi's Memoirs occurred.This they probably would have seen to after they were all conlfortably rehoused. Tzvi Aryeh had been earning his living by working in a mill. and the friendship between him and Binyarnin was for very lofty purposes. No one. had fallen victim. that they had forgotten the necessity of erecting the Reit Hamidrash. had gotten married again to a widow." he maintained. and began talking about it with much enthusiasm. because the only occasions on which they devoted themselves to the study of Torah together. He could no more go off on his wanderings as before. had become enfeebled in her old age. and so they took in a certain man named Tzvi Aryeh and his wife Leah Breina-a young couple who had no children as yet. Binyamin tried to deny everything categorically. I an1 no Iriystic. . when they could hide themselves in the surrounding forests which were so ideal for solitude. Wolfe's wife. Wolfe. he was more Griendly than ever with all the workers in the town. like Binyamin. Wolfe the Cobbler. when people had been struck down like flies.'Thus the people were again reminded of his righteousness. knew about this. and could not possibly find out. who always gave the inlpression of not even being able to understand the meaning of the daily prayers. too. too. the daughter of a tailor in Lubavitch. and especially with Wolfe the Cobbler. And as if to convince them anew of his humble station. and they decided to call the Beit Hawlidrash "Binyamin's House of Prayer.

was a simple one and no obituaries were held. Binyamin's funeral. and nobody knew where they had got to!" Now at last the people of Lubavitch hscovered that this same . but what secrets they revealed to each other in the last moments of Binyamin's life on earth were never known.Their house was open to all. who remained with him until the moment of his death. accordng to his expressed wish. When Binyamin had finished with the Burial Board and Tzvi Aryeh and his wife. should they be blessed with a son and daughter. at his own request before passing. garden. A month later his wife Sarah died and was buried by the side of her husband.The fact is that Binyamin not only took the young couple in to look after himself and his wife. He was a simple but G-d-fearing Jew who lived by the toil of his hands. the daughter of the gaon RabbiYitzchak Gershon. he called in Wolfe the Cobbler. but he at the same time made Tzvi Aryeh their heir. they should name them Binyamin and Sarah. Tzvi Aryeh and his wife took over the inheritance and carried out all the instructions of Binyamin. the Town of Brotherly Love turning the millstones.Two years after he had married his second wife. or whether Binyamin chose him only for his simplicity and piety. Binyamin requested of his heirs that. the Rav of Lutzk. He also directed them to reserve a place beside his grave for his wife. He then willed over his house. a traveller passing through Lubavitch saw Wolfe and told everybody in great excitement: "Don't you know who he is? He is Rabbi Wolfe the Iluy-the worldfamous scholar of Lutzk! H e disappeared years ago with his wife.They should also take in orphans and bring them up. after himself and his wife. Wolfe stayed for several hours at the deathbed of his dying friend. that they should always keep their house open to wayfarers and make them welcome. He made the condition though. Meanwhile something happened to Wolfe the Cobbler. Before Binyarnin died. and they took in and brought up orphans as if they were their own children. he sent for the Chwrah Kadisha and instructed them as to his burial. It is not known whetherTzvi Aryeh was also a mystic.Lubavitch. and a l l his possessions to Tzvi Aryeh and his wife Leah Breina.

Lubavirclzer Knbbi'. or she could obtain a divorcc from him. and was prepared to make equal sacrifices. why Binyamin and he had been such close friends." He wished to support himself by the labor of his own hands. She agreed to accompany him in his new exile and. it did not seem so simple. <In no account would he or could he stay in Lubavitch. the daughter of a tailor. too. but this he would not hear of. and if this would prove impossible in Lubavitch where his secret was now known. His first wife had been satisfied to share his life of exile and poverty. He did not know how she would act now that she had learned that her husband was not a simple cobbler but a celebrated scholar. The way of life he had chosen for himself did not lead to riches and honor. This time. Wolfe found in his work his contentment and idealism 111 life. For this reason he had to leave the town.i M e m o i r s Wolfe the Cobbler was a scholar in disguise and that he had for years led a secret life. for it meant for him much more than a means of earning a modest living. Now it was understood. His wife did not want a divorce. "By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread. in the course of a couple of days. He wished to continue his way of life. He would also have had the opportunity of giving up his work of cobbling. But his second wife was just an ordinary wonian. . husband and wife disappeared fro111Lubavitch." had a positive ~nea~ling. then he would again disappear. They wandered from town to town supporting themselves by cobbling. FOR WOLFE E COBBLER HIS W I F Ethere now commenced a TH AND long exile. the widow of a worker. For him the nlaxitn. because she was no less great a personality than he. And so Wolfe submitted to her the choice of the two following suggestions: either she should follow him wherever he would go. did not intend to He stay anlong people who knew that he was not a simple worhng man. Wolfe could now have had honor and greatness thrust upon him. or as a shield behind which to hide his righteousness and learning. a job Wolfe carried on with great keenness. Nor had he any intention of using his Torah knowledge as "a spade to dig with. however. Excitement ran high in Lubavitch.

Wolfe's wanderings went on for some time until he reached a village in Wohlyn. and addressed the assembly from a platform in the marketplace. or at least their old ones repaired. In this village Wolfe had at first found the contentment he had been looking for since he had left Lubavitch. Wolfe had won a good name for himself among Jews and non-Jews alike. Jews as well as non-Jews. it enabled the very poor people to have new shoes made. but only desired the barest minimum of requirements for himself and his wife. Cobbling also gave him an opportunity of doing good to people. The villagers used to call him by the nickname " WoEfke Dobri" ("the good Wolfe"). Secondly. He had no quarrel with anyone and."he wouldn't hurt a fly!" In truth.There lived in this vlllage a Catholic priest who had gotten it into his head that he must. Now things might have gone on this way. At first the priest began with sofi words and a friendly manner. by charging so little. had not something occurred which compelledWolfe again to pack up and depart. Any kind ofclothes may do to wear. nobody knowing that this quiet man was a great personality and genius. and was considered a silent fellow. but solely on account of his honesty and conscientiousness in his work. but footwear must be whole. Every time there was a public holiday he called together all the inhabitants. He told them that if the Jews would only adopt the Christian faith and assimilate with the Christians. and the rainy days during the year. his desire to be among workers and simple folk whom he loved with all the fervor of his soul. as was the case when he had to leave Lubavitch. He was able to lead a quiet. In addition he was liked for his quiet manner. the 7'ot-l~rl qf f j r o t h e r l y L o v e Especially did it satistj. Wolfe used to charge the lowest possible prices for his work. as the saying goes. where he settled down and made his permanent home-"permanent" until he had to leave the place. People ascribed this to his simplicity as well as to his goodness. unassuming life without it occurring to anyone that he was a great man in disguise. firstly because he didn't look for a comfortable living. and would be able to. Wolfe spoke very little altogether. particularly the poor.Lubavitch. to withstand the cold and snow in winter. convert Jews to Christianity. they would be . and for never gossiping about people. not far from Lukatsh.

This was certainly to the advantage of the Jews and they appreciated it accordingly. becanie exceedingly proud of himself. It so011 became clear tliat all this talk of"friendshipn led to his open request tlrat the Jews submit to conversion. especially l the Christians. which he translated in such a way as to show that even the Old Testanlent "recogmized" Cliristiani~: Learned Jews knew how to answer wch arguments. So these poor Jews were indeed in a quandary The priest became rnore and ruore pressing in his challenge. before the Jews saw that the priest's fine words were but a preparatiorl. In this village in Wohlyn. Al this talk made a great in~pressiono n the listeners.Thc priest.The Jews on their part felt Inore secure. feeling that he had certainly beaten the Jews eve11 . It did not take very long.The Jews stuck to their religion and the Christians to theirs. this had IIO effect whatsoever. however. For as long as the prlest confined his advice ordy to friendship between Jews and non-Jews no one was disturbed. however. The rion-Jews felt that they nlust bllow the priest's clearly defined injunction to treat the Jews in the sanie way as their own people. there unfortunately seemed to be no Jew anlong the111 capable of replying co~~vincingly to the priest. He now openly invited the Jews either to repudiate his "proofi" which he had taken from the Bible.saved. or else to give up their Jewish Oith and come over to Christianity.The priest began openly to rant against the Jewish faith and "proved" that Christianity was the ordy true religion and precisely as represented by the Catholic Church. seeing that none of the Jews attempted to come forward to say anything. and together with the C:hrist~ans would constitute a happy community. who now really made an effort to show friendship tbr the Jews. The priest even tried to show his "learni~lg"by quoting passages from the Bible. But as regards the priest's admonition that Jews and Christians should assintilate arid beconie one nation. Farnous Jewish leaders throughout the ages have had to deal with such socalled "proofs" submitted by ~nissionaries.They were all ordinary people for whom the "proofi" of the smooth-tongued priest were entirely beyond their power of argument. frustrated the111 c o ~ n and pletely.

Woltke. however. trying to show with his customary insolence that the truth could only be found in Catholicism. He started refuting the priest's arguments one after another. But suddenly someone stepped forward from among the gathered Jews. t h e Town o f B r o t h e r l y L o v e if he had not convinced them. and they would not be able to get out of his clutches. To the amazement of all present. and brought counter arguments which made what the priest had said appear absolutely ridiculous. was very interested. confident that there was no Jew present who could reply. was on account of what he said. "Good. The cobbler quoted passage after passage from the Bible . With assured steps Wolfe walked onto the platform and began to speak." hoping that a great number of Jews would submit to conversion. He expected to have a big "haul. to their great astonishment. too. their eyes popping out of their heads in wonder. looking around. saying in a clear-cut voice that he was ready to answer the priest. as he was called by the Christians. "What is the idea of his coming forward?" the people asked each other. He made fun of their customs and of their faith.The biggest surprise he gave the listeners.L u b a v i t c h . And. it was none other than Wolfe the Cobbler. Once. "Can anyone reply to my arguments?"' asked the priest. a fluent clear Polish. they heard language which they had never believed could come from him. the man whom most people had never heard open his mouth." he called out. Everybody in the crowd turned round to see who this mat1 could possibly be. the priest assembled all Jews and non-Jews in the marketplace and addressed them from the platform in his usual manner. He spoke in Polish. But this time the priest spoke more sharply against the Jewish religion and put to the Jews the direct demand that they should embrace Christianity.just like a real Pole. Wolfke Dohri. just before a Christian festival in the summer. "do you wish to say something? Come up here onto the platform and let us all hear what you have to say!"The priest was obviously certain that this very Wolfke Dohri could help pin the Jews down. so that many wondered if he had the faculty of speech at all. The priest.

he did not feel like remaining in the village where all the inhabitants. he could leave now. His own actions had brought about this revelation. He was to wander anew through towns and villages. Now the priest was indeed silenced. They did not want to lose him. Jews and non-Jews. everyone seeing that the cobbler had emerged the victor over the priest. but had mistranslated or misunderstood h s quotations. The Jews were full of joy.At the beginning of Elul it was realized that Wolfe and his wife had disappeared. but they found no trace of him whatever! Everybody was very grieved about it. Thus was Wolfe discovered to be a mystic. A new period of exile began for him. He was now rid of one who had had him helplessly pinned to the wall. everyone put up a search forwolfe. was the priest who rejoiced greatly. After that. Even the nonJews could not stop wondering about the sudden revelation of this silent. He was no match for Wolfe. They felt that Wolfe had saved them from a great danger. 'This had happened in midsummer before harvesting time.justly and honestly. with no higher ambition than to spend his time with his equals and earn a very modest living. The argument was now ended. would undoubtedly give him the honor they would now consider due to him. The priest dared not insult the Jews any longer. Back in the village he had left. where no one suspected that he was anything other than an ordinary person. however. apparently unlearned.The only exception. and could not but see that he was in the right. but the urgent need of upholding the sanctity of G-d's name had left him no alternative. quickly and fluently translating then1 in Polish. He showed that the priest did not know what he was talking about and had not only misquoted from the Bible. naturally.Lubavitcher R a b b i ' s Memoirs in Hebrew. Now he could start .This he was emphatically determined not to do! He had fulfilled his mission in this place. and ceased his public utterances in the marketplace. and he would certainly have had to give up his cobbling.The most amazing part of it all was that everyone understood h i n ~ clearly and easily. Wolfke. carrying on undisturbed with his job of cobbling.

had called one of his usual meetings in the marketplace. This young "nobleman" tried to show his theological knowledge in an attempt to convince his Jewish audience that they ought to go over to Christianity. The priest again began his "sermons" in the marketplace. quite ready for a discussion with the priest and his assistant. He made a practice of attending the meeting in the marketplace. unhampered. on his self-appointed task of trying to convert the Jews. but was something of a fanatic. The young man stepped forward and called out to the Jews: "Can anyone here reply to my arguments?" For a lrloment there reigned a deathly silence. and to the great delight and relief of the Jews present. AU eyes were turned towards the speaker. Again Wolfe showed the power of his oratory and in fluent Polish brushed aside all the arguments and "prook" of the two missionaries. and could think of no way out of their dilemma. they had to . and even trying compulsory methods. t h e T o w n of B r o t h e r l y L o v e afresh.L u b a v i t c h . Again he brought out his old "proofs" why Jews should embrace Christianity. It was again in midsummer during harvest time that the priest. supported by his young assistant. The situation became aggravated since the priest had obtained the services of the son of the local squire to assist him in his missionary work. At the same time he missed no opportunity of threatening them with all kinds of persecution if they persisted in being obstinate in the matter. as he bravely advanced to the platform. The Jews of the village listened to him in sorrow and in fear. it was none other than their good friend Wolfe the Cobbler! Sure enough his return was very timely.They were in sorrow because Wolfe was no longer there to shatter the priest's arguments. He simply closed their mouths. and were in fear because they all saw the danger of the priest becoming more determined in his efforts.The Jews felt terribly downhearted and depressed. He supported the priest wholeheartedly in his efforts to draw the Jews into the net of conversion. Suddenly someone from the side moved forward. I'll answer you!" a stranger called. "Yes. and also joined the priest in preaching to them. Here he was right on the scene. This young assistant had had a fairly good education.

Wolfe was held under arrest at Lukatsh for a month. He always came out the victor. In none of these public debates was there anyone who could get the upper hand over Wolfe.They ciainled that his arrest had come about on the orders of higher authorities. his proofs.They denounced hinl to the bishop who found a way of getting him arrested. And so they resorted to the old method of libel. under armed escort. during which period he had to go before the bishop twice weekly and discuss with this high ecclesiastical authority the rrlerits of Judaisln and Christianity. Once a fortnight he was called to a public assembly to hold a debate with one of the ecclesiastical chiefi. Everything had been arranged betbrehand. and h s explanations.feeling worsted in their arguments with Wolfe. False witnesses were produced who confirmed Wolfe's guilt. to the Suprenle Council of the Catholic Church which was then in Kiev.Wolfe was sitting in the Beif Hamidrash studying as usual whet1 suddenly in burst three arnled policemen and arrested hiin. One day towards the eud of sunmler.'The Jews were filled with joy. but this he failed to do. and that Wolfe was to be taken before the bishop at Lukatsh.They again felt secure. It was obvious who was at the bottom of it all.They just couldn't cope with him. Wolfe was brought before the Ecclesiastical Court. It was imperative for the bishop that he should achieve a victory over the cobbler. At first Wolfe had a friendly reception.The bishop. He felt it wouldn't be safe to go away and leave his fellow Jews helpless under the existing circumstances.Wolfe always had an answer ready for hi111 and refuted all his claims. but in vain. The prosecutor would demand the maxi- . seeing he could not manage him. Thus five months passed.The priests felt they were no rnatch for him. Wolfe and his wife now reniairted in the village. had decided to take revenge on hi111 and at the same time to rid themselves of his presence completely.adnlit they were defeated.This caused a great stir among the people. had h n i sent. He was allowed to stay in a private house in freedom. They accused him of pohng fun at the Catholic (:hurch and priests and of nlocking their Christian faith.The priest and his assistant. Wolfe's wife wept bitterly and pleaded with the police to release her husband.

She had no near relatives to help her. . The tragedy. t h e T o w n qf B r o t h e r l y L o v e mum penalty. It was a boy and she called him Wolfe. where she was born and where: she had her parents. She decided to return to Lubavitch. and of the fact that she was pregnant. The Kabbi of k e v and the Jewish heads of the community were compelled to attend the trial. was already old and was himself dependent upon support from others. She was therefore determined to take up some occupation which she could carry on right up to the time when her baby would be born. either for herself or for her little son. a poor tailor. For three years Wolfe's widow reared her child. and the verdict was to be that Wolfe should be burned alive. was increased by the fact that Wolfe's wife was expecting a baby. for his death a1 kiddurh Hashern took place some months before the baby was born. Her father. So she took the first opportunity of leaving Kiev and returned to Lubavitch. and gave birth to her baby there. It took place in the very center of Kiev. but the unfortunate man did not live to see his child. and see to all her needs. But she refused all offers of assistance. The Jewish community in IOev begged Wolfe's widow to remain there and promised they would look after her well. The heads of the Jewish community in Lubavitch. There was much rejoicing on the occasion of the child's circumcision. All the good folk of Lubavitch came to participate in the celebration. were eager to see that she should have everything she needed. persistently refusing help from anyone. And so she took ernploynlent as a domestic in a household in Lubavitch. But she did not wish to stay. For this reason she was unable to stay with her parents and could find no home. after his father. Wolfe had been so happy about the forthcoming event. knowing of the great saintliness and martyrdom of her husband. their first child.L u b a v i t c h . saying she had learned from her husband how important it was that everyone should support himself by the work of his own hands. which had greatly shaken the Jews of Kiev and in fact all Jewish communities in Wohlyn. The trial was held in public. and all by her own earnings.

and his sister Sarah excelled in her beauty of character and appearance. she did all she could to help tier ruother in the care of the orphans who lived with them.part promising him that they would take orphan\ into their honre and rear them. The boy distinguished himself in his studies.Very quickly soineonc was found to take in the little orphan. Birlyarrri~iand Sarah were both gitied children.l.he fact is that she became ill and took to her bed. to name the boy Binyaln111.You will recall that these good people were the hen-s of Btnyamin the M y j t ~ c who had left his house and garden to the couple. The three-year-old Wolfe was now doubly orphaned. and a great and bindlng ti-lendship grew up between the new U~nydnl~ll the new Wolfc. Thus it was quite natural that the two boys. This was indeed a particularly good opportunity. played with him and was very friendly towards him. and keep an open house for all who required a night's locig-ing.and the girl after his wife Sarah. They had been able to comply with another part ofBinyaniiri's will.It is possible that this proved too much tor the poor cvidocv. Now the little orphan was friendless and homeless no loilger. just like a sister. As soon as the little orphan Wolfe was brought to their house. 'The R a b b i c!f L14h~i~ircli And so history repeated it$elf. Although she herself was yet a child. lit-tle Sarah took him under her wing. Binyanrin and Wolfe. and . they on then. fro111 which she never rose again.This wasTzvi Aryeh and his wife Leah Ureina. should become companions in their studicr. little Wolfe began to show that he too had a great aptitude for study and that he loved it.. The local cotnnlunity now had to tirid means of caring for the child's welfare. They were both very suited to each other. For was he nor the son of the saintly Wolfe who was so bound up in friendship with Binyarnin? had by nonv chil-The lundTzvi Aryeh and his wife Leah Breir~a dren of their own. Before long. a boy and a girl.

He had heard of Binyamin's accomplishments and wanted to hear for himself whether he was indeed as great a musician as was claimed. asking highly and ~assed him to be their teacher. For four years the two boys Binyamin and Wolfe studied under the Rav of Lubavitch. An unexpected guest at the weddmg was one of the nobles of the district who came especially to hear Binyarnin sing and play. attended the wedding which was made most enjoyable to all by the violin playing of Binyamin. they were ready to agree to a union between him and their daughter Sarah.The rav praised them very them on to his son. from great to small. Tzvi Aryeh and Leah Breina were doubly interested in the matter. the bosom friend of the bridegroom. Both boys studied together and were brought up together.The boys continued to study under the direction of RabbiYosef.They had never heard anything like it. Everybody in Lubavitch. t h e T o w n of Brotherly L o v e Lubavitch followed with interest the friendship of Wolfe and Binyarnin. Tzvi Aryeh took them to the Rabbi of Lubavitch. but played the violin most enchantingly. Shortly afterwards. When the wedding eventually took place. Both showed themselves to be very gifted. Rabbi Yosef. to examine them. The whole town spoke with pride about them and their abilities. Apart from his Talmudic studies. He not only sang beautifully. Rabbi Shalom Shlomo passed away and his son RabbiYosef succeeded him in his rabbinical post. When the two boys grew up and could show something for their years of study.L u b a v i t c h . The fact that this noble later sent a special rider on horseback to bring Binyarnin to sing and play at his next party. and brother of the bride. Regarding Wolfe. and made excellent progress. Everybody listened open-mouthed to his singing and playing. and both were very studious. all Lubavitch joined the happy parents in a great celebration. RabbiYosef the Iluy. They were already grown up and it was time to consider the question of marriage. proved how impressed he . Binyanlin excelled as a musician. Rabbi Shalom Shlomo. and he thrilled them all with the sweetness of his music.

being supported by his father Tzvi Aryeh. and agreed it would be a good idea. and fraught with danger. some time later. It struck one of them that they could have many more laughs at Binyamin's expense. poor fellow. and that he was enjoying this devilish game as nluch as they. still under the guidance of KabbiYosef. Binyamin went along with a few fellow musicians of about his own age. was compelled to carry out their crazy suggestion. He could see how little he and his fellow Jews could expect from the "overlords. It was not enough for him that Binyamin and his conlpanions were entertaining the guests so beautifully with their singing and playing. having had more than was good for him in the way of "liquid refreshment. It is easy to irnagine how this gifted and sensitive young man felt. the merrymaking at the squire's estate went on for several days and nights. But this was not the worst. It was a terrible ordeal for him. Binyamin had the greatest difficulty in keeping his head above the water while he sang and played. One of the guests. A large barrel was filled with water and Binyamin was ordered to get into it and sing and play while floating inside it. and they played and sang fbr the gathering of nobles and men of high rank present at the banquet. All this while Binyamin had to pretend that he too thought it all a grand joke." in spite of all they did to please them. he had to have them look ridiculous to complete the amusement! 'The other "noble" guests were also somewhat drunk. No.L u b a v i t r h e r R a b b i ' s illernoirs was with Binyamin's musical abilities. and the Jewish lnilsicians had to continue their entertainment." thought he would have a joke on Binyamin's account. Binyamin's feelings had been quite outraged. The assenlbled nobility continually thought out new forms of entertainment. Rabbi Yosef had begun to show an inclination . Binyamin continued with his Talmudic studies. After his marriage. Binyamin. The noble who was the host at the banquet attempted to conipensate and show recognition of Binyamin's talent by presenting him with a brickbuilt house as a wedding present when he got married. He demanded that Binyarnin dress himself in the skin of an animal and stand on an overturned barrel and thus play his violin.

Many used to come to Lubavitch from all parts of the country. He said that Rabbi Binyamin had a greater right to it than he. it was then about the year 5496 (1736) that the Rav of Lubavitch. called together the heads of the community and said to them: "Until now. and so RabbiYosef could depart into his self-chosen exile. however. Rabbi Binyamin. Two years later RabbiYosef returned home. He used to go away for periods of six months or so. RabbiYosef. make an allowance to his wife and little daughter. I want you to do so. They told their listeners that if they sinned against G-d and did not repent immediately. Before Rabbi Yosef left Lubavitch. They all preached in the Beit Hamidrash and their sermons were all of a pattern. and Rabbi Binyamin was left without financial support. and then return to his rabbinical occupation in Lubavitch. 1 myself used to appoint my pupil Rabbi Binyamin to carry on in my place. out of his salary. Rabbi Binyamin readily consented. t h e T o w n of B r o t h e r l y L o v e toward going away from time to time to live in a self-imposed exile. It would not be right. The time came. continued to devote himself to the study of the Torah and the service of G-d. What then should be done about RabbiYosef? It was unanimously decided that the best solution for all concerned would be to appoint RabbiYosef as their maggid and leader of the community. they would be punished with indescribable tortures in purgatory.L u b a v i t c h . therefore." The heads of the community all agreed that Rabbi Binyamin was certainly worthy of being the Rav of Lubavitch. but did not want his rabbinical position restored to him. RabbiYosef now showed his ability in his new role as maggid. During his absence he used to leave his pupil Binyarnin to fill his place. but now I intend to go away for not less than two years. He showed an originality in his approach which no other maggid of the period had attempted. particularly as the community was so highly satisfied with their new rav. It was not . with a light heart. still supported by his father. when I used to go into exile for several months. Thus passed ten years. when Tzvi Aryeh died. he asked Rabbi Binyamin to promise him that during his absence he would. for me alone to make the appointment this time.

on hearing these prophetic warnlngs and threats. but rather by winning over the hearts of young and old. they at the same time bring a great feeling of satisfaction to their Creator. he did not speak of a "G-d ofvengeance" Who throws a feeling of terror over Manlund. RabbiYosef was most anxious to lead everybody to the right path through love and understanding. but that they should repent and live to enjoy the benefits of G-d's world. Above all. he awakened in his audience a great love of G-d. Rabbi Yosef's words corllpletely captured the hearts of the congregation. but that love always rates higher than fear. The whole atmorpliere. He dld not Not thus was the way of the new n~allgfd pour fire and brilnstone upon the "slnnerc. but of a " G d of Merc):" a "Philanthropic G-d" from Whoni streams love and goodness and Whose sole desire is that nran should keep to the right path. He d ~ not d want to turn the people to the Torah through fear. Instead. when Rabbi Yosef spoke about G-d the Creator of the universe. and above all. He used to say that apart from the fact that Jews will be rewarded by the Almighty for their good deeds. through goodness. sincerity. G-d's wish is not that the wicked should die. or be punished for their evildoing. RabbiYosef also excelled in the manner in which he interpreted the sayings of our Sages. Kabb~ Yosef. to break out into weeping and walhng. He used to say that love and fear of G-d are the foundations of Judaism." He uttered no curws He dld not speak of purgatory nor did he threaten thern w ~ t h hellish torture\. he stressed the glorlous reward whlch awaited all who studied the Torah and carried out G-d's commandments. Again. . men. through understanding. This was indeed an entirely new approach.L u b a v i t c h c r R a b b i ' s Mcmoivs unusual for the auhence. and the novel way in which he explained them to his hearers. was filled with 51ghs and groans and tears. and chlldren. women. among the nlen as well as the women. He extracted fro111 then1 the very deepest and most beautihl thoughts and ideas.

to the poor vendor. No one in Lubavitch knew where KabbiYosef had acquired his new ideas and his mode of life. to worship G-d through love is of a higher order than to worship Him through fear only.'Thus. thereby endearing hini to every Jewish inhabitant of Lubavitch. Rabbi Yosef's love for every Jew of whatever class or station. ordinary Jew: to the worker. 'The Lord your G-d shall you fear." The effect which Rabbi Yosef had upon the Jews of Lubavitch through his sermons was extraordinary. His sermons were always woven through with the golden thread of his love for his people. He absolutely carried his listeners into a new world. He always stressed their virtues. Above all. even if he was not a inan of learning." but also lived and practiced it. RabbiYosef had succeeded in bring- . a wealth of learning. and to every person who worked and earned an honest living.L u b a v i t c h .The popular opinion of the time was that the scholar was the nlan to whom an elevated position in society was due. The style and content of his sermons were entirely new and completely different from that of any other maggid of that time. manifested itself in all his actions. It is written. RabbiYosef. In addition he was gifted with a fluent and appealing power of speech. simple. he endeavored to excel himself in the fineness of his character and actions even more than when he was their rav. Kabbi Yosef showed his love especially for the plain. sought to modify this idea and to show that the Jew who was sincere in his Jewish beliefs and way of life. But it was agreed by all that these innovations had a greatly beneficial effect upon the community. In these simple folk RabbiYosef saw the true beauty of the Jewish nation. held an equal place in his heart. But this was not all. t h e T o w n of Brotherly Love "The love of G-d and the fear of G-d are two equal precepts. however. and the new approach in his sermons. Rabbi Yosef brought a world of knowledge into his talks. "but nevertheless." he preached. 'And you shall love the Lord your G-d: and then later. RabbiYosef was not satisfied merely to preach "the right way of life. love of G-d comes first. Now that he had becorne the maaid of the congregation. and the real depth of the Jewish soul.

I>obrornysl. however. Yanovitch. and Inany Rudnya. \ ' Jl/lt. where his influe~lcewas greatly felt and appreciated. Rabbi YosefS influence upon the Jews was felt not only in Lubavitch but also in the surrounding towns and townlets. l'eople guessed that he went to live in self-imposed exile. his dsappearances excited no cornnlent and no one bothered to get to the bottorn of his secret. Liozna.Llrbavitt h e r K a b b l .rno~v\ ing new life and a new soul into the hearts and lives ot'the siruplc. and as he had a regular practice of doing this since the time his father was alive. . Kalishk. and no one knew where he would go. Rabbi Yosef. I)ubrovna. Leaders of other communities. was a frequent visitor to such places . and also when he was the Rav ot Lubavitch. It did not occur to anybody that KabbiYosef's disappearances had any connection with the new doctrine of Chasidism which had begun to take root in the Jewish worlcl. nevertheless. Babinovitch. and ordinary folk of Lubavitch who had previously been brushed aside. forbade hi111 to come and preach to their congregations. Rabbi Yosef continued to disappear periodically. becoming scared of his "revolutionary" ideas. Kososno.

CHAPTER TWO The Baal Shem Tov As a Mystic Lubavitch As a Center of Chasidism Secret Visits to the Baal Shem Tov Healing of the Body and Healing of the Soul A Chastdic Doctrine .


bringing with them that spirit of courage and hope. Whole communities had been destroyed. This they did. of which the poor Jews were then so badly in need. T h e Baal S h e m Tov As a Mystic THE YEAR 5425 (1665) a group of mystics had banded themselves together. who chose to travel about incognito. taking upon themselves the urgent task of trying to uplift and improve the spiritual position of the Jews. totally unsuited to their feeble strength and tender years. passed through the many towns and townlets where Jews lived.There were some who were exceptional scholars and saintly men. This was still before the time when the Baal Shem Tov appeared on the Jewish scene. and wander in exile for the betterment of their souls. These mystics were of various types.TWO . also without revealing their identity. or in order to help support their parents. Others. young Jewish children were compelled to do hard work. and do penance for their sins on this earth. either so as not to be a burden to their parents. It was in the period following the terrible massacres of 5408-9 (1648-9). Because of the terrible poverty resulting. and despair was rampant among Jews in general who could not seem to get onto their feet. ABOUT .

Their influence was incalculable! The Baal Shem Tov was born in the year 5458 (1698). and then later emerge publicly with his new Chasidic following. Thus these mystics became their teachers and leaders. he set about seeing to their spiritual welfare. of his youth and of his adult years. which would make them self-supporting. and more or less materially provided for." The Baal Shem Tov realized even then. the Baal Shem Tov in his role of mystic aimed to help Jews to improve their material position. Many of them had to leave the chedarim and yeshivot. bringing them faith and consolation and learning. he was an assistant to a melamed. how necessary it was to create a strong bond bctween the children and their parents and eld- . wherever they were to be found.Tradition has it that even at the tender age of ten. a whole network of activity in this connection.Though the majority of them tried to keep Judaism.L u b a v i t c h e r R a b b i ' s hilcmoirs Obviously. under these conditions. and to undertake other manual jobs. through the mystics. Later on. they knew nothing or next to nothing of the holy Torah. and in consequence they were growing up to be absolutely ignorant in book 1earning. no time or thought could be spared for the education of these unfortunate children. I always tried to point out and emphasize their good qualities. As we shall see in due course. The task of the mystics therefore was indeed a gigantic one: to visit these neglected children and their parents. by urging them to get back to working on the land. he established. Once he saw them established in the way he had advised theni. I worked so hard to teach the young children to respect and love their parents. when he began to spread his new mode of Chasidism. He wanted to prepare the ground first. he attached himself to a group of mystics and wandered together with them anlong the Jewish settlements. and try to imbue them with new courage and faith in their future. helping in the aforementioned great and holy work of calling the Jews back to the service of the Creator. It is known that when a young man. Many are the stories told about the Baal Shem Tov. He himself said of this period: "When I was a young assistant teacher.

Everything he narrated contained some moral teaching. they tried to win him over to the new teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. Under the difficult and trying times in which the Jews then lived. So it was to these ordinary. bringing the Torah to them. His pupils and followers. which just captivated their hearts. Rabbi Yosef had already been looking for a new way of Jewish . uneducated people that the Baal Shem Tov came. This the Baal Shem Tov made every effort to combat. however. which he explained to his listeners in a clear voice and simple manner. except to a chosen few. This was a great and noble task which the Baal Shem Tov had undertaken. His father was then occupying the position of mu. Hiding their true identity. Every tale the Baal Shenl Tov told was woven through with love towards the Almighty and towards His people Israel. were secretly beginning to introduce his teachings to more and niore of their fellow Jews. had neither the time nor the opportunity to spare from their hardworking day to go to a Beit Hamidrash to daven or listen to a word ofTorah.T h e M y s t i c s u n d t h e B u u l S h e m Tov ers. in his wanderings. L u b a v i t c l ~As a C r n t e v qf C h a r i d i s m The Baal ShemTov did not reveal himself at first. Such a mystic. the parents had little or no opportunity of training or influencing their children. For most of these poor Jews had no Beit Hamidrash to go to. by literally going from house to house. He used to gather around him as many Jews as possible outside in the open. where he used to stand and tell them endless stories and sayings of our Sages. arrived in Lubavitch when Rabbi Yosef was still a young man. but richly laden with his spiritual gifts. and so there was the ever-present danger of estrangement. the Baal Shenl Tov's followers used to travel from town to town and when they succeeded in finding a lofty and receptive soul. The new arrival became acquainted with KabbiYosef and greatly interested in him. devoting himself entirely to his Talmudic studies and service of G-d. not like a beggar (although maybe dressed like one). and even those who had.

He spoke to 110 one of the new doctrine of the Baal Shen~Tov. having left Lubavitch on one ofhis cuitomary "wanderings. until 5510 (1750). through the 1Zorlz fishituh.ubavitc11 for a whole year.Yissachar 1)ov was glad to become the sonin-law of the Maaid of Lubavitch and so it was all arranged. honever. He would find there a student frco~n the townlet of Kobilnick near Minsk.They . KabbiYosef had decided to leave with hinl.Lubavitchcr Kobhr's . and on1 his return told nobody where he had spent his time. and Rabbi Yosef iirlmediately became an ardent and enthusiastic devotee of the latter's Chasidic teachings. IiabbiYosef stayed away fro111 L. Iiabbi Yosef then being already the &faaid of Lubavitch. l<abbiYoceispent thc festival at the home of the Baal ShemTov. H e was eager to investigate that which the mystic had ~ v e a l c d to h i n ~ the Baal ShenlTov and his Chasidic teachings. Rabbi Yosef naturally followed this advice. N o one knew of the contact between the two. It was in the year 5495 (1735) that Kabbi Yosef was first brought to the Baal SherrlTov. and it took 15 years. It was the festival of Shavuot. For a whole of month. the mystic. who had the appearance of an ordinary traveler. remained in Lubavitch spending his tirne 'evealing to Kabbi Yosef the teachings of the Baal Shenl Tov.i special mission to carry out. which at that time was famous. Actually.'The time was not yet ripe for Rabbi Yosef to reveal the secret of his connection with the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples. the mystic had taken Rabbi Yosef along with 11hn to the Baal Shem Tov. he fbllowed the usual proced~lreof obtaining an introduction to Yissachar Ilov of Kobihlick." H e had neither givc:n any clue to 111sdestination nor any reason for his going.l/lewza~r~ life. The Baal ShemTov advised RabbiYosef to take this yeshivah student as a husband for his only daughter. The Baal Sheni Tov called Kabbi Yosef to his roorn and told hirn that on his return journey to Lubavitch he should stop at Smargon and call at the yeshivah there. By the time he was ready to leave Lubavitch. 0 1 1 arrival at Smargon. HIS name was Yissachar llov. and put forward to Yissachar Ilov the suggested alliance betwecri him and his daughter.before the Baal Shenl Tov gave hint . neither ciid allyone connect their si~nultaneous departure in any way.

and thus they reached a parting of the ways. and for this purpose he bought a small mill outside the town. He was then already the father of two daughters.Those who were anxious to study the Torah did not remain in Lubavitch.T h e M y s t i c s a n d t h e B a a l Shern T o v decided that Yissachar Dov should stay yet another year at the SmargonYeshivah. Rabbi Binyarnin's sister. Kabbi Binyamin. Rabbi Yissachar Dov lived at the home of RabbiYosef and was thus able to continue to devote himself to the study of the Torah. For the younger students. Learning of the dispute. While he was in exile the whole burden of support fell upon his wife Sarah. there happened to be a remarkable dispute talung place between the rav of the town.During this year. his brother-in-law Rabbi Wolfe had decided to earn his living by the work of his own hands. the Magid of Lubavitch. and his brother-in-law Kabbi Wolfe. This Menachem Mendel was the one and the same personality who later became one of the leadmg lights in Chasidism. They went rather to the various famous yeshivot of that period. At that time the number of learned young men in Lubavitch was small. At the beginning of the lnonth of Elul in the year 551 1 (1751) RabbiYissachar Dov arrived in 1-ubavitch and became the son-in-law of RabbiYosef.Yissachar Dov had made a great friend and companion of a brilliant student from Minsk.The former arranged a time when they could study together. Rabbi Yissachar I3ov put in a good word for Rabbi Wolfe and said he was doing the right thing. When RabbiYissachar Dov arrived in Lubavitch. From time to time he lefi home and went into exile. A friendship sprang up between the magqid's son-in-law Rabbi Yissachar Ilov and the rav4 brother-in-law Rabbi Wolfe. three for elementary pupils and five for students of Talmud. At the time when Kabbi Binyamin was rav. Lubavitch had eight teachers. Rabbi Zorach Eliyahu Krittinger. It soon became clear that Rabbi Wolfe had the intention of following in the steps of his martyred father. . One of these was at Vitebsk. For this reason Rabbi Binyanlln was extremely dissatisfied with Rabbi Wolfe's way of going on. This student had at times deputized for the Rosh Yeshivah. named Menachem Mendel.

All the years that the people of Lubavitch knew hini. After the funeral. monetary gifts. Ile had bee11 alone. the mv of the cornillunit): and Kabbi Yosef the Maaid.There was then liv~ng1r1 1 uba\~tch icrtaln Sholonl (lerthon who earlled h ~ liv~ng trading In the nearby vdlages. To some he sent a present of rrleat. arid atcended his funeral. (b) That o n the spot where Sholorn C I . In a c i d ~ t i o ~ ~ . The three executors were to decide to what purpose the money should be put. and to the fflag~id Rabbi Yosef.The tiilie had now come to opeii the box of money and look illto the contents of the will. which enabled hi111 to give charity generously. Sholom Gershori had no heirs. together with a will. and kept his butchershop as always. and he was indeed a nian of great virtue. to others. asked that a mirryari pray three tin~esdaily in Shctlonr Ciershon's home until the end of the thirty days ~nournirlgperiod. All Lubavitch grieved at his passing. the Kav of Lubavitch.The will stated: (a) That there should be three executors.erslion had left a large t'ortune behind. used to bring Ineat t o the ~zrv Rabbi Binyamin. 111the winter of 551 2 (1752) he becainr ill arid died within a few weeks. who liad been a neighbor of his. Rabbi Bi~lyaniiildiscllosed that the butcher had left a box containing money. s by he was a butcher. were confident that they could rely For this reason his custo~riers on the kashrut of the nlent that Sholonl Gershon sold to them. and they both should appoint a third executor. yet he carried on with his trading in the villages. Thus passed many years until Sholom Cershorl had reached old age.'Fhe only person who had been particularly friendly with him was the scribe Keb Zevulun. Rabbi Binyamin. So the rat> called together the heads of the comniunity arid read out the will irl their presence. the townspeople of Lubavitch were astonished to learn chat the butcher Shololn C.Two of then1 should be Kabbi Binyamin. Everybody was naturally eager to know for whom Sholom Gershon had left his money. and how it should be spent. Sholom Gershon was successful. Every Friday rriorning hc. Everybody re~ogilizedhi111a\ 'In hone5t anti G-dfearing Jew. He dispensed charity anlong the poor and needy with an opeii hand. During the first seven days of mourning.

in a small room. and a new and beautiful Beit Hamidrash began to spring up in its place. study continued. it was easy for the worshippers to feel that the house was in fact a House of Prayer. Before the thirty days had yet passed. During the summer months. The maaid RabbiYosef who had always shown so much love for ordinary working men. Between the afternoon and evening services. the old house was razed to the qround. there would be a Beit Hamidrash in the place of Sholom Gershon's house. the Beit Hamidrash was complete and its dedication was celebrated with great j0y. carlie regularly to the new Beit Hamidrash. among them Rabbi Binyamin and Rabbi Yosef. But Zevulun the Scribe.T h e Mystics and the Baal S h e m Tov Gershon's house and garden were situated. (c) That a learned man be appointed as teacher to teach the workers Midrash. Now that everybody knew d what a righteous man Sholonl Gershon h ~ been. a committee was formed to see to the building of the Brit Hamidrash accordng to the terms of the will. So that Sholom Gershon's house became a veritable holy place. Here. but the congregation stayed to study Talmud with great zeal.and similar subjects at the Beit Hamidrash. Not only were services held there three times daily.A teacher was appointed to instruct the worshippers in Mishnayot and Midrash. came along to pray in the house of the deceased. By the time the month of Elttl came around.The three soon set about carrying out the instructions of the butcher's will.Actually he divided his attendances equally between the old Beit Hamidrash and the new one. who was a member of the Poalei Tzedek. there should be erected a Beit Hamidrash for "the society of the Poalei Tzedek". Pious Jews came there before dawn and studied or recited Tehillim until it was time for the morning service. . The third person chosen by Rabbi Binyamin and RabbiYosef as executor was Zevulun the Scribe.I/lishnayot. with his salary for three years to be paid out of the funds of the estate. now made it his practice to come and pray in the new Beit Hamidrash. Many of the most important people in the town. it was not difficult to find people willing to come to the minyan. After the evening service others found their way there tbr the purpose of study. . Knowing that when the will would be executed.

'They were both absent fro111 Lubavitch for three or four months. Rabbi Yosef had already won Zevulun over to the new teachings of Chasidism and had taken him to visit the Baal Shen~Tbv. and whenever they disappeared from Lubavitch their destination was Mezibush where they visited their new 1eader. For two years they studied together in this way. and paid attention to the way he prayed." In reality their destination was Mezibush. Rabbi Yosef and Zevulun left Lubavitch. For three nionths Yissachar Dov stayed with the Baal Shem Tov. clearly indicating that they had not suffered any hardships dur-ing their supposed "exile. Everything contributed to turn him into a burningly enthusiastic Chasid. the third year after the nrayqid Rabbi Yosef had taken Rabbi Yissachar Dov to be his son-in-law. both their faces were radiant with a strange inner happiness. H e still had much to learn. on a certain ~rlorning. which quickly caught his interest.L u b a v i t c h ~ rR a b b i ' s i b f e n z o i r s Kabbi Yosef and Zevuluil used to meet from time to time and study-just the two of then1 together. H e also listened to his interpretation of the Torah. H e took notice of his manner of living. Sccrc. When they returi~edto Lubavitch. though. the seat of the Baal Sheill Tov.t Visits to t h e Ban1 Slzein To11 Once.A new world was revealed to him. It is easy to assume that their study was connected with Kabbalah and Chasidisn~. In Elul of that yearyissachar Dov went together with Zevulun to visit the Baal Shem Tov. supposedly on a self-imposed "exile. H e spent the High Holidays there and saw the Baal Shem 'Xov in all his majestic splendor." IT WAS THEYEAR 5515 (1755). The father-in-law finally disclosed to his son-in-law that he and the scribe Zevulun were disciples of the Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Yosef had to stay in Lubavitch to preach to the congregation during the High Holidays. All that he had failed to understand previously now became clear to him. So .The m a a i d now began to introduce his son-in-law into the new Chasidic teachings.

the scribe Zevulun. particularly in White Russia. and the neighboring countries. whose name was beginning to be known in the Jewish world. but whom it was not yet safe to follow openly. Thus. No wonder then that Lubavitch becanie the home of Chabad and the very center of Chasidism for White Kussia and Lithuania. the founder of Chabad-who introduced the teachings of the Baal ShemTov to the Jews of these very hstricts and established them there for the coming generations. Now they were a threesome in Lubavitch-the maggid RabbiYosef. perfecting themselves in his teachings and strengthening themselves in their own good deeds. their love for the ordinary worker. meanwhile. and the youngyissachar Dov. thus preparing the ground for Chasidism in the future.T h e M y s t i c s a n d t h e B a a l S h e m Tov when he returned home. The time was not ripe for this. these three disciples of the Baal Shem Tov studied Chasidism together in Lubavitch. and perhaps even before he had heard of the Baal ShemTov (for he was then but a lad of twelve years of age). but Lubavitch was also the place where Schneur Zalman received his early instruction in the Tbrah and fiom none other than Rabbi Yissachar Dov. Lithuania. Not only did these three righteous men lay the foundations of Chasidism in Lubavitch. long before the teacher and founder of Chabad knew of Chasidism.Already their new way of life-their good deeds. Rabbi Schneur Zalman. it was actually in Lubavitch itself that the foundation of Chasidism was laid.They were able to get together to study Chasidism and to share their opinions about various matters of high consequence. their new approach towards the unlearned to implant in them the love for Judaism-all these things were a means of paving the way for the future Chasidic leaders and followers. No one in Lubavitch or elsewhere learned of their secret: that they were Chasidim and followers of the Baal Shem Tov of Mezibush. he was already acquainted with the basic tenets of Chasidism as expounded by the maaid Rabbi . These countries had to wait for those great souls-especially the Alter Rebbe. And so. The time had not yet come for the disciples of the Baal ShemTov to come out into the open with the new teachings of their Rabbi. he delved deeply into the study of Chasidism. And as we see.

In Avraham's age there were no righteous men. Here ts a character~rticemmple of one of the Baal Shein TOV'~ talks: Untll the tlme of our Patr~arch Avraham. since the three always kept together. when Avraham our Patriarch came. The true atn Iza'aretz by which the . the people ofAvraharnS time were called "a nation compared to a donkey. in the sharpest terms. and it was from among them also that he began to draw a b ~ g following. It was this love for the comlnorl man that was. He valued inore the heart.and attacked.Avraham tried to evoke G-d's mercy. even if he did not know the translation. He did not seek for high scholarship among Jews. and i11 their attitude towards their fellow beings. the world was in darkness. And yet. The Jew who could read his prayers in Hebrew. the Baal Shem declared. in their nranner of living. these were the people who were now uplifted by the interest and devotion of the Baal Shem Tov. the mere fact of his sincere utterance of these holy words in Hebrew. He evoked the Divine mercy of the Creator towards his humble creatures. he began to bring light to the world by teaching the people of his generation the true way to serve the Creator. Schneur Zalman was thus influenced not only by his teacher RabbiYissachar Day but also by his teacher's fatherill-law the m a a i d Rabbi Yosef. and there were no teachers to show the people of that period the right path. by the preachers. the real basis of the teachings of the Baal ShemTov.L u h a v i t c h ~ rR a b b i ' s i M e m o i r s Yosef in his sermons. or to ask for mercy on their souls. The Baal Shenl Tov also felt that very rnuch could be achieved with these ordinary men who only knew a chapter or so of Zhillirn. But. and maybe also by the scribe Zevulun. was a source of satisfaction to the Alrnighty in heaven. These so-called "common" people who had always previously beer] brushed aside by the intellectuals. The spirit of' Chasidism could be felt in all their talk." but the Jewish people are never subject to such a comparison. and remained. Even for the wicked and sinful inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. especially in their love for the common man.

Consequently.over 60 years after the aforementioned bloody years. is not really meant to be derogatory. as there were not enough jobs. damonds. uneducated people. By just this term the Jewish masses are compared to the soil.They suffered spiritually because the majority of them were ordinary. for everybody. and take refuge in the larger towns. and all the other precious and important metals and minerals. even the most ordinary among them. As our Sages said: "Even the unworthy among you are full of virtue as a pomegranate is full of seeds!" Healing of t h e Body and Healing of' t h e Soul The Jewish world at large at that time suffered from two kinds of troubles: spiritual and material. but G-d had in this very soil put the power to bring forth all kinds of plants and fruits with which to sustain all His creatures. the Jews must be provided with the means of earning a living. The Baal ShemTov realized that. when masses of Jews were slaughtered and many Jewish conlmunities were destroyed. or other means of earning a living. first of all.T h e ~ Z l y s r i r s a n d t h e B a a l S h e m Tov unlearned Jewish man is called. during which period the position of the Jews had not improved either spiritually or materially. with the help of his secret followers. In the soil are also to be found all such treasures as gold. For like the soil. he started a strong campaign in Podolia and surrounding provinces. silver. everyone treads upon the Jew. urging the Jews to leave the large towns. brought about that hundreds and thousands of Jews had to flee from the villages and townlets where they had no protection. The Baal did not know which ShemTov began his work in the year 5470 (1710). and were still not settled economically. Many Jews suffered hunger and to turn to solve their dilemma. This caused an overcrowding of the towns and much unemployment. . The bloody tragedy of these years. So too are the Jewish folk: they are full of the finest and most precious qualities that man can possess. And they suffered nlaterially because they or their parents had mostly fled from the Clossack pogroms of the years 5408-5409 (1648-1649). looked down upon and spurned by the educated minority.

disciples or followers of the Baal Slzem'Tov. The inystics not only encouraged the urieniployed Jews in the towns and townlets to comlnence a new life.and to settle 111 the smaller town5 and village. or nearly all. Firstly." and the11 to set about healing the Jewish spirit and the Jewish soul. since the power of the protector is greater than that of the protected. The work of the secret folio\. as the world-revealed Baal ShemTov." 1-bv This and similar teachings <ofthe Baal S h e n ~ served to uplift the spirits of the simple folk arrd r:iise their self-esteem. The Baal Shem Tov's activities in the first years miere entirely devoted to the ordinary tblk. or breed poultry or cattle. he h . That is why so many of the nlystics bccanle rnanud and agricultural workers. while in the latter years he devoted his attention dso to the scholar\ and men of loftier souls Quoting our Sages. and (b) they have a paramount task of protecting the grapes and therefore are of the greatest importance. of which the grapes represent the scholars. with Lubavitch (as one of the points where Jews could take up such occupations at that time) beconling a center of nlystics who were all." and sec. 5izable plece of land.The leaves of the vine have two important functions: (a) They are essential to the growth of the vine. through the yet uilrecognized mystics. For this reason the Baal Shem 'Tbv's activities were divided into two phases. based on the labor of their own hands. and the leaves the sinrple folk. the Baal Shem Tbv preached: "The Jews are compared to a vine. ~ d 5at15fy h~nlself to with ail allotment. but themselves showed an exarnple how to proceed on the suggested lines. he occupied himselfwith the great task of caring ibr the spiritual w-elfjre of the Jews anJ with the healing of their souls. where lie could grow greens and vegetables. This was carried out ~n accordance with the Baal SheriiTovi policy that the first duty for hiniself ancl his follo~verswas to heal the Jewish "body. arid take up manual and agriculturd work.ondly.ers of the Baal She111'fiw was wide- . he devoted himself to the Jewish "body. a productive. self-supporting life. If one had riot the porslbilitv of procuring J.

Suddenly he rose fkom his chair with these words: "Today my father appeared to me and requested me to transfer the leadership.the first anniversary of the passing of the Baal Shern Tov was held. however. and always emerged the victors. raised a storm of protest against this new way of life. in the presence of all the holy assembly.' 'Let Rabbi Berenyu take your place at the head of the table. and were also brought as far as Lithuania and White Russia in the north. a well-disciplined corps of workers to carry on and make progress. to carry on with this appointment. Rabbi Tzvi had just concluded his Torah discourse. many towns and townlets were already well-established centers of Chasidism. He was not strong enough. as there could be no one now to stand at the helm. these opponents expected the Chasidic movement to collapse.' my father said. each with a definite task and all serving the same definite aim-the uplifting of the Jewish masses.The disciples of the Baal Shem Tov were at their appointed posts. and was carried on with a high degree of discipline. however. sitting at the head of the table. was the most difficult "fortress" to capture. Lithuania was not only the center of Jewish learning. Lithuania. the only son of the Baal Shem Tov. and outside it for those in opposition who were already beginning to raise their heads. and you. as it called for exceptional powers both within the movement for his own followers. From the Misnagdim who already before the time of the Baal ShemTov's revelation. but also the center of opposition to Chasidism. The opposition came from two directions. Thus. to Rabbi Berenyu. the teachings of the Baal ShemTov were in this way spread fkom Podolia over the Ukraine and Poland. and from the Frankists. take his place.T h e M y s t i c s a n d t h e Batrl S h e m Tov spread. my child. Rabbi Tzvi. The enemies of Chasidism little knew that the Baal Shem Tov had built up a strong organization." 1. when the time came for the Baal Shem Tov to be revealed. On Shavuot (5521). with whom the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples had many discussions in public.Affectionate for Ber. In the course of twenty-five years. . After the passing of the Baal Shem Tov. had been appointed leader of the Chasidic world.

As already mentioned. was founded by the Alter Kebbe only five years after the passing of the Baal Shem Tov. four years after Rabbi DovBer. based o n wisdont. Lubavitch may be said to be the real cradle of Chabad C:hasidisnt. It was this Rabbi Schneur Zalman. '"Clne must be merciful to oneself and to others and help one another. had taken over the Baal Shern Tov's position. congratulating hint with a hearty "Mazal tov!" 'They exchanged robes and places and thus Kabbi Ber became the Chasidic leader. the A4agqid of Mezritch. though the Alter Kebbe had his home previously ill Liozna and subsequently in Liadi. Under his leadership the Chasidic movement began to spread and grow anekv. "One must try to improve one's character and serve the community according to Chasidic teachings. Kabbi Schlieur Zalnlan was bourtd up with Lubavitch where he studied in his youth under KabbiYissachar Dov. With this introduction we come to the history of Chabad." the author of T. when Rabbi Ber was already in Mezritch. how-ever. this town became the actual seat of the Chahad 1eaders. understanding. and therefore. upon who111 fell the task of capturing the strongest "fortress" of opposition-Lithuania. The one influenced the other. For Lithuania there had to be formed a special intellectual " b r a n d of Chasidism. beginning with the history of'the saintly personalities who forrr~ed at its it birth.Rabbi Tzvi then took oK his robes of ofice and handed them to Rabbi Ber. when the Mitteler Kebbe settled in Lubavitch.zemdcil ?'zedek preached. there carrying on his holy work. known by his followers as the Alter Rebbe. as the tradition of the House of Luba\7itch handed it down and as it is recorded in our archives." N o wonder then that "Chabad" and "Lubavitch" becanle words alrrlost synonymous.This particular kind of Chasidism. and becarne a disciple of his. Later. and knowledge.The author of Txetmrrcl~ Tzedek (who succeeded the Mitteler Kebbe and who also lived in Lubavitch) termed Lubavitch as "the channel" through which streanled Chasidic love and ti-iendship. drawing new disciplesthe best and finest spiritual forces of that time-Rabbi Schneur Zalman was also attracted. the Chasidism of Chabad. in order to find a foothold there. . In the next generation.

CHAPTER THREE Ancestry of the Founder of Chabad Chasidism Rabbi Moshe of Posen Settles in Minsk The Orphan Baruch and His Trials f The Power o Faith Baruch's Secret Is Revc:aled .


While his other brothers devoted themselves to business. Instead of Schneur Zalman being supported by his father-in-law as was the custom at that time. nicknamed "the Batlan" probably on account of his living a life far removed from this world. did not interfere with his studyingTorah day and night. Schneur Zalman was entirely different from Rabbi Moshe's other sons. One of his sons was called Schneur Zalman (after whom the author of the Tanya was named). When he became twenty years of age he married the daughter of a certain Baruch. it seems that Rabbi Moshe UR RECORDS BEGIN WITH 0 . This. He was also very fond of solitude. Rabbi Moshe was renowned for his learning as well as for his wealth. He was delicate and ailing from birth. he and his wife lived for six years after their marriage at the home of his father. then a kind of independent state. he devoted himself entirely to Torah study.THREE A n c e s t r y of t h e Fuutzder qf C h a b a d C h a s i d i s m the goon Rabbi Moshe who lived in Posen. however. This Baruch was very likely a poor nian and Rabbi Moshe must have agreed to the marriage only because of his fine spiritual qualities. He was also blessed with sons and daughters.

I J < ' ~ ( ' t i S ~ t l ill l ~ hlirrsk I ~ Thus they wandered from town to town ~ ~ l l tthey carne to White il Russia. and orchards became deeply engraved on the mind of little Baruch from childhood. and orchards. meadows. settled in Orsha. Little Baruch was a healthy child and developed very nicely. ~ n so decided to wander forth. H e always wanted to be close to G-dS Creation. The majestic Ilvina and the beautiful gardens.7'hree years later Schneur Zalman's wife gave birth to a son. not far from the River Dvina.fosltt. in the district of Mohilev. and their daughter llevorah Leah accompanied those fandies of Posen. Schneur Zalnlan lived in one of the poor and narrow streets on the outskirts ofVitebsk. the Batlan. Yehudah and Mordechai. hoping to reach White Russia where there were large Je\vish centers. They all settled in Vitebsk.a indeed a danger to the Jewish fiith. Kdbbi Moshe and sorrle other Jewish inhabitants began to fear that they would not be able to continue at d serving G-d and studying Ti~rah before. Rabbi Moshe and one ofhis sons settled in Minsk. For when he was but four years of age his father carried . who had died in Poser1 prior to their departure. This. meadows. by whonl he was engaged as teacher. f:ron~ tflat time he ref~~sed altoto make a poor living out of teach~ng.Tu-o other sons. physically as well as nlentally. Spreading out from there were gardens. fields. gether to accept support fro111his rich tither and brothers. and Schneur Zdman continued with his teaching.and his other brothers wanted Schllcur Zalman to take to business like themselves. Schneur Zalrnan. his wife. rather. and they named him Baruch after his grandfather Baruch. did not disturb him from studying the Torah. but Schneur Zalman declined a11d preferred. however. R a b b i :\. Schneur Z. peacefully in Pocen had not: then His family might have ren~ained sprung up the so-called "Haskalah Moven~ent.llnian had always been a lover of nature. fields. and this feeling he implanted in his son Baruch horn birth."'rl~isw. Poverty was therefore felt less in this part of the town where one was so near to nature.

Schneur Zalman took him into his own school and placed him among his other pupils.Apart from the fact that Schneur Zalman taught his son. This his father allowed him to do. The splash of the flowing water. When Baruch became seven years old. He himself was a teacher of a higher category. wrapped in a tallit. Now that he was not tied to a teacher or school. he delved deeply into his studies. far from people. or stretched out on the soft grass. all these formed one chorus of nature which harmonized w ~ t hhis own singing with which he accompanied his learning. Baruch needed a preparatory course before he would be able to be taught by his father. and go off to the river bank. He had barely been taught a year when he already knew a good deal of Chumash thoroughly. he in addition often spent time with him. These walks under the open sky. and told him all about the wonders of G-d's Creation. . He took his small Baruch for long walks on the banks of the Dvina. Thus. Baruch used to take his Gemara and any other books recommended by his father. Baruch showed an inclination towards solitude. just the two of them together. and the buzzing of the bees. When he became Bar Mitzvah he was already thoroughly versed in several Sedarinz of Mishnayot. Far from being a deterrent.B a r u c h ' s N e w W a y o f Life him. the singing of the birds. Baruch could now study on his own without the help of a teacher. Baruch soon showed great keenness for study. from his early youth. He quickly overtook and passed his companions who were all very much older than he. evoked in Baruch's heart a great love for nature. They walked through fields and meadows and Schneur Zalman talked to hinl all the time about Torah. and knew several tractates of Cemara by heart. and a desire for being alone with nature. only indicating what he should learn and how he should arrange his studies. to an elementary teacher. the beauty of nature encouraged him in his studies. on a stone. and there. wit:h G-d's beautiful world before their eyes. Very soon Schneur Zalman transferred him to a second teacher who taught the little Baruch Talmud. For three years he studied under his father and showed remarkable ability.

particularly with his father. he walked about as if in a world of desolation. and his sister that he had decided to leave Vitebsk. "Where will you get to? You are too young to ~. as we know.s 7'11~.O r p h a n B a r u c h awd f l r r Tri uar A year after Baruch's Bar Mitzvah. Schneur Zaln~analso became ill arid within six months. all their talk availed then1 nothing. his mother became seriously ill with a fever and several months later died. InVitebsk Baruch had an Aunt Freida. aunt. however. as the only so11 left to say Kaddish.The death of both his parents had a shattering effect upon him. A few days passed and Baruch left Vitebsk without leaving any trace behlnd him. and did their best to be kind and friendly to them.Young Baruch had already decided what he intended to do and would not allow anyone to change his mind. Baruch was now doubly orphaned." they tried to plead with l ~ i r i"Better stay with us." However. used to go to the Beit Hamidrush and lead the prayers.They took Baruch and his sister I>evorah Leah to live with them.With all this. whose husband was called Kaddish. You will be short of nothing." he declared. but Baruch could find no peace of mind even in the home of his kind relatives. "I shall go to some place of 'Torah study. he too passed away. He also used to learn illishnayut ti)r the souls of his departed parents. wander about. During the period of mourning. and in his home they would literally have everything they wished for. The pair1 and sorrow of the fourteenyear-old lad cut through him very deeplywhether it was because he was bound up with them in affection. tie at once sent a special messenger to Vitebsk to bring his two orphaned grandchildren to live with him.L u b a v i t c h r r R a b b i ' s Ll/lemoir. had settled in Minsk. the tragic news of the death of Schneur Zalman and his wife reached Rabbi Moshe who. L)evorah Leah was more or less comforted. where he carried on his business with great success. Soon after this. It was obvious to all that young Baruch was losing health and they saw the efi5ct his misfortune had upon his spir-it. Meanwhile. . he could not still his great pain. or whether it was sinlply because he suddenly felt so lonely. One day Baruch informed his uncle. Baruch.

Meanwhile. a roorn was found for him in a private house. where he again took up his own particular way of life. he settled down in the Beit Hamidrash to study. He followed the view of the Sages. and if the student did not wish to sleep in the Beit Hamidrash. Baruch had already left the town and no one knew which hrection he had taken. "Better to skin a carcass in the marketplace than to accept alms. Kalishk.The messenger could not take Devorah Leah either. but absolutely refused to accept support either from public or private sources. was not interested in all these arrangements. and other townlets. For three years he wandered thus.And so she stayed with them until she married. so long as it paid for his humble needs. And so nobody disturbed him in the slightest degree wherever he went. Baruch. nothing was beneath him. while others paid him not even that attention.B a r u c h ' s N e w W a y of Life When this messenger arrived in Vitebsk." But many people failed to understand Baruch and few bothered to hscover the motives of the young lad. Baruch wandered about the towns and townlets aroundvitebsk and could find no permanent place of rest. As was then the custom. and earning his modest living by means of the hardest tasks he could obtain. Wherever he came. as long as they left him in peace to carry on in his own sweet way. however. anyone who studied in the Beit Hamidrash was invited to have a day's meals at the home of one or another of the local Jews. and took no notice of him whatsoever. Let people think of him what they would or not at all. But how then could he live? He solved the problem by becoming a woodcutter and water-carrier. for her uncle and aunt were childless and did not want to let her go. Baruch was not at all concerned about the matter. Many put him down as eccentric and dismissed him from their minds with a shrug of the shoulder and a gesture of the hand. and thus he wandered forth to another townlet. or else he assisted the stallholders on market days. . nor too hard. Baruch was not ashamed to do any kind of honest work. studying day and night in the Beit Hamidrash. He spent some time in Dobromysl.

In fact. Baruch had saved a little lnoney from thc various arduous jobs which he had done in all the townlets where he had been. saying he wanted to help as a favor. tie had never nlet anyone llke Baruch before. and Baruch was satisfied. A small piece of dry bread. Thus was Baruch able to settle down to his studies in the Beir Hamidrash undsturbed. an unknown stranger. clothing-these were matters of little importance to hi~n. demanding nothing from anybody even to the value of a cent. but at the nloment he was ~ h o r of noth~ng.There he soon settled down to study in the large Beit Hamidrash. was the first to take notice ofthe young student. Shoes.Lubuvitcltt>r R a b b i ' s Memoir5 AFTERBARUCI-I WANDEKEII through a whole range of towdets. having made the Beir Hawlidrash his home. and anyway he didn't need any reward. and with great zeal. the shlznlasll of the Beit Hatnidrash. Baruch. he brought water for the basin and carried out the water in which the worshippers had washed their hands. t Ezra shrugged hls shoulders. However small had been his earnings. his daily needs were always smaller. This was truly a happy period for this seventeen-year-old youth. Ezra. He had all he required. comes along and settles down so assiduously to study in the Beit Harnidmsh. He helped to light the lamps and candles before Shabbat and on other days of the week. He helped him to sweep the Beir Hamidrash. In great admrdtlon he spoke about h ~ n to Eliezer i . Although the shamash wanted to recompense him for his work?Baruch refused any kind of payment. something with the bread. HAD he eventually arrived at Liozna. He asked Baruch if he was sure he wouldn't like someone to supply him with meals and other necessities? Baruch declared he neither desired nor needed help from anyone.Thatis why he managed to bring with him to Liozna a small "nest egg" which would keep hinl supplied with his humble requirements for some time. No worries about making a living and free to study by day and by night! When a youth such as Baruch.When he would need anything for his physical well-belng he could always go out and work. often helped the shamash in his various tasks. it was bound to attract attention. he al~liost became Ezra's assistant.

He declined the gabbaik help. Baruch. and why he had chosen to come to Liozna. The gabbai saw that he wasn't getting anywhere with Baruch. Soon he would not have enough even to buy bread. "I just couldn't get the information out of him.The shamash shrugged his shoulders. was dwindling slowly but surely. and they were all married men. "It is not right for anyone to endure such a mode of living. He could carry on as he wished. that the little money he had brought with him to Liozna and which had been keeping his body and soul together. and going to the shamask. encouraged. said.The other regular worshippers at the Beit Hawtidrash also heard about Baruch and became interested in the young lad who studied so keenly in the Beit Hamidrash. "I wouldn't take their living away from them. "I can do nothing with him. the gabbai of the Brit Harnidrash.The shamash also declined any longer to accept Baruch's refusals of his invitations.You try again. "It seems he doesn't want to tell. he left the large Beit Hamidrash and went to the smaller one on the outskirts of the town.B d r u c h ' s N e w Way of Life Zundel. He also offered to look after him." said Ezra. He began to look out for new possibilities of earning something." Baruch said to himself. again tried to press Baruch for some personal information. where he had come from. he really didn't know. He wanted to become a water-carrier.There no one bothered him. but saw that Liozna had more than enough porters already." So Ezra. We can't just let him go hungry. He thought of becoming a porter. and insisted that he come home with him to eat." Ezra urged Baruch. Baruch saw. "Who is he? Where does he come from?" asked Eliezer Zundel the Gabbai. however. When Baruch saw that he would not be able to get out of Ezra's clutches. We must find out something about him. and looked for something else."The gabbai himself t:ried to elicit information fro111 Baruch in a friendly chat. though. they all went to the wells and river and carried the water to . So he started to be very careful and sparing even with his ration of dry bread. but the latter remained adamant. He went into the town to find some work. He decided that Baruch must be a bit queer. who seemed very stubborn. showed no wish to talk of his family and relatives. but discovered that the majority of people in Liozna were too poor to afford the luxury of engaging a watercarrier.

they were accustomed to seeing such half-starved countenances. As Baruch lived on the . in his view. Baruch would have beconie a ~ ~ o o d c u t t e r . heaven forbid! That. troubled for all the poor \auk he yaw struggling for a bare existence. I n general he had little to do with Baruch. even if offered. pinched face made it obvious that Baruch was sut&ring hunger. If anything. he studied more intensively than before. and he also could not help seeing that he hadn't enough to eat. aiid eat men lev. The worshippers in thc small Brit Ffamidras!~were all absolute paupers. small though ~t was. As for tht. This Beit Hanzidrash was too poor to ernploy a sharnash. he \vould ~ n d e e d ver) careful. arid occasionally a worshipper would slip a coin into his hand and so lle managed to live.their homes thenlselves. or to do slni~lar heavy work Baruch was determined not to conlpete with any of these people who needed all they could earn to feed themselves and their dependents. and out niade up hls m ~ n d that with the remaming aniount of money. H e began to feel really low-splrited and hlr heart was heav~ly troubled. It troubled hi111 that lie cotlld give Baruch no help. But to the people who comprised the congregation of' this sr~~all Beit Hamiduask. be than before. H e felt himself to be an ignorant old man and how would he dare to approach this brilliant young student? So the cviriter passed anti sprlng came. This old nlan saw with what zeal Baruch studied in the Reit Hamidrash. here again there but were poor people enough ready to hire thcniselveb out as choppers of wood. they already had their regular water-carriers. not knowing that it would have been refused. so Baruch would not care to take away their custom. s111all niinority of' wealthier inhabitants.They all had their own worries and took little notlce o f t h e young student. His pale. H e began to reproach hinlself for not having been more careful to niake his n~oriey stret~h for a longer period. would have been unjust. H e ahnost reached hunger level but did not slacken 111 his studies. it was nothing new. but there was an old man who volunteered to carry out the duties o f a shamarh in an honorary capacity. N o one troubled to wonder how he lived.

'' could not be slighted. leaving behind the town and its poverty.The sun shone. he felt very near to G-d's Creation which he loved so dearly. But could this virtue be practiced at a time when one felt so helpless and without a cent to call one's own? Baruch felt he must elevate himself to such a high level. when and what. What beauty one now beheld! And how one's heart rejoiced! Who ever heard of worry? Here was a world where all Creation was singing a song of praise to the Creator! . and the earth was covered with a green mantle.Why could he not have a deeper trust in G-d? Baruch was at that time studying many books on Mussar and he appreciated how great a virtue was faith. the sky was blue. In the ti-esh air and in the greater concentration of his studies he would forget his worries and his hunger. and dream his dreams. The birds sang and the bees hummed. Shavuot was near and nature was emerging in all her loveliness! One had but to go out into the country. that even in his desperate plight he could yet feel that he need not lose faith in the Almighty for one moment. It was just the time when Baruch loved to stretch out on the meadow-grass under a tree. He now began taking long walks in the country. This holy Yom Tov. and the woods and fields filled the air with fragrance. its trials and tribulations. For this holy E m Tov he had to have challot at least for Kiddush. Baruch saw his last few coins disappearing. this festive season was hardly the time for depression. He blamed himself severely. Not for him to question the "how.The trees began to bloom.What then must he do? He decided to fast on the few days preceding Yom Tov so that he would manage to buy his indispensable challot for the festival. "the time of the giving of our Torah. and give oneself up completely to G-d's wonderful Creation.B a r u c h ' s N e w Way of Life outskirts of the town. T h e P o w e r of' F a i t h With the coming of Shavuot. But what was to happen after En Tov? He had absolutely reached the end of his resources and was r very worried indeed." He had but to rely upon the Almighty who sustained all His creatures and would surely also sustain him. Besides.

Now he did not fast for the sake of saving food. Baruch could only r e h s h hiinselfwith cold water from a nearby river.Then began for W him an unbroken series of fasts. At such tinles too. But how long can one fast? He tried to spend his days in the fields under the open sky. He swallowed several handfulls of the sorrel and then drank some water afier it. His hunger. but simply because he had no food to eat. it was impossible to think of such mundane things as one's body and its physical needs. They happened to be houses belonging to Jews who earned their livelihood by gardening and doing such jobs as did in not entail then having to l1~e the narrow streets of the town. but he felt that even in these circumstances he must not lose his faith in G-d and not turn for help to mere flesh and blood. however. Should he suddenly change his ways now? He couldn't make up his mind to do it. He thought of knocking at the first house he came to. he again felt the pangs of hunger. engrossed in deep thought.L u b a v i t r h e v R a b b i ' s ibiernoiv. even the cold water failed to refresh him. His strength gradually weakened and his senses began to feel dulled. leaving Baruch without a cent. The soul entirely superseded the body! SHAVUOT E N 7 BY. The pain lasted for hours and when it finally passed. Baruch walked into town with dragging footsteps. Then perhaps he would recover his strength. Baruch could no longer find any peace in the fields and decided to return to the town. He also tried to go over by heart. He was in truth in danger of his life. could only cause him stomachache. and found some sorrel. gnawed at his stomach. to ask for a piece of bread. Hungry and weak. . But after two days had passed without a morsel of food entering his lips.. At such times Baruch felt himself to be part of this Creation and in close comnlunion with the Divine One Himself. dl1 he had learned. Here indeed was a test. but such a diet afier his long unbroken fast. he went in search of grasses that were edible. passing houses and gardens he had never seen before. Surely no one would refuse such a request. H e followed a new path. For over three years he had kept himself by his own efforts. Driven by hunger.

the gardener owned an orchard which. He could admire G-d's Creation and spend most of his time in the study of the Torah and the worship of G-d. whose name was Avraham. together with a partner. Later it would also be necessary to engage people to pick the fruit and pack it in wagons for talung into town. he asked him if he would like to help him. The fruit in the orchard was beginning to ripen." he added. on condition that he should be allowed to go into town to daven with a minyan every morning and evening. and it was now time to keep watch to see that no thieves or birds helped themselves to the fruit on the trees. The time of hunger was over for Baruch and he felt that his great trust in G-d had not been in vain. Avraham was anxious that the lad should be satisfied. It was a job of several weeks' duration. Baruch learned that the garden was owned jointly by this gardener. "I'll pay you for it. some extra money for his work. It was just the time of the year when the greens were ripe for gathering and taking into town for selling. the old gardener agreed." Baruch was delighted. He jumped at the offer. Baruch was to board and lodge with his employer. Baruch's conscientious devotion to his work pleased the gardener greatly. he stdl did not want to part with Baruch. For three weeks Baruch had a home with food and. Baruch agreed to stay on.To this. Baruch was now right in the bosom of nature. A new life commenced for Baruch. He gave him bread and greens and a drink. he could indulge in dreaming his dreams. In addition to his vegetable garden.When the work in the garden came to an end. "There's far too much for me to do on my own. which all his life he loved so dearly. Roving through the orchard by day and by night. in addition.This was in fact what he had been looking for all the time. and Baruch felt his strength returning to him. It was the first tlme that anyone in Liozna had offered him work. he had rented from a neighboring landowner. . He became a watchman and stayed in a small hut which was in the middle of the orchard. Noticing Baruch. and his partner Azriel.B a r u c h ' s N e w W a y of Life Baruch passed a vegetable garden and through the fence he saw a Jew weeding and watering the plants.

Baruch decided he would go and have a talk with him and ask for permission to borrow some books from the Reit Hamidrash. Now Baruch was completely happy. He would have liked to learn something more. and that none of the neighborhood peasants should steal any of the fruit. during the first k w days that he acted as watchman. But on the first Shabbat on his return from the Reit Hatnidraslz in the morning. All he had to do was to walk about and keep watch that no cattle should stray in. On the way to and from town. The old rilan really agreed 2nd allowed him to borrow whatever he chose. He was not allowed to brlng them fro111 town as they were not loaned out from the Beit Hamidrash. that no birds should spoil the fruit. He hadn't much work to do in the orchard. on Shabbat. Every Shabbat he made an eruv techurnin so that on Shabbat he could also go to town and return. he sudderily reminded hiinself that he had made no arrangements with his employer about being released &on1 his obligations of protecting the orchard against the birds. While Baruch was in the orchard he was careful about every mitzvah.which he certainly did not wish for. He had no holy books for his studies. but for this he needed books. where he had stayed a long time. He pondered the rnatter and decided that he must ask his employer to engage a non-Jew to act as watchman on Shabbat and deduct the day's pay &om his (Baruch's) wages. IIle could sit in the orchard and study to his heart's content. The fact that he had not had the forethought to see to these inatters before Shabbat. Thus Baruch had eriough time for study and for concentrated thought on lofty ideas. Theri he remembered the old man in the Beit Hatnidrash on the outskirts of' Liozna.There was no one he knew from whom he could borrow such books even if he would have cared to attract attention to his studiousness. he had to satisfy himself with merely reviewing by heart all he had previously learned. he used to review all he had learned in the orchard.One thing troubled him.And so. He also remembered that he had not arranged with his employer not to receive payment for Shabbat day. however. something new. Did it not show that . Twice daily he went into town to daven with a minyan. upset Baruch very much.

He told Baruch it would be terribly difficult for him to find a suitable person upon whom he could rely.B a r u c h ' s New W a y of Life he was not careful enough with regard to his religious duties? Did it not prove that in spite of all his sufferings and sacrifices he was still a long way from his goal? He took himself severely to task. then he would fast regularly twice a week. his employer would have to employ another watchman in his place. He paced up and down the orchard trying to see how he could rectifthis failing. at the same time preparing himself for his penance. promising to avoid them in the future. Having decided upon his penance. the next day. During the fasts he would study Talmud right through the night and only sleep for two or three hours during the day During these three weeks he had also set himself the task of learning by heart the whole of the Tractate Shabbat. He would abstain from food for three consecutive days. he heard a heart-rending cry coming from the watchman's hut as if someone were engaged in devout prayer. Baruch returned to the orchard. But surely such prayer could only come from a holy man! Who could be in the hut? . Immediately. Baruch finally decided upon a self-imposed punishment as a form of repentance. How could he have overlooked such definite dinim? How could he have been so thoughtless? That Shabbat was certainly spoiled for him.-d for forgiveness for his faults. at the risk of again experiencing hunger. The old gardener begged him to stay another day and pronused to go into the matter on the following day.At the same time he would spend all his time praying to C. First. he decided that he must leave the orchard. he felt much lighter hearted. Barrrch's Secret I s R e v e a l e d The next day. and it might even take a few days before he could get anyone to replace him. when Avraham came into the orchard. and during this time. he went to his employer and told him that something had happened which necessitated his giving up his job for a certain period of time. He had even decided how he would arrange his term of repentance which was to last for three weeks.

. Baruch started studying Gemara in a sweet voice and with fiery enthusiasm. he went up to Avraharn and asked him why he had not kept his promise to come up to the orchard and discuss the matter of engaging a new watchman in his place. before Baruch went to the synagogue in town. He had decided that he would earn his living by the toil of his own hands. however. After this. It was none other than Baruch.Avraham had no rnore doubt a. Avraham belonged to that fine class of Jews who had for long appreciated the importance for Jews to become artisans.He could not lmaglne ~tcould posslbly be hls watchman Baruch. But Avraham on no account wished to become a rabbi. He did not want to let Baruch know that he knew of his secret. Avraham &d not want to let hini know the truth and so made the excuse that for certain reasons he was unable to keep the appointmetit. In his early years Avraham was fanled for his great scholarship. He becanle the son-inlaw of a very fine and respected Jew and stayed at his house with free board and lodgings for a nurnber of years. in order to assure themselves of a sound economic existence. After Baruch had prayed at great length. and so he took up gardening. Avraham could see at once that this was no ordinary wstchn~lan." asked Avraham. and Avraham was fully qualified and eniinentlv suitable for such a position even in the most exacting congregation. and so he returned home. Avraham's father-in-law wanted him to becorne a rav. He did not now approach the hut. in order not to betray his presence. THE FOLLOWING DAY. was puzzled by his watchman and wondered what could have made him decide so suddenly to leave his position. to the ~dentrty ofthe worshipper. Soon. he continued with sonle Tehillirn which he recited with much feeling. He was spellbound. Avraham."why the hurry? Can't it wait for one more day?"Avrahanl promised that he would certainly see to his request. After this. Avraham \toad st111 and listened to Baruch's prayers for sonre time. "But in any case. who was himself a learned and righteous Inan. He planted all sorts of plants and sold them in Liozna.

therefore.Baruch's N e w Way cf Life Later. in addition. he could go his way without interference and remain disguised. which was comparatively easy." but was. He had. namely. If he were not to appear to Avraham as though he had an exalted opinion of himself. and in this way he placed Baruch in a dilemma. Azriel. but it would have meant revealing to him that he had discovered his secret that he was a scholar. however fine his intentions were to not infringe upon the sanctity of Shabbat. desecrated Shabbat. It was now clear to him that Baruch was not only one of those who believed that "by the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread.Thus the first question that Avraham put to Baruch when he came to see him at the orchard was: "Why do you want to leave the orchard?" Baruch was reluctant to give the true reason. and they engaged not only in gardening but also in renting orchards. in his opinion. as to the reason for Baruch's wishing to leave the orchard where. taken upon himself a penance and decided that instead of pursuing the job of watchman in the orchard. and the whole town of Liozna knew that Avraham &d not wish to use theTorah "as a spade with which to dig.because this virtue should be left to great scholars and lofty spirits. he took a partner. Avraham persisted. Avraham was tempted to enter into a deep Torah discussion with Baruch." It was natural. however. therefore. In his spare time Avraham studied the Torah. but continued speaking to him in the same simple terms that Baruch used. and. he should not indulge in saintliness. It still puzzled him. Thus Avraham tried to convince Baruch to change his mind." Therefore. though. that in the carrying out of his duties he had. he should henceforth take up heavy manual work and give himself no rest. a mystic. He also quoted the saying of our Sages: "An ignorant man cannot be pious. and Baruch had no alternative but to tell him the truth. to try and retain Baruch. Avraham made up his mind to get to the bottom of the matter. and that he considered himself to be one . if possible. that Avraham would readily understand and appreciate such a youth as Baruch. after all. Avraham quoted the saying: "Do not be oversaintly" to sllow that one should not overdo things to extremes. So Avraham decided not to show that he recognized Baruch's greatness.

picking and packing the fruit. Baruch could now no longer enjoy the same peaceful atmosphere in the orchard as before. tall. with their wives arid fanilies. Baruch now had no excuse for leaving his post and so continued to act as watchman over the orchard. and the time for picking the fruit off the trees had now corne. Avraham and Azriel. which were loaded onto wagons for taking into town. indcating depth and strength of character. he had no option but to agree that Avrahanl was right. kno~ving free play to his sweet voice. He was unaware of the fact that Avraham often used to come into the orchard unobserved and. H e was broad-shouldered with strong muscles. singing unrestrainedly and filling the orchard with his tuneful melodit:~. Six weeks passed. and even sorlle outsiders. determination and fearlessness. 'Then he would stealthily move away. Especially so.1 deep impression.The orchard became noisy and clanlorous. had come along to the orchard. Baruch was gifted with a pleasant and lucid power of speech. would listen for hours to Baruch's enthusiastic way of' studying. He presented a fine picture.of those great scholars and lofty souls. Both partners. and. As this did not entirely satisfy his conscience. with his attractive personality and well-developed figure. O n e could always discern in his eyes and face a thoughtful seriousness.Avrahan1 saw that Baruch was no ordinary student but could indeed be classed among the greatest scholars. All were eager to start o n the job. Ladders were set up against the trees arid the fruit was placed in baskets. ingly harldso~ne His eyes in particular made . They were deep and clear. Baruch was now as busy as everybody. stating that he would engage a non-Jew to take over his duties in the orchard on Shabbat day. keeping himself hidden. he decided to recti!$ the niatter by greater -Forah study and rnore ardent devotion to prayer. he gave intensively. The period of waiting for the fruit to ripen had passed. and with an exceedface. Baruch spent his days and nights studying himself to be alone in the orchard. H e was 110 more alone. as Avrahanl pressed Baruch to remain in his employ as watchman. H e spoke beautifully and with a pleasant ringi~lg .

He replied readily.B a r u c h ' s N e w Way qf Life voice. and so she did not trouble him with any more questions. that the squire's daughter.The squire showed his bigheartedness by ordering a basket of fruit to be packed for him. his unusually impressive face. This the young lady put down to his shyness and to his being unaccustomed to speaking to young ladies. intelligent eyes. Baruch soon noticed that all of the squire's family were interested in him. and this time they all showed unmistakably that their main interest was centered on Baruch. paying a good price for it. He noticed particularly. Baruch was greatly astonished. did not take her eyes off him. It was on the occasion of this visit that the attention of these distinguished guests was drawn to Baruch. including his son. The picking of the fruit took about two to three weeks.The squire could not refrain from admiring Baruch's beautiful physique. and this sent the blood rushing to his cheeks. to the questions put to him by the squire and his son. and his wife. When he learned that Baruch could speak a fine and fluent Polish. no less than the two partners Avraham and Azriel. He was greatly interested in him and wanted to know all the details of his life. which came as a pleasant surprise to the several non-Jews working in the orchard. he could absolutely find no end to his admiration of him. as well as to his Jewish co-workers. despite the request of the partners that he accept it as a gift. during which time there came to the orchard a number of distinguished visitors. "And do you actually spend the nights all alone in the orchard?" she asked Baruch. These were the squire-the owner of the orchard-and his family. intimating that he was a most remarkable young man. and for which he insisted on paying. The next day the squire and his family again came to the orchard. his daughter. . leaving the conversation to her father and brother. and his penetrating. He also spoke a very good and fluent Polish. who was still a young lady. especially when he heard that Baruch had all the time been a watchman at the orchard. They came to offer their good wishes to the two Jewish partners who had rented the orchard from them. however. Baruch answered with a nod of his head.The squire introduced Baruch to his children. obviously not wishing to become involved in conversation with the squire's daughter.

"We should like you to come and spend the evening with us. Baruch retr~ained alone in the orcha1. H r was also interested in Baruch." Baruch hesitated. As always. to him." and The young squire greeted h i n ~ said that his father had sent him to invite Baruch to their castle.-J." the young squire said. But. while you are spending the time with us. "We all feel that you are lonely in the orcharci."You will certainly have ro come up and v~sit tlie squire sdid us. During the day Baruch was busy with the others who were engaged in picking the fruit og the trees. accoinpanied by two footmen with several huge dogs at their heels. His sister stood by sriiiling. but saying rlochirlg. WHEN UAI<U(:I+ WAS ALONb In the orchard. trying to forget all that had just happened. feeling that it could lead to no good. with a hearty "Good evening. He tried to kind sonle excuse for declinirlg the invitation. arid Baruch went o n with his work. but before long. he devoted this time to 'lbrah study and worship ot' C. we shall have a better opportunity for chatting. and to his great astoulshtnetit he ~ A W war none other it than the young squire.d. Baruch turned to \ee of who it was." to Baruch. ONE EVENIN(. Baruch was greatly embarrassed.I vague nod of his head. but lxe remained silent." said he."In my castle. "it is therefore not possible for me to go away and leave it unwatched. they will guard the orchard for you in your absence. sonleone suddenly appeared In the doo~way hi5 hut. Baruch made no reply to the invitation of the scluire." Baruch excused himself. Baruch hoped that the nlatter wonld end there. The squire and his fanlily took their leave. and he would gladly have refused their invitation as far as he lli~llselfwas corlceriied. "1 am alone in the orchard.'The only acknowledgment he gave was . there he was back again." The young squire departed."The young squire nodded his head approvingly. my friend. In che evening when everybody returned to town. . "See.The friendship of the squire and his family was nlost unwelcoinc.

always ready to kiss the hands of the cruel squires. and by not a single word show any weakness or subservience. and maybe other fellow Jews around Liozna. made a deep impression upon the squire and his family. when he entered the castle. that 3 Jew could be anything other than subservient and trembling. Baruch took the first opportunity of showing self-assurance. Baruch was received at the castle with great friendship and interest. a mere watchman? And where did he acquire such wisdom and knowledge? The squire reached such a high degree of respect for Baruch. At the same time he made it clear to the squire how unfair it would be for anyone to use his power to interfere with another's way of life and belief. Baruch entered into a lengthy explanation as to why he was determined to adhere strictly to every Jewish custom. that with every breath of the soul one should praise the Creator. Baruch declded to go with the young squire.This did not please him at all. The idea was strange both to the squire as well as to his family. and that his refusal might hurt others." about which our Sages say. that ht. in not unbaring his head. but ordered his own hat to be brought. Here was a case where he could not study his own feelings in the matter. From where did such courage and pride come to this ordinary Jewish youth. that one should always feel oneself in the presence of the Almighty. Meaning. however. and speak and act only in the spirit of the Torah. . would show the squire firmness. that he not only acknowledged that Baruch was right in keeping his head covered.B a r u c h ' s N e w Way of Life knowing the cruel whims of these squires. in a pure Polish. how could a Jew remain even for one moment with uncovered head? Baruch's boldness and consistency. and the clear and beautiful manner in which he explained the whole matter. It was up to him to uphold Jewish honor. He referred to the quotation: "Every breathing soul should praise the Lord. It was perhaps the first time that they had heard such proud and decisive speech from a Jew. in particular his employers. and he too covered his head. He explained the reason for this. Therefore. The interest of his fellow Jews stood higher than all else. He was determined.

and could not cease wondering. where the table was set with all sorts of delicacies. and both the son and the daughter together added. but we will corne to sec. was delighted that they had made each other's acquaintance at the end of the sunlnler. ." they said. He foresaw the danger that a prolonged friendship with the squire's children would entail.Lubavitchev R a b b i ' s Memoirs The squire and his family sat listening t o Baruch spellbound. on the other hand. The squire expressed his regret that he had not known of Baruch right through the summer when he was at the orchard. nevertheless. 'They heard. when we can aniuse ourselves in a very different way. however." Baruch blushed. and would sin~plyshow them that he had the will 2nd determination not to be put to any tex. you in the orchard tomorrow evening. had decided that he would not partake of anything. were apparently not at all pleased with the turn the conversation had taken. and Baruch began to feel more at ease. The squire's children. which is the non-Jewish world. which is the Jewish world. "Father is very interested in all these things. Baruch. all of a kind that a Jew might be perrnitted to eat at the table of a 11011Jew. Baruch was now invited to the dining room.They would have preferred it to have been on lighter subjects. Baruch. Baruch for the first time showed his great wisdom and knowledge. The squire positively swallowed each word as it canie fi-0111 Baruch's lips. The conversation was indeed of a lofty nature. He contrasted to then1 the two separate worlds-the world of materialism. He felt that the save hinl from a possible scheme that tone that he had struck wo~ild the squire had in mind when he invited him to his castle. He wanted to put an end to this friendship in which he had no interest whatsoever. and to which he was greatly averse. "These matters should really be discussed in the presence of a priest. as he quoted saying after saying of the Sages which he translated into Polish and explained so simply and beautifully. His rnirid was already busy trying to think how he could avoid this meeting. Now it was already the end of the sunimer. and the spiritual world. He could have befriended him. for he would be leaving the orchard in a few days' time.

who now returned to the castle. Avraham and Azriel. however. What could he discuss with them? HOWwould he conduct himself with them? The old squire was at least a serious person. when the air was rent with a terrible scream of a young child. and he had made an impression upon him. his mind could not rest. His children. The day passed and Baruch began to experience a feeling of unrest.B a r u c h ' s N e w Way of Life He was just getting ready to make an excuse and explanation for his not eating with them. as usual. feeling that he might be in the way. were of different clay. What was to happen in the evening when the squire's children would be calling on him in the orchard? He started reciting some Tehillim. had died. feeling that no one was likely to want to be bothered with him under the circumstances. Baruch felt a pain in his heart. as if it had somehow been a matter connected with himself. went into town for evening service. NEXTDAY. He told him of all that had taken place. Baruch gave a willing hand with the work. He &d not. however. It was the squire's youngest child who had just scalded itself with a pan of boiling water. He felt that the squire's children would feel they had to keep their appointment with him. H e had decided to have an earnest talk with Avraham. took the opportunity of slipping quietly away to the orchard. and his voice reverberated throughout the orchard. Everyone in the house ran around seeing how best to help in the emergency. Baruch. Just before nightfall. or at any rate. No good could possibly come of their visit. News was brought from the castle that the young child of the squire. who had scalded itself the previous evening. He had plenty to think about. say a word of what he knew of the incident. As usual.There he found the two footmen and the dogs. together with all the others. Baruch. "I have come to the conclusion that I dare not sleep in the . despite the tragic death of the child. came to the orchard to continue with the work of picking the fruit from the trees. THE TWO PAKTNEKS. That night Baruch could not sleep.

When the work in the orchard was finished. It was already the latter part ot'the month of Ebl. H e generally fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. for sure enough the squire's children turned up. That night Baruch did not return to the orchard. The main thirig was to sit and study." Avraham listened and agreed to Baruch's suggestion. and ate very little on the other days of the week. O n the following day Baruch came to work at the orchard the same as his co-workers. bur o n seeing that Baruch was not there. it was now a matter of only a few Inore days and the work at the orchard should be corllpleted. Baruch was paid by the two partners and he again settled down to srudy in the Beit Hamidrash. Avraharn and Azriel went instead to watch the orchard. "YOLL have to find soirleonc to will take nly place. And he did indeed devote hiniself conlpletely to Torah study with all the ardor of his soul. but again he returned with them to town fbr the night. Avrahani did not tell his partner what Baruch had told him.Lubrlvitchtr R a b b i ' s :I/lcnzoirs orchard any inore. and thls was just what he wanted . Avrahan~ had to admit that Baruch's fears were justified. but also book5 on ethics. Baruch studied not ouly Talniud and Kesponsa. although he did not feel at all sure that the squire's children would really coine as they had promised. Baruch now had months of unbroken days and nights for study. Winter began to draw near with its long nights. he could still pretend to be quite an ordinary youth who was i11 no way exceptional other than in his having made the Beit Hamidraslt his home. He wasn't going to sleep at the orchard any more. H e needed so little to keep himself. The Yanzirn Nora'im had passed. they went home d~sappointed. H e had saved enough rrioney to support hiinself for sonie tiine." said Baruch. Only for Shabbat did he permit himself a little of sonlething extra. In any case. There was no one to take any part~cular notice of hlm. He only told him that Baruch did not feel well enough to watch the orchard that night. practically alone. As he sat in the Reit Ffanridrash during the long nights. now that he was provided with his inlmediate needs.

Avraham distinguished himself not only by the depth and sharpness of his mind. that you are not the ordinary youth that you pretend to be. his face . More than once 1 hid in the orchard and listened to you as you sang out in your studies. and was enthralled. Baruch listened spellbound. He made new points which he had learned from his old teacher Rabbi Avraham Zev of Beshenkovitch. Baruch listened to these new points which he heard for the first time. Avraham noticed Baruch's indecision and so he sat down near him and began to recite a particularly difficult passage in the Talmud. I have therefore come to you now to ask if you will arrange a fixed time when we can study together. He did not know what to reply to his former employer Avraham the gardener. While Avraham continued with his Talmudic discourse. but also reap the benefit of all he. Until now I did not want you to know that I had discovered your secret. Baruch was so engrossed in his studies that he did not notice the visitor until the latter spoke to him. Avraham was well-known for his great Talmudical learning and he used to conduct a slzirrr in the Beit Hamidrash of Reb Kaddish "the Orphan" in Liozna.B a r u i h ' s New Way o j Life O n one of these nights there came to the Beit Hamidrash one of his former employers. The time has come. however. which is that we study together Choshen Mishpat. Avraham himself was a very learned man and could repeat all he: had learned from his old teacher who was famous for his brilliant scholarship. for me to tell you that I know who you are. He could see that in Avraham he would not only have a wonderful companion. the prodigy of Beshenkovitch. He began a discourse on the Talmudic tractate relating to sacrifices which was new to Baruch. but also by his fine orderliness and clarity of thought. I have a special request to make of you. Avraham. I have not disclosed your secret to anyone. Men who had the Talmud at their fingertips used to attend his shiur. had learned from his old teacher Rabbi Avraham Zev. as he had been concentrating on the Tractates of Nezikin." For a while Baruch remained silent. It was Avraham. They talked for a while and then Avraham said: "I always had my eye on you.

And what had happened to Baruch? Baruch. too.They both derived rnuch pleasure fiorn their joint study. and with its corriing all the Jews ot Liozna began to make preparations tor I'usach. the winter could have lasted a lifetime as far as he was concerned. but r what could he do about it? H e llad no idea where c o look k ~ him. used to ctudy lordh." AI said Avraham to Baruch. stopped coining to Baruch nightly as before. Avrahanl was terribly upset about Baruch's disappearance. 'l'hc teachers closed their classes. and as for Baruch.4vraham2s invitation.Avrahan>. he had disappeared. " L the tirne I did riot invite you to house to eat at my table as I knew yon would rather not. tor he had still sotlie of his \aveci-up money with which to support hirnself. but Pesach is a different matter. and he felt he need no longer hide anything ti-011-1Illrll. This lesenlblance soinehow drew hlin nearer to Avrahaln.sll to reilllnd Baruch that he expected hitn hr. But Baruch was n o inorr in the Beif flumidrash. yet at the same tirile he did not like to refuse hini.wa. A few days before Pesach. "The holy festival is approaching. suddenly felt an irresistible urge to go to Heshenkovitch and become a disciple of this great scholar. and he had a coirlpanion and teacher with whoin to study. The month of h'issun came. Incldent'illy.You will be a most welcome guest. scholars slackened in their studies." For a few nights Avrahatn and Baruch did not see each other.the whole Yom Tov. Yesach has to be celebrated in a proper inanner. lit up with a radlance wh~cllreminded Baruch o f h ~ sown father's radiant face when he. Everybody was busy. . who had heard so much about the great Kabbi Avrahaln Zev of'Beshenkovitc11. and all set about preparing for the coming festival. The bakeries began their work of baking wtatrot anti the wl~oletown was astir with hurry and bustle. and I want you so very much to spend it wjth nle at 111y 11ouse. Avrahan~came into the Heit t3atnidra. the Scdaritn and f01. Avrahdtn pronnse~l Baruch he would keep his secret just dc long as he desired Through the whole wlnter the two of the111 studied together during the long nights.f'or the same reason. Apparently he did not wish to accept . so he just disappeared without leaving any trace behind hill].

CHAPTER F O U R Baruch Reminisces on His First V ~ s i tto Dobromysl lewish Honesty Baruch Arrives in Dobromysl The Smith's Scholarly Sons-in-Law Baruch Finds Himself at Home Torah and Labor .

- Child Colleague .On- KEY: .Married -.1 sonin-law 1 Eliezer Reuven the Smith I idaughter I y ! in-law .

here he was in Dobromysl for Pesach. and have a smithy on the outskirts of the town. "My name is Eliezer Reuven.The stranger greeted him very warmly and said.Baruch Reminisces on His First Visit to Dobromysl LIOZNA TO BESHENKOVITCH through led Dobromysl. I am a smith. Baruch had some remarkable memories of Dobromysl and the people with whom he had become acquainted there. Now again. I live nearby and could do with someone to help T H E ROAD FROM . the first towniet where Baruch had spent some time soon after leaving his father's house invitebsk. on the road leading to Liozna. And so he went to the same person with whom he had spent Pesach on that occasion. a man whom he had noticed several times in the Beit Hamidrash came up to him. Baruch was then but a lad of fourteen who had settled down to study in the Beit Hamidrash. and as a result he suffered hunger. One day. He did not know who he was or what his name was. Baruch remembered very clearly his first meeting with him. and who welcomed him wholeheartedly as before. determined not to accept help from anybody. It was just before Pesach when he came to Dobromysl for the first time.

who used to bring hi111 their horses for shoeing. We was prepared to do the hardest work so long as he could earn his own piece of bread without recourse to anyone's help. and in the evening he used to go to the Beit Hcwnidvaslz and study enthusiastically. Baruch soon arrived at the smithy and did his work most conscientiously. A peasant fron-i a nearby village had brought his horse to Eliezer Reuven for shoeing. . he overcharged him six groshen. nor do I wish to sleep in the honles of strangers.The smith was agreeable. Once. he rec~ted'Ehillint as an acconipaniment. and when the time came to ask for the money. you feel you would care for such a job. Eliezer Reuven charged this peasant the amount he should have charged the first one. 'That is to say. leave it I to your own discretion." said Baruch resolutely. Baruch had long noticed with what exceptional honesty and devotion Eliezer Reuven treated his customers. Baruch noticed something which made a deep impression upon him." Baruch was overjoyed. Another peasant had brought his horse to have four new shoes put on. "Pay me whatever you wish.This was exactly what he wanted. and in Fact knew the111 all by heart. 'The smith's customers were the peasants of the surrounding villages. H e prorrlised Baruch a certain wage and Baruch was satisfied. He recited psalm after psalm. Baruch: in nly s~nitly. Baruch now had the opportunity of observing Eliezer Keuven and began to feel a great respect for him.~s11. and at the same time to have a wheel of his wagon repaired. I do not want to rat at the tables of strangers. H e saw greatness in this sinlplr 1nan. had one condition to rnake with Eliezer Keuven. their wagons for repairing. hammering the red-hot iron. H e would never overcharge them even a fraction of a cent. but let it he in c. and their ploughs and harrows when they needed putting in order. I would If provide you with food and drink and a place to sleep.A~ smith stood all day at his the anvil.7he whole day long he worked for the smith.

but also in his attitude toward his Maker. Zevulun Binyamin at first hardly knew the alphabet. To which Eliezer Reuverl replied: "It is written of the people who lived before the Flood. especial- . Baruch was staggered. he immemately set off on foot to the village where this peasant lived (a &stance of about 3 miles) to refund the money to him. He. He was swarthy complexioned and his forehead was small. In comparison with Zevulun Binyanin.This Zevulun Binyamin was an ignorant man. In addition he was a subscriber to all the charitable organizations of the town. and his hands were long and powerful. the smith Eliezer Reuven was quite a scholar. His name was Zevulun Binyamin and he was of immense height. D o you want me then to be even worse than the wicked people of that generation and rob a man of six groshen?" Eliezer Keuven was not only particular in his attitude toward his fellowmen. O n Shabbat and festivals he could only follow the shliach tzibbur. the Chevrah Ein Yaakov.The smith treated this neighbor very kindly. His shoulders were broad and strong. His voice was dull and so was his brain. belonged to the Chevrah Tehillim. he also took the opportunity of learning someTorah. that they were so rotten that they did not disdain to rob a man of less even than a perutah. and the Clzevrah Midrash. and after much effort (for with his poor brainpower it did indeed require the greatest possible effort). when Eliezer Reuven redized his error. Ile was not satisfied merely to come and pray there. but by degrees and in the course of many years.T h e Snzitlz c ~ f Dobromysl Both peasants had already gone away. Every morning and every evening. He had never seen such meticulous righteousness on the part of an ordinary person. he at long last managed to learn to daven the weekday service and to make a blessing on the Torah. and yet he was a G-d-fearing individual. in summer as well as in winter. he used to go to the Beit Hamidrash. in rain and in snow. and always paid his dues punctually Baruch not only learned to know and appreciate this remarkable smith. despite the smallness of the overcharge. He asked the smith if he really thought it worthwhile to walk the six-mile distance for a matter of six groshen. like so many more workerc. He was so upset about it that. but also became acquainted with his neighbor who used to be a frequent visitor of Eliezer Reuven's.

and so it was not difficult for liini to ex plait^ thcse matters (which he himself perhaps only understood superficially) to Zevulun Binyamin. pan Ki&fkr!"j The manner in which Eliezer l<euven the smith tried to teach Zevulun Binyamin. went to no end of trouble to irripart that little knowledge to one who knew even less. So much 50. It showed him the real depth and beauty of the Jewish soul. This feeling of love and responsibility for one another was the secret of the power that held Jews and Judaism together. who would gather arourid and 1iste11 with great interest to the stories lie told out of Eitt kadkov and the 12/lidrush.usctf to bring t h e ~ slck beasts to hlm for veterinary tredtrnent. so far removed fro111 spiritual nlatters. that peasdrlts and even their squn-es. the latter always rr~ade point o i telliilg hiin the stories he l had heard in the Beit Hutnidraslz while learning l i ~ kuakor~ anti Midvash. The stnith therefore translated evcrything for him into I'olish. H e was something of an expert in his knowledge of cattle and horses. r . H e found out that Zevulun Binyaniin was born and bred in a village among non-Jews. dobzshe. What he could not find out for himself. The smith. The smith's lively talk in Polish often attracted as Zevulun Binyarnin obviously showed how niuch lie deploreti his own ignorance and the weak~~ess of'hic brai~i power. Master Keuven!-' ("Dobzshe. Baruch felt. H e used to dig ditches and also occasionally deal in horses. As it happened. Zevulun Binyarnin positively swallowed every word tl~atcame from the lips of the smith. he enquired of his eiiployer. he did not know any Yiddish. particularly on a Shabbat. I-lis father used to do all nlanner of rougli work. apparently quite an ordinary person himself and very little learned. When Zevulun Binyamiri visited Eliezer Keuven. Baruch acquired a greater interest in the smith's disciple Zevulun Binyamin. Eiliezer lieuvcn knew Polish rather well. greatly impressed Baruch and became permanently engraved on his ~nind.scratcllirig their heads and shouting approvingly: "Very good. Having lived all his life among ~lor~-Jews. H e also knew a great deal about their maladies and how to cure them.

Zevulun Binyarnin followed in his father's footsteps for earning his livelihood. even being anlong Jews. . and fussed over him as if he were his own child. Zevulun Binyamin found in the sniith both a friend and teacher. In other circumstances he might have remained among non-Jews or. and become discouraged and dispirited. This was already after he had engaged a teacher to teach him to read Hebrew. he was not even able to say Kaddish for his departed soul. he settled on the outshrts of the town and became a neighbor of Eliezer Reuven's. having inherited some veterinary knowledge from him. They also took into their home three orphaned children whom they treated as their own.The S m i t h of D o b r o m y s l Until Zevulun Binyamin attained his Bar Mitzvah he hardly knew anything of Judaism. and acquired a love not only towards G-d but also towards his fellow beings. won him over with love. He felt very proud of the fact that it was due to him that such a remote member of the Jewish people as was Zevulun Binyamin. He gave a great deal of charity and showed great respect for those well-learned in Torah. and shed bitter tears. He found rriuch to admire and learn from this ordinary simple soul. He and his wife engaged a scribe to write out S$ei Torah which they presented to the Beit Hamidrash. he used to have this same teacher to help him at home with his prayers. O n Shabbat and Yowl Tov Zevulun Binyamin used to stand in the Bait Hamidrash with a tallit over his head. Baruch helped the smith at the smithy for some considerable length of time and felt that he had found in him not only his source of income but also a guide. however. he might yet have called upon himself their ridicule at his excessive ignorance. Before this. Eliezer Reuven. Eliezer Reuven the smith was very proud of Zevulun Binyamin. who grew up well-learned in Torah. Under his guidance he made fair progress despite the fact that he was such an ignorant man. The latter showed great friendliness towards him and awakened in him a desire to keep up Judaism. They engaged the best available teachers for them and their sons. When his father died. When Zevulun Binyamin married. should have turned so enthusiastically to Judaism.

so that he could earn his living by the toil of his own hands and not need to accept charity from anyone. and that it was for this very reason that he had voluntarily becorne a wanderer. a condition of his acceptance that the smith would allow him to pay for his meals. Eliezer Keuven left his work at the smithy and set about preparing the house for the conling festival. Baruch saw that it was possible to be a sincerely observant Jew even if one were not very learned. Baruch now had an opportunity of observing how the smith made preparations for the holy K ~ r nTuv.L u b a v i t c h e r R a b b i ' s ~Vlerrroirs Thus the winter passed and Pesach drew near. Eliezer Reuvcn saw that here was 110 ordnary boy. But Eliezer Reuven had a more important job to see to. for he quoted with ease passages from the Churrrush and from the Sages to support his argunlents. Eliezer Keuven could have earned a pretty penny. Everything made a great impression upon him. and agreed to his condtion." the smith said to hirn. would have been prepared to rnake a similar sacrifice of earning a legitimate penny. Baruch noted all this and acquired an even greater respect for his employer who. He did not tell him however the other reason for his self-chosen exile. Customers brought their wagons for repairing and their horses for shoeing. but he sent them all away explaining to them that it was on account of his holy festival.Very few people. "All the time you refLsed to eat at nly table.The smith began to understand and appreciate the boy's reasons. but you cant eat alone on Pesach. Baruch explained to hi111 that it was a matter of principle with him. Nevertheless. after all." replied the smith. barely managed to make ends meet. which was to see that everything in the house was thoroughly and adequately koshered for Pesacl-r. that's out of the question. he felt. shocked at the idea of taking money from a poor boy for hospitahty on Yorn 'Ibv. Baruch however made it. Eliezer Keu\. namely. Three days before Yom %v. that he did not want people to find out that he was a great scholar.eli invited Baruch to spend the Yowz ?bv at his house. under the same circumstances. for nloney-making! He . and also 11ow he kept this holy festival. "Why. No time this.

The house sparkled. and the house looked so spick and span. Baruch liked coming to Eliezer Reuven not only because he felt so completely at home there. to spend it with his former employer. and this grieved the father very much indeed. but decided to return to Dobromysl for Yom Tov. Were these tears of pleasure. or perhaps tears of sorrow at the thought that his own son was so dull and barely knew a chapter of Chumash at that time? It was hard to say. but because he always imbibed a spir- . and when the next Pesach came round. aired and dusted. all seemed to look different. Eliezer Reuven asked Baruch if he would like to translate and explain it to the household. He whitewashed the house and changed the old bricks in the oven for new ones. his wife. every stick of furniture. for payment of course. O n the day before Yom Tov. he went to him again. When he came home Baruch accompanied him to the Beit Hamidrash.T h e S m i t h of D o b r o m y s l had to see that everything in the house. They returned home and somehow felt the difference in the atmosphere. accepted without an argument.Eliezer Reuven went to the Baths and changed into new Yom Tov clothes. it fairly gleamed with cleanliness. was turned out and washed and scrubbed. knowing already how Baruch felt in the matter. He was at that time living in another town. Every corner in the house received his attention. and there was a real "Yom Tov spirit" in the air. AU the efforts of Eliezer Reuven to make a scholar of his son (and he engaged the best teachers possible and spared no expense) seemed wasted on his dull brain. They all listened attentively to his lucid and interesting explanations and observations.The "Shabbat and festival soul" shone in their eyes! When the time came to recite the Haggadah. his daughters and his only son. BARUCH DID NOT FORGET THE PESACH spent at the home of he Eliezer Reuven. Eliezer Reuven. The latter. Tears came to Eliezer Reuven's eyes. Baruch was delighted to oblige.

" Eliezer Keuven told Baruch how he had tried everything. As soon as Eliezer Keuven saw Baruch. He spoke to Baruch as if he were his own child. and Are nicely settled in a house 1 had built for them. "But what else could I do? And so I took Shmuel Nachum to work with me in my smithy.L u b a v i t c h e r R a b b i ' s iZrlemoirs it of true Judaism when he was with him." Eliezer Keuven exclaimed to Baruch almost apologetically. well-learned men.'The next moillent he was pouring out all that was on his mind. even asking the mvk advice on hou to get Shmuel Nachum to \tudy. and piety. Shmuel Nachum. As in former years. but the rav advised him that under the circunistances it would be better to put his so11 to a trade. honesty. he accompanied the strokes with the recitation of Tehillirn. and his father was striking it with his hamnler with all his might. he threw down his hammer. calling out in a delighted voice."They are illarried to fine. Baruch never forgot the smith's consistency. Baruch Arrives i n Dobromysl O n arrival in Dobromysl. My sons-in-law spend their time in study. but unfortunately he has no talent whatsoever for studying. and it made him look forl ward with eagerness to his next meeting with his friend. His son Shmuel Nachum was holding a red hot iron in a vice over the anvil. and help hi111 to improve." he told him. I didn't want this at all. Al this Baruch recalled very clearly. Baruch went straight to the snitly." Baruch tried to console the snlith by pointing out that it is quite . the smith of Dobromysl. what a welcome visitor we have!"The smith washed his hands and gave Baruch a he~rty handshake. While he is with me I can at least keep an eye on him. "Look. but as for my son Shmuel Nachum. rather than let him go to work for someone else. "I must say that I ain more than satisfied with nly daughters. 1 have to adnnt he is a great disappointment to rne I had hoped he too would be J scholar. "Really. The smith was wearing his leather apron and was wielding a hammer at the anvil.

Baruch Finds Hitnse!f a t H o m e At such times Eliezer Keuven used to sit near and listen to their discussions with enormous interest."What wouldn't I give to be able to participate in this Torah discussion. honest. and it was obvious that he felt very disappointed in his only son who would not make a ~tudent. O n the other hand.L a w Pesach finally arrived. sitting among these simple.i n . They had studied at the yeshivah in Vitebsk. T h e S m i t h ' s Scholarly S o n s . or at least to understand it!" X ~ r a ha r i d Labor Baruch was quick to notice Shmuel Nachum's distress. But poor Eliezer Keuven was not so easily convinced. The smith's two sons-in-law were there. O n e could see that it gave him the greatest pleasure. obviously out of his element and with a sad expression on his face. even if' one is a workman. though understanding not a word. G-d-fearing and Torah-loving people. respected Jew. Baruch spent hours discussing difficult Talmudic topics with them. and they were real scholars." For. he felt absolutely at home. and in fact he gave Eliezer Reuven himself as a splendid example of the truth of his argument. It was no longer necessary for hiln to hide his scholarship lest he be thought "superior. there was the smith's only son Shmuel Nachum sitting a little way apart in silence. H e also could not fail to notice how Eliezer Reuven threw a glance at his son from .T h e S w ~ i t hof D o h r o m y s l possible to be a fine. and that he was in the seventh heaven of delight to have brought the Torah within the four walls of his humble abode. O n this particular Pesach the house of Eliezer Keuven was entirely Ifferent. as if to say. which aroused a wave of sympathy in him for the simple lad. whose only desire was to serve G-d and keep His commandments in every detail. Baruch felt greatly at ease this time.

" When Shnluel Nachuril heard about Saruclih suggestion. T'his pleased him tremendously. I also maintain that labor is a cvorthy thing. and as you know 1. I have come to the corlclusio~~ he ought to be given a charicc: to that study Torah. support nlyself by inanual labor. and his success. . But looking nolv . had dtt. he burst into tears and begged his father to allow hini to go to qtudy. and nly advice is. His father agreed. So Baruch said to the smith:"Ith ti-tie that I previously said to you that it is possible to be a good and honest Jcw e\7e11 without being a scholar. For it was obvious from the way he had listened to theTorah scholars that he envied them their knowledge. 1 am not ashailled of doing ariy kind of honest work.ilned such a high degree of learning. shaking his head regretfully a t the Cact that he was not able to join his sons-in-law and Baruch in their discussions. Baruch conceived the idea of suggesting to his father that he send his son t o a yeshivah and give hirn another chance of studying Torah. too. '$ i2~lernorr. who by 111r own efforts and decp~tedl1 obstacle5 and difficultiec. Years later. for he felt that he had a share in Shniuel Nachum's new way of life. The s m t h was apparently Lornpartng hi5 son with his uonr-in-law who were so learned. Looking at Shrnuel Nachurn's troubled face. ~ Shri~uel t Nach~1111.\ time to time. and hungered and thirsted for learning. Baruch heard that Slinlucl Nachum had becotne a good Torah student and the son-in-law of a Torah scholar. He was additionally glad for the sake of the sinith who had so yearned for his so11 to learn the Torah and become a scholar like his sons-in-law. send him to a yeshivah. and perhaps even w ~ t hU'~ruc-h.Lrrhavitrher Rabbi . and Baruch was as delighted as Shnluel Nachurri.

CHAPTER FIVE - Baruch Vislts His Hometown His Leurned Brother-in-Law The Virtuous Fisherman Avreml .


Baruch first of all looked up his uncle and aunt. The young couple with their young child lived on the outskirts of the town. and he decided to stay there a while and look up his family there.They were ready to forgive him for having left them. and so did his sister who was now married. he was not fond of talking a lot at any time. O n the way. He had become one of the deans at the Vitebsk Yeshivah. They had never understood what they had done to him to drive him away from their home and affectionate protection.They thought he had conie back to stay. Her husband was called Yosef Yitzchak and had been a yeshivah student at Smargon Yeshivah. Rabbi Avraham Zev.FIVE . He just tried to make it PLSACH. and for not having communicated with them all the years he was away.They were overjoyed to see him. Ann . he had to pass throughvitebsk. Baruch did not want to enter into any lengthy explanations. Baruch Visits His Hometown BARUCH TOOK HIP DEPARTURE and set off for Beshenkovitch where he intended studylng under the famous gaon. and promised him he would be short of nothing. His uncle and aunt lived in that city.

Baruch was greatly pleased. build of good appearance and with dark. intelligent eyes. he went to see his sister. Later. After Baruch had fulfilled this nllssion. but YosefYitzchak analyzed it piece by piece and explained it in a sin~ple and lucid manner to his pupils. and they became properly acquainted. Hi. to his pupils. he went through the chapter just taught in class. Baruch listened also to the lesson given by the Kosh Yeshivalz. Baruch came in just as his brother-in-law was giving a shiur. to see what kind of a yeshivah was this atvitebsk. His brother-in-law came in soon after. where as a child he used to saunter with his father. "Surely you . T h e subject was a diff~cultone. Baruch had another mission which had brought him to Vitebsk. His face expressed strength of character and determination. L . too. for he had only seen hlm In the yeshlvah but not spoken to hlrn. and when the class had left.arr~ Baruch wanted to meet his brother-in-law at the yeshivah. H e was interested. not wishlng to Interrupt the lesson YosrfYltzchak rernenlbered hinl nevertheless. He also had a yearning to take the same walks as of old. They all greeted each other very warmly and heartily. He was o f n ~ e d i u n ~ and height. r a r l l e d 13rothe1-in-l. expounding his lesson in a clear. It was Erev Shabbat and his sister begged hirn to stay. H e was standing at his desk. resonant voice. and was enraptured.L z l b a v i t i h c r R a b b i ' s !Memorri clear to them that he w ~ \ h e d ?upport h~nlsclf the work of hlc to by own hands and be ~ndependent. H e wished to visit the graves of his parents. H e had never before heard so deep and thorough an exposition. outside the town on the banks of the River Dvina. Baruch spoke for a coinparatively short time with his sister and then entered into a lengthy discussion o n Torah matters with his brother-in-law. where he also wanted to becorne acquainted with the students. H e observed him as he taught his class and was very favorably impressed with him. and saw that his brother-in-law had indeed plumbed all its possibilities and had simply 2nd expertly imparted the knowledge contained it1 it. So off he went to the yeshivah. the gaon Rabbi Paltiel.

Baruch had already made his plans." . decided that he would not yet proceed to Beshenkovitch. bought himself some challot for Shabbat and something else to eat. O n reaching the house of his uncle and aunt. He also took the opportunity of telling them that the reason for his silence during his long absence was that he was afraid that were he to get in touch with them. Now. he explained to his sister and brother-in-law and uncle and aunt when they insisted on getting to the bottom of his various excuses. Nobody could now influence him to change or modify his ways. This. however. he found that they had prepared a separate room for him and of course they were expecting him to stay with them for Shabbat. happy in the conviction that he was standmg on his own two feet. fbr he was firmly convinced that his was the right way. Not even for one Shabbat would he make an exception. Here Baruch produced a different excuse. How could he possibly stay with them when his own sister was so anxious to have him? Actually. Baruch found a place for himself to sleep at the Beit Hamidrash. but Baruch excused himself.T h e F i s h e r m a n of V i t e b s k couldn't refuse me after you have been away for so long!" she pleaded. he was grown up and he would like his relatives to know that however well intentioned they were in trying to help him in his difficult and sometimes painful existence. He had no intention of allowing his relatives in Vitebsk to change his way of life. even at the table of his sister or uncle and aunt. His brother-in-law added his invitation. saying his aunt and uncle would undoubtedly be expecting him to stay with them. but would stay and study at the yeshivah invitebsk where his brother-in-law was a dean. they were wasting their time and efforts. and serving the Almighty truly as "one who has clean hands and a pure heart. as was his usual practice. they would try to deter him from his chosen path. however. and was happy. for after a l l hadn't they taken him into their home? Thus Baruch managed to get away from his sister's house. He would continue to support himself by the toil of his own hands. He was determined to carry on in his isolated way. He had.

This was none other than Avreml the Fisherman. This he did unstintingly. protruding lower lip. the ordinary "nlan in the street. so that they should grow up to be well versed in the Torah. In addition to being devoted to the Almighty. Or else he would take himself to a corner and recite a few chapters of Tehillim with great feeling. Avremlk sons were quite good scholars. On the other hand. Unfortunately. they died during his lifetime and left him their children to care for. not far from the River Dvina. Avreml was very .Lubavitchur Rabbi's Memoirs The V i r t u o u s Fisherman A v r r m l Baruch stayed on invitebsk. red. he was not yet satisfied with himself. and. Baruch knew that when it came to good deeds and virtues. Nevertheless. He gave them the best Jewish education possible." Baruch had no need to look very far for such an example. This Avrenll lived but three doors away h-on1 where Baruch's parents used to live on the outskirts of the town. He saw a splendld opportunity to learn fro111 his brother-in-law YosefYitzchak and from the dean of the Vitebsk Yeshivah. For although he was well learned and possessed of the highest virtues. and later on he had sent them to study at the yeshivah. understand their meaning. and improve his character until he reached the acme of perfection. praying devoutly. Rabbi Paltiel. and he invariably stayed behind to listen to the shiur on Bin Yaakov or hlidmsh. these virtues were very often to be found in the uneducated worker. Every morning and evening he attended the services a t the Beit Hamidrash.There was invitebsk itself such a nran. it was riot necessary to confine oneself to learning from scholars. Avrenll was a simple so~il who could just about manage to say his prayers. one whom he remembered from his earliest childhood and who had made so great an impression upon him that he never forgot hiln." on account of the prominence of his thick. whom everyone in the district called "Avreml the Lip. with the greatest effort. He was determined to learn more and more. he was a truly G-d-fearing Jew. Hc had spared no expense to have them educated by the best teachers obtainable.

and the Zitch Chrimash just about suited him. He managed. Once.Avreml was the only man to come. he asked his family to dispose of it for him in the usual way. Avretnl decided that this must have been the person who had been "cheated. and what they had been charged. They checked up on all of them but could not trace the customer who had been overcharged. when it meant satistjring his passion for knowledge. He was so charitable that his generosity would not have shamed a far richer man. And if he knew that any of them could not afford to pay anything. Avreml used to go out to the River Dvina to catch fish and then bring it to the market to sell direct to the customers.To his dismay.T h e F i s h e r m a n of Ifitebsk careful in his attitude towards his fellows. he felt that his pity was out of place and that he should rather respect him for not hesitating to learn even from a woman. home. to learn quite a good deal from these attendances. Any fish left over.Then they remembered that one of the customers on this particular occasion was a peasant whom no one knew.They all tried to remerriber who the buyers had been. he heard on his return home that some customer had. Al l his mother's friends of the neighborhood used to gather together to listen to her reading with great interest. "Do . although still a child. felt sorry for him." But how was it possible to rectify the mistake when nobody knew who he was or where he lived? Avreml could not rest. he used to bring home arid sell to his poor neighbors for next to nothing. been overcharged a few groshen. it worried him so. left over from his sales in the market. While there might have been many men who would look down on Avreml for resorting to the "women's Chumash. by mistake. what they had bought.At last he decided to seek the advice of Baruch's father. and stand outside their window. in fact. when Avreml brought some fish." Baruch. Indeed. he gave them the fish without any charge at all. Baruch remembered so well how Avreml used to call round on Shabbat afternoons in the summertime. His intellect was on a par with that of the women present. and asked him almost tearfully. listening to his mother reading out of the Tze'ena Ure'ena. and he used to stand outside the window and listen in evident enjoyment.

"Oh I couldn't do that. he also gave himself completely to whatever he had to do. "That would mean that I would be sharing the mirzvd~of giving charity with the peasant! O n the other hand." protested Avretrll.ta'nretz.please tell me what to do! I ti-el as though I have robbed someone!" "Give the amourit of the overcharge to charity" advised Schneur Zalman. with this aiin ill mind. studying. but he remembered very well that his owrr fither often used to refer to the high principles ofAvrend. Baruch's father. back again invitebsk after so many years of wandering. are compared to the leaves of the vine. It is indeed an admirable thing for a scholar to possess the simplicity and good-heartedness of an unlearnedJew.just as the ordinary people protect the scholars. in the material world." and whom he treated with the greatest respect. To most people. whom he began to call "Keb Avrohon~. It was." he agreed. that he originally IefiVitebsk to wander into the world beyond. it would be wrong to throw the money into the river. as when lie was studying the Torah. Baruch was too young to renlerllber the outcosiie of the story as to what Avreml did about the overcharge of the few groshen. . And now. and striving to i~rlprovehis character." And so Baruch already learned as a child that however deeply he delved into Torah study.That was why his various enlployers were always so delighted with him. he concentrated so completely that he positively lived with the Tarzaim and Atnoraiin and discussed and disputed with them as if they stood before hinl in the flesh! Yet he was just as conscientious ~vhenit came to a job of work. referred to as nmei I. my son. Baruch recalled how his father said to him ir1 this connection: "You see. as if nothing else existed for him.These leaves protect the vine. he had but to turn ro the common Jew and his excellent qualities. in fact. Here. Baruch's way of life would suggest a dual character. he still felt on that he must climb ever h~gher the ladder of human perfection. In the spiritual realm. when it came to learning the virtues of fine character. we are told in the Cetnnra Chullin (92a) that ordinary people. worlung.

his birthplace.This was of course Avraham the Gardener. the world ofTorah and the world of labor. apparently living in two entirely different worlds. but yet. that could combine the spiritual and the material so beautifully? Baruch did not seek recognition. and he was. This he found without dificulty. and offered his services on an hourly basis. Avraham had recognized Baruch's greatness and fineness. and the Vitebsk Yeshivah where his brother-in-law and the gaon Rabbi Paltiel gave shiurim was completely satiskng. He was accepted. Nobody bothered him. in any case. Little did Baruch know that while he was living so serenely in Vitebsk. yet how harmoniously he managed to combine the two into one perfect whole! Was there anyone who could understand and appreciate the depth of a soul such as Baruch's. Baruch saw his savings disappearing. And so the summer passed. and he put in only as many hours as earned for him the cost of his modest and meager needs. Would their paths meet again? It was hard to know whether Baruch even thought about it during the first days of his return to Vitebsk. so that he should be free to devote to his studies as much time as he could afford. He came across a new building in the course of erection. Baruch had little to worry him. as long as it was honest. he followed his usual practice of looking for some work to do. He still had something of his savings to cover his small expenditure. Baruch feeling quite at home again in this. When. being that he was prepared to accept any job however heavy. .T h e Fisherman o-f Vitebsk Baruch presented a paradox. Having settled invitebsk. there was Avraham the Gardener of Liozna. but Baruch had run away from him. there was someone in Liozna worrying a great deal about him. and about the possible reason for his disappearance. a little later. The main thing for him was to be able to carry on with his Torah study. sutiliciently assured and independent now to follow his own path.


CHAPTER S I X - Baruch Meets Former Employer Marriage Proposal and Baruchs Conditions Baruch's Self-Searching The Cheerful Pauper .


He knew that he came from a distinguished family who originated from Posen. and knowing him to be the fine and excellent young man that he was. and that he himself had been born invitebsk and brought up in a house on the outskirts of the town. this he understood and appreciated better than anyone else. His daughter Rivkah was a very nice and gifted young lady. Avraham had particularly wanted to have Baruch stay at his house . which he pieced together until he got a complete picture of Baruch and his environment before he came to Liozna. and Avraham could think of no better match for his beloved child than Baruch.SIX - WHEN BARUCH D~SAPPLARLD FROM LIIIZNAwithout leaving any trace behind him. Avraham was very puzzled and troubled. hoped to get him to be his son-in-law. Why had Baruch done this? Could it be that he did not wish to eat at his table? Avraham had his eye on Baruch. As for Baruch's character and his original way of living. He had already learned all there was to know about Baruch from his contact with him. All this he found out bit by bit (for Baruch talked very little). near the banks of the River Dvina.

none seen~edto know where Baruch Lvas to be found. fbr he did. but despite all his efforts. Avrahani hoped he inight be fortunate enough to get some clue as to Baruch's whereabouts. But losing no time after concluding his business. this time with a new partner. Knowing that Vitebsk was Baruch's birthplace and hometown. Avraha~rl returned home disappointed. and ask his advice as to whether he should continue with his search for Baruch.Mowlr)~vs for Yesach. Avraham was very successful as regards the sale of the fruit. o r look for another suitor for his daughter. . When the tirrie came for picking the fruit. It I~ was just like looking for a needle in a haystack! Where was one to begin? That summer Avrahain again rented some orchards. H e started on the outskirts of the town. where he felt sure they could get a better price for their produce. in fact. H e had brought him up arid later helped him to marry and settle down.Avraham refused to despair. O n e of these orchards was quite some distance from Liozna. and then right through the town. and he asked numberless people. and inade up his mind to leave no stone uriturned until he ~ O L I I Baruch again. daughter liivkah included.Lubavitsllur Rabbi'. near the Lhina. Finally Avraharn decided to go up to his one-time teacher. obtain very good prices. H e thought he would have to use some persuasion to get Avraham to agree. the only big town in the neighborhood. although he visitedvitebsk several times during the surnnler without getting any nearer to solving the mystery of Baruch's disappearance. aild was son~ewhatsurprised when the latter expressed himself as quite ready to go. Could Baruch have guessed Avrahanl's irltentiorl and run away because of it? Avraham hoped that was not the reason. acquainted with his Avraham's fa~nily. . 90 that his young fr~eildcould beconic. Rabbi Avraham Zev in Beshenkovitch. and then he hoped it would be easier for hiin to put the proposition to Uariich to rtlarry Rivkah. he set off in his search for Baruch. Still. his partner suggested that Avrahan~would do well to take the fruit intovitebsk. Rabbi Avraham Zev was nlore than a teacher to him.

and become acquainted. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak thought it would be better for Avraham himself to broach this delicate subject to Baruch. While he was in Beshenkovitch. and to Avraham's relief and pleasure.B a r u c h ' s Engagement Rabbi Avraham Zev advised Avraham to wait just a while longer. Avraham rather liked what he had been told about Rabbi YoseNitzchak. during the winter. and to Avraham's delight. he had occasion to visitvitebsk. he thought it would be a good idea to take the opportunity of meeting Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak. He noticed the visitor. And that is exactly what he did when. that Baruch lived in the same city! Avraham's joy was indescribable! He told RabbiYosefYitzchak of his long search for Baruch and of his earnest wish and hope that he would become his son-in-law. He naturally did not know of the latter's connection with Baruch. But where was Baruch? His own relatives rarely saw him. Baruch. B a r u c h Meets F o r m e r E m p l o y e r Avraham lost no time and hurried off to this Beit Hamidrash. While still on the lookout for any information which might lead to Baruch's discovery. and cautioned him to be very careful in his approach. so as not to frighten Baruch off. and during their conversation he spoke enthusiastically about the young dean there. and made up his mind to look him up when next in Vitebsk. who had always been so distant and reserved. Rabbi YosefYitzchak. . Avraham became acquainted with a student from thevitebskyeshivah. he learned that he was Baruch's brotherin-law-and better still. He settled himself in a corner to study. in came Baruch. and if he still did not find Baruch.All that Rabbi YoseNitzchak could offer Avraham was the name of the Beit Hamidrash which Baruch frequented. nor was he aware of their relationship any more than Avraham. The student did not know that Avraham was frantically searching for RabbiYosefYitzchakS brother-in-law. then to give up the search. and find someone else for his daughter. sure enough. but in the course of their conversation his name cropped up. and before long.

however. arid in fact agreed without hesitation to Avraham's proposition. after all. rrly dear Uaruch! I was terribly grieved when you disappeared from Liozr~awithout a word. Kabbl YosefYltzchak had advlsed him to go carefully Meanwhile. the latter took the opportunlty of sounding out Baruch on the subject of the proposed "rnatch. z d r t i o r ~ \ Avraham dld not want to rush matters. but he wanted Avraham to have a separate house built for him and Rivkah. that Baruch WAS as friendily disposed towards him as he was towards Baruch. Baruch wanted to make it quite clear to Avraham that he could only become his son-in-law if he." Here was dear Baruch. Said Avrahanl: "I have searched for you such a long time. He felt that he had riot. As we know. been wasting his time in what looked like a '\hadow chase.extended a hearty welcorne to hi111 arid greeted him in the fi-iendliest manner! They both embraced affectionately. between the chairs. the reason being that he wanted this house to be a "guest house" for poor wayfarers. He could see it and feel it. and despairing fellow Jews. accepted the following condltioiis: Baruch asked for no dowry ~s such. particularly for those lllystics who were at that time roaming the country in their sacred task of helping their poor. this to be conditional only upon his being allowed to live according to the way he had marked out for himself. and . Baruch had met many rnystlcs In the course of his wanderings. i\. and of course his daughter Rivkah. downtrodden. Baruch mostly made hi? "honle" in a Beit Hamidrash wherever he found himself." and preparing the way for Avrahan~to discuss this vital matter with him. for they had no inoney to pay for their 1odgings. and it was to the Beit Harnidrash that the niystics also used to make their way. Baruch proved less difficult than he feared. so to speak. and likely to become his dear son-in-law. and it did h s heart good.These mystlcs fell. leaving no trace behind you!" Avraham needed no assurances.larrragr P r o p o s a l a n d H a r i r [ / ~ .C o .

That is why he was so insistent upon Avraham accepting the conditions he put to him. as. so they did not even have as much as the poor who stood at the door of the Beit Humidrash.there was no one who interested himself to see to their comfort or needs. Avraham was quick to assure Baruch that he need not worry. and Baruch dreamed of the time when he might be in a position to ease their lot by offering them a proper bed to sleep in. poor workers. instead of the scanty bits of food they managed to take along with them on their wanderings. O n the other hand. And with this happy news Avraham departed. knowing his daughter's kind heart. and remembering the saying that "a woman (generally) looks ill upon visitors. instead of the hard bench in the Beit Hamidrash. Now that Avraham and Baruch found themselves in absolute agreement with each other. because they mostly travelled about like ordinary. to rouse the sympathy of the generous-hearted. their identities were unknown. Baruch could not put his dream into practice until he married. And so it was a very hard life that these mystics led. and at the same time to help arrange the engagement.They did not wish to ask for charity. THE ACTUAL ENGAGEMENT between Baruch and Rivkah BEFORE took place. he could promise him even before he asked her. particularly because he earned his . as well as a good meal. and the families who were always ready to be hosts to distinguished people." he meant to be forewarned. that she would be willing and happy to agree that their home should be "an ever open door" to all those whom Baruch wished to invite. Baruch's sister and aunt made a trip to Liozna to meet his prospective bride. Baruch expressed his willingness and readmess to become engaged as soon as it could be arranged. Obviously. Baruch had confided in them and told them that one of the reasons he was anxious to marry Avraham's daughter was because he was a great admirer of Avraham. overlooked these mystics and failed to offer them hospitality.

and was studying Mussar from Rabbenu Yonah's Shaarei Eshuvah. a few rlliles outside Liozna. Often he acted as a carter and this was indeed heavy going. A few weeks later Avrahan~and his daughter Rivkah came to Vitebsk where the engagement took place amidst rejoicing. as well as the Tractates Rosh Hashanah and Yoma. As had been agreed. and summer gave way to autumn. Hilrhot Eshuvah. and other books such as Reshit Chochmah. Baruch's aunt mentioned this to Avraharn. Thus passed the winter.Lubavitslzrr Rabbi's M e r n o i ~ ~ living by the toil of his hands as a gardener. Baruch was to rernairl in Vitebsk tbr yet another year of study before he settled down to nlarried life. The latter took thern to the plot of land. Baruch himself had worked for Avraham and had learned from him the art of gardening. 'The month of Elul came. but that a real feeling of warm sentiment and kinship had been iaclng. especially as Rivkah had made a very favorable impression on them. after he got married. During this year Baruch continued along his old line of working a few hours each day and studying during the remainder of the time. The effect was to make hini feel that his life had been very imperfect in the past. even when generous. These books made a trernendous impression on Baruch arid absolutely opened up a new world for him! A new warmth and sentiment permeated his being where up to now Reason alone had reigned. Now Baruch wanted very niuch to have a garden of his own to earn his living thereby. . Baruch followed the guidance of his brotherin-law Yosef Yitzchak. and that only by following the teachings of these books could he hope to live as perfectly as a true Jew should. He realized that his attitude towards his fellow beings had up until now been calculated. No work was too hard or too lowly for him.'rhere was sufficient land there also for growing garden produce. Baruch's sister and aunt were very satisfied. where he proposed to have a house built for Baruch and his bride.

and they gave their daughter a very fine upbringing as befitted a true daughter of Israel.Baruch's Engagement He recalled a recent incident which had occurred at the Beit Hamidrash inyanovitch where he had beer1 studying. studying earnestly. All arrangements for the wedding were in full swing. sought her hand in marriage. Baruch. As nearly all the people ofYanovitch and around had been invited to the wedding. and to their delight a most worthy young man. from his customary corner in the Beit Hamidrash. well-placed. and she was naturally the apple of their eye. Soon the couple who had prayed for their daughter's recovery entered. had for many years been childless. and study he did. When she became of marriageable age. noticed that tables were being laid with all kinds of drinks and fancy delicacies. While he was sitting in a corner. the prospective bride became ill. He was there to study. surrounded by a large crowd of men and women. and pouring out their hearts in crying and entreaty to the Almighty to help them in their terrible trouble! Their one and only child. Baruch learned later that the couple who had first rushed in to the Beit Harnidrash to pray for the life of their daughter. naturally. He was at the Beit Hamidrash for the sole purpose of studying Torah. They were well-known. At long last they were blessed with a precious daughter. Baruch looked on in sympathy. and they all prayed together and recited Ehillim for the slck girl. and whatever might be going on around him was not his affair. well learned in the Torah. they were very anxious to find a suitable "party" for her. and grew worse and worse from day to day. the bride's sickness had become a universal anxiety. and well-respected people in their town. . Some days later. when to everyone's horror and grief. as always. in rushed a man and woman hurling themselves at the Holy Ark. but it had not occurred to him to participate in any way. their daughter who was getting ready to be married. and from a very good family. lay seriously ill a t death's door! Other people hurried in too. She grew up to be a credit to her parents.

also his wife's aged parents. In fact. But Avrahaln Binyamin never showed himself particularly anxious to be rich.Baruch learned that this wac 111 the for111of a "thanksgiving" celebratiol~ then daughter'5 nliraculous recovery. Another incident came to Baruch's nllnd. as well as both his parents who were old and helpless. completely out of it. more tolerant and sympathetic. when the iloise and merry-malung becane too disturbIng for him. .Avrahanl Binyarnin sent his eldest son. to study at a yeshivah. It was just before Pesach when every Jewish inhabitant was busily occupied with Erev Pexach preparations. he moved to another room where he could continue with h ~ studies. He felt his Judaism with his heart and soul now. for he thought the celebration had no posslble col~nection wlth him. as lf notlllng had ~ntervellcd s Now. He sent his other children also to be educated. It occurred when he was in Dohromysl for the second time. as well as with his mind. he had a difficult task making ends meet. although he could have used him to help him with his wool combing. aged fifteen. Despite his poor circumstances. and felt hmself a t last to be on the right path towards living a truly perfect Jewish life. With so many mouths to feed.And he certainly had some sized family! There was himself and his wife and their seven children. He was quite satisfied if he could earn enough to provide his fanlily with bread. Baruch saw 11fe dnd people ar the books on ethlcs had shown hrn to regard them His approach became different.This was a pretty hard job and one could hardly hope to become a rich man through following this kind of work. There was a certain Jew in I>obro~l~ysl the name of Avraharn by Binyamin. a learned man who supported himself by cleaning and sorting wool. and carried the family burden aU by himself. and he reproached himself for his previous aloofness and coldness.Yet Baruch klt a stranger there. It \eemed as if the for entlre world was there.

and the youngsters are learning how to go hungry. and his house was always open to anyone in need of a night's lodging or a meal. even their bedding. then came his wife and children and. Anyone else in his place would have been weighed down with worry. Everything will be fine. In the center of . but not he. while Avraham Binyamin. up to its windows. as if they were something priceless. The two old couples sat at the head of the table.The house itself was sunken into the ground." His house on Friday night was the jolliest in town. not even a loan. and anyone present felt a real oneg Shabbat. Avraham Binyamin would accept help from nobody. Everybody knew that Avrahani Binyarnin's first concern was for the two old couples beneath his roof. The walls were supported by poles to prevent their falling down. The table was covered with a white cloth and three pairs of waxen candles stood proudly in the clay candle stick. David Aryeh and Chaim Eliyahu are learning at cheder. There was no more cheerful a person in Dobromysl than Avraham Binyamin! When anyone met him and asked him how things were with him and his family he used to reply laughingly. Avraham Binyamin gave charity generously. himself." He said this without any trace of bitterness whatsoever and would conclude by saying. Once they had to pawn their Shabbat candlesticks and Avraham Binyamin's wife had to use a pair which their eldest son had made out of clay. finally. . He was known in all of Dobromysl for his good-heartedness. he used to pawn whatever he could lay his hands on in the house.. "What have we to worry about? My eldest son Shlornke is learning Torah at the yeshivah. ~Engagement Despite his extreme poverty. all sat around them. If things became very difficult. and everyone knew that no matter how great was the need. his wife and children. They were all delighted with these candlesticks.B a r u c h ' . The windows were nevertheless clean. and on the inside they were brightly &scolored."Why should we worry? We have a merciful G-d in heaven who will care for me and my family and for all our people.

and that was their meal.* thc table was a huge bowl of hot water. Pieces ot bread were shared out before each person at the table. H e was still alive when the doctor called. The poor Inan seemed rnore dead than alive and quite unconscious of all the noise and activity going on around him. H e was too badly hurt to be able to say what had happened. The injured man proved to be Avraham Binya~liin. was startled to see two well-built Jews carrying in he a man whose face was so covered with blood as to be unrecogiizable. All that Baruch heard was that Avraham Binyamin had been found in this state. but he could not give much hope for his recovery. Some of the others urged the fanlily to leave hirn at the Beit Hamidrash as the doctor had suggested. For two days Avraham Binyamin's life hung in the balance. Each ate hlr or her portion of bread and then drank some hot water. Baruch of course joined in the prayers. sitting alone in the Beit Hamidrasl~. N o one knew the how and why of the matter. and all came running to the Beit Hamidrash. and the noise they made. By this time his family had gotten to know of the tragic accident. adding their cries to those of all the other congregants. His fanlily wanted to take him home. When the people heard this. Baruch felt hinlself somewhat irked that all the people. they set up a terrible cry and all started to recite Tehillim for the sick man. for they thought his chance of recovery would be greater if he lay in such a holy place. yet the songs they sang following it would have suggested that they had just partaken of the richest meal! Baruch's ~ n i n d turned to that afternoon when. as if it had no connection with hiin at all. for people seemed to be coming in from all sides. interfered with his studying.L u b n v r t c l ~ c rR a b b i ' s :Z/lerno1r. . under a tree. And apart fro111 hoping that poor Avraham Binyamin would recover for the sake of all his dependents. and the two inen had brought him into the Beit Hamidrash as it was nearer than his home. but he remembered quite clearly that he felt completely apart from the agair. a few 1~Liles fTom I~obroxnysl on the road to Babinovitch. but the doctor said he was too dangerously ill to be moved. to serve as soup.

or rather. How differently he felt about life and people now! His inner soul was beginning to express itself. that made him feel that at last he was on the right path towards self-perfection. The joy and relief of his family were indescribable. Avrahani suddenly opened his eyes and asked for a drink of water.Baruch's Engagenlent Meanwhile Baruch walked about aimlessly in the Beit Hamidrash. The books on ethics which he had been studying had awakened in him this new feeling of kinship towards his fellow beings. It was quite out of the question to be able to concentrate on study in all the commotion. for he would then be able to study again undisturbed. His breathing came easier and he began to look a bit more normal. When on the third day. . more cheeAlly. The news of his miraculous turn for the better. it was clear that he was going to live.They celebrated the Sedarim as cheerfully. spread like wildfire through the town. for Avraham Binyamin was able to sit at the table a few nights later when Pesach came. than ever! Baruch remembered a little shamefully that his relief when Avraham Binyarnin was taken home was mostly a selfish one.


CHAPTER SEVEN The Remarkable Shamash W h o Impressed Baruch Considerably The Beit Hamidrash in the Marketplace The Miller and Other Typical Country Folk Baruch's Second Visit to Yanovitch Men of Learning and Men of Action A Painful lncident .

-. the Shamash of ' I Yanovitch Baruch I...... A .. Student .-..] / 1 1 Mordechai the Miller 1 Rabbi Ber.1 I KEY: = Zalrnan Chaim. son of Rav of Dubrovna son of Rav of Borisov ' ' 1 i/ -. Rav of Mordechai's shul in the village / I daughter !dAvraham Shlomo. i-I Shlomo the Baker / Married Child Colleague I _ .. 1 I ..

the mourners . and he felt that his was an ideal. This was his old fiiend Zalman Chaim. Baruch. who was the shamarh of the big Beit Hamidrash in the marketplace. he went to a small Beit Hamidrash which was situated near a cemetery. Whenever there was a funeral. however. harmonious existence. before he settled down. As he would shortly be getting married. He particularly wanted to meet again one who had made a very deep inlpression upon him when. as a boy. He also reserved several hours daily for manual labor for his keep. STUDIED THROUGH THE WINTER 7'he Remarkable Shamash Who Impressed Baruch Considerably When Baruch had originally come toyanovitch. had other plans. and settled himself there to study. he had lived inyanovitch. although his relatives were very pressing in their invitation to him to spend Pesach with them.SEVEN BanucH under the guidance of his brother-in-law. he wanted to take the opportunity of visiting some of his old friends. Pesach drew near and Baruch was preparing to leave Vitebsk.

one of them. A few people used to come in betweell Minchah and Maariv to listen to the slzitrr on .-l'hey weren't particularly a ~ ~ x i o u s stay to there during the day either. a good deal the worse for drink. Ber. and did not feel afraid any more.Wishnayo~ or Lliri Yaakov. For this reason. for nobody disturbed him there. he got used to the place. But after Maariv not a soul remained.radually though. Uer was a . lurched towards I-3aruch and threw his arms around hi111 in a drunken embrace. Baruch was horrified and badly shaken." Whenever there was a funeral.'lhe gravediggers kept their tools in 1 room in this Beit Han~idrash. all to avoid a possible repetition of such a disgusting act. especially as he also slept in the Brit Hanzidrirsh.donu in the Heir tlanzidmsll in the evenings. and also because the cetnetery was so near. hardworking people who snatched a few minutes to hurry in to the Heit flamiduush to dawn Minchah and dash off again to their work. Because of this. ~l It was actually through the influence of Z a l n ~ a Chairrl that this Beit Hamidrash came into being. the gravediggers used to gather at the Bcit Hamidrash and "make merry. these gravediggers used to make it an opportunity for having a drinking bout. Baruch had Chain1 and of admiring hitn every opportunity of observing Zal~nan for his exceptionally fine qualities. C. few people cared to remain . For this reason Baruch found it an ideal place for study. The majority of the worshippers werc fioin the surrounding neighborhood. This was when Baruch rnoved to the large Beit Hawlidrash in the marketplace. The money for the building was donated by the well-known benefactor ofYanovitch. I t nlust be adrnmtted that Baruch also felt rather nervous a t rhe beginning.invariably came in to this Brit Hanridrash to the Minchah service. C>ri one such occasion. ' The hearse and purificatio~iboard were also kept there. where Zalnran C:hain~was the shamash. The shatnash of this Heir Hamidrash was also one of'the gravediggers. It took him quite a while to recover and he determined to leave this Beit Harnidra.

and thus. these were ordinary working Jews and villagers whom he welcomed and encouraged by having them called up to the Torah on the days when the Torah was read. It was wonderfully convenient for so many people.This in itself would not have brought him fame. Nobody nor where he had come quite knew how he came to be slzan~ash. and why he wanted to be shamash there. . the visitor must give his blessing. when the latter urged hi111to finance the building of the Beit Hamidrash in the marketplace. This was very much appreciated by these simple people who were generally ignored on account of their lack of education. This Beit Hamidrash. Rer agreed." particularly for scholars. One of his regular visitors was Zalman Chaim whom Ser respected very much indeed. and the Almighty must grant both success!" Ber had no children. and came the more eagerly to the Beit Hamidrash. In the main. He always used to say to them: "The master of the house must give money. from. and this grieved him greatly. Ber was very hospitable. stallholders and villagers who came to the market. but Zalman Chaim saw to it that there should be special rooms reserved for those who wished to study undisturbed. finding time also to observe the manifold virtues of the shamash Zalman Chaini. But it was soon obvious why he had wanted a Beit Hamidrash in the middle of the marketplace. They felt the honor given to them. Al the Jewish l merchants. would hardly seen1 the most suitable for settling down to study. And so it was that the Beit Harnidrash was full from early morn to late at night.T h e S h a m u s h oj' Y a n o v i t c h cattle dealer who had the good fortune to make a little gold mine out of it. his house had "an ever open door. had he not at the same time been a G-d-fearing and extremely charitable man. Baruch noted that many of the worshippers were people whom Zalman Chaim brought in himself. Zalman Chaim becanie shamash there. Baruch availed himself of the privacy of one of these rooms and settled down to his learning. being such a "busy"place. When the Beit Hamidrash was ready. could so easily slip in to the new Beit Harnidrash to daven without wasting any time.

do manual work for the~r Ijurmg these talks. Like all other shatnadzim he used to make a collection among the worshippers on Mondays and Thursdays after the Reading of the Torah. which were really long lectures. he urged the market traders to be honest in their dealings with everybody. however. was not only for the spiritual needs of these people whom he had taken under his wing. But for others he would spare no effort to see that they were short of'nothing. Zalman Chaim had introduced an innovation in this new Beit Hamidrash.They were part~cularlygrateful to Lalnlan Chain1 because tlc practically brought the Belt Hamidrash to them. understood hi111 perfectly. Zalman Chainl's concern. But unlike all other slrrrmashim. held in the open and given in the simple language they were used to. as well as to daverz. and they flocked into the Beit Hanzidraslz to listen to the shiurim he gave there. He wanted to prove to them that even workers can become great scholars. both young and old. like his listeners. carpenters. as cobblers. women. These talks of the shanzash Zalman Chaim made a tremendous impression on his listeners. and Zalman Chain1 told them mostly about the great 'fiz~zairr~ rimoraim who also worked. and tell them stories from the Gemara and nilidrash. he dealt at great length with the ilnportance of seeing that their children received the llecessary Jewish education and be brought up as Ili~rah-loving Jews. and children. For himself he cared little. which he translated into Yiddish and explained in simple terms so that each and every one understood hinl. And. satisfied as it were with a piece of dry bread.he did not take . he \was interested in their material welfare also. smiths. One of the slziurim he gave in the Beit I-tanlidrash on Cltlrrnaslz and Kashi. and made them feel it belonged to them. so that they should not quarrel or have arguments with each other in their business transactions. of course. and great scholars are no less great if they I~v~ng. and so on. and enjoyed every word. It was Zalrnan Chaim's custonl to go out into the street and gather around him Jewish men. He also tried to instill in them a feeling of brotherly love. He told the stories simply and so beautifully that everybody.

as often happened. before. In this way. Whenever you can spare it will be time enough to settle the debt. and if he could advise or help them in any way. the education of their children. who had learned to look to him in their difficulties. Thanks to his interest and efforts. I am wishing you success. he used to take time off on market days to have a word with the Jewish villagers and peasants who came to town." Everybody knew what a good soul Zalman Chaim was. When. as long as the money lasted. but instead got together a goodly sum and established a loan office for the benefit of any poor worker or trader in need of financial assistance. and he was greatly loved and respected by all. and ran around looking for "customers" who were in need of ready cash. who looked to him as to a father. the Jewish inhabitants could only attend a minyan on the High Holidays for which they and their families canie into town. Zalman Chaim acquired an immense influence over these Jewish villagers and peasants. His loan office was available for them all. don't worry about repaying it in a hurry. he found he had more customers than cash.T h e Shamaslz o f Yanovitch the money for himself. These he would ask very kindly and with real interest about their families and affairs. Judaism flourished where before it had but struggled for existence. He even managed to have synagogues established in remote places where. he always said to them: "Here's a free loan. Whenever he gave them the cash. He got especially busy just before market days. and depend upon him. Sometimes it was a merchant wishing to buy a load of grain. T h e Miller and Other Typical C o u n t r y Folk One of the Jewish villagers with whom Zalman Chaim had become 115 . he went to the "moneyed people" ofYanovitch and got them to advance the money he needed to lend to the poor folk. sometimes a butcher desiring to purchase a calf. or a poor woman wanting to procure a fowl or a basket of eggs. and you can be sure of it as long as you deal honestly! As for the money. In addition to his concern for needy traders.

and thus this village Brit Hainidrash becarne not only a House of Prayer. and the latter had in consequence becollie very enthusiastic to do something for Judaism and his fellow Jews. soon introduced various slziurinj into his father-in-law's Beit Hamidrash. was Mordechai the Miller. was. which could be a House of Prayer and a spiritual center for all the settlements in the neighborhood. but also a Torah center. Zalman Chain1 had talked to Mordechai a good deal. though unlearned. because they were uneducated people. This miller was a very rich.Je\v. the task of continuing these sluurim at the Bert Hamidrash fell to the second son-in-law. and over whom he had a great deal of' influence. He told his father-in-law that he preferred to keep to himself and did not wish to teach the villagers or have anything to do with them.L u b a v i t c l r e r R a b b i ' s ~Zilewzoirs friendly. to two learned young men. When Avraham Shlomo later became rav to an important Jewish congregation elsewhere. Zalman Leib. Mordechai the Miller had three daughters.Avraham Shlomo (the son of the Rav of Dubrovna). A delegation was sent to Yanovitch and. two of them about to be married through the friendly intervention of Zalman Chaini. the son of the Rav of Borisov This Zalman Leib. though a learned ctudent of the Torah. and the others together to pay the remaining two-thirds. and the scheme proved a great success and was inuch appreciated by all the Jews around. on the reconunendation of the local rav. Mordechai taking upon himself to pay a third of the salary.This Mordechai gladly did.This Kabbi Uer was a very learned man of about . So Mordechai called a meeting and it was decided to appoint a learned rav over their little congregation. a certain Kabbi Uer was chosen to be their spiritual guide and teacher.The first son-in-law. good-hearted. This grieved the miller very much as the villagers had already become used to the regular skiurim at the Brit Hanzidrash and would be terribly upset if they would be discontinued. somewhat conceited and full of his own iniportance. Zalman Chaim prevailed upon Mordechai to finance the huilding of a Beit Hamidrash in his village. sad to say.

if anything. as it would give him an opportunity to live among quiet country people. he could think of no more suitable a man than Rabbi Ber who. for his part. Mordechai invited hinl to live at his house.The latter immediately recognized that Rabbi Ber was a great scholar and resented his presence in consequence. might be considered too great a scholar for these simple Jewish villagers and settlers. when he saw the great respect shown Rabbi Ber by his father-in-law and all the villagers. Zalman Leib. he never spoke more than he needed. When the latter &ed (and with his passing went his source of income). Rabbi Ber having no wife to look after him. He had been living at the home of his father-in-law (a citizen ofyanovitch) for many years. Rabbi Ber became a melamed. He was a very good teacher and managed to make quite a lamdan out of his father-in-law. He was soon acclaimed inyanovitch as a very learned man and a very capable teacher. instead of the busier. devoting his time to Torah study.Thus he carried on for many years until he became a widower. Zalman Leib could not bear to see the ever-increasing popularity of Rabbi Ber.Then he gave up his teaching and returned to the constant study of the Torah. He had an interesting history. would welcome such an appointment.T h e S h a m a s h of Yanovitch sixty years of age. noisier town. Rabbi Ber was rather fond of solitude. When the delegation came to the Rav ofyanovitch for advice as to whom they should choose as rav for their village Beit Hamidrash. He felt though. and was not a talker. his children being in a position to support hitn. and he would be able to indulge in solitude to his heart's content. Mordechai and his wife showed him their usual hospitality. and took every opportunity of showing his dislike . that Rabbi Ber. When Rabbi Ber arrived in the village just before Selichot. Rabbi Ber soon earned the affection as well as respect of the villagers by taking the trouble of giving them shiurim in a way they could grasp. particularly.The effect was to stir them all to a determination to be better and worthier Jews. and he would have been very comfortable there had it not been for Mordechai's second son-in-law. and lecturing to them in a manner they could understand.

lie could not bear the thought that they had to live under the saine roof. and apologized to Rabbi Ber for his inexcusable behav-ior. rrlake it out of this table. hdd the latter nlore decency in him. and he is yet young. after all Zalman Leib is a clever student. Mordechai was terribly unhappy about the bad manners of his son-in-law. H e did not even stop at ~nsultlag hirn 111 publi~. But no. still lllarlaged to find sufficient opportuni-ties to continue with his persecution of the long-sutTering Kabbi Ber. "The lnoney should pay for our burial. but all Rabbi Ber said was. but still continued with his tailoring. he called three of his friends to his bedside and handed into their care the little Inorley he had managed to save during his lifetime. and where he hoped to find some peace. Zalnlan Leib. Ile would not associate with the vil. "1 shouldn't like to think that others would need to have any expenditure or1 our account. Mordechai. Let it bear witness to the fact that I have never used shatnes for any garn~ertt. have I overcharged any customer." or else "the preacher of the ignoramuses." Eventually.for him." . H e carried on his tailoring practically to the last day of his life.This oldYosseh was well in the seventies. calling hi111 an "old ignoramus. lagers because he considered them beneath h i ~ n and yet he hated Rabbi Ber because he was a greater scholar than himself. WhenYosseh felt he was about to die. Rabbi Ber decided it would be better if he left Mordechai's house. H e also showed then1 where they would find the racizrichirn which he had sewri for himself and his wifk." he said. I-lis conduct will inlprove with the years. H e was so conceited that he wanted to be the "top man" everywhere and always. "llon't be upset about it." ~l Such was the trlan with c v h o ~ Rabbi Her had chosen to take up residence. however. Kabbl but Ber accepted it wlth toleratiolt dnd dld not attel~lptto retahate. this in itself worild have made him realize how nlean was his own attitude. Yosseh was farr~edfor his honesty. As for a hearse. nor or failed to return any nlaterial left over in the making. In fact he answered Zailildrl L elb gently and. and lrloved to the house of an old tailor named Yosseh.

At appropriate moments he would respond Amen. and they knew very little of Judaism.This was when they were taken into town with their parents to celebrate the High Holidays. He was. he had no Jewish education at all. took him and brought him up. but always left Shlomo behind to look after the house and the animals. Later. and this gave him immense spiritual satisfaction. He never during his lifetime managed to learn to daven but still he did learn to recite a few blessings. they saw how Jews lived a Jewish life. and heard the rav preach. in fact. but he at least knew all the prayers and Tehillim by heart. Yosseh the Tailor was also far from being educated. He likewise attended the Minchah and Maariv services. and had the great and uncommon virtue of never saying a wrong word about anyone. and could read Hebrew. He was a very hospitable Inan. Yet. it was otherwise. and grem7 up to be absolutely ignorant in Torah. but Yosseh who was over seventy years old himself. they attended shul service. at least. however. he nevertheless had an urge to befmm. and although he could not daven. His uncle. and when he was nine years of age. who was a butcher. Shlomo was already a man of about forty. As he only knew the brachot for bread and water. Shlomo used to be among the first to come in the mornings.T h e S l ~ a m a s hof Y a r i o v i t c h IN ADDITION TO YOSSEH TAILOR THE there was another outstanding villager called "Shlomo the Orphan. he took him into his butcher shop. said that when he was a boy. . as well as Modeh Ani and the Shema. these were the only items of nourishment he would allow himself. With poor Shlomo. Shlomo had been nicknamed "the orphan" because he lost both his parents when he was only three years old. when Mordechai established the Beit Hamidrash in the village. At that time there were less than a minyan ofJews in the village.As for Shlomo. he used to put on a tallit and teJillin. His uncle and family used to join the other Jewish fanlilies in their trek to the nearby towns for the High Holidays. although Shlomo grew up to be so ignorant. Then." He was called "the orphan" though he was well over a hundred years of age! No one knew his exact age. He even missed the opportunity that other Jewish village children had. and listen to the others.

Mordechai the Miller moved to Yanovitch and. the animal was trelfilz.a man of few words. they too were terribly cotlfused and worried.'They were just scared lest. 2nd try to teach them what he considered they could grasp. G-d forbid. of course. That is why Zalman Leib poked fun at him and tried to show that Rabbi Ber was as ignorant as these two old simple men with whom he associated. Rabbi Ber decided that it was kosher. Rabbi Ber was very upset at the turn things had taken. feeling that in this way he was less likely to say anything he shouldn't. but Zalman Leib refused even now to admit himself in the wrong. Rabbi Ber then wrote out the whole matter in great detail in a letter to the Kav otYanovitch. Once Zalnlan Leib found an excellent opportunity to try to make trouble for Rabbi Uer. showed it to Zalman Leib. and they themselves knew too little to judge in such a Inatter. and before sending it off. took his son-in-law with him. and tried his to explain to Zalman Leib the reason t i ~ r believing the animal was kosher. right next to the Beit Hafitidrush where Zalman Chairn was shamarh. Rabbi Ber used to spend a great deal of time with them. Mordechai had bought a house and shop in the nlarketplace in Yanovitch.The villagers were all delighted. but Zalman Leib only replied with insults. It so happened that there was a jhualaiz on an animal. they should be eating treijalr. saying he refused to look at such nonsense! A few days later Rabbi Ber received an answer from the Kav of Yanovitch saying that Rabbi Ber's decision in the matter had been absolutely in order. After extensive iuvestigatiori. Rabbi Her might still have had to suffer persecutiori at the hands of Zal~nan Leib. Zalman Leib told the butcher that according to his view. fortunately. Mordechai became a regular worshipper at the Beit Humidrash and used to listen eagerly t o the rhir. and when the other Jewish villagers heard what had happened.triurr which Zaln~an . just threw the letter angrily to the floor. but.At long last Rabbi Ber could really enjoy his stay in the village. Whom should they believe? They knew that both were real 'Torah scholars. This put the butcher in a dilemma. ho\vever. however. of' Because of the righteousness arid si~lcerity these two old Jews.The latter.

for allyanovitch talked about it. he felt it his responsibility to try and improve Zalman Leib's character. At the same time he told then1 that Zalman Leib was a great scholar and they would be able to learn much from him. where he found a number ofTorah scholars with whom he could discuss and debate and show off his Torah knowledge. and whenever he gave a shiur he took every opportunity of telling his students that they should also attend the shiur that Zalman Leib gave. Soon Zalman Leib realized that while but a handful of students came to listen to his shiur. This made Zalman Leib terribly jealous of the shamash and he began to annoy and persecute him too. Zalman Chaim had no idea what coiild be the reason for this hatred. His son-in-law Zalman Leib also attended services at this Beit Hamidrash and felt very much at home here. Zalman Chaim the shamash felt an attachment towards Zalman Leib because he had been instrunlental in bringing about the "match" between the latter and Mordechai's daughter. Zalman Chaim always treated the former with the greatest respect. He even discussed the matter with Mordechai. he opened his eyes in wonderment! What manner of man was this who could continue to repay good for evil? . Zalman Leib was delighted and so was his father-in-law. Zalman Chain1 felt rather guilty towards Mordechai for having "inflicted" such a son-in-law upon him. In a short while Mordechai became the gabbai of the Beit Hamidrush. When Zalman Leib heard what Zalman Chaim had been saying about him despite all that had transpired between them. Despite Zalman Leib's obvious animosity towards him.T h e S h u m a s h oj. and for this reason. and when he noticed that Zalman Chaim continued to show respect and even affection towards him. but that he should be capable of such a vice at all.Yunovitch Chaim held there.And so it was Zalman Chaim who arranged that Zalman Leib should give a Talmud lesson at the Bcit Hamidrash. It was not so niuch the fact that Zalman Leib's venom was directed against himself that troubled him. and helped Zalman Cllaim in all his activities. too. an audience of anywhere up to a hundred or so attended Zalman Chaim's shiur.

he found Zalman Leib was well known in the town for his scholarship and good deeds. but also practiced its teachings. what they thought. finally. and others whom he now visited-recognized him. H e also visited the Beit Hamidrash near the cerrletery which was his first "home" o n arriving in the town. he also of wanted to learn Inore about his past. . So. his pleasures. Baruch well knew that this remarkable change in Mordechai's son-in-law was due erltirely to the fine example of goodness and mildness of character shown him by Zalnlan Chairn. H e still remembered his experiences there. and leaving no word as to whether he thought of returning at any tirlie. H e had left the town a year previously. for he was now a young nlan soon to be married. But Zalman Chairn was n o longer inyanovitch. and a real and lastlrig friendship sprang up between the two Zalmans. He wanted to learn from them something that would help him make up his mind as to what should bt. how despicably he himself had been behaving! He determined to change his ways. too. He remembered. for it was indeed high time that he not only learned the Torah. his way of life for the futurr. his hopes. bakers. with all the people for whom he had worked during his stay in Yanovitch. giving over the role of shrlnzasll to another.H e observed this strange shawrask Inore closely and could not help but admire his wonderful nature. None of Baruch's old friends-the shopkeepers. Baruch was now anxious to make closer acquaintance with Zalman Chain1 and learn from him sori~ethirlg his virtues. When Baruch returned to Yanovitch for the second time. Zalnlan Chalnlh ~nfluencebrought about the desired result. and his fears. It made him also realize. Baruch wanted to renew his acquaintance with all his old friends. at last. He asked then1 a11 to tell him how they lived. and about their experiences. that last awful experience there which sent hinl running to the other Beir Hawridrash in the marketplace where Zalman Chailn was shanzaslr.

M e n of L e a r n i n g and M e n of Action It was now for Baruch to decide which of the two. Thursday. There was also that of the great genius Rabbi Simcha Zelig. He came tovitebsk as a young man and settled himself in one of the rooms of the Beit Hamidrash." He knew the whole of Shas. he used to fast every Monday. Baruch could not but admire the great scholarship of this grand old man.At every step that Baruch took." for by his "way of life" he pleased both G-d and man! Although Zalman Chaim was no longer living inyanovitch. uneducated people who were far removed from Torah study. he had left his mark very clearly. In addition. Rabbi Simcha Zelig (with his vast Torah knowledge and life of solitude) or Zalman Chaim (with his manifold and generous activities among the Jewish multitude) came nearest to the Almighty's expectations. He had the greatest possible respect for the parush who came from a well-known family of scholars in Poland." who lived a life of seclusion. He lived the life of a recluse for a matter of fifty years. known as "the Parush of Vitebsk. Whose way of life was the right one? Baruch had reached the "crossroads. he saw how much the influence of Zalman Chairn had meant to the Jews oflanovitch and surrounding districts. but he now7had to choose which path to follow as his guiding line in life. and Friday. spending day and night qtudying the Torah." Until now he had spent his time in research and study. Baruch finally came to the conclusion that Zalman Chaim better fulfilled G-d's "ideal.T h e S h a m a s h qf Y a r z o v i t c h There was the example of Zalman Chaim devoting all his strength and energies to helping the ordinary folk. From his earliest youth he would only indulge in Torah talk. and his devotion to Torah study was unsurpassed. and looking down upon ordinary. . and would have nothing whatever to do with an ignorant person. He would not have known what to say to such a person. he was already called "the Iluy of Stavisk. When he was but a lad of fifteen. Like everyone else who had met the l'arush ofvitebsk.

perseverance. Shin~on Butcher. and Feiveh the Potter. When he visited him. Take. especially among those who worshipped in the Beit Harnidrash in the marketplace.L u b a v ~ t c h e rR a b b i ' s :1/Iemoiv~ At the Beif Hamidrash where Za1111arl Chaim had beell shamash Baruch found Zalman Leib giving a slriur to a large gathering. Zalman Leib was explaining the shiur in an enthusiastic and scholarly manner. however. but because it was attended by the rnost learned and scholarly Jews of the town. and love. C)thers who had thus benefitted from Zalman Cllaini's teaching and influence were Shimor] the Flour-merchant.u-ticipating in the learned discussio~lwhich was taking place. This slziuv was well known in the town. he found him deep at study. These the three had regularly attended Zalrnan Chaim's Chunlash shiuu. Pinya the Tinsmith. of . Baruch also had the o p p o r t u t l ~ tof observ~ngL a l n ~ a ~ l at ~ Lerb home. was the extreme devoutness with which he dar~ct~~rl as contrasted with now the hurrled. and it had seellled at that t i ~ n cthat they would never attain any higher degree of learningyet Baruch now found the111 studying Mislznayor anti apparently Iiaving a good understandi~lg the subject. for example. 111s face flushed with interest and enthusiasnl. but actually p. There were others inYariovitch ill whorl1 Baruch h u n d changes for the better. And here was Pinya sitting at the table. and were thus under the guiding influence of Zalman Chaim. Here was proof enough that with patience. not only on account of it being given by the aforementioned Yaakov Yitzchak.Tl~is satnr Pinya now attended the C. He was among the first who used to come to Zalnlan ( h i m to lear11 Ein Yaukvt~. offhand way in which lie ujed to 5ay 111\ prayer5 before. Baruch felt that Zaln-iarl Leib was a Jew with his whole heart and soul as well as with his mind. not merely a passive listener by any nleans. as he delved into one of the books of the Maharal of Prague. it was possible to educate and elevate ordinary folk even though they had had no education in their youth. but this did not surprise Baruch who krlew bin1 of old as a learned scholar.emilru shilrr which was expounded by a prominent iilelnber of the conlrn~tnitywhose narne was Yaakov Yitzchak. wh~ch yeenled so devo~d any uainlth or p o s ~ t ~ v e of' nleanlng.What surpr~sed and pleased him.

dl his life in a village and had barely understood the simplest shiur. were there solely due to Zalman Chaim's influence.T h e Shatrzaslz of Y a t ~ o v i t c h But apart from the fact that Zalman Chaim had managed to turn these unlearned Jews into something like scholars. who. Baruch was now convinced. . or hurling epithets at each other which were not very nice. Baruch found them conlpletely changed in their conduct. Whereas at one time they had stood in the marketplace or in their shops or at their stalls engaged in idle gossip. Shaul had taken up honest work. Here was another living example of what could be achieved for the ordinary. however. He sat down to rest on a fallen tree trunk and soon lost himself in thought. BARUCH WHO LOVEI) TO go outside the town to admire G-d's handiwork. uneducated Jew. too. ONEDAY.A~ forYaakov Zalman. went for a long walk in the country.This Mordechai who had spent . or perhaps more often quarreling with each other. who came to the Beit Hamidrash to the shiur. nature. too. their characters had vastly improved. that the right path for him to follow was not that of Rabbi Simcha Zelig." Shaul's nickname speaks for itse1f. Baruch knew. Now. and Yaakov Zalman now played only at Jewish simchot. and both spent their leisure time at the Beit Hamidrash! Yet a real revelation to Baruch was Mordechai the Miller who had acquired a shop inyanovitch and was now the gabbai at the Beit Hamidrash. There was one whom everyone had once called "Shaul the Horse Thief" and another called "Yaakov Zalnian the Musician. without the shadow of a doubt. and was known to conduct himself there in an un-Jewish manner. now attended a Talmud shiur and participated in the discussions. as true G-d-fearing Jews. There were others. he had been looked upon with contempt for the fact that he used to play to the local landowners in their castles. but that of Zalman Chaim the shamash.They had both given up their previous means of livelihood. who had spread both Torah and good deeds among the ordinary people. now they conducted themselves in exemplary fashion.

is no reason for our abstaining fi-on1 the pleasures the sun holds for man. which was created by the Almighty in the six days of Creation) was in existence brfbre the worshippers chose it as a deity.The fact that the sun-worshippers came along later and deified the sun.o . whereupon his brother-in-law einbarked upon a discussion or] the question whether it was right or wrong to benefit fi. he saw his brother-in-law sitting on a bench. Baruch's. to give plants strength to grow and the earth to bring forth food for G-d's creatures. the scholarly Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak. But now that he had come back toyanovitch with its revelations of all that Zalman Chairn had achieved in the riloral and material uplift of its inhabitants. walking through the park. Baruch remembered how iinpressed he was at the time with the philosophy of his learned brother-in-law. then there is no prohibition to benefit frorn it. 'Then he himself answered this apparent contradiction by saying: "But the obvious reply to such an argunlent is that where the object of'cvorship (as in the case of the sun." G-d had created the sun for the specific benefit of inankind. thing which had served as an object of worship to idolaters. After the cold winter which had passed. Baruch joined him and an interestii~g discussion sprang up between them. it seerned to Baruch that scholarly expositions were comparatively unimportant when contrasted with the bocial welfare work of such Jew as Zalinan Chaim. Baruch had made a reillark about the healing properties of the sun.Luhuvitcizru R a b b i ' s . It was given the power to spread light. his work when. who understood the realities of life and dealt . The sun also had healing properties which could cure many diseases. He brought other quotations from I'esachiwr to show how it is possible to deduce that such benefit should be fbrbiddeii. It took place on a warm and sunny day in spring (early in Nissan). it was an absolute Baruch was on his way home froin joy to sit in the warn1 su~lshine. even though this thing had been used by idolaters as their object of worship.4vuliuh Z~JI~ILIII that it showing is pernlissible to benefit or have pleasure froni soiilethiilg not created by man. leaving Vitebsk. He brought arguments from the Tractate .Memotr( His mind went back to the talk he had had with his some-. prior to his.

namely. and in fact averse to scholars. that they talked about them to their friends and all were inspired by their moral teachings and influence. and he certainly practiced what he .T h e Shamash of Yanovitch kindly and helpfully with the everyday problems of people. every Jew should be encouraged by Rabbi Akiva's glorious example. that no matter how late one began one's education. Every one of them listened to the shiur with obvious interest and pleasure. During his short stay inyanovitch. Baruch once listened as Avraham Yitzchak told his "class" the story of Rabbi Akiva. And now Baruch could hardly believe the evidence of his own eyes: here was Chaim listening as keenly as the others. younger men. obviously wanting his audience to realize the moral of the story. and how he began to turn towards the Torah and love it to such an extent. during the period when Baruch worked for his father. Baruch studied the faces of the pupils sitting around the table at Avraham Yitzchak's shiur. that he studied it until he became one of the greatest and most famous figures in Jewish history! Avraham Yitzchak told this story with exceptional enthusiasm. To Baruch's astonishment. Chain1 plagued him at every opportunity. he saw that one of the pupils was none other than young Chaim. the third son-in-law of Mordechai the Miller. Baruch cultivated the fiiendship of Avraham Yitzchak. while AvrahamYitzchak went on with his shiur. the son of Shimon the Flour-dealer! Baruch remembered him from three years ago. of how he had been a humble and simple shepherd. He followed in his footsteps by teaching the simple working people and devoting his time to their welfare." an absolute pest. carrying sacks of flour to the bakers. AvrahamYitzchak had the power of exposition and the ability to draw and hold the attention of his listeners.Then he told of his change of heart when already a grown man. AvrahamYitzchak always used to say that scholars have a definite duty towards the ordinary folk. There were old men. He was a real "black sheep. His audience was so thrilled with the legends he used to tell them. This Avraham Yitzchak was entirely influenced by Zalman Chaim in his outlook on life and his activities. and even youths. uneducated. He was up to every kind of mischief and.

or Shlomo otvitebsk as he was sometimes called. you desecrated it. but a ti-d-fearing Jew who wac s111cere In his every action. and certainly In hls prayerg. there still existed some ofthe old spirit among the scholars of loolung down upon the uneducated to the extent of treating then1 with contempt and ridicule. He began pleading with . was among those who were deriding him and scoffing at his ignorance. When some of his fellow worshippers saw hi111 taking his tritzir and reciting the Shema. calling him ilarnes and deriding him for his appalling ignorance. rushed into the Heit Hawiidrarh and inmediately began to davew on his own. Shlomo the Baker.Lubavitclzrr Rabbi's Memoirs preached. Shlo~no which he returned to his place and continued with his davenitv at the poilit at which he had left off. The shamash lidd not notlced that Shlomo was davenzng ~ndependently and was at a point where he should not be interrupted. Poor Shlomo was in tears. Baruch had occasion to notice that. as the minyan was far ahead of him. Such an instance was the following: It happened on a Monday at the tinle of the reading of theTorah. As soon as the service was over. Yaakov Yitzchak. Shlomo was a slmple man. It must indeed have been a terrible crime he had committed if even the great scholar and social leader of Yanovitch. they crowded around the innocent and unsuspecting Shlomo. they realized he had made a break at an inappropriate point. and so they decided to have some fun at his expense. "Shame on you. despite the great and m7ide heneficial influence that Zal~~lan Chain1 had left behind hi111 in Yanovitch. went up to the Torah." Shlonlo was mortified. you ignoramus! Don't you know that you dare not interrupt thc Slwma? So instead of giving honor to the Torah. for he utilized every occasion to take the111 under his wing and care for then1 in the way he had learned from the shamash Zalman Chaim. after and called him up to the Torah.

O n the contrary. that the tears just flowed down his cheeks unchecked." "You ignoramus!" retorted Yaakov Yitzchak. It was quite in order for you to interrupt your davening at the place you were up to. Nothing would be too hard or too painful for him to do. was horrified to findyaakov Yitzchak behaving so meanly. Shlomo was so moved by AvrahamYitzchak's desire to console him. "I shall commence my fast at once!" said Shlomo to Yaakov Yitzchak.T h e Slzamash o f Y a n o v i t c h YaakovYitzchak to tell him in what way he could atone for his great sin. if o d y it would wipe out his offence against the Torah! "Don't you realize what a terrible sin you have committed?" said YaakovYitzchak to the unhappy man. and he felt he would so much like to learn more about this splendid young man. unintentional though it was. . eager to show his readiness to atone for his "sin. "Don't you know that a fast of an individual must be arranged before Minchah on the previous day? It is a disgrace that we must put up with such ignorance!" And off he went with his cronies." Baruch saw it was Avraham Yitzchak. a young man stepped up to Shlonlo.Tears stood in the baker's eyes as he beggedYaakovYitzchak to tell him how he could possibly atone for his unwitting transgression. He is much more likely to accept your honesty and sincerity than the mean attitude ofYaakovYitzchak. and he was terribly distressed to see poor Shlomo's agony of shame. The poor baker's discomfiture was pitiful to behold. the third son-in-law of Mordechai the Miller. put his hand on his shoulder and said to him. "Don't you worry. and you have done nothing to offend the Almighty. who spoke so kindly and feelingly to Shlomo. who was watching the scene. you have done nothing wrong. "The only way to purge you of your dreadful sin is for you to fast." said Yaakov Yitzchak to him sternly. nly friend. "You have insulted the Torah and taken G-d's Name in vain!" Baruch. the poor baker &d not see that he was only being laughed at. and just as Baruch was wondering what he could say to comfort him. all laughing as if enjoying a grand joke. In his awful misery.

"Once. and in order to finish at the sarne tinle as they. when I was about twelve years old. H e used to go to daven every illorriing at the old Beit Hamidrash. I haven't. my father was invited to give a sermon. I told him what had happened. I felt I ought to tell my father. 1 argued." things to do. "I can honestly say that 1 have since fc>llo~ved advice without rh:tt exception! "My poor father. "I am reminded of a somewhat similar happening which occurred in my youth." said AvrahamYitzchak anxious to cheer the baker and help hinl forget the nasty experience he had just been through." began Shlomo. and of thc wickedness of hypocrisy. "He was a wellknown melamed invitebsk. Something distracted my attention: I forgot I was in sizul. and was talking directly to me! "As soon as I could get him on one side. H e said I lnust always davrw out of a Siddur. wiping his face with his handkerchief. G-d rest his soul. and greatly respected as a (. and when I was about ten years of age. I an1 not yet Bar Mitzvah so it is not really so serious! "WhenYom IOppur caine around.L u b a v i t c h e r K a h b i ' s . would not be distracted by anything that might be going on around me. but of course the ntittyav~was far ahead of me. indeed. when I looked out of the window. not take 111y eyes away tiom the words. In any case. wanted 111eto beconic a schol- . Hc wlas very stern with rne and rnade me promise that 1 would never again do such a thing. and then I thought it would be a worse thing to upset him than the fact of having missed soirie part of the service. "My father was quite a scholar. I had to skip quite a piece! "For some days my conscience troubled tne. and of all subjects. he began to take me with him.-&fearing Jew. I didn't k~ionvwhat to do. and got lost in thought. "Suddenly I recalled where I was and wanted to resume my prayers. "you must have rnore i~nportant "No. I an1 no st interested.I/Irnzoirc "Why do you cry?" asked AvrahanlYitzchak in surprise. then 1. I was davenirg one day. 110 please tell me." he continued. he chose to speak about the importance of being sincere. "But you probably have no rime to listen to my story." replied Shlomo. "He spoke so feelingly and s o earnestly that I just felt as if he knew all about my sin.

to show that he too was most interested to listen. I never had time to learn Shulchan Anrch. one of the most respected leaders in the Jewish community ofYanovitch. if illiterate Shlomo the Baker. I saw to it that my brothers should be able to attend the yeshivah. "I spent my leisure time saying Tehillim . "You can guess it was no easy task for me.and davening. The hours were long. I had the whole responsibihty of supporting my poor little orphaned brothers and sisters. His heart grieved for poor Shlonio whom he saw literally writhing in agony under the impact ofYaakovYitzchak's cruel jest a little while ago. and when soon after she too died. is all there is to my story." Avraham Yitzchak assured him. and believe me ~t was no easy work. Shlomo continued. More particularly.That is why I &d not know the din regarding interrupting my davening. I think. "But you must be tired of nly talking so long. and though occasionally I dipped into a Gemara. what disappointed him more than anything was to see the "greatnYaakov Yitzchak. "Not at all.Being the eldest child. "I worked as a baker. Do carry on. . honest. and Baruch nodded in agreement. and helped my sisters get married. talung such an active part in the persecution of the simple. and that.T h e S h a m a s h of Y a n o v i t c h ar like him. Thus reassured. as Baruch knew the interesting background and past history of this sameYaakovYitzchak. I had to help my mother keep the home going." Shlomo concluded. The whole painful incident left a profound impression upon Baruch. and though I did not mind the hard work. I always regretted that I had no time to continue with my studies. "Eventually I earned sufficiently to get married." Shlomo said suddenly. but unfortunately he became very ill and died when I was but a lad of fourteen. and as you know it meant mostly working at nights. so that there should be fresh bread and cakes in the morning. Baruch would have felt badly enough about such a scene under but any circun~stances.


CHAPTER E I G H T -- An Extraordinary Jew A Libel That Failed The Applr That Fell Far from the Tree .


He was indeed capable in many fields. All institutions. Thanks to Shimshon Elya many Jews were assured of a 1iving. The town attracted many scholars. because of his power and influence. and in the course of about twenty years the Jewish community ofYanovitch increased greatly in quantity and quality. and learning attained a high standard in this community. too. He was the man to whom everybody turned for advice and whose word carried the most weight everywhere.The town began to prosper and develop both spiritually and materially. Because of all these attributes. Shimshon Elya was the son of the iluy RabbiYaakov ofVitebsk. were enlarged and strengthened. People feared him. He was well known as a great land expert. whether for charity or Torah study. being also a mathematician and linguist. and therefore Shimshon Elya settled down inyanovitch. He was born inyanovitch and was the son of Shimshon Elya who set Yanovitch on its feet. Count Lipsky.EIGHT A n E x t r a o r d i n a r y Jew YAAKOV YITLCHIK WAS THE MOST respected man in allYanovitch. . the owner of numerous estates nearyanovitch. appointed him as his overseer.

man. to appeal to hini on behalf of Shimshon Elya. if as now: there was real trouble ahead." It had an ever-open door ibr guests. and they all decided to send representatives to Count Lipsky at his estate near Vilna. particularly tbr any with a thirst for Torah. Because of all the aforementioned reasons. Shimshon Elya had many sympathizers.c 'he real center of interest in Yanovitcb was always the house of Elya. and see what could have merited the punishment of the slander being brought against him.Vlenialr.there were witnesses to prove it! When the Jews ofYanovitc11 heard about the terrible slander. everyone looked up to Shimshon Elya and he was called "the Prince ofYanovitch. Shimshon Elya said that one should have faith in G-d and. one had to search oneself and see why the Almighty had sent it. everythi~lg Shimshon Elya was a re~narkable that happened was directed by l'roviderice for the good of mankind. As was his custom whenever he saw anyone in trouble. and. ~nventlrlg the story that Shln~shonElya had falsified the accounts of the estates. There must be some failing in the sufferer and he hlmself meant to subject himself to a deep self-searching now. H e maintained.". and he was esceedingly open-handed in assisting the poor. So he slandered hlm to the count. too.Actually people took more notice of hini than of Courlt Lipsky himselt! landowller who was very jealou\ NearYa~lov~tch there lived sn~all of Shlnishon Elya's lnlportatlt posltlon and of the trust wfnch Count Llpsky had placed In hlm. He never boasted of his greatness nor held himself in high-esteem . anlong the people of the villages and estates where he worked. 'They called a mass meeting and decided to proclaim a public fast. then they would all go to Count Lipsky and give their oath that Shimshon Elya was innocent. what is 117ol-e.L u b a v l t c h e r R a b b i ' s . which was truly a "house of' assenibly the wealthy Shin~shon and consultatior~of wise men. He was always ready to help people with advice or money. they were greatly disturbed. Many people became rich through his help. The calmest of all was the victim hinuelf.

etc. he could not agree. For this reason. Shimshon Elya. He therefore joined them in their heartrending cries to the Almighty to have mercy upon them in their distress. he . Moreover. which were in the charge of Shimshon Elya. Rabbiyechiel Moshe tried to teach the small Shimshon Elya along the same lines. and after this very thorough investigation they were quite convinced that everything was absolutely correct and in perfect order! The accusation against Shimshon Elya was false! He was publicly proclaimed innocent and reinstated in his post by Count Lipsky. that perhaps the fast would serve a useful purpose in any case as an atonement for any sins any of them had committed. They took a whole week to check up on the ~tocks grain. Instead. He believed one had to accept everything G-d willed. and acting according to their teachings. He considered himself to be . lt upset him greatly. He decided. was innocent.. Shimshon ElyaS mother came from Prague. of They looked through all the accounts of the estates. the count deemed it his duty to state publicly that he had implicit faith in his Jewish overseer and manager. He insisted that they must not take this oath on his account. As a child he had been rather delicate. the good and the bad. As a sign of his friendship for him.I disciple of the famous Maharal of Prague. and that is why he had the firm belief implanted in him that everything that happened to one was due to Divine Providence. But when he heard about their second resolution to go to the count and swear that he. Some weeks later there arrived in Yanovitch three messengers from Count Lipsky. always studying his books. and they need not worry about him-he was ready and willing to put his trust in the Almighty. too. Her uncle Rabbi Yechiel Moshe also came from Prague. When Shimshon Elya heard about the decision of the community to arrange a fast day on his account.T h e Prince of Y a n o v i t c h because of it. however. his father concentrated on teaching him all the virtues in order to become a really good Jew. with equal grace. he was not alarmed at the possibility of his descent from the high position he had held. his father decided therefore that he must not be burdened with too much Torah study.

in truth. But when his father noticed that even in matters of charity his heart was unafFected bv the troubles of the needy. but by nature cold and unet~lotional. as well as in his mode of living. he discovered that his son was absolutely following rhe guidance of his teacher. YaakovYitzchak was the only son of Shimshon Elya and was the apple of his eye. realized too late that his sonYaakovYitzchak was not hllowing his father's path. and when he reached the age of Bar Mitzvah. Shimshon Elya took the candelabra to a silversmith invitebsk who added two more branches to it. He devoted much of his studies also to philosophy in such books as the Guide-fiv tlze Perplexed and the k'rrzari. giving only that anlount that he considered '?ust. but that of his teacher who could find no place in his life for any but the scholarly. his father. and continued his lessons right up to the time he niarried.He ~naintainedthat one should be guided by reason entirely." he was very grieved and had a talk with Rabbi Naftali Zev asking hirn to correctYaakovYitzchak in the matter. 'This Rabbi Naftali Zev was always studying the Talmud. ~ r 1-ell FIIY / r o i ~ l flrr l r z r Shimshon Elya recalled to rrilnd his great-uncleYechle1 Moshe.'T'he best teachers possible were engaged to teach him.of teaching. that of love for his fellows. Shimshon Elya who had been traitled so differently. ?'Ire A p p l e i ' h . leaving out any emotional feelings. engaged the well-known scholar Rabbi Naftali Zev to teach his son. a (. H e then presented it to the large Beit Hamidrash there.Yaakov Yitzchak learned a great deal oflorah from his teacher. about three feet high. on the advice of the famous l'aruslz of Vitebsk.-d-tkaring man. to be used for the kindling of the Chanukah lights. He was.What a fine and noble character he had! Fils generosity knew no bounds Sh~mshonElya knew llttle of the h15tory of thc old lilarl ~ v e .Lubavitcher Rabbi's iZlemoi~s sent him a silver candelabra with six branches.7'0 his dismay. He followed this ruling even in his studies and nlanrlel. Yaakov Yitzchak became greatly attached to his teacher and thought that everything the latter thought and did was rig1it.

Shimshon Elya was greatly influenced by his respected greatuncle. He recalled a conversation he had with him when he was still a young boy. for he considered him perfect in every sense. It was in connection with old Pinchas. One of the teachings which Yechiel Moshe always tried to impress upon his listeners was that they should learn Haazinu and recite it every day. needy students or. equally wealthy. His great-uncle never spoke about his past. even several times a day. tall. but he also conducted a shiur where he concentrated on the teachings of the Maharal of Prague. broad-shouldered. and went to live with Shimshon ElyaS parents. Pinchas at this time was in his seventies.Yechiel Moshe. but the biggest portion of his wealth. gave the money it realized to charity. Shimshon Elya remembered how his great-uncle used to send out his agents to all the surrounding towns and townlets to seek out orphans. and students before commencing their studles. After her death he sold his home. Not only did he devote much time to studying the Torah. It was so uplifting that it would elevate all who recited it sincerely: merchants before doing business.T h e Prince o f Yanovitch what his mother had told h i n ~ about her uncle. he left to charity Yechiel Moshe had no financial worries and lived happily with his devoted wife for thirty-five years. artisans before beginning their tasks. in fact. anyone who was "down and out" and could do with a little financial assistance. Both the father and father-in-law of his great-uncle had their respective Batei Midrashot where they maintained a group of students who devoted all their time to Torah study. Whenyechiel Moshe's father died in Prague. First they lived in Cracow and later invitebsk. . despite the fact that they had no children. he left his son well provided for. The old man's father was a very rich man who married him to the daughter of a friend of his. He said it was a "soul puril fier" and they should a l learn it by heart. widows. whom he admired so much. They themselves also spent the greatest part of their time likewise.

from whom his son could learn Torah but without its inner teachng of "brotherly love. Shinlshon Elya's father took him into his household to be his handyman. but now that he was getting old. "How I envy him earning his living by the work of his own hands! I have so often regretted that I was always supported by my father's money. there was indeed a great and noble man! And it was with a sigh of disappointment that Shimshon Elya cornpared his late revered great-uncle Yechiel Moshe who had taught him the true meaning of virtue. with his son's present teacher. his will was read. Naftali Zev. One day Shinlshon Elya was in his great-uncle's room when old Pinchas entered.Yechiel Moshe stood up and did not take his seat again until old I'inchas had finished inaking the fire and left the room.and with a long white beard. but we are told to respect old age without distinction. which he named. the major part of his money was to be distributed to certain deserving charities. that. Shimshon Elya looked at his great-uncle with astonishment." explained his great-uncle. and it was now seen how very extensive and generous had been his gifts and support to nunlberless needy persons! And all arranged secretly. AfterYechiel Moshe died. a book in which he used to keep his accounts was found. as always." Yechiel Moshe always maintained his attitude of respect towards old Pinchas. And with a sigh added. As soon as Pinchas came in. In addition. but a servant? "It is true that Pinchas is a servant. and Shimshon Elya thought it very fine. It can never give one the same satisfaction as earning one's own living. where he could live in greater easc. Was not his great-uncle a respected personage and old Pinchas. he . so that the people receiving his charity should not feel degraded at having to accept help. where he instructed that after deducting certain legacies to his near relatives. after all." Shimshon Elya was so troubled about his son. He had worked terribly hard all his life at all sorts of heavy jobs. carrying a bundle of wood to make a fire. Yes.

good friends. and for the improvement of his character. Search your heart well until you find where you have failed. tragically enough." Anyone else in Shimshon Elya's place might have felt insulted at . as he was known inyanovitch. He was equally good-hearted. dear friend." but he gladly welcomed it. and this made him and his wife very unhappy.Therefore. I always say everything is for the best. but though she gave birth several times. When Shimshon Elya was appointed as overseer and manager of the estates of Count Lipsky. a great scholar. her baby always died in its infancy! "Tell me." said Moshe to him. "what would you advise me to do? I would do anything. They had wealth. "Faithful Moshe. and they had been to school together. Shimshon Elya had complete confidence in him and made him his personal adviser. if only I had a son to succeed me. It was not surprising. Shimshon Elya loved and admired his friend who reminded him so much of his late beloved great-uncle Yechiel Moshe. therefore. More than once his wife had her hopes raised. and a respected place in the community. and not only did Shimshon Elya not object to being "corrected.T h e Prince of Yanovitch turned for advice to his lifelong friend Moshe. There was an absolutely true and frank friendship between them. "but you know as well as I do that the Almighty is never in the wrong. So much so. that Moshe eventually became his guide in all things." said Shimshon Elya to his friend Moshe. Moshe kept the accounts for him and was his right-hand man. he was still without an heir. as he knew Moshe only meant it for his good. When Shimshon Elya had been married for some time. but they could not be happy so long as they were childless. and noble in every way. the same as Shimshon Elya. that Shimshon Elya came to him whenever he was in trouble." Moshe came fromvitebsk. the fault is in yourself. or. he took Moshe with him to be his assistant." "Indeed you have my sympathy. but I cannot feel that this is so in the case of my being childless.

he asked eagerly. nly dear friend arid adviser. The child was calledYaakovYitzchak and he was the very "apple of their eyes" to his devoted parents. The young boy was content to follow his teacher and his ideas. showed him how the affairs of the estate were co11-ducted and gradually gave over the reins of rnanagenlenc into his hands. "If only he could be a little more like his father. And certainly his advice was always sought and valued. his father took him into his office. It was obvious. but not Shimshon Elya.such criticism. Despite all his patient and persistent eftbrts." thought Moshe. namely. "Maybe he will improve in time. tried in every way to use his own influence in showing Yaakov Yitzchak a better and kinder way of life. that the study of Torah and carrying out its precepts to the letter (they forgot about the "spirit" . "Moshe. When they thought him old enough. if possible. At Shimshon Elya's request. Only have faith in Him.) was ideal and sufficient. that Shimson Elya should now again discuss the problem of his son's "one-sided" education with Moshe. feeling to some extent responsible for the failure in choosing a teacher not quite after their hearts. and the latter. even dearer to then1 than beforc. how would you advise rile to go about it?" "You should fast and pray very hard and I an1 sure our dear Father in Heaven will grant you and your w i k your dearest desire.. I sincerely hope so!" When YaakovYitzchak grew to manhood. Moshe travelled in search of the best teacher obtainable. Nothing was too good for him." And when in due course a 4 0 1 1 was born to Shimshon Elya and his wife. he could see that they had absolutely no effect upon Yaakov Yitzchak. YaakovYitzchak had an alert mind and it did not take him long to get an understanding of the work. and they spent much titrle and thought o n his upbringing and education. Indeed. and came back with Naftali Zev. so that when he eventudly .. Shimshon Elya discussed of with "faithful Moshe" the questio~i obtaining a teacher EorYaakov Yitzchak. therefore. Moshe became.

he certainly did not hold the affection of the people as had his father before him! Even in matters of charity. About twenty years after the death of Shimshon Elya. who knew such a man could not easily be replaced. it was obvious that he gave help because he considered it to be his duty. YaakovYitzchak continued to work for his heir. He forgot that the manner of giving was perhaps even more important than the financial assistance. While he was respected. and was treated with the same respect as before. YITZCHAK ENJOYED the same respect and confidence of YAAKOV Count Lipsky as had his father. YaakovYitzchak could not have been happy had he not found time for Torah study. and devote himself to communal matters which were very dear to him. in which he gave quite generously. Because of his wealth and position. So he arranged that part of his day should be reserved for studying by himself. there arose a dispute among the heirs of Count Lipsky. and there was no apparent pleasure in the giving and there could not therefore be any pleasure in the hearts of the recipients. so that YaakovYitzchak felt he would be happier out of it. He wound up all the affairs of the estate and had the accounts checked and verified by the government authorities so that he should leave everything in absolute order. and by some even feared. and when he died he was deeply mourned by allYanovitch.T h e P r i r i c e of Y a n o v i t c h took complete charge. Yaakov Yitzchak was very happy in his success. When the count died. He then started to do business in flax and was very successful. He enjoyed his . For fifty years Shinlshon Elya served the community. his father was able to leave the affairs of the estate in his care. he was considered the lay leader of the town. and in addition he gave a shiur for any of the people ofyanovitch who cared to attend. He proved capable and trustworthy and the count was well pleased with him. and was consulted in all matters affecting the Jewish community.

wheil the latter responded to the uity~rhlrt c l i ~ ~ middle of Shen~o. and what he could learn from hlni and about him. for seeklng popularity anlong people w h o n ~In his concut. H e did not care . that he made up hls mind to observe h ~ m \ee how he llved. he coltcldered hls ~nferiors. That 1s why he thought it '1 great joke to riiake fun of that poor. urnple baker Shloii~o. For he felt that he wa5 a young irian well worth taking notlce o f hlm once agaln that here w d s anothAll he discovered convir~ced er example of one who found servlng the hurnble and ord1ndr)f folk more worthwhile than anythlng else! . how he spent his tlme. that he was not loved Ar was hls late f ~ t h e rfor he saw rio necessity . How chfferent from Yaakov Y~tzchak was AvrahamYitzchak! Baruch was so impressed with the way AvrahanlY~tzchak treated .wealth and hls place of hotlor in the Lonlnlunlty. the baker.

CHAPTER N I N E The Scholar W h o Became a Cobbler The Red-Headed Kohen The Stargazer of Hatinka Baruch Seeks out More Mystics .

......... i dauAhter 1 Student . KEY: = / daught+ Married Child Colleague I Yitzchak j .1 Rabbi Sender the Red-headed Kohen Shmerel the Chaim of Vitebsk 1 - ....... . ..

that they too could live thus.NINE* T h e S c h o l a r W h o Became a C o b b l e r YITZCHAK WAS BORN IN VITEBSK where his father. David Leib had come from Minsk and was the son of the Dayan of Minsk. and became eager to follow his example. who was famed far and wide for hls wealth of learning and righteousness. by example. telling him he was still far too young for such study and would be better occupied in devoting his time to the study of Shas and poskim. For a long time AvrahamYitzchak believed that his father was just a simple cobbler. who lived a simple life purposely to show others. His father. earned his living as a cobbler. discouraged him. It was therefore only to be expected that the son of such a great personality should be no ordinary person. And David Leib was in reality a scholar of achievement. whose name was David Leib. however. Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh. but later he hscovered that he was in fact a mystic. David Leib saw how his father. the famous dayan. A v n A m M - * Baruch's fr~end AvrahamY~tzchakand his background are the maln focus of t h ~ s chapter . devoted much of his time to metaphysics.

who proniised David Leib he would provide his living costs for eight years. C:haim of Vitebsk. ButVitebsk was a long way fro111Minsk. and he found himself in a new world! These books on ethics made such an impression on hi111that he felt he must devote every niinute to the study of them and leave everything else! He began to live differently. neglecting the study of Talm~td. seeking only that which he felt would elevate hi111 to a higher plane. "Not become a rabbi?" his rnother-in-law burst out angrily. respecting his father's wishes. they had in fact already been boastfully talking to their friends about their son-in-law's certainty of becoming a great rabbi! David Leib just shrugged his shoulders and said he was sorry to disappoint them. Feeling he was now ripe for entering into the vast field of'metaphysics. His parents-in-law were conlpletely taken aback. he concentrated on the study of C. even froni his parents-in-law! They in turn began to ask him why he showed no inclination to become a rabbi. . for. anticipating that that would be the culmination of his years of study. but he did not intend accepting any post as rabbi. lihood of arranging a nieeting in the i~nmediate Eventually David Leib decided he could not possibly wait any longer and delved into the study of metaphysics with his whole heart. that He found it all so hscinati~~g he suddenly realized that he was and he reproached hin~selffor it.David Leib atteilded a yeshivah . Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh supervised his son's studies right up to the tin~e of his marriage to the daughter of the wealthy citizen. although he was by now twenty-two years old. David Leib was eager to begin. But he did not want it to be noted. This led him to the study of ethics. he still had a feeling that he ought to talk the matter over with his father who had always supervised his studies.Yet.ind h ~ stither watched h15 progress with satisfaction for. more earnestly. so he became very reserved and hid his new ideas and way of life as far as possible.rmara and made excellent progress. his deciding he ought rather to turn to studies which would i~nprove character. so that he could corlti~iuewith his studies. and there seerned no likefuture.

And as there were no children of the marriage. When a suitable opportunity occurred. his mother-in-law did everything to make his life a misery. "You need not worry though. for she loved her husband dearly and whatever he did was right in her eyes! David Leib could not feel conlfortable in the house of his parents-in-law who." "I am sorry to disappoint you. "need we discuss the matter now?" From that time onward. "you are now the father of two children. he decided to have a talk with his parents-in-law. David Leib's parents-in-law now lost their patience with their son-in-law completely. "Look here.The Cobbler of Vitebsk "What else do you think you'll be good for? Isn't that what you've been studying for all your life!" "Well. which was contrary to their ideas. his wife gave birth to a daughter."but I am still determined not to become a rabbi. Surely you will now accept a rabbinical post to support your family! We have fulfilled our part as promised and kept you for the eight years. Six years after his marriage. for I have been learning how to be a cobbler. But as it would not be fair to his wife and to his parents-in-law to continue to incur their displeasure by his way of life. and feeling that their disappointment was understandable. he continued. When his wife heard of his suggestion she was very upset and said she couldn't think of a divorce. he would be ready to give his wife her freedom by divorcing her. David Leib. at every turn. whom they named AvrahamYitzchak. and a year later to a son. as there are still another three years left of the eight years' maintenance you promised me." And to their surprise. This led him to shrink into himself even more than he had previously." replied David Leib quietly. she could easily remarry and choose someone who would make her more happy. lectured him on his apparent lack of interest in thinking of a career for his future. I have already rented a suitable house and workshop . he explained to them that he himself was quite determined in pursuing the life he meant to lead." they said to him."he answered them.

Rabbl Tzvl Aryeh. Rabbl Tzvl Aryeh. O f course. I am with him!" Seeing they could achieve nothing with their son-in-law nor wlth then own daughtel. NEWS GOT AROUEUI) that the fanlous Dayara of Minsk. Flow would they ever agaln be able to look thelr friends in the face! WIIENTHE. They shuddered to thmk that even K a b b ~ Tzvl Aryeh rmght not be able to prevail upon hlr son to glve up his cobbhng. was c o m n g on a vislt to Vltebsk. A reception conlmlttee wab formed and all the "blg" people m the con~n~urnty Lalnc together to d~scusshow best to receive so dlstlngu~sheda guest. their daughter. into the town As the day of the arrlval of the great man drew near. it was agreed that David Lelb's parents-ln-law had first claim on being the hosts of the dayati. and take up the more honorable profession of rabbl ~nstead. the Ilayaiz of Mlnsk. do you? If we wanted a cobbler as a son-in-law we need not have gone to the expense of supporting you for eight years! We cotrlci have had our daughter nrarry a cobbler at the beginning and saved ourselves much heartache and money!" "You must give our daughter a divorce so that our sharne be wiped out.mechutan." roared the father-in-law. where I shall take nly famlly and trouble you no nlore.L u b u z ~ i ~ c h rRra b b i ' s 124en90ius on the outsklrtr of the town. whatever David Leib chooses to do." His mother-in-law barely recovered her rpeech and poslovely screamed at him. they decided the matter was serlous enough for them to summon then. the rxclternent waxed intense . T h y then chose delegates who were to meet Rabbi Tzvl Aryeh a few statlons beforevitebsk. so that they could escort him. and see ~fhe could use his influence to persuade his son to give up hls "crazy" declclon to become a cobbler. "So you want to make a laughingstock out of us. everyone became busy. "And have 1 no say in the matter?" i~~terrupted "As far as I an1 concerned. In 3 fittlng manner.

T h e C o b b l e r oj. while David Leib continued. When David Leib heard that the dayart intended to proceed on his journey that evening. he begged him to stay in Ostrovno overnight as he had something of great importance to discuss with him. where he intended to look out for his father. "My dear father! I did not want you to be prejudiced in my favor while we were discussing Torah matters. but now you know that I an1 your son and that I came to tell you the real reason why my parents-in-law have invited you to Vitebsk. and David Leib spent much of it with him. David Leib. They immediately found themselves discussing all sorts of matters from the Gemara and Rambam. and then David Leib turned to him saymg. had changed considerably during this time. and the dayan was greatly impressed with the depth of learning shown by this admirable young man! There seemed something familiar about him to the dayan. He had not seen his father during all the eight years he had been married." Father and son embraced each other warmly. V i t e b s k David Leib also heard the news and of the arrangements made for the representatives of the community to go out to meet his father. He asked David Leib where he came from and what was his occupation. to which David Leib replied that he was one of the cobblers ofVitebsk. Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh spent all day in Ostrovno. The dayan agreed. as one who had come to pay his respects to a distinguished personality. set off for Ostrovno. however. he had grown older and more manly. He made up his mind that he vcrould not disclose his identity for the present. He therefore greeted Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh very respectfully but with some reserve. but he recognized his father without difficulty. "They want to tell you that I have brought disgrace upon them because I have chosen to make my living by cobbling! But I want you to know that I have come to the conclusion that I can best serve G-d and my fellow Jews . and he saw that his father did not know him as he went towards him. yet he could not quite place him. So he decided he must speak to his father before anyone else. and quietly leaving the town.

iha~ne a son ofyours!You. and that is the path I intend to follow. the dayan was taken to the house of his mechutanim. . set off together for Vitebsk. When the guests had all departed and Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh and his son found themselves alone with his parents-in-law. May the Almighty help you in all you do!" David Leib asked his father not to let Anyone know that he was such a lanidan. as he would rather chey looked upon him as just an honest cobbler. After the official reception of welcome.let us all retire peacefully and leave the dscussion for the n~orning. even though it will bring you neither wealth nor fame. and after that they spent the rest of the night studying Torah together." said the dayan. by "To thtnk that we should be put to .L u h a v i t c h e r R a b b i ' s iWemoirs by living simply as a cobbler. but her parents are &sappointed and furious with rile and cannot see anything but shame in nly way of life." Next morning at the first opportunity." "My dear son. His father readily promised. "I arn proud of your courage and determination to follow the path you know to be right. arriving invitebsk soon after his father. David Leib only acconlpanied his father a little way. however. the parents-ill-law of his son. where all the heads of the community were assembled to do him honor." replied the dayan miidly. the latter turned to their rnechutan and began to pour out thew troubles and cornplaints. who are the famous Ilaycln of Minsk. Early next morning they both went to sku1 together to daven. My dear wife is in complete agreement with all I aln doing. for co~nmittee which had sent out delegates to he knew of the receptio~l meet his father and bring him intovitebsk with aU due ceremony And so they parted for the moment. and David Leib followed on later. David Leib's parents-inlaw brought up the matter again. "the night is not a time for judgment. and aiier breakfast. can surely not approve of your son stooping so low as to become a cobbler! Can you understand our feelings?We are positively ashamed to look our friends in the face!" "My dear ntechutanim.

The Cobbler of Vitebsk
"Why are you so disturbed and aggravated that your son-in-law should earn his living by the toil of his hands?" Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh asked them. "You know there is no shame in honest labor! O n the contrary, our Sages say: 'Love work, rather than the rabbinate.' David Leib is absolutely following their teaching! Surely you know that many of our Tanaim and Amoraim earned their living by manual labor and did not consider it beneath them to become ordinary tailors, cobblers, woodcutters, and so on. I cannot see why you are making such a fuss about the matter and feeling ashamed. In my opinion you ought to be proud of it." "We must think about it," replied Chaim, the mechutan, reluctant to give in as yet."And meanwhile," he cont.inued,"David Leib ought to come back and make his home with us again. But of course," he added hurriedly, "he will have to do his cobbling elsewhere! Somewhere outside the town." Rabbi Tzvi Aryeh stayed invitebsk for about five weeks, and his mechutanim complained no more to him, as they realized it was useless. During this time he observed how his son carried on his cobbling, tahng every opportunity of befkiending his customers and showing a sympathetic interest in their affairs and problems, but always appearing as nothing more than an ordinary, kind, honest cobbler. r Every evening, father and son spent t h e ~ time in study, and David Leib told his father he would like to take advantage of this opportunity, to study metaphysics. His father gladly agreed, and when he eventually leftvitebsk, he felt his visit had been very worthwhile indeed, and was very happy with his son's conduct and way of life. For two years more, David Leib and his family lived at the home of his parents-in-law, though insisting he would only do so on condition they accepted payment.This they did, but still it was far from a happy arrangement. They could never hide the fact of their disappointment in their son-in-law, so, when one day a customer suggested to David Leib that he come to his hometown Hatinka, near Kalishk, where he

L ~ r b a v i t c l z c rR a b b i ' s 114einoir.c
assured him he would make a very cc)~nfortable living, the idea rather appealed to him. He talked the matter over with his wife and she readily agreed with him. She was a devoted wife and mother, thought the world of her husband, and all he did seemed perfect in her eyes! "You know, dear wife," he said,"I feel that this would be an excellent solution to our problenls.We could live unhampered, according to our ideas, and your parents would no longer be troubled by our 'undesirable'-as they see it-way of living." The plan being approved all around, David Leib took his wife and fanlily and made their way to Hatinka, a small vdlage of some tbrty Jewish families. to The villagers appealed to David Leib very tnuch.They see~ned be good, honest people, happy in their simple life and ready to do good where they could arid be friendly to all. They gave David Leib and his wife a friendly welcome, and when he sawr that they were just ordinary people, with no pretensions to education, he felt safe. There was no one to recognize in hirn the great scholar and mystic that he was, and he felt a glow- of satisfaction at the thought that here at last he would be able to live the life he yearned for! A life of simplicity and of unobtrusive help for his beloved brethren! David Leib settled down in Hatinka without difficulty. He worked to his best and satisfied all his custonlers by his desire to please them. He charged then1 the very minimurn, yet his work was of the best. In addition, he made friends with everybody and they appreciated his genuine interest in their welfare. Thus he lived happily for five years, working by day and studying into the night, but no one knew about his secret stu&es.AU they saw of his desire to learn was when they saw him at the Ein Yaakov shim in the Beit Hamidrash, where he sat and listened in no way different from the other simple villagers. But although David Leib was so careful to hide his own identity from others, he on the other hand kept his eyes and ears open, constantly on the lookout for other nlystlcu who might be passing through the town. It occurred to hnn that there mght even be a

The Cobbler of Vitebsk
mystic in Hatinka itself, who could have chosen to settle there for the very same reasons as himself! So David Leib kept a watchful eye on everybody, resident or visitor, and at the slightest suspicion that he was confronting anyone out of the ordinary, he would put some leading question to the person and see what the reaction was when so questioned. Very often he would be met with a blank stare as if he had asked something incomprehensible.The person would scratch his head in seeming bewilderment, saying: "What does the fellow want of me? He would do better to ask a scholar." The onlookers would laugh, saying: "Our hiend the cobbler has knocked a nail in the wrong place!" But David Leib could see better if he had knocked a nail in the right or wrong place .... When he felt that he had really found someone whom he believed to be a fellow mystic, he pestered him with questions until he verified his guess. In order that he might more easily have the possibility of meeting and recognizing these mystics, he made his house a guest house for wayfarers. H e was additionally glad to have the opportunity of caring for the comfort and welfare of possible mystics who, being anxious to hide their greatness from people, were generally taken to be ordinary travellers and granted no special attention or privileges. In this way David Leib made the acquaintance of quite a number of mystics, some of whom passed but once through Hatinka and to whom David Leib was so happy to act as host. Others came again and again, and with these David Leib became very friendly and took the opportunity to learn all he could of their special methods of approach to their fellow Jews, and of their way of life regarding themselves.
T h e R e d - H e a d e d Kohen

There was the case of one whom everybody called either "the redheaded Kohen" or "the chee&I sou1,"who used to visit Hatinka and was very popular with everyone.

Everybody took hini to be a very ordinary vlsitor and wclconleci hiin because he was such a jolly person, cheering everybod) with his consrant jok~ng.No one su5pected that he was anything Inore than he appeared to be, and no one even troubled to find out the reaiori for his conilng, or the purpose of his staying That IS,no one but David Leib He felt very intrigued and \v,~nted to find out more about this red-headed Kohen who wa\ slwayi so jolly and fr~endly wlth everyone, but niost of all wlth child re^^. In the Bert Hamrdrash he always gathered around hlnl all the 11ttleboys, who just worshipped him! And rio wonder, for he was alway g1r7111g them sweets, nut$. and apples f-le ~lways lnslsted that they inake i 1)rachah before eating any of these things, and all the other5 would respond "Amen." Then he would tell them such ~riteremngstories about all the great men in Jewish history that they just listened open-mouthed. He would urge theni ro iearrl all they could from their rehhr.~arid would exanllne them on what they had already learned in cheder. Finally he would sing to them and teach them songs so that they could sing with him, and sing they did with a will, ending up with a hilarious dance! Do you wonder that they all loved their big red-headed friend who treated them so generously and who played with then1 so delightfully? Many of the men criticized hiin for being so childish, but David Leib felt that here was no ordinary clowrl as some called him, but a man with a n~ission-to inspire the Jewish children so that the): acquire a love for Judaism and things Jewish, without noticing that they were being taught! That, surely, is the niost successful way of teaching. Ilavid Leib took every opportunity of studying this cheerful soul, followed him where and when he could, and when he noticed the way he waxed enthusiastic, his fare aglow and his eyes sparklirlg whenever he spoke about Jews arid Judaism, David I.eib &It con-vinced that he was a personality well worth noting! Later, David Leib learned more about the red-headed Kohen. He had been a rnelamed in Kalishk for a long time, and was well-knoxvn

T h e C o b b l e r rtf V i t e b s k
for his learning and highly respected for his noble character. His name was Rabbi Sender. One day Rabbi Sender suddenly made up his mind that he had taught long enough in Kalishk and he ought now to turn his attention to the Jewish children of the small towns and villages who might be in greater need of his teaching.

of H a t i n k a

By the time David Leib had been three years in Hatinka, he had met and managed to recognize and befriend a number of mystics during their visits to this village. In some cases, where he at first believed his guests to be mystics, he felt he had made a mistake when he found them associating with the local "idler" of the village, Shrnerel the son of Nachum 1tzik.The latter was a respected man and something of a scholar, but it seemed such a pity for him to be cursed with such a "ne'er-do-well" of a son! Shmerel had three nicknames in the village. He was either called "Shmerel the Idler," "Shmerel the Stargazer," or "Shmerel the Yawner." The first name he earned by the fact of his spending much time chatting to the women and children of the village, who loved listening to his stories. The reason for the second nickname was his constantly staring at the sky. At night he gazed at the moon and stars, and during the day he would watch the clouds as they rolled along, constantly changing their shapes; now they looked like monstrous animals, now like human beings. People used to hear him muttering as he gazed up into the sky, be it day or night.They thought it very funny when he used to murmur as he looked, "How like the clouds are people, who, like them, are constantly changing! If at first they appear to be animals, they can by their own good efforts turn themselves into worthy human beings. If on the other hand they act unworthily, they turn themselves from decent human beings into animals...."

L u b a v i t c h c r R a b h i ' r .Vfr,ft~oir.\
Shmerel always lectured people, telling then1 they ought never to curse or envy others their better fortune. People generally tolerated him, but few took him very seriously. The third nickname by which Shmerel was known was "Shmerel the Yawner," because he was corlstaritly yawning, and his yawns were unlike anyone else's. 011e knew of his approach before he was even seen on account of the peculiar rnanner of his yawning! His yawn would begin riormally enough, but then it would extend into such a big and long yawn, ending with such an ear-piercing roar, that it could startle one out of his wits! 'The only time Shmerel did not yawn was when he got “warmedup" in his lecturing people. But then the children felt something was missing and would urge him,"Oh please, Shmerel, do yawn!" He was never insulted at this request, but would smile at them benevolently as if flattered that t h y should turn to him for amusement. Quite natural on their part! Imagine then how disappointed and resentful David Leib felt when he found that the red-headed Kohen, whol~lhe had so admired and whose friendship he had been seeking to cultivate, was associating so freely with this Shmerel. David Leib tried to discover what these people, whom he had at first suspected of being mystics, could see in Shmerel, so he too tried to learn what he could of him. Yet for some tinie he could not learn very rnuch about hiill. All he learned was that Shmerel was married and lived in a turn-ble-down cottage which had a thatched roof, so dilapidated, that on rainy days the place was absolutely flooded. They had two sons whom Shlnerel's wife had sent to a distant town to learn a trade, and were it not for her, they would all have starved. For by her wool-weaving she made enough money to send for her sons' support, as well as to cover the household expenses for her husband and self. From this lnformatlon about Shmerel, Uavld Lelb could be forgiven for thlnlng that the former was not much of a personality and that anyone who found h l n ~ worth associating wlth could not be rrluch better.

T h e C o b b l e r qf V i t c b s k
Then, once, something occurred which made him change his opinion completely about this man. A fire broke out in the village of Hatinka, destroying many homes including that of David Leib who was now forced to look for another house. The street where Shmerel lived was unaffected by the fire, and David Leib rented a house nearby. So whether he willed it or not, he became a neighbor of Shmerel's and saw rather more of him than before. Thus it came about that one night, when David Leib was returning home rather late, he passed by Shmerel's house and was arrested by a most unexpected sound! The reason David Leib was so late was because he had stayed behind to study at the Beit Hamidrash after the others had left. So that the others should not guess the real reason for his staying behind, he pretended to linger on because it was so much warmer and quieter in the Beit Hamidrash than at home. And now as he was on his way home, he heard sounds as of someone pouring out his soul in fervent prayer. Were his eyes and ears deceiving him or was it really Shmerel's house from which these soul-stirring sounds were emanating? David Leib stopped and listened spellbound! He peeped in through the window and could hardly believe the evidence of his own eyes. For it was indeed Shmerel, but it was not the Shmerel he knew. Shmerel was davening Maariv as only a great tzaddik could daven. David Leib had seen Shmerel at the Beit Hamidrash that very evening at Maariv and had observed him hardly moving his lips. He thought, as did the other villagers, that Shmerel could not read properly axid therefore was merely trying to follow the other worshippers as best as he could. And now, here was Shmerel, a transfigured Shmerel, pouring out his soul to the Almighty. David Leib was held fixed to the spot; he just could not tear himself away! He stood there for about an hour until he was nearly 6-ozen.And when he finally continued his way thoughtfully towards home, the moving tones of Shmerel's prayer still echoed in his ears.

or learnedTorah to the acconlpani~nent his own sweet voice.. He always niade it seem that as he had nothing else to do. Most of all was David Leib impressed to discover how much time Shmerel devoted to the poor women when they lay in childbirth or were otherwise bedridden. again to listen ti) his heart-stirring tones as he dave~ledMaariv. He often found him in the company of the women and children of the village. One day when he found hi111 alone he bent forward and whispered in his ear. So much more can be achieved in disguise." He thought that Shmerel would take the hint and talk freely -with him. He also told of the greatness of other Jewish women in history. David Leib was determined to get Shrnerel to reveal his true identity to him. Rachel and Leah. Sarah. "You k n o y I think you are doing a wonderful job. relating how splendid they all were arid what a wonderful example of piety and loyalty they presented. or just keeping the invalids company and anlusitig the children. he might as well make himself a little useful.To these Shmerel made his way. David Leib now realized the real reason for Shmerel's "idleness.. telling them stories to which they listened with much interest. and with different eyes. making himself at home. of course. Instead of which Shmerel shrugged his shoulders and gave him a .Now that David Leib made this remarkable and astonishing dis-covery about Shmerel. anxious for an opportunity of getting Shnierel to reveal himself to him." It was. Their husbands could not afford to stay at home or even to pay anyone to nurse them.. chopping wood. and free to serve the poor and sick in their rime of need. He often crept up to his window. of David Leib positively "shadowed" Shmerel. They were mostly stories about the Matriarchs. so that he should be available for every such emergency. making fires. Kivkah. late at night. and it was obvious that he meant to inspire his wornen listeners with the desire to attain a higher level of character and way of life.he watched him closely. but he did not know how to go about it. looking afier the sick mothers and their little ones. cooking meals.

They decided to confide in David Leib. you can come with us. "If you think we can help you in any way. but I feel there is so much that I have yet to learn and I know that you. he became very downhearted. can teach me! Please do not refuse me!" David Leib broke down with emotion and there was no doubt in the minds of Shmerel and the red-headed Kohen of his sincerity. and once David Leib watched them go off together into the forest and return after an absence of several hours! He felt he must get them to admit to hlm their true identities. . but made him promise not to disclose to anybody that they were anything but the plain people they wished to appear. of course. David Leib began to daven with even greater fervor than before. have only been using my cobbling as a blind and have pledged myself to serve the Almighty and my fellow Jews in the best way I know. and prayed to the Almighty to give Shmerel a desire to confide in h i ~ nas he felt the need of Shmerel's friendship and teaching. 1. it could only mean that Shmerel did not consider him worthy of his friendship. wondering what the cobbler could possibly want of them. why. David Leib had made no progress with Shmerel when suddenly the red-headed Kohen again appeared in Hatinka.The Cobbler 0-f Vitebsk blank look as if to say. too. so when he saw them leaving the town on the next occasion. But they nodded to David Leib and said." They had by now left the town behind them and David Leib turned to them with tears in his eyes and said to them pleadingly. "I must talk to you on a very important matter! Please let me accompany you!" Shmerel and the read-headed Kohen looked at each other surprised. "I know for certain that you are both mystics and traddikim and I beg of you to teach me of your hidden ways. he followed them. He and Shmerel as always were often seen together. if you will. He had no doubt now that Shmerel was a great personality and if the latter refused to become friends with him. When he caught up with them he burst out somewhat breathlessly. . "Whatever is the man talking about?" When David Leib realized that Shmerel refused to respond to his overtures.

Meanwhile. Everything in Hatinka proceeded as before. a strong friendship sprang up between David Ixib and Shmerel. he joined this secret circle. Shmerel becaine David Leib's teacher not only as regards study. David Leib now had the opportunity of meeting all these other mystics who came to Hatinka for the special purpose of visiting Shmerel. was ntne years old. so they relocated to the town of Kalishk where there was a large yeshvah with a Rabbi Naftali at its head. AvrahamYitzchak attended this yeshivah for two years and at the sanie time was also taught by his hther ~Wussar. and when he left. no one bothered to wonder where he had gone. but also as to the manner in which he should conduct himself in his daily life. David Leib carried on with his cobbling. David Leib was a willing pupil and felt a great happiness and satisfaction in that Shnlerel should find him worthy of his confidence and attention. DAVID LEIBtxn NOT REMAIN in hat ink^ very long.David Leib was so thrilled to think that at last these two great men had found him worthy of their confidence! The three returned to the village together and no one looking at them would have guessed that anything had passed between addition to . where they spent their time secretly in Torah study and in prayer. For a whole year they used to meet in secrecy and study Kabbalah together. and David Leib felt that he belonged to a world of which till then he had only dreamed. Whenever the red-headed Kohen came to Hatinka. They used to come singly. hls When David Leib's son AvrahamY~tzchak father felt it was time he attended a yeshivah. and the red-headed Kohen went on with his joking and playing with the children. but invariably they all came to Shmerel. or in twos or threes. Shlnerel continued to gaze at the sky and yawn.

a mystic. the mystic. and so he had to keep his word. I only wish I could one day attain his high level!" But of course AvrahamYitzchak had promised his father to keep silent about his being a mystic. He took an interest in all who seemed "down on their luck" in Kalishk. he came home laden with rabbinical titles and diplomas of merit certifiring to his extensive knowledge and excellent character. and when those of them who spent their time wandering from town to town . had not been idle during this time and had in fact become one of the leading figures among the mystics. AvrahamYitzchak remained there for three years and when at the end of that time he left.T h e C o b b l e r 0. and although he was not a rich man. but how galling it was that people so underrated his father's great worth! After spendlng nine years at Rabbi Naftali's yeshivah in Kalishk. Thus it was that no one knew of David Leib's greatness and nobility of soul. but he always gave his help in as unobtrusive a manner as possible. "My father is no ordinary cobbler but a great man. It hurt AvrahamYitzchak so much when he himself was praised for his outstanding knowledge and at the same time pitied for being the son of an "ordinary" cobbler.f V i t e b s k Gemara. too. one of the greatest in existence at that time. David Leib would not have let AvrahamYitzchak into his secret either. David Leib sent his son to Smargon to attend the yeshivah there. and were it not for the fact that he felt it would teach his son to be sympathetic and understanding towards the needy. AvrahamYitzchak was greatly influenced by these studies of ethics as also by the personality of his father. AvrahamYitzchak was very much impressed by his father's secret care of the poor and needy. He felt like crying out. he always managed to send along some foodstuff to these poor souls.Whenever he noticed a child with worn out shoes or running about barefoot. David Leib always found out their names and addresses and then would set about making a pair of shoes which he would send at night with AvrahamYitzchak so that no one should see who it was that left the parcel at the door! David Leib particularly took an interest in widows and orphans. His father.

too. they invariably were the guests of David Leib. No one seemed to know where he had come from. Avrahain Yitzchak matters that Rabbi tried to take his place by seeing to all the for~ner Zalman Chain1 had attended to. Before Zalman Chain1 arranged to IeaveYanovitch. H r spoke to then1 in simple language so that they would have no dificulty in understanding h i ~ nand they flocked to hear h i ~ n . arrived in Kalishk. When Rabbi Zalman (:bairn left Yanovitch. So he talked it over with his friends the mystics. but the old recluse Leib who used to sleep in the Beit Hatnidrarh later related that no sooner hadYosef Moshe come toyanovitch.L u b a v i t r h e v K n h h i ' s Memnir. (the one-time sizarnash ot' the shtd in the inarketplace ofyanovitch). and that they niet constantly in secret and studied together. For he showed the same interest in the ordinary folks of Yanovitch and the surrounding villages. Now that AvrahamYitzchak had come horne from the yeshivah as a rabbi. he would gather these people around hini in the marketplace and tell them fascinating stories from the Talmud and iUidvash. was leavlng at the same tlme They said s o n i e t h ~ nabout both golng to a far distant town ~ . but everybody saw that Avraham Yitzchak was following in the steps of Zalinan Chaim. this Zundel Wolf announced that he. and whenever he could. No one had any idea what it waq that they studied togethel so secretly. turned tnatchmakers and introd~lced Avraham Yitzchak to the daughter of'Mordechai the Miller and. but as soon as Zalman Chain1 made i t known that he wa\ leav~ng Yanovitch.r on their secret missions. as we already her know. than Zaln~anChaim made preparations to hand over his "profession" to him and depart. he ~narried and went to live inYanovitch. for a whole year. No one knew of the connection between the two men. .he left his roie of sharnasll to one by the nanie ofYosef Moshe. Zalmarl Chairn had been a very close friend of another recluse by the name of Zundel Wolf. The old recluse also related how. David Leib felt it was time he settled down. and thus it came about that his two friends Rabbi Sender (the red-headed Kohen) and 1Labbi Zalman Chaim.

He felt he would especially like to revisit Dobromysl. but he had already left the town by the time Baruch reached it. . particularly as he wanted to visit some of the other towns and townlets where he had spent his youth. and where they. too. packing his few belongings together. too. hoped to learn Torah. he set off for this very town. and so. Baruch felt that he. Baruch had so wanted to meet him inyanovitch once more. Baruch S r v k s o u t More Mystics Now that Baruch had learned all this ofAvrahamYitzchak's past. had nothing more to do inyanovitch.The Cobbler o f Vitebsk where there lived a great scholar who was surrounded by a vast number of disciples. he saw more clearly the sort of man that Rabbi Zalman Chaim was.


CHAPTER T E N The Innkeeper Who Was a Disciple of the Baal Shem Tov Yeshivah Student Who Turns Inventor The Chasidic Son-in-Law of the Smith of Dobromysl Baruch Learns More about the Baal Shem Tov's Teachings .


He had not been sitting very long when he heard the sound of a horse and cart approaching.TEN I T w j u s T BEFORE PESACH the sun had melted the snow." . He reached a small wood. He is a great man and everyone respects him. There's a rabbi living near me who says we should all help each other irrespective of any difference in our religions. and spied a fallen tree by the side of the path and sat down to rest. and Baruch would be able to spend the night there.The driver was a Christian peasant who hailed Baruch and invited him to step into his cart for a lift. He said there was a Jew living in the village ofYutina not very far along the road. we do what he tells us.That is why I won't charge you now. Baruch asked the peasant how much he would charge him for the lift. The peasant said he was going as far as Zavkina. turnand ing the road into a veritable bog. but could drop Baruch at the crossroads from which it was but a short distance toYutina. Baruch soon became tired as he trudged thoughtfully along. to which the peasant replied. "I never charge for such trifles.

a inail of about fifty.You see. that he was the son-in-law of the innkeeper. Natan Shlonlo also told Baruch how his father-in-law canle to establish the settlement there. particularly as he \. and I assure you. you cannot do anything but take refuge with us. Baruch was very interested. a youtlg man came running towards him arid greeted hinl saying. One day they both disappeared together." raid 13aruch "You rnust take Fame payment from me. NachmanYisrael had spent his youth studying at the ulost famous yeslzivut of the time. and earned the praise of all his teachers. Nachman Yisrael becarne acquainted with a wandering mystic named Rabbi AzrielYaakov." The peasant argued no niore and Baruch got into the cart a i d wa? put down at the crossroad\ AS agreed. and their livelihood was provided for by him for twenty years. Baruch learned that the young rnan's name was Natari Shlo~iio. Baruch pa~d hi171 oti'antf felt better T'hc l n n k e c p c ~ vWho W o s n D i s r i p l r . so that the young nlan was free to continue with his Torah studies.lw at once that his companion was a learned young man. whose name was NachmanYisrael. "Would you please come to our house? My father-in-law has asked rne to intercept all who are passing along this way.. He married the daughter of a well-to-do man in Zlobin. and unfortunately several peasants with then horses and loaded wagons who were on the brldge at the time were all 1ost. otlienv~\e cannot come 111 vout I cart.f t h e Baal Skenr Tor: As Haruch slowly contirlued on his way 1x1 the direction that the peasant had indicated. you are very welcome!" Haruch was happy to accept the invitation. without saying where . They irninediately found theniselves in harmony with each other and discussing Torah topics.The bridge has been carried away by the flood."But I never accept arly \ervicc for rlothiilg. to warn them that they cannot proceed beyond our house (which is an inn) as the whole area is flooded.

As he walked along. and a lively discussion followed his expert interpretation of it. they were given the honor of conducting the shiur. who wandered through town and village. Later it transpired that Rabbi AzrielYaakov was a disciple of the saintly Baal Shem Tov and ~t was to him that he took his friend Nachman Yisrael. he asked to be excused.Baruch Encounters Some C h a s i d i m they were going to. They were floodbound for three days. who both lived with their father-it-law at the inn. It was possibly the first time Baruch had heard the name "Baal ShemTov. and comprised a small but happy Jewish community of several families. As they had now reached the inn. to these he rented. and during this time Baruch became very friendly with the two sons-in-law of Nachman Yisrael. with the help of his disciples. each with his particular mission. They were the mystic:. his mind went back to his few days at the inn. Baruch was also invited to give a Talmud discourse. and all together they managed to establish this new settlement on the estate of a nobleman. They built a Beit Hamidrash. neither did they disclose the destination or purpose of their trip on their return. The venture proved a great success and they all attributed this success to the wonderful powers of the Baal Shem Tov.They were allTorah scholars and all made welcome by their host NachmanYisrael. Baruch got on so well with the two sons-in-law that they begged him to stay longer. They had a regular shiur each evening and as the visitors proved to be scholars. looking for the driest spots he could find. Everything seemed more . all apparently stranded like himself." and that he was teaching Jews a new way of life. Natan Shlomo promised to continue his story later. but being anxious to get to Dobromysl as soon as possible. the fishing pool. NachmanYisrael had also persuaded some more young men to come along with him. They told him that their father-in-law had rented the inn and mill on the advice of the saintly Baal ShenlTov whom he had visited together with Rabbi AzrielYaakov. Baruch found a number of visitors at the inn.

Throwing off his apron and throwing down his hanluner. and the dif6erence in their mode of prayer. and he pondered on all he had seen and heard while he was there. diately to the smithy of his old friend Eliezer Keuven. which was a slow business. As SOON AS BARUCH REACHEI) THE T ~ N he [>ladehis way imnle. Let us go outside and sit down on the bench. he earned his living by sorting wool by hand. bringing in but little monetary reward. he grasped Baruch's arin and led him outside. Later in Dobromysl. hardly able to earn the money to support his many dependents. His parents and his parents-in-law lived with hirn in addition to his own fairly large family. "You remember. he gave a shout of delight. "It is good to see you. "Shlomke did so well at the ~eshivah that when he came home. he quickly washed his hands and came forward to Baruch saying. He could not have known at that ti111e that he had beer1 in contact with one of the first groups of the Baal Shein Tov's followers. "Despite his poverty. when he could so well have done with letting him work and help to support the family. my friend. 'They 5at down. Turning around and seeing Baruch." Y ~ s h i v n l zStrrticrzt U'lro 7itrtis I n v e t r i o r Saying that. with whom he always used to spend Pesach. "Shalotn Alechern. Baruch was to hear more aboat this great personality. . and I have so ~nuch tell you since last to year.the first Chasidim in these parts.Lubavitrlzev Kabhi's Menzoirs vivid in retrospect. he made the sacrifice of sending his eldest son Shlomke to a yeshivah to study. and the smith continued: "Before I tell you about my fanlily I'd like to tell you about Avraham Binyarniri and how he became a rich man! As you know he was such a pauper." Baruch called out cheerily to Eliezer Keuven who was standing in his leather apron at the anvil. on the new way oflife adopted by the innkeeper and his sons-in-law.

It was a splendid thing. "He also paid for a new roof for the shul. "As soon as he got home and received the congratulations of the family on his success in his studies.The yeshivah where Shlomke learned was in a big town. "His own son Shlomke he married to another orphan. it eventually was a machine! "This is how it came about. and one day while walking. according to Shlomke. for he knew so well what it meant to be in need!" .Baruch Encounters Some C h a s i d i m he brought many diplomas from his rabbis testi$ng to the excellent progress he had made and the satisfactlon of his teachers. the granddaughter of the Rav of Dobromysl. Shlornke worked on his idea for three weeks and to their delight. determined that he must provide his parents with just such a machine so that they need no longer waste so much time working by hand. The first thing he did with his money was to get his two orphaned nieces married and settled. and learned all he could about it. made a drawing of it. the machine was completed successfully! "Shlomke's parents quickly learned to use the machine and found that they could accomplish in a day what previously took them at least one month to do by hand! It really seemed too good to be true! "As they got through so much work so quickly. "He studied it well. Shlomke had brought something else home with him. peasants from all around heard about it and brought their raw wool to Avraham Binyarnin to be carded by the wonderful machine! "Avraham Binyamin soon found he was becoming a wealthy man. he told them excitedly about his discovery. "It was a machine! O r rather. Shlornke saw a machine with which wool was sorted and brushed. They could hardly believe it possible that. "But that was not all. Avraham Binyamin gave a goodly sum also to charity. they would soon be able to work less and earn more! It seemed incredible! "With the help of a carpenter and a tinsmith. but Shlomke knew that neither he nor his father could find the money to buy this wonderful article.

where he and his wife were soon to settle down.Yitzchak Shaul is away at the house of the duke whose carriage was brought to us for repair. and become a smith like him! He gladly taught him the trade andyitzchak Shaul took to it so readily. He was a fine young man and the snlith was indeed very pleased with the husband of his youngest daughter. the smith went on with J twinkle in his eye. ." Suddenly a piercing scream caine from the smithy.Yitchak Shaul had aimounced that he wanted to follow his father-in-law's calling. that in a very short time he was able to procure for hiin a smithy in a village some iililes away. a tall. putting out the flames. which he bought froin abroad. "At the moment. They found a terrified peasant near the anvil with smoke from his smoldering clothes enveloping him a l l around. applied something to relieve his burns and finally calmed the poor man. As they were thus occupied. "Here is the money for the repair of the duke's carriage. andyitzchak Shaul has just taken it back after we spent three days getting it in order again. The duke is so proud of this carriage. In addition. but on account of the goodness of his heart.And what a carriage!You ought to see it when the duke goes ri&ng in it harnessed to six horses! It was quite a big repair job we had to do. saying. handsome young man walked in. "I must say that nly third son-in-law is going to secure for me a share of the Shor Habar for through nly other two sons-in-law I am assured of niy share of Leviathan!'' The third son-in-law was namedYitzchak Shaul.and both Eliezer Reuven and Baruch rushed inside to see what was the matter. in spite of his rabbinical diplomas. looking surprised at the scene before him.What has happened here?" "Let me introduce ~ O L Ito my dear friend Baruch. They quickly threw a rug around him. He placed a bag in front of the smith.Lubavitcher Rabbi's Mevloirs T h e Charidic Sort-itl-Lnut @fh r S m i t h qf Dobrorwysl t Turning to his own farmly afiBirs. the smith felt greatly gratified that." said the smith. riot only because of his education.

" explained the smith in answer to his previous question. Kabbi Nissan took over the role of "head" in his place. But he was unlike other melamdim in that his pupils were young men who were already advanced students showing an especial aptitude for learning. The two young men looked at each other approvingly as they shook hands. Baruch was fascinated asYitzchak Shaul told him more and more about this new way of life. "In that case. the Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Nissan himself was a pupil of the Maggid of Harki Kabbi Azriel Yosef. He saw that inyitzchak Shaul he had a living example of the type . was a melamed. So it was that Yitzchak Shaul was brought up in this Chasidic atmosphere and knew so much about the great founder of Chasidism. "the Mishnah tells us that 'if a spark shoots forth from under the hammer and causes damage. and during the various absences of Rabbi AzrielYosef.Baruch Encnurzters Soine C h a s i d i m proudly presenting his youngest son-in-law to his friend. Baruch saw thatyitzchak Shaul was a learned young man as well as of fine character and handsome. For soyitzchak Shaul introduced himself to Baruch. Kabbi Nissan. He told him that he came from Harki. and altogether he felt very attracted to him and interested to learn all about his past history." quickly put inYitzchak Shaul. "This poor peasant was set on fire by a spark. Baruch discovered that he had for the first time come in direct contact with one who called himself a Chasid. where his father. Rabbi Nissan became one of the leaders of this group. we are liable!"' Yitzchak Shaul then proceeded to expound at length the view and legal decision of the Rambam on this point of law. Kabbi Azriel had formed a group of chosen young men to whom he expounded the new teachings of the Baal Shem Tov and whom he trained in that spirit. a follower of the Baal Shem Tov. who was an ardent follower and dsciple of the Baal Shem Tov.

T h s too could be found with more or less effort. the older one. When they discussed the Cern~lru they did so very seriously. The greater the need. ." And ever since. the other two sons-in-lacv of. The second need for man? existence was water. and to solve it according to the ways of Chasidus. however.L u b a v i t c h e r R a b b i ' s iZ/Ietnoius ofJew the Baal Shem'Tov was strlvlng to produce. always seeking to find the din. a true'rorah-lovmg Jew with a love for hls fellow belngs. he could not help observing the marked differences between the cheerfulness of the ChasidYitzchak Shaul. In his excursions into the woods and the fields which he loved so much. Man has had to struggle to obtain the llecessities of life. the ~Misrragdim. I-le often managed to find a pracdiscourses. and especially insofar as it affected the greatest of G-d's creatures. Rabbi Zalrrian Meir. Baruch reflected that in providing man with his necessities. But the third requirement to keep one alive and which gave rnost trouble was that of bread. "By the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread. Man's first necessity was air. the easier the efhrt. Man was cursed. and the earnestness of his brothers-in-law. Rabbi Moshe Leib. pondering on the mystery of life and on the purpose of G-dh Creation. the Almighty has made some things more easily obtainable than others. and way of life in general. and the younger one. it was all around one. but when he studied the three sons-in-law as they sat together in the smith's house during Pesach. Because of the sin of Ada111 and Chava in Gan Eden. Eliezer Keuven. man. BARUCHHAL) ALSO ME. appealed to him most. Baruch found that Yitzchak Shaul's approach. H e was greatly impressed by their extensive learning. Baruch spent his time in serious reflection. always seemed corl-cerried to find the "fairest" solution to a problem. tical message even in the abstract Taln~udic While they were all admirable in their way.Yitzchak Shaul.1.?'his could be had by all without difficulty.

Baruch Learns More ahout the Baal S h e m Tov's Teachings Baruch took advantage of his friendship withyitzchak Shaul to d~scuss with him this problem. who explained to his Chasidic disciples this text.' Now where there is light. which found expression in his religious observances requiring almost no effort. there is also a shadow. "When we find ourselves in the presence of a righteous man. we feel that the influence emanating from hini is like a spark of light from his soul. But what was the ultimate purpose of it all? How could he best serve the Creator and bring good to His children? Baruch. giving us bad thoughts and ideas leading to wickedness. "He who would be wise should learn from everybody.Baruch E n c o u n t e r s S o m e C h a s i d i m But what of Man's soul? So far we have spoken of the needs of the body. . "We are also influenced when coming into contact with a sinful man. and that we can learn something good from all?" The Baal ShemTov answered this question by giving this illustration. on the other hand. who was so eager to discover the true way of life. Light can be compared to the soul. into which he dived joyfully to its very depths. brings out the worst in us. "It is written that 'the light of G-d is the soul of man. but he. and the shadow to the body. electrifying us with the desire to do good deeds. For it is said: 'I have become wise because of all those who taught me. realized it was no easy matter. Torah study he compared to the water for his soul."' The Baal ShemTov used to ask his 1isteners:"Now is it really possible that everyone is fit to be a teacher. were like air to his soul. Yitzchak Shaul told him that his father always bade him follow the advice of the Baal ShemTov. Baruch felt that his faith and the customs and precepts he had absorbed in his youth. the solution of which meant so much to him in helping him choose the path which would serve as his guiding light in life.

as a lad. Baruch. but because. should learn &om everybody.' upon which Rabbi Yochanan remarks that even if the Torah had not been given to the Jew. whenever he felt the need for solitude.' "So you see it is quite correct to say. and Baruch was left musing over the thoughts and ideas he had just heard. and looking forward to the next talk he would have with his new friendyitzchak Shaul. This "corner" of his was a little hill behind the smithy. He admired Yitzchak Shaul so much not only for his (:hasidism. 'Do good' while fro111 the sinful nlari we take the lesson. When Baruch. which iillpressed hiin very deeply. after his talk withyitzchak Shaul. for he felt there was I I I U C ~to think about. we could learn cleanliness from a cat. he found a spot to which he could retire whenever he felt like being alone with his thoughts. 'Turn away from evil. and dream his dreams. Baruch turned his thoughts to the other . so that Man may learn the best from everything and everyone. with an occas~onal quotation from the Torah by the son-in-law. or with a joke or a laugh thrown in by either. ButYitzchak Shaul was called away." an Baruch felt he could listen without end to all thatyitzchak Shaul was telling him. Now. During his subsequent visits to the smithy. both working so harmoniously together. he again made his way to the hilltop. was still searching for the way of life which would satisfy his hungry soul! Baruch remembered howyitzchak Shaul helped his father-in-law with the Erev Pesaclz preparations as well as with his work in the smithy. had worked for Eliezer Keuven. he cvould come to his favorite retreat. 'He who would be wise. surrounded by the beauty of nature. he already was mature in his thoughts and lived according to his convictions." The Baal Shem Tov continued: "There is a Biblical saying that 'We have learnt something from the animals. and industry fron~ ant.' "There is purpose in all that G-d has created. Whereas he. though only four years his senior. hidden by trees and overlooking a small river flowing below. sit Here Baruch wo~lld on a fallen tree-trunk.Lubavitclzer Rabbi's Memoirs "In other words. isolated frotn the world. we learn from the righteous man to follow the precept.

Baruch Encounters Some C h a s i d i m two sons-in-law who had come to spend Pesach at the home of their father-in-law. had studied at a yeshivah. who was at present a Rosh Yeshivah in Dubrovna. feeling it would give him an insight into their personal characters. who was now a Rosh Yeshivah in Beshenkovitch. The elder son-in-law. Nachum Tevel's Yeshivah. The second son-in-law." or "Nechamah Devorah's Yeshivah. . had studied at the yeshivah at the other side (known as the "small side") ofVitebsk. and how it came about forms a most interesting chapter in the history of the Jews ofVitebsk. and perhaps shed some light on their rabbis and teachers and the school of thought they represented. He had asked to be told their history." It was strange indeed to find a yeshivah bearing the name of a woman. known as "Nechamah. firstly under RabbiYisraelYitzchak of Vilkomir. and later under the direction of Rabbi Paltiel. also in Vitebsk.


CHAPTER ELEVEN The Swedish Prince Who Was a Jew Expulsion of Vitebsk Jews Averted Founders of the Vitebsk Community Minsk. a Center of Torah .


and so they immehately established a yeshivah invitebsk and the yeshivah was named after them.ELEVEN* VIrrasK. He brought a new spirit into the place. WHICH a great center for Jews. In the year 5311 (1551) a small number of Jewish merchants came tovitebsk to settle there. LATER BECAME * The story of Baruch and his journey now digresses to explore the early hlstory ofVitebsk and how it came to be a center ofTorah study. The government of the time put all sorts of difficulties and restrictions in their way. his daughter-in-law was named Devorah. They were all very pious and loved the Torah with all the fire of their being. He had a son named Nachum. 183 . his granddaughter. and their daughter. Vitebsk was situated in a fertile region. and a very limited number indeed were permitted to remain. In 5365 (1605) a Jew named Tevel settled invitebsk. producing grain and all kinds of fruits. had until the year 5311 (1551) but a handful of Jewish people who were impoverished both materially and spiritually. was called Nechamah. which was in the main in the hands of non-Jews. Vitebsk was known as a business center.

He provided Nachum with a special room for his private use. And so. and he was given every comfort and shown every consideration. with all the adjoining villages. Instead he plied Nachum with questions about Jews. In the course of the next Cew years. the next time the prince paid a visit to his estates on the other side of the border. In the year 5330 (1570) a Jew named Nachum came to Sebezsl~ from Prague.The prince received hill1 this time in a friendlier spirit rvcn than the first time. arld particularly to this family from Prague. Count Zirlkevitch showed himself very hndly disposed towards the Jews of Sebezsh (who nreri. and yet when they met. at the same time learning of a nlost exceptional chapter in Jewish history. so let m hear more about Tevel and his remarkable family. Sebezsh was situated at a place which at that time was the border between Poland and Sweden. and which was part of thc estate belonging to Count Bontch Zinkevitch. the count planned to transfer his doniicile to his estates near Cracow and was anxious therefore to sell his estates near Sebezsh. who often visited his estates and stayed for long periods at a time. altogether conlprising some 600 souls. I'rince Cambari received Nachum in a friendly manner and chatted with him on all sorts of subjects. After a few weeks had elapsed. but would not discuss the question of the purchase immediately. steadily increasing in number). a Polish nobleman. who was by now the leader of. He suggested that Nachun~see hi111 again about the nlatter in two or three weeks' time. The prince made an appointment to discuss the question of the purchase with Nachuni on the day he came. Nachum called again on the prince as suggested.But t h ~ s does not tell the whole story.inviting his help in finding him a customer. tt occurred to Nachum that here was a likely client for the estates of the Polish count. He approached Nachum. Nachum arranged to call on him at the castle. The adjoining estates on the Swedish side of the border belonged to a Swedish prince named Johann Cambari. of whom he knew very .the Jewish colnmunity in Sebezsli. the prince seemed i11no particular burry to talk about it.

not expecting there would be any necessity to stay longer than that. together with his Shabbat clothes and food. "You really will have to spend a few days with me at the castle. When Shabbat came. he said. and he had only brought enough food for a day. Nachum was very pleased that his servant had brought him these treasures of his. eat the food provided at the castle. For now he would really be able to enjoy Shabbat just as if he were at home. and the Ark was made of wood which was most artistically carved." agreed Nachum. and the prince listened with great attention. But he certainly showed a great interest in them now. of course. foreseeing the possibility that Nachum would have to spend Shabbat at the castle. Nachum's ancestors were among the Jews who had been driven out of Spain during the Inquisition. in addition to the food. especially as he had been given a private suite of rooms for his use. and seemed anxious to make up for his ignorance in the past. from his great-grandfather to him. So it was handed down through the generations. Nachum had to relate practically everything &om the time of Avraham. He also brought Nachum's miniature Sefer Torah in its tiny Ark which Nachum always kept at home and treasured very much. not only did Nachum send word home that he would be delayed." Nachum had never before met a non-Jew with such a genuine interest in Jews and their history. and the miniature Sefer Torah and Ark had belonged to them."there is so much that I want to ask you! But I don't want your family to be anxious at your lengthy absence. so would you send word home that you are staying here and that you are well and comfortable?" "Very well. So. brought. but also asked that they send him some food. as he would not. including his tallit with the golden atarah." said the prince to Nachum. Nachum's Shabbat clothes. The Sefer Torah was in a beautiful silver case. His assistant Shalom.F i r s t J e w i s h S e t t l e r s of V i t e b s k little. "I shall be glad to do all I can to help you.The following morning he put on his tallif with the golden atarah which completely wrapped him around. . Nachum dressed himself in his Shabbat clothes with his shtreimel on his head.

Nachum. exactly as the prince had done. 'The following Monday. he ir~troducedNachutn. an elderly lady entered the room with great dignity. Nachum wondered if the prince would reveal the cause of his sorrow.Lubavitchcr R a b b i ' s Memoirs During Shabbat afternoon.I nori-Jew! Soon everything was iriade clear to hinl for. O n e could inlnlediately recognize by her stately bearing that she belonged to the aristocracy.They both greeted h i n ~ if he were all old friend! as It was clear that they intended to speak to hirn ireely and take hini into their corlfidence. dressed in all his fine Shabbat clothes. and what it meant to the Jews. customs. And turning to his aunt. went along. its purpose. my mother's sister. He just kept o n asking Nachum endless questiorls about Shabbat. H e couldn't seein to get to know enough quickly enough. as he felt they \ w d d take him into their confidence as soon as they found the time opportune. is the friend I told you about. H e did not remark upon this though. but Nachum did not show he noticed anything unusual in her mai~ner. his aunt was again present. a messenger came from the prince inviting Nachum to visit hini. as ifshe could not quite make up her mind whether or not to tell him their secret. Nachum sensed soiilething was troubling the prince. Again and again he came back to the subject of the Jews. the "This 19 illy aunt. "And this gentleman. When Nachum entered the room. dear aunt. Nachunl realized there was indeed special significarlce in their questioning. whose face looked sad. Nachum was sure there was some special reason behind all this unusual interest and questioning about Jews oil the part of . but the prince did not speak about himself. During the whole conversation. whose acquaintance we are so fortunate to have made!" When the aunt showed the same keen interest in learning d l about Jews." s a ~ d prince to Nachum. Nachum was again called to the prince and when he entered the prince's chamber. saying. while they were talking. the prince arose and greeted him with great respect. and there was a hint of tears in his eyes. . Nachurn saw a look of indecision in the eyes of the old lady.

He took his bride andyehudah to his people In Sweden."and I then revealed to Johann that he wasyehudah. we have both decided we would like to return to the faith we belong to. "We have so much to learn and we need someone like you to befriend us and show us the way back!" concluded the Prince pleadingly.F i r s t J e w i s h S e t t l e r s of V i t e b s k This is the story they unfolded to Nachum who listened in wonder and with great interest. like a true Cambari. He had two daughters whom he married to wealthy suitors. Just before she died. "I am greatly honored by your confidence in me. but you can understand our difficulties. she would explain his Jewish origin to him and try to induce him to return to Judaism." said Nachuln to them. "Two years ago my husband died. who was my father as well as his mother's."But I must ask you to give me a few days in which to con- .They changed Yehudah's name to Johann and he was brought up as a prince of royal blood. she made her sister promise that when her son Yehudah would grow to manhood. caused the early death of the child's mother. Nachum was deeply moved by the narrative and by the sincerity shown both by the Prince and his aged aunt." broke in the Prince." concluded Prince Johann's aunt. After their exile. She then went to live with her sister who had just given birth to a son and who was namedyehudah." "Yes. T h e Swedish Prince W h o Was a j e w Anlong the Jews who were driven out of Spain there was a wealthy man namedyosef Gabrieli. He has seen his grandfather's portrait and knows we are Jews. The aunt who had taken the child into her care had married a Swedish nobleman who told her that secretly he too was a Jew. A year lateryehudah's father also died and this. the grandson ofYosef Gabrieli. together with the reduced circumstances in which they now found themselves. they wandered from one country to another and during a plague the husband of the elder daughter died.

so that he should be free within the next rnonth or two to go away H e suggested that the prince and his aunt should go to Prague. 1 feel fortunate to have such a trustworthy agent to act for me.Luhuvilchev R a h h i ' s 2. and arranging the transfer of the deed\. "We shall be waiting to hear from you most eagerly!" With that they parted. returned to their home in Sweden to wind up their affairs there and make all due preparations ibr moving to Prague. we have complete faith in you. he set about making preparations for his departure to Prague. He reconlrnended to them to keep the whole matter a secret for the present. and thcy would carry out his instructions." "We know we can trust you to '40 \. to the equal satisfact~on both the ~ o u n and the prmce. was necessary to help and he too would conle there and do all tl~at thexu become Jews once again. I t was now rnerely a question of agreeing upon the price. and that they trusted him i~nplicitly. called together the inernbers of the After a short while. "About that matter of the purchase of the estates.our best. of which he was the leader. where he had arranged to meet the prince and his aunt. of t After Nachum had ro succesufully and profitably concluded this business matter. and see to all that was necessary to bring them back into the Jewish fold. too. H e said that he was putting the aK~irsof the community in Sebezsh. "I shall hand over to you the power to negotiate it. who was delighted to hear that Nachuni had found a buyer tbr his estates. and afier a few days. in order. Nachun~ . and they. Nachurn returned to thetn and told them he had thought of a plan. The transaction was concluded in a conlp~rat~vely p e r ~ o d short of tlnle." said the prince.H e must just tell them what to do. and of course 1 shall be happy to pay you for your trouble. Nachunl returned hotne and called upon the Polish Count Bontch Zinkevitch." replied the prince. They told Nachum they wholeheartedly approved of his plan and suggestion.lenioivs slder the matter and see what 15 the best thlng to cio." Nachunl departed o n the best of terrns with his grateful hosts. Meanwhile.

H e asked Nachum to arrange the matter for him and so that his name should not be mentioned. But Tevel refused. Nachum had sold all his other property and cattle. and also the land of his father. and when he returned he began to distribute exceptionally large sums of money for charity. The estates of the Swedish prince. which was left in his care after his father's departure for Prague. had G-d as a partner. Tevel always used to say he preferred to work next to nature rather than among businessmen who could not always be trusted. as he preferred to give the charity anonymously. Nachum had a son called Tevel who was quite a fine person. it was the Swedish Prince Johann Cambari who. He decided he must now entrust the secret to his son. rented some gardens and orchards. together with those which the prince had acquired from the Polish count. For two years Nachum remained in Prague. in addition. as it would have meant giving up the care of his own land. and himself worked there most successfully. from which they had come some twenty-three years previously As they intended to remain in Prague for a considerable length of time. It did not occur to anyone that Nachum was giving money which was not all his own. Tevel had no taste for it at all. were being supervised by a man who was very anxious to obtain the expert services ofTevel in the cultivation of this land. but was entirely different from his father. on the other hand. He owned some land which he had received upon his marriage from his father-in-law. having now become a Jew. but knowing how keen Tevel was on working on the land. and that is why he was so successfu1. and sent big donations to the yeshivot in Poland.First J e w i s h Settlers of V i t e b s k council of the Jewish community and informed them that he and his wife were preparing to return to Prague. He. so he called him and said to him. Whereas his father was an excellent businessman. Actually. he passed on his gardens and orchards to his son.Tevel ended with a smile. Nachum said he felt they ought to appoint a leader in his place. "My son. there is something I want to . This went on until a time came when Nachum felt he was about to die. had decided to donate a worthwhile amount to Jewish causes. and.

L u b a v i t c l z e r R a b b i ' s i\/lt,moir.\
tell you concerning a certain person, which until now 1 have kept secret. Now that I feel iny days are numbered, I am going to pass o n the secret to you. but I ask you to honor it as I have done, and disclose it to no one.'' Cambari, how he He then told Tevel about the Swedish Prii~ce had returned to his Jewish faith and now called hirnselfYehudah Gabrieli, the name he was given at his birth. He told him that he, Nachum, had helped the prince in Prague, who had become so keen on thnlgs Jewlsh, that hc had spent mo5t of h ~ s time learn~ng Torah, and was by now already J coinider~blr lnrndan. He had n~arrled daughter of a well-known and re5pectthe ed Jew In Prague, and now that she had given blrth to a son. they had moved to Holland to a place outside Amsterdam, where he had bought a castle. sorne Nachum asked Tevel to travel to the prince and glve h~rn money that Nachum had of his, and at the same time to take hi111 3 message that he would advise the prince to sell his estates near Sebezsh. Finally he wanted Tevel to say goodbye to the prince for him and tell him he was thinking of him before he died. Tevel was very inoved by all his father told him and prornised to carry out all he had asked him to do. He felt now that he had not, during his lifetime, sufficiently appreciated what a great man his father was, and he was determined to inlprove himself as far as he knew how. So it was that, when he returned hot11 h15 inlsslon to the pr~nce m Holland in 5359 (1599), he began to follow in his father's steps and distribute large sumh of money to chanty, yo much \o. that he became renowned both far and near. And the more he gave, the greater seemed to be his success in increasing his fortune. But however tine the harvests of his work, he and his wife could find no real happiness, for they were childless. Then, remembering that "to change one's place can change one's luck," he and his wife decided that they would leave Sebezsh, and settle in Vitebsk, in the vicinity of which he had a friend called Mordechai Aaron Segal, who was his partner in a distillery of whiskey in Batzeikov.

First J e u l i s h S e t t l e r s



Expulsion of V i t e b s k _leuls Averted

Now, in the year 5365 (1605),the king had issued a decree that the Jews were to be expelled from Vitebsk during the course of two years, and no other Jews admitted. He made but one exception, and that was, that only Jews who could prove that their presence was indispensable to the welfare of the community could remain. About a year after this decree, Mordechai Aaron Segal who had become friendly with the Mayor ofVitebsk because he used to sell him whiskey, came to Vitebsk and settled there. Mordechai Aaron Segal was a respected person and in fact quite charitable, but perhaps he was inclined to give his money where it would bring hini the most honor. When Mordechai came tovitebsk and saw how Tevel gave charity without making any fuss and without looking for any special recognition or honor, he saw how more preferable was his friend's modest demeanor, and made up his mind to act likewise in the future. Tevel had brought a few more Jewish families with him when he came to Vitebsk, saying he required their services for his land cultivation. As Tevel was a friend of Mordechai's and the latter a friend of the mayor's, the matter was arranged without difficulty. But two years afierTevel's arrival in the town, Mordechai told him that he had learned from the mayor that the lung was not satisfied with the way that his decree was being treated so lightly. According to him there were far too many Jews invitebsk, and they would have to renew their claims proving they were essential and useful citizens; furthermore, if and when they were granted permission to remain, they would have to pay a very high sum for the privilege! Mordechai Aaron Segal called a meeting of the leaders of the community and told them they must be prepared for unpleasant news. There would soon be a decree issued ordering the Jews of Vitebsk to leave the town.

The member5 of the meetlng were naturally very disturbed ~t the news, and declded to call the Jews to A d,iy of fasting and bpcci~l prayers Tevel was very grleved at the traglc turn of eventc. for tllough hc personally nught be granted pernusslon to remaln, hls heart wa\ sore for his fellow Jewr who, were they to be driven out unceremo~~lously, would lose their present means of livelihood, and face ruin and starvation! Hc spent much time contemplating any possibility of a way out of the trouble, and suddenly it occurred to him that perhaps a bribe would buy the mayor, in whose hands lay the power to grant permission to individual Jews to remain invitebsk; all the mayor had to do was to say that the tnan was "indispensable." Tevel lost no time in calling on his partner and friend Mordechai Aaron Segal to say, "See my friend, we must help our brothers in their hour of need. We might so easily have been in a similar dilemma. And so, to show our gratitude to the Almighty we must make a sacrifice. I, for my part, an1 prepared to give a surn, however large you think necessary, and you know the mayor well enough to decide what he would regard as a 'handsome gift.' so that he pro~llisesto allow the Jews to stay." Mordechai Aaron Segal was deeply impressed with the generosity of his friend and the sincerity of his desire to help the Jews of Vitebsk. He hurried withTevel's offer to the mayor, who "graciously" consented to accept the present and prornised he would see that the Jews were allowed to remain in the town. He pointed out, however, that he would st111 have to publish the king's decree first, and then afterwards use his authority to grant the Jews "special pernlissiorl" to remain. Mordechai Aaron Segal agreed with the plan and sent word around to all the Jews to prepare then1 for the decree and to tell them they must not be alarmed, as the mayor had pronllsed the publlcatlon of same was just a matter of formality. Sure enough, after a few days, the dreaded decree appeared on the publlc-notice boards, throwlng the Jew5 of Vitebsk into &solute

F i r s t J e w i s h S e t t l e r s qf V i t e b s k
panic! It was useless trying to convince them that they must not take these notices seriously. Four days after the publication of the lung's decree, the mayor let it be known that as the Jews were essential to the existence and progress of the state, he was using the authority granted him by the king, and would allow the Jews to remain invitebsk, without hindrance or interference. The relief and joy among the Jews was indescribable, and when the news got around that it was Tevel's efforts backed by his money that had secured for them their present salvation, their gratitude to him was unbounded. The year 5365 (1605) came, andTevel's wife gave birth to a son. They were so very grateful for this precious gift for which they had hoped and prayed, that it is not surprising to learn that they gave him everything of the best. Tevel was not selfish in his gratitude, for he sent bigger donations even than before to all the yeshivot in Poland and Lithuania. Tevel named his son Nachum, after his own father, and the boy was a fine lad, and very gifted. He absorbed his studies eagerly and showed excellent results, to the delight of his teachers and parents who were so anxious to see him grow into a fine-charactered,Torahloving Jew. Mordechai Aaron Segal also had a son, whose name wasyehudah Leib. He was a good lad and anxious to make progress in his studies, but he just wasn't cut out to be a student. and so when he grew up, his father took him into his business where he did so well, that Mordechai Aaron Segal gradually let his son take over the reins of management, and himself devoted all his time to social welfare. Yehudah Leib developed his father's business so successfully, that their whiskey was known and appreciated far and wide. In the year 5380 (1620) the Mayor ofvitebsk died, and in his place was appointed one who became an absolute thorn in the flesh to the Jews. He hated them, and nothing they did was right in his prejuhced eyes. He found fault with thein at every turn and took every opportunity of sending in complaints against them to the government. Of course he would have no association with Mordechai

L t r b a v i t r h e r H a h h i ' r Menioir.\
Aaron Segal or his son Yehudah Leib, and refused even to touch their whiskey! This new mayor was so tilled withJew-hatred, that he could not bring himself to accept anything fix1111 them, and would not take Tevel's gifts. This period of persecution had been going on fbr about two years. During this time Yehudah Leib had managed, despite these adverse circunlstances,to prornote his business to such an extent, that he was even receiving orders for his now famous whiskey frorn the very highest officials in the governnie~lt,some of whorl1 he had become quite friendly with in consequence. By 5384 (1624) Yehudah Leib's whiskey had reached the Royal Court and was so liked by the lung, that he eventually invited him to his august presence, praised hiin for his excellent beverage, and conferred upon him medals of merit in the presence of his courtiers and counsellors! So it was thatyehudah Leib became an influential personage and role in Polish government circles. came to play an inlporta~it During one oflehudah Leib's visits to the capital city, he learned on high authority that the government treasury was enlpty, and that the king had commanded all his governors in the various states to obtain loans on the best terms obtainablr. He also heard that the governors, in the niain, had nlet with little success. As soon as Yehudah l.eib returned to Vitebsk, he imnlediately called on Tevel and told hini of what he had learned. Tevel at once declared he was ready to loan a big surn of rnoney to the government on long term, the loan to be repaid to him out of government revenue. But he would only advance the loan on the following conditions: a) The Jews ofVitebsk and district were to have their rights of equality restored to therr~. b) They were to have the right of buying imr~lovable property and to build houses invitebsk itself, not as up to now, only in its suburbs. c) The governnierlt was to grant the Jews ofVitebsk che r ~ g h t

F i r s t J e w i s h S e t t l e r s of V i t e b s k
to establish a Jewish Community with the same freedom as enjoyed by the Catholic community. Teveh friend Mordechai Aaron Segal thought it a very wise suggestion, and said he believed it had a good chance of succeeding. He offered to go with his son to the capital, to meet the respective members of the government and put before them Tevel's offer of the loan and his conditions. Mordechai Aaron Segal andyehudah Leib put the plan into effect and waited hopefully for the result. Some days passed and then Mordechai Aaron Segal and his son received the Royal command to appear before the king. The king informed them that he was willing to accept the loan from Tevel on the latter's conhtions. The king forthwith dispatchedyehudah Leib as a special messenger to instruct the Mayor ofvitebsk regarding the details of the matter, and to collect the money and bring it back to the king.This was in the year 5387 (1627). The mayor was not too pleased at the turn of events but he had no alternative other than to obey the king's command. He therefore called a special meeting of the City Council, the representatives of the government, as well as the priests of the Catholic Church, and with the best face he could bring himself to put upon the matter, made a public proclamation, quoting the king's decree: "The Jews were henceforth to be allowed to establish their own community invitebsk, and the local government authorities were to do all possible to facilitate their carrying this into effect. "Further, all Jews were to be allowed to live invitebsk with the same rights as other citizens."
Fourrders qf t h e



After the mayor had read out the king's decree, it was decided there and then to choose someone to be the leader of the Jewish community. There was a unanimous vote in favor of Mordechai Aaron Segal

who had so successfully negotiated on behalf of the Jews as interme-diary between them and the king. This same Mordechai Aaron Segal was the ancestor ofthe Fatherin-law of the Founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalrnart, author of the Tanya. In this same year, Nachum married the daughter of the gaol1 Rabbi ShnluelYosef ofVilna. For five years Nachum studied under the great tzuddik RabbiYekutiel Zallnan Cracower, who w a s hilled as a saint and recluse. Nachum was so greatly influenced by his saintly teacher, that he, too, tried to elnulate his example. He spent most of his time in prayer and study at the Beit Hamidrush, only going home to snatch a few hours' sleep to refresh himself. Then he would return to the Bcir Hawlidrash to devote hinlself wholeheartedly to the service of G-ti, in prayer, solitude, and Torah study. He begrudged hinlseif the pleasure ot' spending time with his own family, and to no one did he speak, unless it related to discussion of the Torah. Tevel was very proud of his son Nachurn and gladly provided hinl and his daughter-in-law with d their needs. l But Nachum's father-in-law Shmuel Yosef was wry far frorn being pleased. His biggest concern was that his daughter was still childless after being married for many years, and according to the din, she ought to obtain a divorce frorn her husband. This she absolutely refused to do as she had the greatest regard for him, and was very fond of him. His daughter-in-law's childlessness grievedTeve1 too, and he gave still more charity than ever, hoping he would thus earn the privilege of beconling a grandfather. Tevel's charitableness became a positive byword, and he made no distinction, distributing his money arnong the needy, Jew and nonJew alike. When Tevel heard of the famine in the district of Lifland, he sent his agent to buy large stocks of grain for distribution among all the hungry, irrespective of race or creed. F:or the Torah tells us that, especially in time of hunger, help must be given to all who need it.

on the contrary. If ever he gave personal thought to his manifold acts of charity. The people just adored hini for it. therefore. he brought grace and honor to every simcha that he came to.Tevel bought several plots of land in various parts of the town. He chose one by the name of Tzadok Moshe. This he agreed to. It was Tevel's modesty. He had the greatest respect and admiration for Torah students and scholars since his early youth. and the respect and admiration had increased with time. be it brit milah.Jews began to build houses and synagogues on the various streets ofvitebsk. When Tevel was ninety years of age he felt it was time that he put his affairs in the hands of a younger person. Tzadok Moshe asked Tevel to allow him to engage his sister's grandson Zalman Aaron as accounts manager. Tevel's generosity helped greatly towards the progress of the community. yeshivot and charitable institutions were established. A few years later. and gave them as a present to the Jewish community.F i r s t jeulislt S e t t l e r s ccf Vitebsk One might have thought that Tevel would be justified in feeling "superior" for all his good deeds and all the adulation he earned thereby. When. Yet he was to be found equally among the very ordinary working people. and Tevel's affairs were ably handled by these two men.permission was granted to the Jews to buy land invitebsk and build houses on it. it was in grateful thanks to the Almighty for putting him in such a privileged position where he could help those less fortunate than himself. but he was. enabling the Building Committee to carry out its plan of activity. in 5694 (1634).Teve1 naturally came forward with a handsome donation towards the city's needs. With the expansion of the community. and with each . exceedingly humble and modest. When the Jewish community was first established invitebsk. Bar Mitzvah or betrothal. a tax was imposed upon each member. that endeared him to everyone. For the first time in the history ofVitebsk. attending their sirnchot.

for young children. and though one would say he had reached a very ripe old age. Vitebsk was conlposed of two parts.According to his will. a quarter of his possessions was to be distributed to charity. one was called the "large side" and the other the "small side. NACHUM NOT ALLOW his newly ibund wealth to change his IIIL) mode of life in the slightest degree. Nachum was most reluctant to take this step. Tzadok Moshe and Zalrnan Aaron were to manage the affairs as before. Her father ShmuelYosef. they should choose the "small side" oil which to build a yeshivah. all came to offer their last respects to this great Jewish philanthropist. She was only fourteen years old at her marriage. He was so universally loved. She was already thirty-eight years old. 'Tevel lived to the age of ninety-seven. for in those days girls were married at a very tender age. now finally appealed to her husband Nachum." The "large side" was the business center. that all the town. He was the same quiet Torah student and recluse.Beit Hamidrash there was always a cheder adjoining. however distasteful it was to hitn or his wife. Nevertheless. Tevel died in the year 5401 (1641). And so he called three wise and . The number of-rorah students was very small. he agreed that they nlust conform to the din. fro111 the civic and government heads. spealung to no one. a clty of merchants ar~ci workpeople.Vitebsk was still in the main. and spending all his time a t the Beit Hamidrash. everyone regretted his passing. telling him that he must persuade her to follow the din. so it was natural that. and he appreciated it very nluch. for he knew how devoted his wife was to him always.This was to be allocated by the leaders of the community. The remainder of his money and property was to go to his only son Nachum. to the humblest and lowest. Still. It was now twenty-four years after his marriage and his wife was still barren. who had repeatedly urged her without success to agree to a divorce. with the appreciable legacy left the community by Tevel. His funeral was attended by many whose tears flowed freely.

and so he gave her an additional gift of several thousand gilden. Tzadok Moshe had spent all his time inTorah study. his unmarried sisters-in-law. .They had expanded it with the introduction of flax and wool. a C e n t e r 01-'Torah In the year 5421 (1661) Tzadok Moshe traveled to Minsk on business. Tzadok Moshe proved himself a most successful businessman. where at every turn one met Jews studylng the Torah. they found that their profits were mounting higher and higher. Meir Shlomo oNilna. While Vitebsk was essentially a business town. The decision arrived at was that Nachum should settle upon his wife six hundredgilden for each year they were married. and Nachurn was in fact becoming a very rich man. his father-in-law was weak. Tzadok Moshe was enraptured! Even the ordinary workpeople had their own Beit Harnidrasll where regular shiurim were arranged for them. As a child and right on into manhood. a sum of about fifteen thousand gilden would be given his wife with the divorce. and had put this branch of the business in the care of the well-known expert in these lines. M i n s k .F i r s t Jewish S e t t l e r s qf V i t e b s k learned men and asked them how he could carry out the matter in the fairest manner possible. to suit their understanding and needs. he could not tear himself away from the place. but even when his business was concluded.That meant. Meanwhile Tzadok Moshe and Zalman Aaron were managing Nachum's business with great success. so that she would be financially well provided for. but also his parents-in-law. and his brother-in-law's orphaned children. But when he married. yet he envied anyone who could devote his time to Torah study. In the course of three years. and so Tzadok Moshe had to assume the responsibhty of supporting not only himself and his wife. Nachum wanted her to know that he was sending her away because of the necessity of carrying out the din and for no other reason. Minsk on the other hand abounded with yeshivot and houses of study.

Minsk towered above her richer sister.y. in the spiritual sensewith her Torah scholars. One thing that 'rzadok Moshe found in Minsk which itnpressed hinl very favorably. To them it would not only have been an unheard-of thing. So whilevitebsk was much better ofT than Minsk in the tnateria1 sense. therefore. . and her yeshivclt and synagogues. not only could she read.But while he "put his shoulder to the wheel" very consc~entiously and efficiently. Znach. with beautiful and iniposing buildings arid a name for busi-ness.rnrash. his heart nevertheless inclined towardsTorah study. So immediately after davmitz. is what 'Tzadok Moshe found in Minsk. in the course of the years. but also learn Chz. and Rahi! This. and so he stayed and stayed until he found that he had already spent four nionths in this "enchanting" city. but an undreamed-of thing that a woman could be so educated that. It was taken for granted that all worneri should be able to read Ivri and daven. there was no woman who could read Ivri and those who were anxious to join in the dnvenin~in shul used to gather around soine elderly lady who. Minsk. was to hiin like a drink to a thirsty man! He just could not have enough. and the others would repeat the prayers after her-. had the learned the prayers by heart and thus beca~rie "reader" for thetn. nlorning and evening. both nlen and women. InVitebsk. then. Cemar(2. was the adva~lcetieducation of the Jewish women there. But in addition there were many who could study'lbrah just the same as the men. presenting to him a picture ofTorah study wherever he looked. he snatched an hour or two for study.

CHAPTER TWELVE Devorah. a Brilliant Torah Scholar Vitebsk in the Throes of the Russo-Polish W a r Devorah's Influence i n Vitebsk A Blessing of Life jor Life A Yeshivah Bearing a Woman's Name .


They were so terribly afraid that the same fate would overtake her as her poor brothers and sisters. all having unfortunately died in their early infancy. that they thought of all sorts of things which might protect her. He was a great Torah student who. he understood it so well that he became the arbiter in all business disputes. Shmuel Nachum had one daughter named Devorah. who was a very wise man and a G-d-fearing Jew. in fact. who was the sole survivor of his several sons and daughters. and every year on her birthday. While he never at any time devoted himself to business directly. They gave a great deal of charity in her name. they used to present the cemetery authorities with new AT THE HOME T u n o K MOSHE STAYED . in addition to his vast Torah knowledge. It can readily be understood how precious Devorah was to her father and mother! They ever so carefully watched over her. was how he made his living.That. was an expert in business matters. and legal adviser to worried businessmen.TWELVE of a certain Shmuel Nachum.

she had a thorough knowledge of the whole Tanach and began to learn Mshnah and ShuLlzatr Aruch. 1)evorah was a happy wife and mother. and five by the tlme she was e~ght. fi-iends of theirs. two daughters and one sou. the soil of a well-known and respected Jew in Minsk. was already learning Churnash and the $he Prophets! When she was ten years old. and she was very happily married for ten years. and LJevorah's parents hoped that her life.wood to strengthen the fence surrounding the cemetery. And well might he be proud of his pupil and of his tutoring. would be spared by her "attachment" to this fa~nily. as \well as n~athematics. Devorah's two daughters died during an epidemic among the children of the district. made their way to her parents' home. In Addition. she could never have come through as she did. too. her husband became seriously ill and he. Shmuel Nachun~ would not entrust her education to any teacher. her father taught her to read and write the Pollsh Iangpage. They also "sold" Devorah to an old couple. that were it not for her great courage and brave spirit. too. for "adoption. He preferred to supervise her studies himself. D e v o r a h . The poor widow. and to add to her full cup of sorrow. but death seemed determined to remain on her track. for when she was fifteen years of age she was studying Gemaru with Rarhi! At the age of eighteen she married a very fine young man. She felt she was a lucky woman indeed to have such a devoted husband and such lovely children. with her orphaned son.just years of age She made wonderfill progress. Then tragedy entered her life so completely. died within the year. a Brilliant 'lbrah Scholar Devorah was a moat gifted ch~ld her parents just adored her and And absolutely lived for her! Her father began to teach her when she was still an ~nfant. ."This couple had several children. all living. during which time her husband made a good living at his business.

These circles became so popular and spread so greatly. she would go to her room and there give vent to her grief in a deluge of tears and sobbing. Devorah had two friends of her childhood who also had studied the same as she. but they were not as brilliant as she was. So she threw herself more than ever into her studies and into social welfare. for they were heartbroken because of her trouble. Another woman in her place would surely have lost her reason. to her acquaintances in Minsk. grown women. Ecclesiastes. and Proverbs.A Woman o f Worth for three years later her only surviving child became sick and followed his two sisters to the grave. She was a wise woman and saw that she must pull herself together and see what she could now do to live a useful life and really justify her existence. The Book of Proverbs taught her the true spiritual way of life. Now the three of them. She was at this time studying the following three books: Job. used to gather and study Torah together. In the Book of Job. She prayed to the Almighty to guide her aright. and to her lucid exposition! Devorah found great solace in her work for. that Devorah was kept very busy indeed lecturing here and there and everywhere. She was an excellent orator and it was a delight to listen to her clear. she at the same time stilled the dull pain in her aching heart. These three Books were known to her with all their commen- . Devorah learned about G-d's judgment and punishment. for had she not lost practically everyone dear to her? For whom was she to live now? She tried so hard to hide her grief from her parents. stirring voice. She therefore made herself appear calm whenever she was in their presence. in helping others. and begged Him to grant her strength and wisdom to teach all she had been fortunate enough to learn &om her father. Then she would not feel so lonesome and useless. and lectured to them on all the duties of a true daughter of Israel. and if she felt the strain was too much for her. They established study circles among the young Jewish women of Minsk. Ecclesiastes showed her the vanity of the world and man's so-called pleasures.

They became engaged. but said Devorah would have to be consulted before any proposition could be put bef'ore Nachuni. but as he was here.taries. He said he rnust n.ud \he was interested to meet Nachunl as he sounded such a fine personality but she could not be expected to commit herself as to whether or not she would want him as a husband before she had even seen hiin! It was agreed that nothing should be said about marriage but that a rneeting between Nachuni and Devorah should be arranged. Tzadok Moshe suggested that Devorah should now take charge of . what a splendid rnan he was and. I-le in described Devorah to Nachun~ such glowing terilzs. in his opinion.and very soon after were married. Tzadok Moshe soon came to admire this wonderful woman. and she found that she could study them continuously and always find something new and worthwhile in them. Tzadok Moshe was no great scholar. but how could he get these two together? Two weeks prior to his leaving Minsk. When Devorah was approached in the matter she was very yenbible about it. but he was sufficiently educated to follow the discussion between Devorah and her father. She 5. Ikvorah's fathcr. putting away her own personal tragedies and associating herself with the hopes and anzbitions of others. how suitable a husband he would be for Devorah. He felt that she would be the ideal partner for his master. The visit was made and Nachunl and Devorah found each otheivery worthy. He told Shmuel Nachuirl all about his master. that the latter agreed to make the trip to Minsk in order to becorlze acquainted with this extraordinary woman. so full of courage and enthusiasm for the welfare and progress of her fellow beings. would like to hear what Sh~nuel Shmuel Nachum was most interested. and he was lost in admiration of her great scholarship.rturally speak to Nachum first before the matter could be gone into. he thought he Nachunl thought of his suggestion. the recluse Nachum. Tzadok Moshe broached the subject to his host. Thus it was that Tzadok Moshe returned tovitebsk full ofenthusiasm about the idea of Nachunl and Devorah getting together.

rich or poor. They all just loved her for her kind manner and interest in their welfare. and set about arranging study circles for women in the same way as she had done in Minsk.A W o m a n of W o r t h her husband's affairs and accounts. I am sure you are managing excellently without my help. Devorah quickly proved to be an able businesswoman with a good head for figures and. Obviously Devorah had the greatest respect and regard for Torah scholars. so why bring me into these mundane affairs now? You know that I believe my duty to be to sit and study and pray. But naturally she concentrated her efforts more among the women." But Devorah was not satisfied to leave the matter at that and began to bring examples of all the great Tanaim and Amoraim who . but in her contact with her fellow beings she made no distinction and treated everyone. who had so much greater need of her. and gave a lead in their establishment and support. Within a few months she had established herself as head of her husband's business. but he said mildly. but at the same time evoked in her a feeling of pity that they had for so long been so sadly neglected. above all. and Nachum said he was in perfect agreement if Devorah wished it. Devorah determined to change this undesirable state of affairs as soon as possible. with respect and cordiality."My dear wife. and there is no room in such a life for anything else. that the appalling ignorance displayed by the Vitebsk women quite shocked her. a great understanding of her employees. She was certainly kept busy and spent a very full life indeed! She was very happy at having such a wonderful husband. but apart from this she had made a name for herself in the sphere of Jewish education among the men as well as the women. scholar or otherwise. but felt that he lived too much apart from the world and its affairs. She had been so used to the women of Minsk being educated. He was only too pleased that it was not expected of him to spend his time on business matters. She also called attention to the lack of institutions for loolung after the sick and the needy. and that this was not right. She spoke to him one day about this.

Devorah persisted. page 52. and wound up her arguments by quoting the saying of our Sages that "Torah without work ends in naught. however.but her extensive 'orah knowledge astounded hlm! He began to reahze more and more what a treasure he had in such a wife. about Rabbi Daniel bar Katina who used to go into his garden every day to supervise the day's gardening progratn. Also rernen~ber that in Nedarinz. Devorah assured him that she had the accounts in perfect order but a little effort they could and co~npletelyup-to-date. that ~t would take more time than he could spare to arrlve at the exact figure of maaser. and his respect and admirat~on for her increased enormously. "See now." Devorah nlentioned the case of ~nanyEnaivn and Amoraiml who amassed fortunes. though." But Nachuln said his own great teacher. or received the111 by inheritance. Nachum was not merely astomshed to find that his wife was such a capable manager of his busiriess affa~rs. contended that the word "work" meant "service" to the Almighty. So she tackled him from another angle. the I'arush of Cracow. as she truly believed her husband ought to participate to some extent in more material things and live a more complete life. page 9. . and what the correct amount should have been. and w ~ t h find out the amounts Nachum had paid out for charity since he inherited his father's fortune. explaining that this was not against the din." Nachunl had to admit that he had never done this but had just given charity in a haphazard manner. do you know whether or not you are hlfilling the mitzvah of giving maaer for charity? You should look at your accounts and only then can you know.found time to look after their material interests as well as their spiritual ones. we are told about Rabbi Ashi who did business even with people who worshipped fire. Nachum begged her to see that his way was the right one and that he be permitted to continue his life as before. "Dear Nachum. surely you know that it is related in Earzit. H e protested.

and decided there was nothing more she could do about the matter but accept the position with as good a grace as possible. Especially among the women did she find a very low spiritual level. Under the circumstances she understood and accepted the fact that he spent less time with her than other husbands did with their wives. but spiritual decadence. For after all. In 5427 (1667) General Sheremetiev captured Vitebsk and arrested most of these merchants. sending them far away into the depths of Russia." but invitebsk at large. What he did not know was that Devorah found time every day to study the Talmud and that she was already studying the Shas for the second time! C'itebsk iiz the Throcvs of t h e K ~ r r s o . . But how different was the picture now! She had organized Torah institutions and charitable institutions and centers for the advancement of Jewish education. not even this long protracted war. But nothing.P o l i s hWar In 5414 (1654) war broke out between E'oland and Russia. she recognized and appreciated the exceptionally high moral qualities of her saintly husband. Devorah saw that all her efforts to draw her husband out of his seclusion were to no avail. as Devorah's coming. For three years they were kept prisoners before being finally released and allowed to return to their homes.A W o m a n of W o r t h Now that he thought of-her and her station in life. had affected Vitebsk and its Jewish community. the merchants ofvitebsk were kept busy supplying the government with necessary requirements to keep their army clothed and fed. When she first arrived she found material prosperity. he realized also what a change her coming had made. where her intluence was felt and appreciated in every sphere of social and educational activity. It was fought in the area betweenvitebsk and Smolensk and lasted for thirteen years! During this time. not only in his own home which had become a veritable "open house and council of wise men. but she knew how to make the best use of her leisure.

All the women accepted her as their leader and guide. Her ambition was to see Vitebsk as a whole become a center of Jewish learning. recogniz-ing her superior qualities and abilities. and browse among the books until she found one which held her atterition. and here llevorah used to retire whenever she had tirne.L ~ n h a v i t r l z r rR a b b i ' s . for Devorah had a wondeiful power of oratory and it was sheer delight to listen to her! She spoke to them simply and everyone understood her without difficulty. and Devorah read to them out of it and encouraged them to read it for themselves. which had come down frorn father to son for several generations. the Teitciz Chumash had already been printed especially for women. She told them stories fro111 the iWidrash. Devorah was a contented woman. As we have already been told. Ilevorah grasped the opportunity to talk to them also o n religious matters. Yes. and they listened very readily and then thirstily. And why not? I t need before Vitebsk only be a question of tirne if a beginning was n~ade. Thus it was that when they gathered at their meetings.This gave Devorah her further opportunity to influence thern also in other directions. dinini of especial interest and significance to wornen. sayings of our Sages. \ ~ l l c i r t o i r s There was a most wonderful collection of books in her husband's library. They were very ready anti willing to help her in establishing charitable organizations and inscitutions.At that tirne. she was the happiest person in existence when left nndisturbed in this feast of literature! Devorah felt that these literary treasures o t her husband's were worth a thousand times niore than his nraterial treasures. and with the thirst that Devorah had for knowledge which could never be quenched. Devorah's nrain activities were centered among the Jewish wornen of Vitebsk.There were all sorts of books on all sorts of subjects. . But Devorah was not satistied to concentrate on one section only of the Jewish conimunity. She appealed in the first instance to their kind and wonlanly hearts to help her with her various deeds of charity.

so she had a talk with her husband to see what would be their best plan of action in this regard. Believing that charity should begin at home. Nachum made it clear to Rabbi Moshe that he was undertaking the cost of all expenses. The purpose of course was that the whole area be covered with teachers in all dstricts and the religious education of the whole community cared for. Devorah decided it would do the Jews ofVitebsk good to practice such an innovation. and give thevitebsk students the benefit of their higher education and 1earning. where there was but a small yeshivah more or less for local students. the people oNitebsk were not used to such an arrangement. as the inost suitable person to choose the teachers required. and appointed Rabbi Moshe the son of hi? former teacher.A W o m u n of Worth would become as "literary" as Minsk or any other famous Jewish city. andvilna. They would remain there at his expense until their education was of a sufficiently high level to enable them to return to Vitebsk. Devorah proposed that Nachum should appoint someone to visit the great and well-known yeshivot at Minsk. and later she continued this practice in her own home. includng the maintenance of the teachers and their families while they were invitebsk. on condtion that they agreed to live and teach in the dstricts allotted to them. He stipulated. Nachum readily agreed. it had not been found necessary to introduce such a practice. the saintly gaon Yekutiel Zalman of Cracow. But here invitebsk. Slutzk. for it taught people the virtue of hospitality. and that it was up to them to set an example. and even had the necessity arisen. and there choose suitable teachers who would be willing to come with their wives and families to settle invitebsk. Brisk. Since Devorah's childhood she remembered having yeshivah students come to their house to eat teg. she suggested to her husband that he choose five or six boys from the local yeshivah and send them to one of the famous yeshivot at Cracow or Prague. that they must not know that Nachum was paying them their . however.They would be the pioneers of a generation of Torah scholars! As this would obviously take some years.

L u b a z l i l c h e r R a b b i ' s :\/lcrtroiu> salaries. too. Occasionally he even enquired about matters concerning his business! . It was the teachers who had coine from the various yesizizlot who had first called forth his interest. both young and old. The plan took much tlnie and thought. to flock to hear a "word ofTorah. Very soon it became a riutter of course for people of all ages. ihould there be people iilVitehsk who would like to contribute towards the educational expenies. were fixed conveniently. The coning of these teachers eventually attracted other scholars tovitebsk. contlriued Nachum. and the change invitebsk was very marked." Devorah's dream of making Vitebsk a center for Torah was gradually beconli~lga beautiful reality! Naturally. his spell of reserve. the money could be accepted and turned over to chanty. Although Nachum had been very reluctant to change his ways. among them a certain Kabbi Efrairn Simcha. the sweet sound of 'Torah could be heard throughout the whole town of Vitebsk! SIti~rrimwere arranged to enable all who wished to attend to do so without having to go very far. He began to meet thein and discuss Torah topics with them.?'he times. he too had been influenced by his purposeful wife! Little by little he had emerged from his isolation and shown an interest in the life around him. all this involved rnuch more than can be related here. the Jews ofvitebsk began first to trickle in to the shiurim. H e preferred to remain their anonymous benefactor However. and i t WAS iome nine nionths later that Kabbi Moshe coillpleted his mi\sion and returned to Vitebsk with ten teachers who conformed to the requirements demanded by Nachum and Uevorah. as was expected. to some extent. Before very long. It was now ten years since Devorah had first spoken to her husband about this plan.This seemed to remove. With everything done to encourage them. and then gradually the trickle became a constant stream as the students became more and Iriore interested. H e wished quite definitely that he h~nlself bear all the costs ofthe proposed scheme.

my good friend. Nachum spent many days in . Thus it came about that he revealed to him the innermost secrets of his heart. and the blessing of long life. Rabbi Moshe Gershon. There is the blessing of having children. the blessing of wealth. If only they could have had a son to carry on their name. to such a distinguished guest. you must be prepared to relinquish one of the other two blessings. Shutting himself away &om everybody. There are three blessings that Man looks for in life. THESE WERE INDEED HAPPY YEARS for Nachum and Devorah. but their happiness was marred by the absence of children. and he sought every opportunity of' talking to him on Torah matters. who was known at that time as the Baal Shem ofwurms. there is no one in the world who has everything his heart desires.A Woman of'wortk Devorah was delighted to welcome these scholars to her home and to see how Nachum enjoyed their conipany and the Torah pilpui in which they indulged. Germany. how content they would have felt! They were getting on in years and their hopes were diminishing. Rabbi Moshe Gershon listened to him with great sympathy and then gently said to him: "You know. You cannot also expect the third blessing. and Nachun~ so drawn to him that he found he could talk to him on every subject without reservation. and Kabbalist. children." Rabbi Moshe Gershon's words made a great impression on him. For many years Rabbi Moshe Gershon had studled under the well-known Rabbi Pinchas in Fulda. and he told him of his previously undisclosed sorrow. No less a personality than the famous scholar. "The Almighty has already blessed you with wealth and long life. saint. they had a very special visitor. however. the fact that he had no child. you are convmced that your preference is to have children. Nachum was really thrilled to be host. a disciple of the Faon Rabbi Eliyahu. felt They found much to discuss. "If. In the nlidst of this state of affairs.

if anything. wealth. his life of solitude spent in prayer. G-d be praised. but whenever he came out of h a room to Devorah. and here was the proniise of a child. hiding her fears from him. In preparation for hls departure from earthly life to nleet hlc Maker Each day found him weaker and weaker. but again retired to his old ways. He remembered that Rabbi Moshe Gershon had offered hini a choice of three blessi~igs: long life. more flourishing than before. although he knew this meant that he would soon die. so she night as well tell her husband. He too received the welcome news very gladly. telling him he was willing and ready to give up either of the two things with which he lvas already blessed--wealth (his business had flourished exceedingly). She came to him and told hini joyfully of her news. but she hesitated to tell her husband. Devorah decided she would not be able to hide her pregnancy much longer. A Blcssirifq oj. Devorah realized one day that she was pregnant with a child. When three months had passed by. and study. he trled to appear as ~f11oth1ngwrong was happenmg . Nachum removed himself completely fi-on1 the society of his fkllow bemgs and devoted all hls time to trshuvah. Well. or a child. whom he loved and did not wish to pain. seeking to find the true answer. Finally he emerged from his seclusion and sought out Rabbi Moshe Gershon. contemplation. Before a year had passed since the rabbi's blessing. the latter gave him his blessing that it should be as Nachum wished.silent contemplation of his problem. L i j c f o r Llfrl When Nachum had told Rabbi Moshe Gershon of his choice. his business was. or long life jho was at this time over sixty years of age). So obviously it meant that he would soon have to meet the Giver of Life and Death! He said nothing of this to his wife. She was worried lest the child would share the same fate as the unfortunate children of her first marriage.

who all mourned the passing of this great personality. so that she should be a worthy daughter of Israel. and with the help of the Tze'ena Ilre'ena and other techinot in Yiddish. She supervised her training generally. and there was a vast improvenlent in the city's Jewish population in a spiritual and cultural sense. the second part to his wife Devorah.A Woman 0-f Worth His death came quickly. The town had also by now attracted a fair number of scholars. was the unbelievable change among the women ofvitebsk! Now they were all able to dnven. the first part to go to charity. It was now twenty-five years since her arrival in Vitebsk. Devorah brought up her daughter along the same lines as her own upbringing. he himself would have to die. He also left a sealed letter which was to be opened when his child would reach the age of Bar Mitzvah. the sealed letter left by her father before his death was opened. and she distributed charity with a generous hand. There were many more Talmud Torahs now. They were mostly from the town itself and surrounding districts. however. not before. According to his will. l'articularly noticeable. and the number of pupils at the yeshivah had increased enormously. providing her with private teachers so that she should eventuaUy become a Torah scholar like herself. Devorah gave birth to a girl whom she named Nechamah. to the great grief of his devoted wife and to the sorrow of the wllole Jewish cominunity ofvitebsk. after her hu3band Nachuin. In due time. and it was then they learned that Nachum had known that in receiving the blessing of having a child to continue after him. and the third to his child. When the time of Nechamah's "Bar Mitzvah" came. The letter directed that Ilevorah should establish a yeshivah in . Meanwhile Devorah continued to manage her late husband's business with the same success as before. had acquired an increasing knowledge of important Jewish matters. his property and possessions were to be divided into three parts.

H e was appointed the head of the aforementioned ycshivali. as he felt he would prefer to returrt to his fornier life of seclusion. Rabbi Simcha Zelig did not remain at the head of the yesl~ivah for very long." and called "Nechamah.the name of their chlld." The women. and in less than two years' time. A Y[."in recognition of the widow Devorah's well-earned popularity. under the circulnstances." H e had spent ten years in solitude. called it "Nechamah 13evorah'sYeshivah. Among the scholars of note who came to Vitebsk about that time. it could still not compare with Minsk as a Torah center.\hivah B ~ a r l n ga W o m a n ' s Kame Thus it was that in the year 5457 (1697) a yeshivah was established in the part of Vitebsk known as the "large side. and most certainly not withvilna. however. nor with Slutzk or Brisk. which was very satisfactory. . Rabbi Nachuni Tevel's Yeshivah. which was already at that time recognized as the leahng center ofTorah scholarship. in the main. so that he could devote himself entirely and exclusively to Torah study. devoting all his ti~rle Torah study. and that the cost and rnaltltenance should be provided for from the funds of the child'? mherltancc. there wcre a hundred and thirty scholars attending the yeshivah.. to Despite the spiritual ascent otvitebsk. was Rabbi Simcha Zelig who was also known as "the Genius of Stavisk.

CHAPTER T H I R T E E N Alarm Near the Smithy "The Rich Orphan's Sefer Torah" "The Doves" of Nemerov Sole Survivor Returns to the Scene of the Massacre The "Old Saint" Who Was Revered by Non-Jews .

. . Rabbi David Moshe II I the Dayan I . . Maharshal I 1 / Rabbi Naftali Hirsch Cinsburg of Pinsk .. .. . .. Ravof Lutzk I I 1 I I Rabbi Binyamin wolfe of Horodno . . . . .. . . . .... . i .. . I Rabbi Aaron ! 1 Moshe of 1 I I Rabbi Moshe Isseries. . . 1 Rabbi David Ziltzburg 1 1 Rabbi Refael David of Horodno 1 Rabbi Nachman . i. 1 / Rabbi Yosef ~ a t z Cracow of /I / Rabbi Yechezkel Meir of Kremenitz / . L . Rabbi Moshe. . I . . Student 7I -1 1 / / 1 -. . .. . . .. i. . . . . - I Rav of Dobromysl I r~abbiShlorno I .. . 1 . i 3 Moshe Yaakov of Brisk .1 -. .. . . . . . . . i ' . the Iluy of Nemerov I Rabbi Yechezkel i r-- -Rabbi Zevulun Mordechai. i. ./ Rabbi Shlonio Luria. . . I Zecharya Yerucham.Gra~ldson = Relation . . . ... . I KEY: - Marrled -Child Chlleague . -----. ~ e m a / 1 11 j a b b i zechaka Yerucham Slutzk 1 ' . . .

-- THIRTEEN A l a r m Near the S m i t h y T H E INFLUENCE OF THE MINSK yelhivot spread all around. He noticed how he generally conducted himself at his work. had played there. not least was what he learned about the character of his host. for her Torah scholars established yeshivot in the surrounding districts of Snlilovitch and Smargon. Among the many things Baruch had learned during his stay at the smithy. Baruch learned all about the greatness of Minsk and her scholars during the Pesach that he spent at the home of his friend Eliezer Reuven the Smith. who had died when he was still a young child. He had a craving to learn more about his mother. who had lived in Minsk. He also learned about the important role that his grandfather. in Dobromysl. about the world at large and about various personalities in particular. and . He who had for so long run away from relatives. Baruch suddenly felt a yearning to visit Minsk at the first opportunity. but whom he remembered as a very wise and learned woman. now felt a desire to come nearer to them.

was always invited by the smith to a drink and piece of cake. who was also at the baths. he made a rriost pleasing inlpressiori upon all who saw hirn. in the maln. 2s they called hiln. wiilter and sunliner. had collapsed. Eliezer Reuven used to go to the public baths and. and always wore a happy snlile which added great-ly to his charm. the smith and his conlpanions ran to the Reit Har?zidrczsh to say Ehillirn and pray for the recovery of their beloved rabbi. on his return hoine. stopped working fairly early and set off for the baths. . who had also come for Pesach to the smith. While they were bathing they heard a scream froin someone in the baths. O n this particular Friday. and when they began wondering at home what could have detained hiin.Yisrael Chaim.The peass ants who. were hlc cuhtorners. "Let the peasants also appreciate that we have the holy and blessed Shabbat:' he used to say After everyone had departed. the little boyyisrael Chaim canie running in looking upset. People started running to see what was the matter and found that the rav of the town. Eliezer Reuven and seine others quickly got dressed. When he was dressed for Shabbat. an hour before noon. as usual. were well aware of thls practice of Rcrvke. having discarded his weekday clothes and his weekday cares. Eliezer Reuven was tall and of very good appearance." Whichever of them happened to be at the smithy on Fridays about this time. which was Erev Shabbat Hagadol. Eliezer Reuven seemed gone rather longer than usual. and while others tried to bring him back to consciousness. would rest for a couple of hours so that he should be rested and clean. H e said Eliezer Reuven had sent hirn hoine to tell them what had happened. then he would apply himself to the preparations for Shabbat in a ntanner worthy of the occasion. H e had a long white beard. H e had taken with him his sort-in-law's nine-year-old brother. and made sure they carrie it1 good time on Friday mornings with their "jobs. he had. Every Friday tt WJS the practice of' Ehezer Keuven to close h ~ smthy.outs~deit.

The rav also managed to make them understand that he wanted them to do him the favor of getting a minyan ofJews who should go to the Beit Hamidrash. he had never missed during his whole lifetime. As soon as the rav could recognize the people around him. which. there choosing a Sefer Torah known as "the r ~ c horphan's Sffir Torah." A remarkable story was bound up wlth lt: . if with some d~fficulty. and asked the dayan to help him with its preparation. Everybody prayed for his recovery.E c h o e s o f t h e M a s s a c r e o-f N e m e r o v They couldn't get any more information out of the frightened lad. he said. The Rav of Dobromysl. for everybody knew how important a person was the Rav of Dobromysl and what a remarkable past he had had. It was almost time for lighting the Shabbat candles when word was passed around that the rav had recovered consciousness and But his whole body remained could speak. He asked that the latter should deliver the speech in shul on the following day. had inherited his post as rav from his father-in-law. everyone was terribly upset." or "Rabbi Ellmelech the Chasid's Sefer Torah. paralyzed. so Baruch and one of the smith's sons-in-law quickly set off for the town to see if they could get any more news of what had occurred. others went to the cemetery to pray at the graves of his parents. whose name was Rabbi Zevulun Mordechai. Rabbi Gavriel. wrap it in a tallit and bring it to his house so that he should be able to daven with a minyan. They found everyone very disturbed about the sick man. for Shabbat Hagadol was an important occasiori and called for a very special speech befitting the great day. and when the news got around that he had become paralyzed while in the merchatz that Friday of Erev Shabbat Hagadol. ask pardon of one of the Sijei Torah. He was greatly beloved in his congregation. The dayan and his grandson compbed with the rav's request and went to the Beit Hamrdrash. he sent for the dayan Rabbi David Moshe and his grandson Rabbi Shlomo. and while some went to the Beit Hamidrash to say 7ihillim on his behalf.

which was still considerable. Some people said that Yeshaya Shlomo was a descendant of one of the Jews who had been exiled h n l Spain. by Naftali a r his teacher. He spent a l l day and a good part of the night at the Beit Havnidraslz. Every night. He also brought with him a relative na~ned Naftali.Lubavitc1zer R a b b i ' s A4ern(~irs In the year 5407 (1647) a certain Jew l~amedyeshayaShlomo settled in Uobromysl. He was a very rich man and canle with his wife and one child. after everyone had departed. Four years later he died. After five years of married life he decided he wanted to resume his life of isolation. Elimelech showed little interest in his wealth. Germany. The orphaned lad showed remarkable ability in his studies and devoted himself to them body and soul.The boy's name was Elimelech. and also provided for his children's future. he asked her to accept a divorce. Thus he grew to manhood and married an orphan girl of his own choice. No amount of talking to him. This was very convenient for Elinlelech. and finally gave the rriajor part of what was left. who lived next to the Beit Hamidrash. he used to take a broom . and despite the fact that his wife had borne hirn two children. while others said they believed he was an exile from Frankfurt. He settled this matter by providing his \vife with a substantial sum of money. who acted as his :~ssistant. could make him realize that this was no life for a young lad. and his relative Naftali took ox7er the care of the boy. so that he need not talk to anyone and could study undisturbed to his heart's content. He was adamant in his conviction. this was more his home than the cobbler's house. while he himself went to live at the home of the cobbler Tanchuin. a boy of four. for the establishment of a guest house for wayfarers. In fact. When Elimelech became Bar Mitzvah he suddenly declared that he wished to be allowed to live a life of solitude.

he got them married into fine families and provided them with their financial requirements.Afiter the checkup. as we have already mentioned. at whose head was the famous gaon Rabbi Zecharya . As for himself. Elimelech lived to the age of seventy-nine years. Elimelech took the Sefer Torah and brought it to Dobromysl where he presented it to the Beit Hamidrash. In spite of his meager attention to his physical welfare. as "the rich orphan's Sefir Zrah. When his children grew up. except on Shabbat. and when it was ready. Elimelech remained in Polotzk at the home of the scribe. who became the rav of the town. During the whole period of the writing of the Sefer Torah. Elimelech learned from him that there was a very fine G-d-fearing Jew who was a sofer in Polotzk. Baruch now learned the whole tragic story of the unfortunate family of the Rav of Dobromysl. The family.This he did very faithfully. "Tlze Doves" o-f Nenierov At the home of his friend the smith. Rabbi Moshe Isserles. In the year 5440 (1680) there came to Dobromysl Rabbi Gavriel. he continued to live the simple hermit life he had chosen for himself. Rabbi Zevulun Mordechai. Elimelech ordered the writing of the Sefer Torah which took the sofer four years to do. and he decided to go and ask him to write a Sefer Torah for him." It was this famous Sefer Erah which had now been brought to the house of the sick rav.E c h o e s o f t h e M a s s a c r e of N e m e r o v and sweep the floor of the Brit Hamidrash. His daily diet. and the grandfather of the tzaddik RabbiYisrael. he had a Rabbi Petachya read it through to see that there was no error. consisted of bread and water. This sofer was Rabbi Shmaya Zerachya. a brother of the Kabbalist Rabbi Betzalel Uri. and when he died in 5498 (1738) his Sefer Torah became the property of the Beit Hamidrash and became known. the pupil of the Maggid of Mezritch. Rabbi Zevulun Mordechai was descended from the Rema.

and Nenlerov becan~eone of the biggest bloodbaths for the poor. . this family gradually restored him to normdcy. to wander on to the next likely-loobrig "refuge. until sonle seventy to eighty souls. retired in comfort to devote the111selves to Torah.dl but one of the entire family of the Doves were slain. had settled in a village near Nenlerov where everybody worked on the land. and despairing." Thus he wandered on for some weeks. while the younger ones worked and provided for all. It was nothing less than a miracle which saved the lif> of tine one solitary survivor! This was the eleven-year-old boy Zecharya Yerucham. They were anxloui to do all they iould tc~ nuke h 1 1 feel he WAS not alone In the morld. injured. Sorne kind people took him into their home.L ~ r b a v i t c h c rR a b b i ' s M t ~ m o i r s Yerucham. All they could gather was that he was the only tragic survivor of the horrible pogrom! By dint of their kindness and loving care. In this pitiable plight he reached Brisk. and where they all drew their earnings from a "comniunal cash box. that they were nicknamed "the Doves. ZecharyaYeruchatn ran for h ~ s life from the horrible bloodbath which he had witnessed.The older ones who were past working." lived their conmlunal life for three generations (a wonderfi~linstance of Jewish kinship). who had lurnself stu&ed under the Kema. and only emerging when it was dark. but they could get nothing out of'the terr~fied and sick lad. ragged. called "the 13oves. hiding every time he heard a suspicious sound. Here the Iloves continued their con~munal way of 1ife." Thus these people. Masses of the111were slaughtered mercilessly by the Ukranian "butchers. bot-sore. 11 Eventually ZecharyaYeruchaii~became stronger and calnier and. After a few week. by then con~prislng in Nemerov." 111fact they all lived together in such harrnony and brotherhood.. helpless Jews. worn out in body and mind. settled the family. the grandson of the Zecharya Yeruchanl who tirst came with his family to settle in Nenlerov. frightened." and . after much wandering. Then came the never-to-be-forgotten year 5408 11648j when the bloodthirsty Uogdan Chnlelnitzki organized the terrible pogroms. he began also to v~sit other Jewlsh famlhes.

He had to look but once into his sefer. but two years older than Zecharya Yerucham. yet he knew several Mesichtot by heart! The Rav of Brisk.Tzvi Hirsch.That is why they immediately nicknamed him "the iluy of Nemerov. took a great liking to the lad and recognized his capabilities. morning. the question arose if he was able to actually lead the services. ZecharyaYerucham never missed attending shul. . but without tefillin. And so he took every opportunity of saying Kaddish and learning for those who had f d e n innocent victims to the barbarous butchers of Nemerov. on account of all he had been through. or night. He had a wonderful menlory due to his brilliant.. and say Tehillim for the souls of the martyred Jews of Nemerov who gave up their lives because of their Judaism. and he remembered it for always! But he not only remembered what was written. and after Maariv he would conduct a Talmud lesson for the worshippers." When he came to Brisk he was only eleven years old. He also looked much older than his tender years. while the gaonirn of Brisk contended that in his situation. the gaon Rabbi MosheYaakov. Since Zecharya Yerucham prayed before the amud. he understood it all so quickly and well. who was also a good student. noon. he began to attend the Beit Hamidrash where. photographic brain. The iluy of Nemerov was a very good-looking boy. He therefore took him to his house and taught him together with his own son. This led to some controversy among the congregants at the Beit Hamidrash. Zecharya Yerucham was a remarkable boy with an exceptional talent for study. for he was not yet Bar Mitzvah. but because of his tragic experiences there was always such a sad look in his eyes. Every morning after davening he would recite Tehillim and then say Kaddish. Some objected that he was not yet Bar Mitzvah.E c h o e s o f t h e M a s s a c r e c~f N e m e r o v very soon. After Minchah he would study Midrajlr and hlishnayot. he used to daverr before the amud. wrapped in a tallit.ZecharyaYerucham was allowed to make the hrachot over the tallit and tefillin.

Rabbi Aaron Moshe was also connected with the Kema.For six years Zecharya Yerucham studied no st zealously. The Rash Yeshivah bestowed upon hinl the title of"Mort. While he was at the yeshivah. The old gaon welconled Zecharya Yerucharn with open arms. but Zecharya Yerucharn had decided he was not yet ready for marriage. then when only seventeen years of' age. took over his position as the spiritual leader of the connnunity. of particularly when he heard that the young man was a memt~er the famous family-community of Nemerov. as \. he was considered eligible for receiving semicha by the great scholars of'Urisk. Zecharya Yeruchan~meanwhile had gone to Horodno where there was a great yeshivah with thegaorz Rabbi Kefael David as head. and became friends with his son Yehudah. . During ZecharyaYeruchanl's stay in Horodno he visited Rabbi Naftali Hirsch Ginsburg several times in Pinsk. studied at this yeshivah under For two years Zecharya Yerucha~n Kabbi Refael David. everywhere finding sonieone from whom he could learn something. H e wanted to undergo a period of self-imposed "exile" before settling down. his son. studied in solitude for a consecutive period of about eighty years! It was under these famous scholars that Zecharya Yeruchanl yearned to i\/lort~nu" and wanted hinl to marry his granddaughter. who was the ancestor of Zecharya Yerucharn's Canlily. the Doves. who was already a hundred and ten years old. by then. the goon Kabbi Binyamin Wolfe. Here he became acquainted with the Kav of' the town.ell as of the fame of the gaon of Slutzk. a pupil of the gaon Rabbi Yosef Katz. the brilliant Rabbi 'Tzvi Hirsch. When the Rav of Brisk d i d . the daughter of his otlly son Rabbi Avraham Shlorno. and who had. the Rav of Cracow. and a pupil of the Maharshal's pupil. Rabbi Uetzalel. Rabbi Aaron Moshe. Zecharya Yerucham had heard of the greatness of the M a i d of Slutzk. This Rabbi Refael David was a grandson of the gaon Kabbi David Ziltzburg. ZecharyaYerucharn then left Slutzk and wandered through many towns and townlets.

his hometown. He was one of three Jews whom the villagers had managed to hide and rescue. to his endless delight. saying that when he lived in the village. Sole Survivor R e t u r n s to the Scene of the Massacre The nearer he came to Nemerov. Rabbi Yitzchak Hakohen. lost her young! . ZecharyaYerucham. he found the place still in ruins. It was a whitewashed house with a big garden. Naturally.The family of the old miller. From Nemerov. afier whom the iluy of Nemerov was called. but the other two had long since left. Here he found the only Jewish family who lived there. When he finally reached Nemerov. from whom he had fled in terror as a child." the name which the peasants had given to the founder of the colony. Here.E c h o e s of t h e lEilarsacre o f N e m e r o v In Kremenitz he found Yeshivah Ohel Yitzchak (afier its founder. and other people now lived in them. Mendel. Here he learned more details about his farnily who were murdered. especially pointing out the house of the "old saint. woman or beast. and only Mendel now remained to tell his tale: T h e " O l d Saitrt" W h o W a s Revered b y N o n . a pupil of the Maharshal). and here he attended the shiurim of the gaon RabbiYechezkel Meir. Zecharya Yerucham decided to visit Nemerov. These houses were already old and tumbledown. no mother. he found a veritable treasure of a library of the yeshivah books. the more he learned about the terrible things that had happened in this town of slaughter. Only the house of the old saint remained empty. ten years previously. too.J e w s The miller took Zecharya Yeruchani around and showed him the houses where the colonists used to live. ZecharyaYerucham went on to the village where the colony of the Doves used to be. and the scene of the awful massacre of his people by Chmelnitzki's bandits. The villagers still talked with awe about the old Zecharya Yerucham. and he spent weeks delving into them.

was struck by a falling tree and broke his back! A third brother was crossing a frozen lake during the winter. he became well again. ZecharyaYerucham told hi111 that if indeed he was innocerit of the thefts. Suspicion fell upon two brothers who hved In the village and had vlllage. It was then that old ZecharyaYerucham's fanie spread anlong the peasants. and they nicknanled him the "old saint. and sure enough. when he had repaid the ainount of money covering the thefts of his brothers. talking to them and telling them to be good and honest and to put their faith in the Almighty. he sent word to the old saint and begged him to do something so he xvould not die. At the beginning there still were some thefts. The fourth brother denied vehernently that he had anything to do with the thefts. theft and robbery ceased. The old man advised him to refund the ainount of the thefts. and so he remained sick fbr two years. when one of the suspected brothers suddenly died! Another month passed and one of the brothers in the next village. but this the peasant did not want to do. During the four years he stayed in the village. As 110 proof could be brought against them they were allowed to go frer. As he fell ill. then he would not die within the year as had his brothers before him.Lubavitclrrr K n b b i ' r :Clemoi~r And whenever people fell sick. the old saint always brought about their recovery by giving them bread and water. but as he had kept quiet about the crimes. Everyone felt the brothers had lost their lives because they were guilty. then he might be cured of his sickness.'' . when the ice cracked beneath hirrl and he was drowned. Barely a month had passed. he would in any case remain an invalid all his life. chopping wood in the forest. They were n~terrogatedbut two brothers In the adjoin~ng swore they were innocent. Some peasants stole a sheep and a calf fro111 the stable of a Jew. and were punished for disobeying the old saint. By that time he was ready to fall in with the advice he had spurned. but he knew about theni. and also a cow and horse from the stable of a no~i-Jew.

for from them he could derive greater and deeper knowledge of the Torah. Rabbi Pesach Katz. When the villagers heard that young ZecharyaYerucham was the of grandson of their revered fr~end blessed memory. the old saint. but in good order. . It made Interesting hearing indeed. His son. and whatever grew there was distributed among the poor. ZecharyaYerucham cont~nued his way until he reached Lutzk where there were at that time a number of wellknown scholars. who took turns at looking after it. Rabbi Moshe Cohen. the they paid h ~ m honor they considered due to him. One of these great scholars. was the renowned gaon. But Zecharya Yerucham would not stay. the brilliant Rabbi Nachman. Jew and non-Jew alike. Whenever a couple married." The garden was cared for by the whole village.That was just what ZecharyaYerucham was looking for. He wanted to be on his way. the villagers-Jew and Gentile-bought the house and kept it empty. This then was the remarkable story that the young Zecharya Yerucham was now told. and also with his son. at that time in Lutzk. was the community Rabbi.They offered him a beautiful house and garden if only he would agree to stay and settle there. whom people credited with magical powers. they were brought into this house "for luck. he had other plans.E c h o e s of t h e IMassacre of N e m e r o v When old ZecharyaYerucham and his family left the village and settled in Nemerov. on From Ludnlir. He travelled as far as Ludmir where he spent some time in Torah discussion with the local rav. the famous gaon Rabbi Shlomo Naftali.


CHAPTER F O U R T E E N In the Wake of the Russo-Polish War The Outstanding Talmudists of Old Vilna "The Rich Pauper" .

Rabbi Yaakov Pollack of Prague




Shachna of Lublin Shimon ~oktorovitch of Cracow

.......,. ...,

Child Colleapc Student

'TherAvnhunX /
Sarah I





~ e f a e k "the Rich Pauper" /


, r-----i
Zecharya i




Rabbi Nachum i Yerucham r - - I I Tuvya i





I n the W a k e o f the Russo-Polish War

WHILE WAS IN LUTZK,Zecharya Yerucham became acquainted HE with a "wanderer" whom he recognized as a great tzaddik and scholar, despite the efforts of the latter to dlsguise the fact and his repeated refusal to disclose his identity. Zecharya Yerucham followed him wherever he went, and even after two months, still did not know his name. About the first week in Nissan the mystic had yahrzeit, and only then, when the shamash asked him his name to be called to the Torah, did Zecharya Yerucham learn that the man he had been accompanying for almost three months, was called Nachum Tuvya, son of Shlomo. More than that he could not find out. Both turned in the direction ofVilna, which, together with all the surrounding districts, presented a scene of ruin and devastation. It was soon after the war which had been waged between the Poles and the Russians. The Russians had managed to capture the place with the help of the Cossacks, who had wrought utter destruction in all the towns
* T h e story continues to digress over the next few chapters, in the ongoing saga of Zecharya Yerucham, survivor of "the Doves."

L u b a z ) i t r h r v R a b b i ' s Menzoirs
and townlets in which they set h o t . Czar Alexei was then in power, and he showed a certain measure of friendliness towards the Jews. He was an enterprising and resourceful nlonarch and allowed them concessions.As a result,Vilna, which had suffered from the war nlore than other towns, was rebuilt and rehabilitated within the comparatively short space of two years. However, although the towns and townlets were taken care ofl. the villages were left to go to ruin. Particularly were the estates of the nobles allowed to sink into neglect and decay The nobles had fled before the enemy, and their peasant workers had either been killed or captured in battle. Seeing the danger of the land going to waste, the Jews rented large tracts which they cultivated. The government provided then1 with seed, in return for which it ciainled a percentage of the produce at harvest tinie. There were also Inany orchards which the noblemen had planted with the aid of agricultural students and botanists.These, too, the Jews rented from the government, and shared the fruit which they harvested from them. The Jews employed the widows and orphans of the fallen peasants to help in the work on the land and in the orchards, to their mutual benetit.1'hus it was that this particular district began to "live" again. The mills and breweries were also taken over by the Jews. in hct, they took over the management of most of the property which had previously been owned by the noblemen. The rabbis ofVilna, as soon as they realized the predicament thc Jews niight be in, called a meeting of the heads of the cornmunit?/ and pointed out to them that should the noblemen ever return, they would blame the Jews for taking over their land and properw. They would probably overlook the fact that it was from the government in power that the Jews had rented the lands, mills, etc., and had paid for everything they had taken over. They might even accuse the Jews of having been on the side of the Russians during the war, districts, with a view helping them to capturevilna and surrou~lding to reaping the benefits and favors of the victorious Russian government.

I n V i l n a of Old
The rabbis suggested, therefore, that whenever a Jew rented any property previously belonging to a Polish nobleman, he should set aside a certain percentage for the dependents of the said nobleman. And in the case where they were not on the spot at the time, the rnoney could be put aside in their name, in the presence of witnesses. So that whenever these noblemen should return, they could never say that the Jews had swindled them. This was a very important step indeed towards safeguarding the good name of the Jews, and obviating the possibility of libels against the Jews on the part of the defeated Poles. But despite all that the Jews did to be fair and considerate towards their non-Jewish neighbors, there were still some elements among the Poles who wanted to make trouble for the Jews. They were jealous of the Jews' success, and began to carry tales to the governing authorities and even sent a deputation to the czar asking him to drive the Jews out ofVilna and district. These mischievous trouble-makers also sent word to the noblemen, who had not dared to return to their homes, that the Jews had taken possession of their estates. The czar, fortunately for the Jews, refused to recognize the Polish deputation, and on the contrary, ordered the Governor ofVilna to rnake public acknowledgment of the benefits the Jews had brought by their constructive rehabilitation of the war-torn land. He further ordered the governor to show public recognition to those Jews who had especially earned it. Hearing that the sulky Poles threatened to take the law into their own hands and make trouble for the Jews if the czar would not do so, the latter gave orders that all necessary measures were to be taken to see that the Jews were protected. The noblemen also refused to "take the bait" of the Polish peasants, and replied that they were very appreciative of the honesty of the Jews who, of their own accord, had suggested paying the noblemen a percentage of the profits of the estates. They also sent letters to the Jews who were in charge of these estates, thanlung them and praising them for their work, and expressing the hope that they would continue with it in the future.

When Zecharya Yeruchani arrived with the rnystic Rabbi Nachum Tuvya in Vilxia, the rr~aterialposition of the Jews ~llere a s w quite good. Not so, however, their spiritual welfare. It is true that some of the great scholars who had fled cvhen the Cossacks entered the city, had now returned toV~Ina, no one could qulckly or easbut 11y forget that the Cossacks had, In the vex 5415 (2655), kllletl 25,000 sods In and around V~lna

Durlng this tmle, the four great Vilna scholars of the perlod. Rabbl Moshe K~vkes(author of Bc,'er Hugoluh), f<abb~ Efrairll (author of Slzaar Efratm), Rabbi Shabbatal Cohen (the Shuch), Rabbi Shmuel Ko~denaver. others, had found refuge in other Jewish conunumand tles, and theV11naJew? were now trylng to ~ n d u ~ e to return them All these thmgs were new to LecharyaYerucha~nand h15 cornpamon the nlyst~c, and they heard iriuch and learned more, durlng their four months' stay In Vllna They learned froin the great xholars who were present, ~ n d learned too, indirectly,6orn the absent scholars. For instance, the two travellers swallowed with great interest, the conmlents o t t h e aforementioned Rabbi Moshe Kivkes on the 'Ii-actate Zevochim and Tractate Menachot. These writings positively opened their eyes! h, They heard ~ ~ l u ctoo, about the Shuch: and two stories about him especially appealed to thelu. Otie WAS as follows: The SIznciz was so oblivious to everything that went on around hinl when he was engrossed in his studies that once, when he went up onto the roof so that he could study in solitude, people saw him waking about as if he were on the ground. When he canie to the edge of the roof, he just skipped over to the roof of the next house as if it were the most natural thing to "promenade" in this manner. The people below held their breath in horror, fearing some accident would befall him, but he continued his pacing to and fro uncon-cernedly, cornpletely inmlersed in his own thoughts! The other story was that when his son Moshe became seriously ill, the Shoclz ilaturally was very grieved. He prayed for his son's

I n V i l n a of Old
recovery but he only seemed to grow steadily worse. In fact he was just about nearing his end. When the Shach realized the gravity of his son's condition, he implored the Almighty to spare the life of his beloved son, and promised he would pay with his chiddushei Torah of that day. Immediately his son's health took a definite turn for the better!
"The Rick Pauper"

ZecharyaYerucham and NachumTuvya learned much during their stay in Vilna. They found veritable treasures of literature and rare manuscripts in the synagogues, which they had never seen before! They also met many famous scholars in this city, which was known throughout Jewry as "the Jerusalem of Lithuania." While they were inVilna, there died there the well-known Jewish philanthropist Shalom Shachna Sorke's, the brother of Refael Shlomo who was known inVilna as "the rich pauper."They were both sons of Avraham who was called "the beloved Avraham," and he was the son of Shimon Doktorovitch of Cracow, one of the founders of the famousvilna Synagogue, built in the year 5323 (1563). This Shimon Doktorovitch, together with his partner Yisrael, used to pay the government for the right to build houses and shops all over Poland and Lithuania, which they used to rent out. They did very good business indeed, but being both very fine Jews they always paid ten percent of their profits to charity. In their case, a most substantial sum, but they gave it gladly. Avraham was the only son of Shimon, and, as can be imagined, he had the best of everything. His father provided him with the best tutors obtainable, but somehow Avraham lacked the talents necessary to make a student. Avraham's virtue lay in his good-heartedness and generous nature. He seemed to sense everyone, be he in the most out-of-theway corner of some narrow slum-street oivilna, who was in need of help! Avraham lost no time in giving the necessary assistance with a generous hand. When he was only fifteen years of age, his father Shimon made

Lzibavitchcr R a b b i ' s :bf~mozrs
him his treasurer of the money he had put aside for charitable pur-poses, and entrusted to him the apportionment of this Inoney as t ~ e thought fit. At the age of eighteen,Avrahant nlarried the daughter of the gaorr RabbiYisrael, the son of the gaon Rabbi Shalom Shachtla of Lublin, the pupil of the well-known Rabbi Yaakov Pollak of Prague. ,4vraham's bride was narried Sarah, and she was as good-hearted and hospitable as her husband. She becanir kno\vn throughout the whole area for her generosity, charitableness, and hospitality. 'l'hey were, in truth, followers of their namesakes in the Torah, Avraharn and Sarah. When King Sigmund August made Vilila his town residence, he gave orders that the city wias to be beautified with builhngs worthy of his regal presence. It was then that the two partners, Shimon and Yisrael, carne to Vilna and, in addtion to their other places of business, established here a new ofice. They began to build houses and shops and rented them out.They also procured orders from the government to build houses and mansions for all the ministers and high goverrinlent ofticials who would now wish to settle invilna. The two partners showed their spirit of enterprise by bringing from abroad the best architects and builders to be had, and the result was most gratif$ing. They made a mint of money out of their ven-ture. It was at this time too, that they built the famous Vilna Synagogue. After a few years, the two partners decided to dissolve partnership, which they did according to the conditions prescribed by a heit din of three. Shi~non was over sixty years of age when he handed over his business to his son and two sons-in-law, and devoted himself entirely to Torah study and social service. Because of his most valuable connections with the highest government officials and even with the king himself, theVilna cornmunity invited him to become their "intercessor," their medator, between thenlselves and the governn~ent whenever necessary-.

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Shimon was very successful in his communal work.The Vaad Arba ilratzot (Council of the Four Lands) under whose auspices he was l elected, a body representing al matters of Jewish interest and concern, was delighted with its choice of a leader. He made the fullest use of his privileged position and was able to do many favors for his fellow Jews. When the seat of government was later moved to Cracow, he too followed, so that he should be able to continue with his communal work on behalf of his Jewish brethren. Avraham was now a busy and successful businessman, but this did not deter him from carrying on with his work of charity, which was as dear to him as life itself. People used to say of him that not only did he distribute charity in the form of money, but he at the same time distributed love, which often meant more to the poor and lowly than the financial help of which they were so badly in need. earned for himself the name,"the beloved 'Thus it was that Avrahan~ Avraham." And as lovable and kind as Avraham was, his wife Sarah was ten times more so! She put her whole life and soul into her charitable work among the poor and needy, and was to them a "mother" and " , s~ster." She used to spend hours every day in the poor slum houses of Vilna, tending the sick, encouraging the troubled ones, and doing everything for the poor women who lay in confinement. Avraham and Sarah had two sons, the elder named Shalom Shachna, and the younger Kefael Shlomo. When Shalom Shachna was fourteen years old, his mother took him with her when she went to the houses of the poor, for she felt he ought to see how the n~ajority the Jews lived, in poverty and suffering. She often bade of hi~n change his clothes with some poor child, saying,"You know my child, he is much niore learned in the Torah than you, and as our Sages say, 'Take care of the children of the poor, for Torah shall go forth from them!"' Sarah brought up her second son also in the same spirit of consideration for the poor and care of thern. Avraham and Sarah kept an open house for everybody in need,

and it was illdeed a refuge fix the poor as well as a center for the learned. They had a house specially built as a guest house for wayfirers, and inany people, scholars in particular, readily made their way towards it. Despite their great wealth, Avraham and Sarah always dressed simply and in no way did they ever give anyone the impression that they thought themselves superior in any respect. Becaure of his father's connections with the government officials and officers of high rank, Avrahani, too, ~riade their acquaintance dnd they came to hirn with their business affairs.Thus he was able to he the mediator between his fellow Jews and these nobles. This w a s a good thing for theJews, for they were then able to do business with them or rent from theln their inns, mills, or rivers and lakes for the purpose of fishing.They also rented from them plots of land for cultivating gardens and orchards. And through Avrahanl's mediation, hundreds, even thousands, of Jews left the large towns where they had to struggle to make a living, and went with their fanlilies to the country-towns and villages, where they found it niuch easier to make ends ineet. 'There arose, however, a new problem out of this emigration into the country: the problem of supplying these Jews with a sufficiently Jewish environment, as well as seeing that their children had an adequate Jewish education, and, in general, to avoid the danger of these Jews losing coiltact with their fellow Jews in the larger Jewish communities. This great and many-sided probleiri was taken up at a rrieetitlg of the Vaad Arba Aratzot in Cracow, and it was decided to appoint suitable supervisors who would undertake to look after these new villagers and be the connecting link between them and their "father cominunities" in the towns. Avraham's father Shimon gave a large sum of money for this purpose, considering it a very worthy cause, which it certainly was. Avraham took every opportunity of doing a good turn for a Jew, arid whenever a poretx approached hinl for a loan he made one of the conditions of granting the loan that the poretz in question prom-

I n b'ilna of' Old
ise to appoint a Jew as one of his overseers on his estate. In every case the appointment proved a great success, to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. The poretz found that his Jewish employee brought him in substantial profits, and was therefore more than ready to accept AvrahamS condition in the future. He, the poretz, also told his friends what good workers the Jews were, and what fine fellows, so that a double purpose was served: the Jews were provided with jobs, and the nobles acquired a good opinion of Jews. Gradually more and more Jews settled in the villages, and little by little, small communities were formed which grew and developed into larger communities when their spiritual as well as material welfare could better be taken care of. When Avraham's sons were still young children, he established a kind of "loan fund" to assist poor Jewish stallholders in the marketplace, who were in need of ready cash. He trained his sons to see the importance of this form of charity so that they should always continue on the philanthropic path he had trodden out for them.

THE GREAT PH1LANTHRc)PIST and intercessor Shimon died at the age of eighty-five. In his will he stated that one quarter of his wealth should go to charity, and, with the consent of his son Avraham, the money should be distributed by the Viad Arba Aratzot as they thought fit. The remaining three-quarters he left to his son and daughters. The son, who was the eldest child, was to receive two-thirds of this amount, but his wife very generously suggested to her husband that the third which he was to receive because he was the eldest child, should go to charity, particularly for the advancement ofTorah study. This would involve having houses of study built, S$ei Torah written, supplying the scholars with all the books they needed for their libraries, and in general helping yeshivot and Talmud Torahs with their requirements. When Avraham's two sons Shalom Shachna and Refael Shlomo grew up to manhood, he married them to wives who were ready

L,uhavitclzer K a h h i



and happy to follow in thc path of philanthropy of their liusbancis and parents-in-law. Their houses had ever open doors, offering ;I welco~~ie scholars, and a refuge to all who needed it. to Little by little the two sons took over the management of their father's business affairs, leaving hnn rrlore and rnore free time to devote to Torah and char~ty. Still, however busy they were kept by business matters, they never failed to devote some of their time to charitable causes. And their wives were always happy to join the111 in their good work, encouraged greatly by their mother-in-law's shining example of unselfish devotion to the needs of the poor. Thus it was that the \whole family. old 2nd young, gave the11.1selves up to the great work (>(charity. The two brothers dispensed charity in individual ways. cach according to his point of view. For instance, the elder brother Shalom Shachna could never allom7 himself' the luxury of staying at home, in conifort and ~varmthduring the cold winter nights, when he thought of the poverty arid discomfort of the poor Jews of the town. l i e would therefore wrap himself up well and, arming himself with a bag filled to capacity with cash, \would set off for the poor quarter ofVilna and rrlake his round. In one place he would rlotice that the wind was blowing through a chink in the wall of an old house. in another he would see that a new oven was wanted. Here he would observe that the roof was leaking, and there he ~vouldtind that the people were in need of' food and clothing. And so it would go ori. In every case he would givc the poor folk the money ior the things they needed, with a kind word of encouragement which would cheer them out of their misery. And if he found that he had not brought enough money to meet the requirements of his round, nt he would return honie and immediately send along the a n ~ o ~ i he had been short o t Now his brother Rebel Shlomo used to say that it was not enough that a person was charitable and gave money to the poor. He maintained it was necessary to sec that others also gave charity.And so, in addition to his ow11 very generous contributions, he would

I n V i l n a qf Old
arm himself with a box and go from door to door asking for money for the poor. He would knock at the doors and when the householders came out he would greet them, saying, "Forget that I am the rich Refael Shlomo! Imagine that I am a poor man who comes to you because he is in need of your contributions for the poor, and give as much as ever you can spare! And may the Almighty reward you for your generosity!" And so, because Refael Shlomo always used to say when going collecting with his box that he was "the poor Refael Shlomo," he earned the nickname "the rich pauper." Kefael Shlomo would explain at the same time that "he who induces another person to do a good deed is worthy of greater credit than the doer." He felt he was doing the best he could by working for charity as well as giving it. He used to tell his "customers" that the Almighty welcomed the pennies of the poor more than the golden coins of the rich. His mother Sarah had asked him to total up each day's collection and himself add an equal amount for charity. Later, his mother also added a similar amount &om her own pocket, so that the "box collection" total became considerably swelled. The proceeds of the "box collections" were put aside by Refael Shlomo for pidyon shevuyirn. For this was the period when the Catholic priests brought libels against the Jews, and it required vast sums of money to pay for the defense of these innocent victims against the false charges that were brought against them, and to obtain their release. Avraham and Sarah lived to a grand old age, and when they died, they lived on in the charitable deeds of their children and grandchildren who all carried on the family tradition of good deeds and philanthropy. When Vilna became the center of battle between the Russians and the Poles in the year 5415 (1655), the two brothers were already advanced in age. Their businesses were spread all over the country and were carried on by their sons and grandsons. As the Cossacks advanced nearer and nearer, the brothers

The). they found the city in ruins. had at the same time prevailed upon the Russian to engage a Jew to inanage his estate. to the safety of his estate. 0 1 7 the 22nd day of 'Tanzmuz." carried on with his work of charity until he felt he could do so no longer on account of his age and failing strength. The first of the brothers to die was Shalom Shachna. When the two brothers returned to Vilna in the middle ot'Elul. It was though their good deeds had protected then. also they advanced him a loan on easy terins and. This estate was formerly the property of a Polish nobleman.a day before the Cossacks enteredvilna. who came to pay their last respects to their great benefactor and philanthropist. and told them that the time had . Refael Shlomo. as was their custo~n.The latter had so pleasedwolkoff. The scholars and their faillilies were given priority. So he called a meeting of the heads of the c o n munity and the people ofnlearis.. and his funeral was attended by tens of thousands ofJews and non-Jews. that he had ever since been very grateful to the and two brothers Shalom Shachi~a Refael Shlomo.'13he two brothers were most reluctant to leave the clty while there still d remained someJew$ 1nVi1na. In all their rescue work. bringing him in substantial profits. They quickly set about rebuilding the desolate city.But the Raon Kabbl Moshe Rivke~ n d the goon Rabbi Shabbatai (:ohen told them ~t was thelr duty n) take advantage of this opportunity and take refuge where refuge was so readily offered them. "the rich pauper. They donated a large sum for this purpose. beginning with homes for the poor. the brothers had the help of the Russian landowner Wolkoff. who owned a large estate near Shvintzian. wagons and carriages arrived from Wolkoff to bring the two brothers and their fanlilies and what they could take along. tlle homes of the two brothers were untouched. the major part had been destroyed by fire which had raged for seventeen days! As if by a miracle.arranged for the Jews ofVilria to be provided with wagons so that they could pack their belongings and move with their families to a place of safety. and the trailsfer of ownership had been arranged by the two brothers.

He added the fifth which he had promised to contribute himself." He kept a full account of all the daily totals. He told them he would only sell the privilege of taking over the "box collection" to the highest bidder. and the young Genius of Nemerov. to go to chariry. and at the end of each week the other six people who had committed themselves to making up the amount of the collection total. were astonished to learn of the philanthropy of this Refael Shlomo. bound themselves to contribute the remaining four-fifths. who were present at the moment. Rabbi Zecharya Yerucham. that he was only prepared to contribute out of his own pocket a fifth of the daily total of his collections. and of all his f d y ! . The two visitors.I n V i l n a qf Old come when he must give up his task of going collecting money for the poor and needy. The death of "the rich pauper" was mourned throughoutvilna. Refael Shlomo refused to accept this condition until six other people. The buyer was the wealthy Yerachmiel Cohen who stipulated. of course. Yerachmiel Cohen carried on with the collections for thirteen years. with the collection box in his hand bearing the words "the rich pauper. going through the streets ofVilna and knocking at the doors from house to house. the mystic Rabbi Nachum Tuvya. came along and contributed the sun1 in question. the proceeds. however. which he wrote into a ledger.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN p - Nachum Tuvya's L~fe Zecharya Yerucham's Family A Plague of Divorces Jewish LiJe in Dobromysl Influx of Torah Scholars The Undemonstrative Father .

. Student daughter I I Rabbi Moshe 1 / / I- the Dayan _ - ... 1* Rav of Dobromvsl / 1 Nachum Tuvya I I ! : : 1 Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel.... daughter..... 2nd wife 1 *- I 1 Rabbi Zevulun Mordechai.. / I 1 Zundel Yosef / . 4Ih Rav of Dobromysl i i i KEY: =Married ! I Zecharya Yerucham I1 1 daughter / Rabbi Tuvya Asher of Babinovitch 1 ' -Child Colleague .. ./ Rabbi Malchiel Tzvi.

He used to knock at the door of a Jewish house. He discovered that he originated from Polotzk and that he wished to go there fromvilna. he would knock at some Jewish house. ask for a challah which he took to the Beit Hamidrash. too. For Shabbat he made the distinction that instead of brown or black bread. and charoset. Zecharya Yerucham learned that . He ate nothing more than bread. Zecharya Yerucham meant to accompany him on the trip. Similarly. the mystic Nachum Tuvya. which he used to take with him to the Beit Hamidrash. He fasted frequently during weekdays. maror. Nachum Tuvya lived an exceedingly simple life. he ate challah. ask for a piece of bread.FIFTEEN Narhum Tuvya's Life W H E N THE TWO WANDERERS were in Vilna. and drank nothing more than water. O n Fridays. and eat after Maariv. and drank the four cups of wine for the Sedarim. on Yom Tov. followed by a drink ofwater. and of course on Pesach he ate matzah. and after the davening he would make Kiddush over it. When they reached Polotzk. and thus he began his fast. Lecharya Yerucham learned something more about his companion.

When Gavriel was seventeen years old. and that he had been in Polotzk rour years previously. but just potatoes. that Ire was finally admitted as a rnember of this Kabbalah group. all for the betternlent of their characters. Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel was a great scholar.They all took upon themselves to live the simplest way possible. his son. but they told him that they had lllade a point of accepting only 1n. H e was a very G-d-fearing man and lived a very simple life ofTorah study and prayer. his Father arranged a match between him and the daughter of the Rav of Dobromysl. the In the year 5423 (1663) ZecharyaYeruchanl becai~ie father of a son whom he named Gavriel. fasting practically every day except on Shabbat. aged thirty. one called "Rabbi Feiveh the Dancer" (because whenever Ein Kelokenu was being sung. So it was not before ZecharyaYerucharn had married the daughter of a fine and respected Jew in I'olotzk. he used to dance with joy and ecstasy). but was admired above all else for his huinility and fineness of character. and the other was "ChonahTuvya the Kisser" (on account of the fact that he took every opportunity of kissing every pair of tejllin and the .?'here he gathered together a sillall group of sclroiars who used to spend their time studyirlg Kabbalatl. H e &d not even eat bread. undergo hardships and live in solitude. stepped into his position as spiritual leader of the community. Rabbi Malchiel Tzvi.Nachum Tuvya had no 61mily. RabbiTanchunl Shmuel was born in L)obron~yslin the year 5360 (1600). And three years later he married off his second son.Two years later his wife gave birth to a second son whom they calledYechezkel. Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel.irrietf lrlctr into their exclusive circle. the gaon Rabbi Tinchurn Shmuel. There were two other remarkable types in Dobromysl in the same period. ZecharyaYerucharn felt a great desire to join this group.His father. was the spiritual head of the congregation. and when he died.

Gavriel's first child was a daughter and his second child. When the boy became Bar Mitzvah. his grandson. especially in family life. A P l a g u e of' Divorces Dobromysl had a name at that time for being a peaceful town. he always endeavored to find a conciliatory solution. Gavriel was a great lover of peace. but they had no children. The population there steadily increased. the Bar Mitzvah. most of the matters which he would have attended to were brought to him. Tanchum Shmuel lived with his wife for thirty years. Left a widower. the old man related that Elijah the Prophet had revealed himself to Tanchum Shmuel. he married again and lived for twenty years with his second wife. and after three years. Both were disciples of the tzaddik Rabbi ChaimYitzchak. and for his wisdom. there were much fewer divorces and many more marriages in Dobromysl. but . His father had taken him to the grand old man for his blessing. a son. This Rabbi ChaimYitzchak was already ninety years of age at the time of the Bar Mitzvah of Tanchum Shmuel. Gavriel was a great favorite with everyone from the very beginning. he married again for the third time. but still they had no children. The latter ultimately became the son-in-law of the scribe Yirmiya. When she died. He remained in Dobromysl for a short time before returning home. Zecharya Yerucham came to Dobromysl and participated in the celebration. and so whenever any family disputes were brought to him.Ocrtstanding Characters i n O l d Dombromysl tzitzit of all the talletim which he saw in the Beit Hamidrash). for his cheerful disposition. Before he died. He was given great honor as befitted such a brilliant scholar. He said that the lad had a lofty soul. the Rav of Dobromysl. Soon after. since his coming. It was truly due to his successful handling of these delicate family and marriage problems that. died to the great grief of his family. was getting old and weak. As his father-in-law. this wife gave birth to a girl who eventually became Gavriel's wife. People loved him for his learning.

"When a man divorces his wife. it was different. the nlisguided couples seemed to take no heed. they were not allowed to remarry. warning against divorces. with tears in his eyes. that he often called for fasts and special prayer. believing that this disruption of family life was a kind of curse. These divorces were a positive ruination to the moral and spiritual life of the Jewish oonmlunity! When an ordinary Jew becanie divorced. Here there had beer1 trouble indeed. so that people should married couples. si11iiIarly. Many wives suspected their husbands of infidelity. Not surprisingly. Then came Gavriel. he would lovingly and patiently talk to them. and. When either husband or wife would come to him with their tales of woe and complaints about each other. there was still a possibility that the couple would repent. of course. He also called a large ~~uriiber worshippers to acconlpanv him of to the cemetery for special prayers. and the number oidivorces &d not lessen.unfortunately not in the case of farrlily life. Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel would take the situation so seriously. ask each other's forgiveness. all this resulted in a high number of divorces. and remarry. and try to realize the gravity of this unrest arllol~g improve. ask thern to take heed ofthe sayings of our Sages. saying which He especially called their attention to the Tal~nudic stated that. Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel was greatly distressed about this unhappy state of aEairs. carried to them by trouble-making neighbors. and things began to take on a . He would weep with them in sympathy for their sorrows arid misunderstandings and. and the divorces continued as before. but the hearts of the "sirmers" remained unmoved. try to show then1 where they were wrong and where they had failed each other. his son-in-law. the altar itself sheds tears about it. the husbands listened to tales about their wives." Yet despite all that Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel said or did. But in the case of a Kohen.'Their proverbial hasty nature often proved their undoing.

for he knew how often one affected the other. one would side with the husband. He very carefully and synlpathetically took notes of all the facts. and he strove to improve the relations.Outstanding Characters itz O l d Dombromysl different aspect. He warned them against jumping to wrong conclusions when people. Rabbi Gavriel was able to tell the couple that in the course of his several weeks' investigation. Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel saw how Rabbi Gavriel seemed to have a different approach to the problems brought to him. He was determined to root out troublemaking gossip and slander from L)obromysl. that the parties in dispute found it impossible to conceive of a friendly solution! In the majority of cases. sympathy. came to them with their mischievous stories. when outsiders got to know what was afoot. Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel saw the extent of his son-in-law's success in dealing with the manifold problems brought along. there was a much greater chance of a reconciliation. not only between man and wife. Otherwise. and the trouble became so magnified. j e u ~ i s h Life i n D o b r o m y s l In the main. he told them. the Jews of Dobromysl were merchants and laborers. Surely. and had a great understanding. who had nothing better to do. but also between a man and his neighbor. he felt. and he was indeed happy to be able to pass then1 into the capable hands of Rabbi Gavriel to deal with. he had ascertained that their worries were unfounded. and another with the wife. and love for his fellow beings. He had a talent for gaming the confidence of those who came with their troubles. Rabbi Gavriel always made a special point of keeping each case as private as possible. for thus. sometimes taking several days before he felt he had a complete picture of the case and the reasons for the trouble. . being based on false information they had accepted as being the truth. your "better half" is a better friend to you than these trouble-mongers! Rabbi Gavriel was patient and gentle by nature. for he knew how such poison could ruin a whole coinmunity.

is it not written: "The study of the Torah is better when accompanied by practical application. for. and to then1 in particular. as weU as a cow o r goat. do some manual labor. who soon made their influence felt in the spiritual uplift of the community. they mostly had their own poultry. Kabbi Gavriel felt there was a need of "new blood" in the conmuility which. orchard." Rabbi Gavriel also established a yeshivah in Ilobromysl. So that in the . he talked to hinl and tried to prevail upon him to procure a son-in-law from the neighboring towr~sof Liozna or Rabinovitch. it did not last for very long. or allotnlent of land. He also urged them to look for yeshivah studeilts as husbands for their daughters. In this way he felt that they would better understand the people whom they were trying to influence morally and spiritually. would elimi~late much of the faniily qtiarreling. he tried to persuade these scholars that they should. in addition to their studying. and would better please the Almighty too. Many took the ravk advice. and thus it came about that Dobromnysl was privileged to acquire a nunlber of young men.Everyone had a large gardeli. First. Rabbi Gavriel saw a two-fold task before him. all showed a desire to choose yeshivah stitdents to be their sons-iri-law. gardening. as for instance. lever the less. whenever he saw that a Jew was looking for a llusbarid for his daughter. Despite the failure of the yeshivah to co~ltinueits existence for long. the Jews of Dobron~ysl. where the tenant could grow fruits and vegetables. In addition. And secondly. And so. but unfortunately. explaining that they would be an asset to the cominunity at large. well-learned in the Torah. he sought to get the baalei batirn of the town to attend the slzitcrim which he had arranged for the newly-wed scholars to give. he felt. more than eno~rghtor the needs of his household.

People flocked to listen to his sermons. the town presented an entirely new appearance in the spiritual field. and then he passed on this mitzvah to his grandson Chain1 Yitzchak. whose father-in-law was a remarkable personality. His grandfather used to spend all his days in the study of the Torah. about two to three miles' distance from Dobromysl. where his . a great scholar and tzaddik. Chaim Yitzchak's son-in-law Yosef came from Minsk. there was one namedyosef. who was known either as "ChaimYitzchak the Jester" or "ChaimYitzchak the Nobleman's. who was also very musical. The reason for his second nickname was due to the fact that he was a constant visitor at the castle of the Poretz ofTevke. He was a wonderful musician with a most beautiful voice. He felt it was a great mitzvah. He never charged anything for his entertainment. but he also took upon himself all sorts of hardships. such as fasting and spending his time in solitude. he would invariably tie a big handkerchief over his eyes while he sang and danced. His name was Chaim Yitzchak." He earned the first nickname on account of the fact that he took it upon himself to attend all Jewish weddings and amuse the bride and bridegroom and mechutanim. as well as about other matters of daily interest and importance. The only exception he made was to take time off to attend weddngs and entertain the bride and groom. He continued entertaining at weddings until he was well advanced in years. Among the new scholarly young men who had arrived in Dobromysl. people simply could not tear themselves away! He used to accompany his prayers with the sweetest tunes imaginable. one which he had taken over from his grandfather.O t 4 t s t a n d i n g C h a r a c t e r s i n Old D o m b r o m y s l course of about twelve years. When he emerged to attend a Jewish wedding. This nobleman always sought his advice and made no important move without him. and begrudged any time for anything else.And it was all due to the deep and far-reaching influence of Rabbi Gavriel. whether they were rich or poor. which very often dealt with the beauty of peace and purity in family life. so that he would not have to look upon the women present.When he used to sing.

even from the nobles who had heard ofYosef'5 exceptional . that Jews fro111 all over tried to procure his ovens. particularly for the manufacture of wiatrot for I'esach. Yosef built the oven for the L>obromysl community. andYosef inherited all his fatheri talents. 111 fact. Rabbi Yechezkel. Rabbi Gavriel's brother. to his beloved studies. The child . His ovens were smoother and better than anyone else's. he iilade such 'I nanle for hiuiself. and people said that he was no less learned than his famous father Rabbi ZecharyaYerucham. tearing himself away as quickly as he could. but not just ordinary ovens. calling a meeting of the heads of the community. They also retained heat for a much longer time. Rabbi Gavriel was not slow t o take advantage of having such an expert in their midst and.father used to manuficture ovens.hll. But the demand Gr exceeded the supply. became the father of a boy. large enough to bake wratzot for the whole Jewish population of the city. never find a crack between the bricks. who lived in Polotzk. who \was fast becorning famous for his sermons and lectures. he chose a few suitable y o ~ n g men. hoplng he \vouid h~mself remain free to devote hi5 time to study. He was also recognized as a brilliant scholar. He was a great admirer of their rav. two years atter his marriage. He prided hirnself 011 the that one could superior quality of his ovens which were so sn~ooth. both as a scholar and an oven-maker. saying he had to devote his tlme rather to Torah study.. When he saw how great the demand was and that ~omething ought to be done about it. he urged them to see that an oven was procured fronlYosef. but refused to take payment for it Orders poured in from every source. Yosef's father was a great scholar and a (2-d-fearing Jew as well as a capable worker. arid he was rel~ictantlycompelled to continue with his oven-making. Rabbi Gavriel. with whom he was often in cornrnunication in connection with Torah matters. but he refused the orders. Congregations from near and far clanlored for him to come and address them. and taught them the work of oven manufacturing.

When he was only five years of age his father died. the Rav of Dobromysl. Rabbi ZecharyaYerucham was now famous. he did not respond. When Zevulun Mordechai arrived there. but studied with zeal and ardor. and despite every effort of R. but also Mussar for the improvement of his character. like his father had been before him. Rabbi ZecharyaYerucham then sent Zevulun Mordechai to his other son. not only as a great Torah scholar. and Rabbi Gavriel succeeded him as . The orphan boy Zevulun Mordechai refused to think about his weak physique. living in Minsk. and fled to a corner of the Beit Hamidrash. inviting him to accept the post of Rosh Yeshivah in his place. and his enthusiasm was such that he studied not only the Torah. He avoided everybody. Rabbi Tanchum Shmuel. In the year 5457 (1697) the gaon Rabbi Moshe (the son of Rabbi Mordechai of Posen). His name was Zevulun Mordechai. the better to concentrate on his studies. where he studied Torah night and day. For he had spent sixteen years studying Kabbalah under the mystic Rabbi Nachum Tuvya. Gradually he made the Beit Hamidrash more his home than his uncle's house. he continued in his unusual and isolated path. and another ten years under his successor. He chose to isolate himself from people. he seemed to shrink into himself even more than before. but had a very alert brain.O u t s t a n d i n g Clzararters itz Old Dombromysl was physically weak. He was very serious by nature. and srnce becoming an orphan he was more serious and sadder than ever. No matter how much his uncle Rabbi Gavriel tried to cheer hinl up and encourage him. including his uncle's family. died at the age of ninety-seven. his grandfather also taught him. Besides his teachers. It was his very life. but also as a Kabbalah scholar. At twelve years of age he was already quite a scholar. sent a special messenger to Rabbi ZecharyaYerucham.abbi Gavriel to make him change his mode of living. Rabbi Zundel Yosef. Rabbi Gavriel in Dobronlysl. so he went to live with his grandfather Rabbi Zecharya Yerucham. About this time. with a clear idea of the way he should live.

at the still tender age of nineteen. after being Rwh Yeshivah in Minsk for five years. he was quite a student. too.. He was a good-looking lad and as clever as he was beautiful. His wife had borne him no children. Rabbi Zecharya Yerucham. he was full of mischief and cheerfulness. but could not forget how neglectful of him the boy's father was. When the boy reached the age of Bar Mitzvah. who was strong ~ n d healthy. This he did. as a son-in-law. now urged hi111 to take his nephew. His father-in-law and uncle Rabbi Gavriel gave hinl his second daughter to be his wife. Even the birth of his son did not influence Zevulun Mordechai to change his life of solitude or his attitude of sorrow and sadness. though the lad was but fourteen years old at the time. which hc liad in fact been in p i c . for. Zevul~inMordechai. and his education to his father-in-law. He left the upbringing of his child to his wik. teachlng hlnl as well as examnlng hlnl In what he had learned from 111s other teacher.The boy's grandfather was very proud of him. became a widower. was different.spiritual head of the cornnlunity. I-Iis own father. . whereas his father Zevulun Mordechai was morose. Rabbi Gavriel just adored the young boy. His grandfather. His nature. tice since his father-in-law had beconle old and weak. While his father showed no apparent interest in his son. and thn grleved tnrn very niuch . the orphan Zevulun Mordechai. and after his marriage. nieanwhile had died. and she in due course presented him with a son. then later. in contrast to his father. Rabbi ZecharyaYerucham. he continued to live his original and isolated The Ilndewrr~rt\tratit~~~ I-athvr Only five years after his marriage. . But even this did not influence Zev~tlun Mordechai to alter his ways. so the baby was called after him.. Rabbi Gavriel devoted much time to playing with the child.

He put his arms around his son and asked him to believe that a secret sorrow which he had carried in his heart since childhood. he felt he could stand it no longer. They also . and he broke down with him. and one day when he was fourteen years old. When ZecharyaYerucham became nineteen years old. who felt the blow so keenly that he became an aged man all at once. for her father Zecharya Yerucham fell ill and died. walking bent-over. although he was sixty-eight years of age. Rabbi Gavriel and Zevulun Mordechai felt his absence so keenly that they persuaded him to return home with his wife. Unfortunately. had driven him into solitude and away from people. and from that time. His death had the greatest effect upon his grandfather Rabbi Gavriel. And whereas up to that time. the atmosphere in the family circle was very much happier in consequence. He no longer felt equal to meeting people. in less than three years' time. He even began to talk to his father-in-law. and burdening them with the sorrow which was wearing him down. Father and son embraced each other warmly and kissed each other. and both he and Rabbi Gavriel said Kaddish for their dear departed ZecharyaYerucham. He suddenly burst into the privacy of his father's study crying out between his sobs. was overwhelmed by his son's obvious distress. and his wall of reserve did not mean that he had no feelings. he married the daughter of the gaon RabbiTuvya Asher of Babinovitch and lived there for about a year. Zevulun Mordechai came out of his shell and became more friendly to his son. she became an orphan. But he assured his son that he loved him truly. no one would have guessed him to be more than fifty.O u t s t a n d i n g Characters i n O l d Dombromysl ZecharyaYerucham also felt very badly about his father's unnatural attitude towards him. Soon after their arrival they had a baby daughter. now he looked indeed like an old man. despite the fact that he had never before demonstrated it. even from his own family. spending time with hini now and again. "Father! Why must you be so strange! Why can't you behave towards me like any other father to his son?" Zevulun Mordechai who was really very tender-hearted. Zevulun Mordechai not surprisingly resumed his life of solitude.

but he requested Rabbi Moshe to stay o n as daynn. and whet] his will was read it was learned that he wished his son-in-law to becorne his successor. and all the synagogues were full to capacity with worshippers. Zevulun Mordechai and Rabbi Tuvya Asher said Kaddish. occasionally enlerge to give sermons o r discourses on the Talmud. the little girl had fainted. . however. The whole night through. 13abinovitch. Everybody wept bitterly.took turns to act as clzazzatz m the Beit Hamidrash and to pray For 111s soul. orphan daughter also saying Kaddklz. Suddenly a stir went up. H e did. and he k l t himself unequal to the task of continuing in his role as spiritual leader ofthe con~nlunity. cornmenlorating the events that led L L to the destruction oCthc R ~ i t ~ Fh~ikdasli. as well as a nunlber of his congregants. Kabbi Gavriel died. So it was arranged that the d a ) m should look after the needs of the community. and nest nlorning they all marched in procession to the cemetery where they said special prayers at the graveside of Zecharya Yeruchan~. The whole Jewish community of 1)obronlysl shared in their sorrow and mourning. they were very moved. traditionally designated as days ofrr~ournirig. And when the cotlgregants saw his little ing for ZecharyaYerucha~n. the worshippers dar~enedand learned. Rabbi Tuvya Asher of The father-in-law of' ZecharyaYeruchan~. all came to participate in the yahrzeit. and so he appointed his pupil Rabbi Moshe to fill the post in his place. and in this particular case. * T h e first nine days of the Hebrew month of Av. then a ~natzetwwas set up in his Inel-nory and Rabbi Gavriel was no longer the same man. Rabbi Gavriel acted as cllazzan. The first ynhrzrit in particular was a meinorable one. leaving Zevulun Mordechai to continue with his study of Torah in solitude. e therefore asked his son-in-law Zevulun Mordechai H to take over his position. It happened to be in the Nine Days" which in any case was 3 period of communal mourning for the Jews. for the sorrows of the Jews throughout history. but the latter refused. After three years. in mourn-. This time Rabbi Zevdun Mordechai had n o choice but to accept.

and working on the land U in general. but earned his living by gardening. one who was later to play an important part in the life of the community. When she grew up. You may recall that Yosef refused to take money for his ovenmaking. a gifted young man who came from Liozna. He had earned for himself a name in his hometown too. This was one named Chaim Shimon.A his leisure time he devoted to Torah study. and because of his activities there. and was making a name fbr himself in the yeshivah in Minsk. a new and interesting personality made his appearance in Dobromysl. whom Yosef the Oven-maker chose to be the husband of his orphaned granddaughter.All his children were married. Yosef made a special journey to Minsk to look for a suitable husband for her. leaving an orphaned daughter whomYosef took and brought up. they called h11n thvat (hero). There he met the aforementioned Chaim Shimon. . but unfortunately his youngest son died.Outstanding C h a r d c t e r s in O l d Dombromysl About this time.

CHAPTER S I X T E E N Chaim Shimon The Smart B0.y W h o Averted a Blood Libel I3 the Minsk Yeshivah "Neshamah Candles" Miraculous End to Another Blood Libel Another Yeshivah Friend .


From early youth. He was an exceptionally mild man and never raised his voice against a pupil. Chaim Shimon was energetic and enterprising. If ever he heard one of them raise his voice in anger or temper. let alone his hand. All his pupils loved their teacher.SIXTEEN Chaim Shimot~ SHIMON CAME OF A distinguished family. Everyone knew that he only accepted such pupils as already knew at least one of the Bavot perfectly. His father was a scholar of note and one of the leaders of the community. The very fact that he was a pupil of Rabbi Gedalya Zalman told its own story. with a real interest in his fellow beings which he never lost in the midst of his studies." He used to teach his pupils to be as gentle as he. It was punishment enough if he turned his head away from the "culprit. both in word and deed. he used to say it was "the animal" in hirn. His mother devoted herself to charitable causes and was very good-hearted and generous. For this Rabbi Gedalya Zalman was no ordinary teacher. admiring his wonderful characC m I M .

and called a meeting of the heads of the Jewish coninlunity. a greater fiend if possible than the anti-Semitic Nikolaiev hl~nself.. one saying that the only way to save themselves was by bribing Nikolaiev. cussions. and hid himself behind the oven. whose head was full of all sorts of plans as to how he could help the Jews in their plight. he at the sarne tirnz knew his own n~irid and had 111s own characteristics. decided he 111ust find a way of being present at the meeting. H e knew of course that they would never allow him.iozna were being persecuted by the Jew-hating 1 7 o r r i i Nikolaiev. a small Christian boy. The atmosphere of the meeting was very grave. So he sneaked into the meeting hall just before the niceting was due to begin. to discuss ways and nieans of ref~~ting horrible and baseless libel this agaiust them. Young Chaim Shimon. Particularly when he heard that this porpt.ter as well as his rstensive knowledge ~ r l d gift for teaching. The Jews of Liozna were terribly distressed at the turn of events. He always showed a lively interest in the welfare of the people around him. was spreading Edse libels against the Jews. by charging them with having kidnapped the missing boy in order to kill him and use his blood for their Passover. Chairn Shimon rnade it his concern to find out all that was happen-ing. a young lad. Some said perhaps they ought to try to convirice their . helped by a certain Kuzitzki. Each one put forward his suggestion. 7 ' l r e S r n a r t Boy M/'llr: A t ~ c r t c t i 61 Blood L ~ b c l In the middle of the ~norithof Shevrlr in the year 5407 (1737) there disappeared from a small village near Liozna. It was natural therefore that when the Jews of 1. The Jew-hater Nikolaiev together with his friend Kuzitzki jumped at this opportunity of rilaking trouble for the Jews. Another recorrlnzended bribing the state authorities. to stay and listen to their dis-. his While Chain] Shimon combined a11 the virtues of' knowledge and good traits that his teacher Rabbi Gedalya Zalti~an had instilled into him. a grandson of Geiieral Sherenletiev who <-apturedvitebskfor the Russians.

Blood Libels in L i o z n a civic head of their innocence. than their own pleas of innocence. cramped in his hiding place for the several hours that the meeting continued. Chaim Shimon also learned that in addition to the local governor. and had asked him to help him get into the city hall that evening. Chaim Shimon. They could arrive at no solution which they felt to be strong enough to save them.They fixed a day for all the Jews of the town to fast and pray to G-d. and the other two were neither one thing nor the other. so he would spend the night at his friend's house and they were not to worry. another the reverse. They accepted his words in good faith. so the clerk jokingly asked him. "Perhaps you want to be . Chaim Shimon had rnet his new "friend" the clerk. had pushed some money into his hand. He warned them that the storm might prevent his coming back. First of all he made the acquaintance of a clerk at the local office of the city administration. decided he must do something independently. Knowing that all the Jews would be staying at home on Friday evening. little dreaming what was going on in the fertile mind of their offspring. But he did not tell the clerk the reason why he wanted to be admitted. Chai~n and told his parents that he must go to his friend's house as he had sonlething of importance to discuss with him. as he wanted to be there when Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki would make their charges to the governor. they chose this time so that they should not be seen by them and try to forestall them. Shimon suddenly got up After the Shabbat meal was over. During that day. a terrible snowstorm raged. so that he would know what was due to take place there. One was supposed to be amicably inclined towards the Jews. He learned that Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki were planning to visit the local governor on the following Friday evening. O n that particular Friday evening. but they were afraid that he would more readily believe Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki and the false "proofs" they would bring. obviously to present their charges against the Jews. there were to be four others present when Nikolaiev and his friend came.

arid there. so the attendant sinlply took him I. with the exception. T h e attendant said it must be the boy whom he had just evicted for being a nuisance. Chaim Shinlon. So. Chain1 Shimon set forth with firm steps and a determined look in his eyes.y the collar of his coat and threw him out! Chain1 Shirnor~ was made ofsterner stuffthan to be thus discour-. sitting at a table. was nowhere to be seen and the attendant at the door turned a deaf ear to all his entreaties and just refused to let him in. too. ~fyou do!'' Despite the heavy storm. he tnade his way towards them and looked in. Chairn Shinlon felt he nlust act quickly so as to prevent then1 working their mischief before it was too late. made a very favorable impression upon the people assembled there. wondering what ail the noise was about.They all looked at each other. His friend the clerk. and sure enough there was the governor with several other officials. were Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki. aged. of Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki. he began banging on the window with his fists and calling. out in a loud and pitiful voice that he was freezing and would they have pity on him and let him in! He made such a noise that they heard him even through the dou-ble windows. with his graceful appearance and beautiful eyes expressing honesty. C:haim Shimon obstinately continued with his pleading. of course.just when they were about to bring their charge with the "evidence" to support their blood libel against the Jews! . steadfastness. he received a setback. But the governor insisted nevertheless that he bring him in. But when he arrived at the City Office. and determination. as he had wished. and so Chain1 Shimon was brought into the presence of the governor of Liozna and his associates. These txyo were furious that this bit of a lad should have chosen to make his untimely appearance. Seeing light shining out of two large windows at the side of the building. They obviously belonged to the room where the meeting was to be held. climbing onto the window ledge.Lubnvitchpr R a b b r ' s ikiemoirr converted? The priest will be there.'rhe governor called the attendant and asked hi111ttr adniit the person who was calling from outside the windows. The attendant had no option but to obey.

and not belittle thern. All eyes were focused on Chainl Shimon as he spoke up in a clear voice without any trace of fear.B l o o d L i b e l s in L i o z n u "Just like his Jewish inlpudence. "Tell me. Chain] Shimon kept silent but threw him a look of scorn and disgust which made the anti-Semitic Nikolaiev blink." u Everyone looked at Chainl Shimon in astonishment. and looking around said. thought Chaim Shimon. the governor turned to Chaim Shimon and asked him in a gentle and friendly tone. Chainl Shinloll replied. then turn away. who are anxious for the truth." and it infuriated him to think of such a bit of a lad getting the better of him." Nikolaiev was absolutely incensed. "After all we must give the Jews their due. so he replied: "The Jews are always ready and willing to accept the truth from whichever source it comes. as if thereby they would find some inspiration and know how to deal with the unexpected turn the matter had taken. what has brought you here?" Greatly encouraged. for he realized that Chaim Shimon had come to "put a spoke in his wheel. what I heard this person (pointing at Kuzitzki with his finger) saying to that one (pointing at Nikolaiev) this morning." burst out Nikolaiev." he bawled at him. turned to Chainl Shimon. "You cursed Jew. . If they had a mind to. for they love the truth. and particularly now that they libelled the Jews with having kidnapped the missing Christian boy. But they also expect others to accept and recognize the truth and make the same sacrifices for it as they are prepared to do.What would he say next? They listened in growing wonder as he told them how he had taken it upon himself to shadow the Jew-hating porelz Nikolaiev and his friend Kuzitzki since they began spreading false stories about the Jews. "I have come here to tell you. But ignoring Nikolaiev. my boy. But nobody took any notice of them. Nikolaiev and his friend looked a t each other.They are exceedingly quick-witted and clever. I shall also tell p ~ what he replied. they could easily come over to our faith and make very good Catholics!" Here was the time for him to say something. The priest who was present. thinking here was a golden opportunity to catch a convert to his Catholic faith.

it there was any truth in what he had .:'"llon't worry.. "Tell us everything you heard these two men say to each other. I feel confident that my story will ring true.'"When we go before the civic heads this evening." the governor said to him encouragingly. who stood there. the governor and his associates." And Chain1 Shimon only too readily conlplied.. "Tell me. in their endeavors to appease me!"' As Chaim Shimon told his stor). lessly and unobtrusively behind the porclz Nikolaiev and his companion Kuzitzki. and that I can p ~ the t ~ case so that none will even drearn that I have made it 211 up out of nly own clever brain! "'Incidentally. 111y friend. "why did you not immediately come to me and report what you had heard?" ''I was hoping that they might after all not carry out their threat" replied Chaim Shimon in a clear voice. "but when 1 came here tonight and saw they were here. and began veherllently to deny th. friend Kuzitzki. see that you speak clearly and convincingly so that they will be impressed with the truth of your words!' "To which Nikolaiev replied gleefull?. The first one to break the silence which followed Chain1 Shimon's narrative was the governor. felt somewhat confused. What should be their next step? The only one who seemed undisturbed was Chaim Shinlon. but Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki could not hide their astonishment at the way the Jewish lad had learned of their plot. repeating ~vc~rd for word and in detail. what the two conspirators had been planning against the innocent and defenseless Jews. erect and confident. For I arri sure the Jews will come scurrying along with their bribes. I stand to make a pretty penny out of this affair. The others. I realized that I had no alter~iative but to reveal them to you for the troublemakers that they are!" The two troublemakers suddenly awoke to the fact that they had better say or do something to falsify what the boy had just said."Don't keep anything back. "as I walked noise-." co~ltinuedChair11 Shimon. "This morning." he said to him. I heard the latter say to Nikolaiev. everyone listened with eager attention.

however. he eluded them by jumping onto a bench. as I didn't want them to be worried about me. however. Chaim Shimon stood by unaffected and unmoved. putting one arm around his neck in a stranglehold. Chain1 Shimon. which sent blood streaming from his nose. the two schemers outrivalled each other in hurling curses and abuse at the Jews in general and at Chaim Shimon in particular. would seek the truth and find it!" Chaim Shinlon spoke so simply and sincerely.They took him off his guard and began striking at him with their fists. Kuzitzki came in to attack. and. the responsible heads of the community and i. were so infuriated that even here they did not hesitate to attack the 1ad. Suddenly the poretz and his friend burst in on Chaim Shimon and with nlurderous looks in their eyes pounced upon him. he struck his head on a bench. nobody at all knows about my coming here. pounded with his other fist into Kuzitzki's face. feeling that the truth must surely emerge. and that you. . with this fantastic story so that the civic heads would be prejudiced against them. and as they sprang towards him.ts welfare. but Chaim Shimon jumped onto his shoulder from the bench where he had sprung. that his listeners could not but be impressed by his words. and so from bench to bench until he reached the door and the safety of the next room. where the three remaining members of the council were sitting.Blood Libels i n L i a z n a said. He replied so calmly: "As it happens. He gave Nikolaiev such a blow that it sent him flying full-length to the floor. and as he fell. waiting for the return of the governor and the priest. The governor told Chaim Shimon to wait in the big waitingroom while he and the priest went into a private room to consider the matter. was no weakling and &d not take it passively. Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki. At the same time. They even suggested that the Jews of Liozna had probably put him up to coming to the governor. Not even my parents. ready to tear him to pieces! But Chaim Shimon was quicker than they. I decided on my own initiative to take up the matter.


as well as the Jewish boy. and tied him to the "whipping bench" ready to begin the whipping as soon as the order came. At a sign froni the governor. he shuddered. It was obvious that he was only telling half of the story. Kuzitzki just writhed and squirmed. and at the sixth. wrapped him in a large. Nikolaiev was brought in. and having done so. Having finished with Kutzitzki. tore his clothes from him. The clerk took down each word as he uttered it and then asked him to sign the confession. but he. But immediately came the order for him to be whipped. wet sheet. Kuzitzki could barely hold the pen in his trembling fingers as he wrote his signature. He was ready to talk. Kuzitzki made a feeble sign indicating that he was prepared to confess. he could bear it no longer and begged them to stop. Jan Reus lowered his hand. When he saw the horrible state that his friend was in. Jan Keus set to with a will! Kuzitzh yelled with pair1 at every lash." a clerk came forward with pen and paper and asked the trembling and terrified Kuzitzki if he had any confession to make. Before Jan Reus and his assistants were told to begin their '2ob. he told them that Chaim Shimon had told the truth. that all he had said was just as it had happened. but he thought he would protect himself by saying his friend had told lies.Blood L i b e l s in Lioxna roughly and unceremoniously. closed his eyes from sheer weariness and pain. declaring he had nothing to confess. He knew that Kutzitzki had made a complete confession. Then the "music" started. was telling the truth. and laid down the whip as the clerk again came forward with pen and paper. Haltingly and gaspingly. lying there on the bench. so the order was given to continue with the whipping. Nikolaiev. He tried to put on a brave face. and paled. groaning with pain from his blood-stained wounds. Jan Keus approached. and bound him to the . asking Kuzitzki what he had to say. the sheet was torn to shreds and stained with the blood which had spurted from his many weals and wounds! When the clerk who was doing the counting came to the fourteenth lash.

and there was nothing in his attitude which could possibly arouse comment. but because the Jews of Liozna would now be saved from the awful charge and danger of the false blood libel. he was free to go when and where he pleased. not merely because his own innocence was recognized. unknown to the Jews of the town. though he spoke in such a way as to imply that Kuzitzk~was rriore to blanle than he hiinself.I. weary and bleeding. and what a hero he had emerged! Chaitn Shinlon davened with his usual concentration. he asked pertnission to be allowed to spend the night in one of the rooms at the City Council offices. sore. Shimon had told the truth. it was hardly likely that they could undertake any attempt at escape. had not one of the heads of the Jewish comtnuni-ty happened to meet. The clerk brought his pen and paper namely that Chair11 and wrote down what Nikolaiev was ad~nitting. In view of the terrible storm still raging out of doors. and he retired with relief. indicating that he was prepared to make his confession. while the clerk stood by counting the lasfies. Next morning he returrled home in time to accorilpany his father to the synagogue as on every Shabbat morning. . on the following Sunday. Little did he drear11 what adventure the boy had had. his father did not even think of asking what had happened.whipping bench. THE MATTER MIGH. but that he and Kuzitzki had lied. though in their present condition. His request was granted. HAVE BEEN L. and at the eighteenth lash he yelled for Reus to stop. one of the nlen who had been at the City Office on Friday evening and who reported thc exciting story of how a young Jewish lad had "ousted" the two bullies and Jew-haters. where a strong guard was set to watch that they did not escape.EFT as it stood. Nikolaicv anti Kuzitzki. Both Jew-baiters were now dragged off arid thrown into Jail. taking it for granted that his son had spent the night at his friend's house. As they hurried along. as he was cleared of an): charge. Nikolaiev rent the air with his screams of pain. Chaim Shinlon was naturally told that.

self-confidence.Blood Libels iiz Liozna A couple of days later. was in this instance. their very lives. went up to the rav and told him it was he who had been . whoever he was. that they had made up the . Chaim Shimon gave no indication that he even knew who the boy was. asking them to present themselves at the Town Hall where they were informed what they had already learned from the man on Sunday. very anxious to find the person to whom they owed. when the rav announced in shul that the boy. The leaders of the community were. was mistakenly hiding his identity. The governor called a niass meeting of all non-Jews. But now that the governor was asking for him it was imperative that they find the boy without delay. for insulting him and his friend the priest. He patted the boy on the back and praised him for his great courage. as he wished to see him again. His continuing to keep his secret. and had the good fortune to be G-d's instrument in saving the Jews of Liozna. He begged this unknown person. seeing he had no alternative. perhaps. Everybody now heard about the false charge that had been framed by Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki and how the Jews of Liozna had been saved from a terrible fate by an unknown Jewish boy. ~ the office of the City t Council on Friday evening. He ordered that a further whipping of twenry-five lashes each be administered to the wicked Nikolaiev and his ill-starred friend Kuzitzki. The following day the heads of the community. They were asked to find out who the young hero was and to bring him to the governor. and made Nikolaiev and Kuzitzki declare publicly. therefore. Chaim Shimon. and heroism. even from motives of modesty. the leaders of the Jewish community received an official letter from the governor. The situation was becoming extremely tense. to make himself known without further hesitation. presented themselves to the governor as requested. and certainly gave no hint that it was he himself who was the hero they were so feverishly seelung. accompanied by Chaim Shimon. by attempting to involve them in their lying plot against the Jews. in any case. a crime against the Jewish community.

Avraham on the other hand. immediately after Pesach. H e was afraid to remain by himself at home even by day. the governor took the opportunity to warn everyone not to dare lay a hand on a Jew. Chaim Shimon. and made known his intention of going to Minsk. of two scholars there. It was the result of'the terrible fright that he and his family had suffered. Whereas we already know what a hero Chaim Shin1011 was. H e said Nikolaiev atid his friend would pay with their Lives if any harin came to the Jews of Liozna! H e asked all honest and decent Christians to ally thenlselves with the Jews it1 the event of a possible attack upon them by sorne unruly and irresponsible ctt~zens It is easy to imaglne the great joy that swept through the Jewc of L~ozna. was the exact opposite in his character. the Rav of Pososcn. At the same time. due to a false blood libel against the Jews of IJosen by the local Christians. and the other was Yisrael the son of' Rabbi Moshe of Lissa. and thdt in any cdbe it was not true that Jews requlrcd Clirlst~an blood to celebrate tllelr Passover. full of courage and deterrnination. It was in the year 5497 (1737) that he rrrade the acquainta~lce at the Minsk yeshivah.story that the Jews had kidnapped the misslrig non-Jewlsh c h ~ l d with Intent to murder him and u\e hls blood for t h e ~ r Passover. to attend the yeshivah there. H e was positively afi-aid of his own shadow! But there was reason enough for his nervous nature. .They had to declare that the Jews were Innocent. however. who was the same age as Chain1 Shimon. was timid and nervous. O n e was Avraham the son of Rabbi Shmuel. was unaffected by all the hero-worship. Avraham. and it was out of the question for hinl to go out alone at night. who were particularly brilliant. in the year 5396 (1736). and how they acclalined C:hdiin Shltnon 2s the hero of the hour! It Wac then that he earned the nicknanle rlzttaf w h ~ c h name tuck to him from then on.

Two more young nlen from Lansburg accompanied him. you could always find me nearyekutiel if he happened to be relating something. But by some miracle. Thus it came about that two young Jews. he and his family contrived to escape to Lansburg. and study at the yeshivah there. Avraham vowed that he would show his gratitude to the Almighty by wallung all the way to Minsk. "There was another blood libel that occurred rnany years previously in Liozna.Wa~id. both victims of bloodlibels. WHEN THE TWO FKIENIIS Chaim Shimon and Avraham were exchanging stories about their experiences in connection with the blood libel of their towns. both as regards themselves as well as with regard to the welfare of their particular communities! ONCE. he stood in equal danger of the same cruel fate that had befallen his dear friends. so respected until then in government circles. I heard about it from the old shamashYekutie1. and despite the worst that was done to them.Blood Libels in L i o z n a Many of the Jews of Posen were arrested and thrown into prison where they were tortured unmercifully. these two were picked out for special punishment. Their punishment and tortures were indescribable. And so they were tortured until they died the death of Jewish nlartyrs. were among those arrested. The leaders of the Jewish conlmunity in particular were chosen for the worst treatment. He had a . He was great at telling stories. But the fear of being captured by their persecutors made such a wreck of the delicately constituted Avraham. they refused to confess to a crime neither they nor any other Jew had committed. Avraham's father Rabbi Shmuel was also one of the heads of the Jewish community of Posen and. The well-known philanthropist of Posen KebYaakov. as such. But with what completely &ffereut outcomes. that it took a very long time indeed before he completely recovered from the effects of the shock. Chain1 Shimon said to his friend. Because of their high position in the community. and when I was a small boy. met at the yeshivah in Minsk. and also the faon Rabbi Aryeh Leib the .

were under contract to the Russian government to provide then1 with their needs to carry on the war." ThisYekutiel was a well-known f i ~ u r e L. and when later. Many Jews who were in business. by helping people . quietly and secretly. did not approve of the newcomers ti-om the "big" town. with the wealthy Jews of former Liozna. to their disadvantage. That battle took place in the year 5414 (1 654) and he was then past Bar Mitzvah. Kabbi Elchanan.Whereas the older residents would give charity. Yekutiel remembered Liozna when it was a town of not more than thirty-five Jewish families. was the head of the community. the new arrivals liked to advertise their generosity Yekutiel would say that the latter &d a certain anlount of good to others when they gave charity. who was also pretty old. were not much older than he. and also went into his father's business. and they managed to improve their financial position in consequence. but then this particular story of the blood libel was very gripping. and Zlata Chava the Midwife. When the Kussian conmmander Sheremetiev capturedvitebsk. But he did not toucb the Jews of Liozna. but the former. he arrested many Jews there.iozna. thus illcreased in numbers and prospered. the way they dressed so showily. and his own father. saying it was very harri~filland led to all sorts of trouble.Yekutiel's fither was also among these. Yekutiel also remembered the time when the Russians occupied Vitebsk. The Jewish conln~urlity Yekutiel.rare gift for nlaking everything sound so exciting and thrilling. however. He was one ot' in the oldest inhabitants of the town. Yekutiel married the daughter of Rabbi Mordechai the Scribe of Kalishk. He deplored their "ostentation:' particularly arnong the womenfolk. Many of the Vitebsk Jews therefore moved with their families to Liozna for safety. without need of exaggeration. Pzople knew that Moshe the Watchman. and all the surrounding districts. He also conlpared them. which also included Liozna. who was about a hundred years old. he too rnade some money.

fasting. and toYaakov (the Jews) he had given the world to come. it is as if he had stolen something that did not belong to him. too. Therein lay their only hope of salvation. each owning his own garden or plot of land outside the town. he must at every step acknowledge his indebtedld ness to his Creator as the Owner of the ~ ~ o r and all that is in it. In short.Yekutiel contended.Blood Libels i n L t o x n a secretly. by praying. which were to accompany him wherever he went. O n the door of his house. a new priest appeared on the scene. Neglect on the part of the Jew towards his Maker was the reason for all the troubles that had come upon the Jews.Yekutiel said he had heard it from his grandfather Rabbi Elisha. there were only a few Jews there and they lived on one street which was known as "the Jewish street." When Yekutiel's grandfather settled in Liozna. But in order to establish a form of existence for Yaakov in this world. G-d had given Esav (the non-Jews) this world. When a Jew eats or drinks. O n his apparel he had the tzitzit. Should he partake of anything without blessing Him. who used to be called "the sweet one. he had punctuated his part with mitzvot. the Ruler over all. and in all he did. His field offered him the mitzvot of leket. They would be wiser advised to appeal to the Almighty. Then one day. He also maintained that it was a mistaken policy to appeal to their non-Jewish rulers to alleviate their position and help them. To come back to the story of that blood libel of long ago. he must make blessings before and after partahng of the food. and improving their mode of life in a spiritual sense." because he always talked of G-d as "the sweet Father in heaven. Yekutiel had his own theory that G-d had created Jews and nonJews to be two distinct peoples. who was an absolute fiend of an anti-Semite! He began to preach Jew-hatred to . and freedom from trouble. and all on good terms with their non-Jewish neighbors. would their sins be forgiven. shikcha and peah." They were quite happy. &d good both to the needy and to themselves by their manner of giving. he had the mezuzah. and not until they repented of their backsliding.

they must bring to the church presents of money. The priest found it quite a paying proposition." they felt they had to respect him and his superior education. The situation became sct tense with hatred on the part of the Christians. The rav . and partaking of some special delicacy. and fear on the part of the Jews. and perhaps. Had IL been anyone else they would either have rebuked him or n~erely ignored him. used to ask them to call on Shabbat and Yon1 Tbv when they would be treated to a rneal. When the peasants were told by the priest that the matzot which they had been eating were dipped in Christian blood. except the ~rlen who went to dar~cn the Beit Hanzidrarl~. fearing an attack. grain. on Shabbat or Yon1 E v . for he told these ignorant Christians that in order to haye their sins wiped out. the priest spoke to his "flock and warned them to take care of their children as the Passover was near and the Jews would be needing Christian blood to dip their nzabot into! The Christians were horrified. in addition to paying then1 for looking after their cattle. and that it was a sin on their part to partake of any food received fro111the Jews. This. and even to persecute them. they were usually given some extra food to take home with them. in It was a few days after Purim. The peasants. loved eating at the hotnes of the Jews who. they greatly enjoyed thc nlutzot the Jews offered them. the like of which the peasants had not known. they often sold to the other non-Jews. and always on Pesach they used to take baskersful of food home. Then as the winter passed and Pesach approached. But when thev heard these words from their "holy father. eggs. the 80-year old rav ordered all Jews to rernairl at home on marketdays. who knows.7'hey had always so enjoyed going to a Jewish home when invited. especially.Lirbavifclzev R a b b i ' s :Memoirs the Christians whenever he had therrt absenibled in church.And after the meal. that. when armed solders suddenly pounced upon two Jews 111 Liozr~aand arrested them. they came in fear and trembling to "confess" their past sins in having eaten the Jews' food. or poultry. maybe there was some truth in what he said? So gradually they began to show ill-feeling towards the Jews. And on Pesach in particular.

all the men of the congregation went to the cemetery to pray at the graves of their great and holy forebears. Each wick was divided up for ten candles. A number of baale batim agreed to do likewise. investigated the matter and were horrified to learn that the two arrested Jews were being charged with the kidnapping of a missing Christian child. They were informed that unless the child was returned. More wool was spun for wicks.Blood L i b e l s in L i o z n a together with other leaders of the community. dead or alive. and a whole day of prayer and fasting was decreed for all Jews in Liozna. the day of the taanit tzibbur. all the Jews of Liozna would pay with their lives. woman and child. chosen by ballot. but these were for a different purpose. They spun a thread for every Jewish soul. and little children of six or seven years of age. prepared themselves for this commuU nal fast. but all those fasting should assemble in the Beit Hamidrash. Psalm 119 was then recited by the congregation. and all above these ages. were asked to light them. O n the second day of the rav's fast. and the women set themselves the task of spinning wool to make wicks for special candles. Furthermore.They .The list was given them by the rav. after which the rav called out that during the day of fasting no work should be done. On the third morning of the rav's fast. Each thread in this case represented an outstanding enemy of the Jew. as well as every girl of twelve. Haman. were called upon to join in this taanit tzibbur. and others who had persecuted the Jews through the centuries. A Jews. and included such names as Amalek. the two Jews would be treated as hostages and N e d . if it were not brought back alive.These wicks were divided up for three candles each. men and women. young and old. after Shacharit. man. these "neshamah candles" were brought into the Beit Hamidrash. and their houses would be razed to the ground! "Neshamah C a n d l e s " Despite his advanced age. the old rav took upon himself to fast for three consecutive days.The men concentrated their thoughts only on spiritual matters. Every boy of Bar Mitzvah age.

11 up to the bimah. and from a sheet of parch-Inent he read out.'I'hen the ~abbai again blew the shofnr. slo\vly and in~pressivelv. and then reversing the order. When the fburth Sdbr Torah had been returned to the Ark. anriounccd that the three of then1 stood there as the counterpart of the He.The chazzan began to chant Psahn 79. heavyhearted and heavy-eyed.They stood on the bimah with black candles in their hands. everyone again assembled in the Beit Hanzidvtzrh where the rav preached a sermon. The rat: in solemn tones. The rav then requested that the Sifrei Era// be returned to the Ark. terrible curse against any a and everyone conrlected with the kidnapping of the Christian child. untll the trouthe ble would all be over. their till. and this was followed by Psalm 140. then the whole assembly ofuror. Then the chazzatr. the vav had ~n~louncecl no that meat should be eaten durri~g week or o n Jhabbat. of with the exceptior~ one. and then continued fasting as before. letim and put on tefillin. Then.qabbai. also joined them on the bimah.Lrihavitiiir'v R a b b z ' s iVlenroirs made two parties. and the . Lots were cast. .qabhai blew the shofir.shippers said Vidui. and the congregarlts repeated each verse after hin~. H e then called out that the women should c o ~ r ~ e dowri from the gallery to kiss the Sekr Eralr which had been d e n to the door for this purpose. the sorrt>wful congregants slowly and sadly made their way home Although the fast was now over. After Minchah. one praying at the cernetery while the other kept watch o n their homes. one old niarr at the right of the ra14 and the other on his left. and four men chose11 to take O L I f o ~ SlfYLIf T r h ~ ~ r oa from the Holy Ark. which he asked the skamosh to take to the door. The rav and his fellow fkters broke their fast of three days' duration with but a crust of dry bread and a drink of water. Minchah was davened. then Maariv..iverrly Court. Thc-) carned tEir S!trci Ybrah around tile Belt Hamidrash and everyone kised them Then the S$eti.el Timk were cakt.Yeshaya. The vnv and two other old Jews wrapped thenlselves it.The Ark was then opened and the . Baruch. the mv took one of them.

A huge assembly gathered in the church. two days later. calling them to a special service for the next day. Sunday. revenge would be taken by killing all the Jews in Liozna! The priest had the gross impertinence to command the rav to kiss the crucifix that was hanging on a chain around his neck. and remained silent. The Jews were again warned that if they did not produce the missing boy by Tuesday. But the rav. told him that an honest person who really respected and believed in his own religion would never force anyone to do something contrary to his own belief! The priest was white with fury at the contemptuous reply of the proud and dignified Rabbi. with a withering look upon the priest. the priest sent out special messengers to all the Christians in the town and surrounding villages.There they also found the priest who had caused all the trouble for the innocent and helpless Jews. In a long and rambling sermon he again reminded them that they must know that the Jews used Christian blood for their matzot for Passover. the rav and the leaders of the community were called before the Chief of Police. . that this was the work of the wicked Jews! He spoke in "heartbroken" tones.B l o o d L i b e l s irt L i o z n a O n the following Shabbat. He also reminded them that it was now over a week since a Christian child had disappeared and he had no doubt whatsoevex. but that because of the importance of his having to address them he had come to church instead of staying in bed a t home. Miraci4lous E n d t o A n o t h e r B l o o d Libel Meanwhile. anxious to hear what their "holy" father had to say to them. but he could find no suitable repartee quickly enough. His soul-stirring eloquence was unexpectedly cut short by a commotion at the back of the church and every eye turned to see who was responsible for the interruption. saying he was a sick man due to this terrible event.

{:hisSunday morning? Trying to appear calm and innocent." he called out." The priest was taken co~rlpleteiy surprise. and I want to retnind ilirn of his pronlise that when I die I \vill go straight to heaven! 'Tell hinl that I kidnapped that C:hristian child. Is it nly fault friend? The priest told that the Christian boy was kidnapped by n ~ y him to do it. and that lle is still safely in hiding at n ~ y brother's house!' So you see 1 canlc without delay as 1 prolnised rrly dying friend 1 would. was bundled out ofthe church. incidentally>was a friend of the Jews and had never believed the nonsense that the priest was spreading. ringing tones. exactly as he told rile to. that the Jews used the blood of a C:hl-istian child to mix into their . indeed I don't!"And the peasant shook his head and shrugged his shoulders as he brushed himself tidy again before going on his way. the priest burst out with the words:"Throw this drunkard out of the church! tiow dare he conle disturbing the holiness of the service!" The poor peasant was pounced upon trorn all sides and. calhng to the priest as he advanced. beaten and bewildered. But before his death hc called me and begged rrle to take this message to you. "Father."I have corne fron~ friend of mine frotrl a nly village. The peasant had not noticed that amctng the group of people listening with imlterest to his story. he continued in bewildered tones to a crowd of people who had gathered around to see what was going on. was a policeman dressed in his Sunday clothes. "I don't know why the priest was angry with me! I only told him what my peasant-friend asked mile to tell him. so why is he so angry now when I tell hinl that his orders were carried out? 1 don't understand it.They saw a peasant corning fol~vard. The peasant then in loud. 'The priest. What was he to do by with this stupid peasant who had no more sense than to corne blabbing right in the nlidst of hi:. He said: 'Tell the priest that I did all he told r n t r to. spoke up. unsuspectitlg. that he had brought an itnportarlt nlessage for hirn. allowed the nrarl to corne forward. congregants. This policen~anwho. A few days ago he suddenly became unaccountably ill and died. When he reached the outside.

the priest continued to keep up the appearance of innocent indignation. The policeman and his two friends had now reached the ofice of the Chief of Police. a massacre. He motioned to two of his friends to accompany him. When they reached the village. Within a few moments. hearing of this. Someone happening to see them jumped to the natural conclusion that they were being led to their death. They went up to ask what the trouble was. They decided to assemble in the Beit Hamidrash and pray to the Almighty that a miracle might even at this late hour occur. in the city of Liozna. Meanwhile. The policeman and his two companions joined the villagers who were excitedly entering and leaving the hut. He was genuinely glad to be able to help his Jewish friends and prove the false priest a liar and a rogue." decided to follow the peasant to his village and look for the missing boy. conducted the party to the cenThe Chief of Police ~mrnediately ter of the marketplace and sent word to the prison warden to release the two wrongly charged and arrested Jews.Blood Libels i n L i o z n a "Passover cakes. The Jews. and were told that the peasant who lived there had suddenly taken ill and without any warning had collapsed and died. which would probably mean promotion for him in his job. taking the boy whom they had found in the village. and it pleased him to think that he had been successful as a detective. when to their astonishment they beheld the boy for whose disappearance and "murder" the Jews were being blamed. which would prove their innocence and save them from a horrible death. knew it could result in only one thing. they found that there was a commotion going on near a small peasant-hut. the two Jews appeared with a policeman at either side of them. and was urging his "flock" to join him in a house-to-house search of the Jews for the missing boy. and the three men walked at a distance behind the peasant. The policeman experienced a double sense of relief and satisfaction. with them. so the rumor reached the rav at the shul that the two Jews had been sentenced to death and .

I an1 taking all necessary steps to see that the Jews of Liozna will be properly protected. he tried to twist the matter around. the priest! No sooner had the priest finished talking.They were afraid to bririg the child back in the ordinary way. than he fell in a s\voon near the altar. On the contrary. . The Christian child had been hidden by peasants on the instructions of the priest. you so should all now feel free to go your way umnolested. fro111 where he had been addressing his congregants. one of the baale b a t h immediately approached the Chief of Police and. immed~ately to allow then1 to daven Minchah and say vidui before their death." Finally he warned everyone that whoever would dare lay a hand on a Jew would be punished. The Chief of Police smiled at hirn saying: "My friend." When the priest heard that the Christian child had been brought back into town completely unharmed. as that would prove their guilt in having kidnapped him. Enough has been done you already. be was going to accompany then1 to the syriagogue and make an official and public apology to the rav and the for leaders of the Jewish comr~lunity the wrong done them all by the false charges brought against then].The missing child has been found by one of our policenlen and the blood libel has been proved a myth.L. I have not come to do you any harm. without giving began pleading with hirn him a chance to utter a word. by saying that it was another plot on the part of the wily Jews. I have given warning that all who attempt to molest the Jews will be punished by ha~lging. 'Fhey had therefore bribed the policenian and his two companions to tell this story and thus throw the blanie on him. by The truth. It was entirely untrue to say that the Jews used Christian blood in their "Passover cakes. I have conle to make a public apology to you all for the wrong and wicked charge brought against you. of course. and. He further announced that tlie two Jews were free. When they reached the Beit Hamidrash.iahavitch(*r R a b b i ' s ibfernoirs were on their way to the Beit Harnidradt accompa~lied the police. to show his good will. was that the Chief of Police had decided to publicly announce in the n~arketplacethat the Jews were all inno-cent. and that the story was being told that he was at the bottom of the child's disappearance in order to bring trouble and death to the Jews.

as well as from their own unforgettable experiences. . and Avraham agreed. were living through the terrors and joys of the Jews in the story) always ended by saying: "You probably think that this story happened long ago and could not possibly happen here. see wherein they had sinned.Blood L i b e l s i n L i o z n a His confused "flock" rushed to his aid. that while the circumstances might vary. "Nowadays. He was carried home and put to bed. saw how every person connected with the frame-up against the Jews had come to a bad end. but that there would always be the right lund of Jews who would step forward in the emergency and save them from the impending disaster. believing that there lay their salvation! "How misguided are these present-day Jews. though. and then he died. whenever Jews found they had to face trouble. the Jews would always experience times of difficulty and trouble. too. lies in their reaction to their troublesome times. where he lay in terrible agony for two weeks. Jews always lived through terrible times and will do so again. you are wrong.The difference. Well. Rabbi Yekutiel who told and retold this story (which Chaim Shimon always listened to as if he. Jew and non-Jew. In those days. however.Yisrael. he told him that he had come to the conclusion. Everyone. but turn to so-called 'leaders' to intercede for them with the governing powers. The former was also greatly influenced by his third friend at the yeshivah. they do not first pray to G-d to help them. and try to repent and improve their character. Chaim Shimon and Avraham both felt that they could learn milch fromyekutiel's story. if Jews are faced with trouble and disaster. That is our misfortune!" When Chaim Shimon talked about this matter with Avraham at the Minsk yeshivah. their immediate reaction was to apply self-analysis.

in addition. so he set about making one himself frorri menlory. H e renlembered that when he was in Berlin he had seen a machine for making volikes. He was actu-ally a recognizedTorah scholar. as well as into his efforts to become a good mathematician. For two years he had been engaged in building a n~iniature Beit Hatnikdash. H e was. Their friendship thus strengthened and grew. . Chaim Shimon had long had a desire to study matherriatics and astronotny. With his own manufactured niachine he began to manufjcture these overshoes. a great help to hini that he threw himself 90 co~npletely into hisTorah study.Irrvah t * r l r n d Yisrael was a renlarkable young rnan. ~ l s o chose a wit? and thought about settling down. the size of which was two-by-two cubits. Whenever he was busy brushing the flax. too. when Chaim Shinion. and by trying to occupy his mind in a constructive rnanner. one after the other. Yisrael married in Minsk and became the son-in-law of a certair~ Shrrluel Zanvil. Before he came to the yeshivah in Minsk. he invariably reviewed a mesichtoh. who made his living by brushing flax. a very gifted wood-carver. R a b b i ' s ~ b l r m o i r s A n o t h e r Ye. Chain1 Shinlon had the niisfortune to lose both his parents.Yisrael had been a student for four years at the yeshivah of the gaon Rabbi Mordetchai Tachles in Berlin. Yisrael admired his father-in-law and approved of his way of life. and succeeded irl getting excellent results. It was. therefore. and so was happy to take advantage of his friendyisrael's offer to teach him. and it was there that he had learned and accluired all these arts. would be able to earn his living thls tvay. but he preferred to earn his living by working. His 'riiends felt his sorrow keenly and tried to conifort him by their friendship.Lcrbuuitclzsr. and decided he would follow in his footsteps. During his stay at the Minsk yeshivah. Not only was Ile 3 brilliant Torah student. he asked Yisrael to teach him this crdt s o that he. and immediately earned more than sufficient inconie for his needs. . Later on. with his friend's able assistance. but he also had a very great knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.

Chaim Shimon stayed on for another year at the yeshivah in Minsk. and he also learned how to set up the machine for thew manufacture. . during whlch time he managed to learn fromyisrael how to make volikes.B l o o d Libels in L i o z n a Before marrying the granddaughter of Rabbi Yosef of I)obromysl.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN The Young Man Who Could Not Tolerate Conceit The Scribe of Dobromysl Sacred Trust Chaim Shlmon. a n d Baruch . Yitzchak Shaul.


" Yekutiel said with a sigh when Chaim Shimon visited him. I can only talk." C m I M After Chaim Shimon married and settled down in Dobromysl. "I have not the strength I used to have. He was a friendly man. for his snow boots were becoming famous.SEVENTEEN SHIMON DECIDED TO STOP IN LIOLNA on his way to Dobromysl to visit the graves of his parents. therefore. taken over. interested in everybody and always ready to lend a sympathetic ear to everyone's stories of joy or sorrow. but now I cannot practice what I preach. and before long he made quite a name for himself. which his assistant had. People found him so helpful that they began to make . and must leave the work to others. or their problems. People came to him from near and far. too weak to carry on with his duties as shamash. "Once I used both to talk and act.Among those he visited was naturally visited his old friendyekutiel who was now old and frail. and also to look up his old friends and acquaintances. he set up his machine for making snow boots.

'You see.They began to address hirn now as Kabbi <. He otien used to doze offfbr an hour or two in a small rooin in the Beit Hamidrash. if you become too fussy.y M a n M. lundly. who was generally calm. be he however great in other respects. was conipletely intolerant when it came to meeting arlyone conceited or boastfill. and sleep on the ground. and sympathetic by nature. why not go honle 2nd sleep coilifortably in your own soft bed? Why iie here oil such a hard bench?"'ro which he lvoiild reply. KabbiYosef. Although he was still 21 very young nzart. drink a measure of water. and when people used to see him lying on the hard beiich they teased him saying. and earned his living fronl the produce of his gar-dens and fields.'/rc.rk on their behalf'in every casc when it was necessary to approach the gov-erilor of the town. had long since given up mail-ilfacturing ovens. Y'0un.:hairrl Shimon and were proud arid happy to ha\:? hi111 in their nn<$st. you cannot succeed in your studies!" 7'lzr. even under provocation. and spent all his tirrie studying the 'Torah arld davenin. It was not "seenlly" for such a young nian to reprimand older men than himself.. and that was when Chaim Shimon would "fly" at sorileone who happened to be boasting. "If you want to sleep. They admired and loved each other and spent hours together in Torah study. when I was a young yeshivah student. . llon't you know that the 'lorah urges us as follows: 'Eat a piece of bread dipped in salt. For Chaim Shimon. But one thing used to upset the old Kabbi Yosef. Kabbi Yosef disliked boasters as much as Chain1 Shimon did. His wife's grandfather. but he hilnseif had given up the physical work ever^ here.?. he was ur~animously voted as the representative of the Jewish con~munityto spe."[ shall iievcr forget that 1 used to sleep regularly on a hard bench.a practice of conllng to hiin tor advice. but he felt that Chaim Shimon ought to keep his own feelings in the niatter rrlore in check. C : o i r l r i N o t 'f'olrrLirr C o r ~ r ~ i r Kabbi Yosef arid Chain] Shinlon were very good friends indeed. he would tell him. which they always fburid sound and well-considered.

' Another interprets it so: 'As the field was clearly revealed to them so also was every facet of the Torah.'Then it is further asked:What is meant by the words 'They were both alone in the field'? To which the answer is given by RabbiYehudah who said. So how can one forgive anyone who would do such a terrible thing? The Talmud describes the scholarship ofyeravarn in Sanhedrin. so is it with the scholastic achievements that he had made and which had never before been heard of.They were both alone in the field. 'What is meant by a new robe?' To which Rabbi Nachman replies. and destroyed him and his army in the Red Sea. so perfect was the Torah study ofyeravam!' Another tries to interpret it: 'As this new robe has never previously been seen. 'Who is this G-d of Israel? 1 know him not!'That is why G-d sent the ten plagues upon him as punishment. page IOlb: 'Rabbi Nachman said that the pride which was inYeravam drove him out of the world!'You see that pride is the worst trait in man and leads to all sorts of evil. referring to the verse in I l n g s 11:29: 'The Prophet Achiya Hashiloni met him (Yeravam) on the way and the latter was wearing a new robe.' "The Talmud then asks. And remember the bad end that Korach came to through his excessive pride!" While Chaim Shimon was generally very popular.'As a new robe is perfect. 'All other scholars were as the grass of the field in comparison with them. he certainly did not endear himself to those whom he rebuked so sharply and unceremoniously when he heard them boasting! Whenever RabbiYosef tried to convince Chaim Shimon that he ought to refrain from this "weakness" of his."' Then Chaim Simon would conclude his arguments thus. "See what we find in the Talmud. Sanhedrin.C ' o ~ i c e i ta n d M o d e s t y Rabbi Yosef and he would have heated arguments over this thorny point. Chaim Shimon would quote his old friend Yekutiel who used to say: "Proud and conceited people are intolerable! Remember King Pharaoh's boastfulness and conceit when he said. "It can therefore be seen what pride leads to! For all the greatness of his . it desecrates the Torah. the latter would always bring quotations from our Sages supporting his action. page 102a.

like that of any other town or cownlet. Dobromysl was honored by the presence of the old and fanlous scholar Rabbi Betzalcl. there could only be a li~llited supply of hot water at one time. It was. so that everyone had a turn. greatly attached to each other.I marketplace! O n other days of the week. Twice weekly. gave out such terrific stearn. they continued to be the best of friends. in rotation. it was impossible to get the generally mild (. had installed one of his famous ovens at the baths. so arranged that people came according to fixed times. who had come from Kososno to visit his son's son-in-law. on Weclnesdays (for women) and o n Fridays (for men) the place hurnmed busily. Thus it came about that the caiixe group of people always met whenever they attended the baths. after having but a few bucketfuls of water poured onto it. and thss continued until something happerled one day the scene being the baths in 1:)obromysl. therefore. The rnerclzatz in Dobromysl. very hurriedly had to descend to a more bearable position. In view of the fact that the cistern there was not very large.Torah learning did not 1ielpYcravarn." With such convictiolis firmly implanted within him. the baths would only be very slightly heated. Rabbi Betzalel had isolated himself for over forty years. RabbiYosef. At that time. was an important institution.7-lie latter wris also a great h o r i t e with the vast majority of people in I)obromysl. bringing evil upon hinlsclf and upon his fellow Jews. that whoever might be steaming himself o n the top step in the stean-r room. He became a sinner and caused others to sin. in his youth. it was obviously out of the question to allow unrestricted attendance at the baths. which. Rabbi Yehoshua Feitel the Scribe. as it was a recognized practice that each bather was entitled to at least five bucketfuls each.:liaim Sliirnon to restrain liisnself when coming in contact with anything reser~iblingpride and conceit! Despite this one difference of o p i n i o ~ ~ between Rabbi Yosef and Chaim Shimon. like . Furthermore. just enough to warn1 the water for those who wished to use the nzikvah. in order to devote .

Conceit and Modesty himself completely and undisturbed to the study of the Torah. 33. and here too. to make sure that the letters had no white specks. engaged in bathing themselves. it is forbidden to discuss Torah. commanded a great deal of respect in Dobromysl. he felt that he ought to attract attention to his own great scholarship. but in those rooms of the baths where people are naked. Chaim Shimon saw no harm in doing as the others did. therefore. to make sure that his shel rosh and shel yad did not get out of place. and while he knew that it is not necessary to stand up as a sign of respect to anyone when one is l at the baths. and. (There the distinction is made that in the rooms where people are clothed. by standing up when Rabbi Betzalel entered. O n this basis. He also took the unusual precaution of appointing someone to stand and watch him all the time he was tiavening. too. but were completely filled in with ink.. for he regarded it highly. they may discuss Torah and must show respect to Torah scholars. for the fact that he never uttered an unnecessary word. He would also measure his tejllin daily. Rabbi Betzalel went to the rnerchatz on Friday. Rabbi Betzalel showed the greatest respect to scholars recognized for their learning. He was renowned.who was now over eighty years old. unacquainted with the Talmudic ruling laid down in Kiddushin. everyone paid him exceptional respect. So Rabbi Betzalel. for his purity of character. p. He had earned a name for himself as a brilliant scholar and a G-d-fearing Jew. and unnecessary to show respect to scholars by standing up at their approach or in their presence). and saw to it that others should carry out this nzitzvah too. to make sure that the shel rosh and shel yad had not become out of shape but had kept their squareness intact. for he did not wish to enter . he stood up together with the others who were a l or&nary men. Chaim Shimon also happened to be there on this occasion. He always examined the parshiot of his tejllin and the letters in his rnezuzot with a magnifj?ng glass. so that people would have the opportunity of paying respect to his Torah knowledge and thus earn a tnitzvah. A special place was allotted to hini and everyone stood up at his entrance. in general. for his careful observance of all mitzvot.

" he said. which was forbidden. is not entitled to enter G-d's rnerlzitznh. for he called out to thern.and Gaonirn that we should not at any time display any sign of conceit." went on Chain] Shimon. and Chairn Shirrion had also dressed himself." . who did not seen1 within hearing range and one said to the other.'"ctually it was not forty years. However. He did not want to say anything to the old ruv in the preseiice of the others. seven years that 1 studied in isolation and what is more. page 98) that 'Anyone who pretends to be a greater scholar than he is. "Rabbi. and his blood boiled to hear such selfpraise from one whom he felt should know better! But he kept a tight hold on himself. 1 never took a step outside of it from the day I began this particular way of life!" Chaim Shiniorl heard this. "You know. he approached Kabbi Betzalel immediately after he had dressed himself in his corner of the dressing room. "that you do not interest yourself in the i~ijunction of our 'lanaim. and is it not a sign of boastfulness and conceit! "Surely you must know that the guon Rabbi Aryeh Leib. used to explain and elaborate upon the saying of RabbiYehudah in the name of Rav (Bava Batra. bring some hot water and hurry. but took the opportunity of pointing out that you merited still greater praise. It so happened that there was a shortage of hot water and a Inan started to shout to the attendant. you were not satisfied with their praise. Aa~orairtr." Evidently Rabbi Retzalel's hearing was better than they thouglit. as that would have entailed Torah talk. it's for our distinguished Rabbi Betzalel!" Two Jews who were standmg in the corner washing themselves looked towards Rabbi Betzalel. as you had actually studied in isolation for forty-seven years! And furthermore.L n b a t ~ i r c h e vR a b b i ' s M e m o i r s into a discussion with the people present. When you heard those two Jews in the baths say that you had spent forty years in isolated study. "Hey there. that you had never turned aside frorn your way of life since the day you began! Is this self-praise justifiable. this Rabbi Betzalel has lived in isolation for forty years. the Head of the Mesivta in Minsk. studying. "I should like to ask you something if I rnay?" "What is it yo11 want to know?" Rabbi Betzalel asked. "It seems to me. but forty-.

Rabbi Gavriel succeeded in extracting a promise from him that he would consider the matter. This RabbiYehoshua Feitel was fanaticallyfnrm from his earliest youth. spending all his time in the Beit Hamidrash. Others. people had come in and listened to Chain1 Shimon's outburst in some astonishment! They did not understand all he was saying. and considering himself far below the standards of his illustrious master. he came to Rabbi Gavriel with tears in his eyes. not only learning how to be an expert sofer. and mezuzot. teaching him also how to make batim for tefillin. the husband of Rabbi Betzalel's granddaughter. tefillin. He studled under him for fifteen years. but being a modest person. but also to emulate his lofty character and pious life. begging him to release him from the great responsibility which would be his if he were to become a sofer. Incidentally. Rabbi Gavriel was also his shadthan. more suited to his standard. felt that the former had probably gone beyond his rights.Conceit and Modesty While Chaim Shimon was talking rather heatedly to Rabbi Betzalel. that he became a sofer. T h e Scribe of Dobromysl One of those who stood by listening was RabbiYehoshua Feitel the Scribe. and it was at his suggestion. who had grasped that Chaim Shimon was rebuking Rabbi Betzalel for having spoken up in his own praise. but they felt that it was something of an impertinence for such a young man so to address an old and respected scholar. . Rabbi Yehoshua Feitel succeeded him. He was a pupil of Rabbi Gavriel's yeshivah in Dobromysl. as he was but an ordinary person and would be better employed earning his living by some other means. It was Rabbi Petachya Meir who taught Yehoshua Feitel the art of being a sofer. After much talk and persuasion. and even angry at the display of boastfulness on the part of the old scholar. but secretly they thought that he was not entirely in the wrong in his condemnation. He pleaded he was unworthy of providing his fellow Jews with Sijiei Torah. for Chaim Shimon was genuinely upset. When his teacher died.

and in particular in relation to his sacred work. and self-esteem. how Kabbi Yehushua Feitel. had been guilty of the sin of boastfulness. so that he should know that this was the high standard RabbiYehoshua Feitel had also set himself.but KabbiYehoshua Feitel stipulated thar he would or~ly accept thi. therefore. it1 his saintly way. Still. he had a dream In which his beloved and respected teacher appeared before him. too.1 Shimon.r if someont. telling hiin he should become the Scribtr of Dobromysl. Rabbi Shmaya "the lame orie. O n e can well understand. important tasks of a sc1tei. Had he not o n numerous occasions praised his hanciiwork to his assistarit as well as to his various customer^? . fast. examine his own character and see if the reproach was not also deserved by lrirnself. And only then did RabbiYehoshua Feitel feel hirnself worthy of beconung a sofir. and he should therefore be on the lookout for any possible failing on the part of RabbiYehoshua Feitel. H e used to prepare the parchment with the greatest possible care. and of thr wzy his teacher Kabbi Petachya Meir nsed to put all liis soul and conviction into his sacred task." who was a G-d-fearing Jew 2nd a great scholar. Rabbi Gavriel chose as Rabbi Yehoshua Feitel's assistant. rarely leaving the Beit Hamidrash night and day. Ile told Kabbi Shmaya all this. should innnediately. the latter delayed beginning his tasks as a scribe. how he used to batlre in the wrikval?. Then he told hirn in great detail how his former teacher used to cotlduct himself in general. as \wll as the pen and ink with which he wrote the scrolls. pride. hearing the words of reproach fro111 the lips of Rabbi Chai11. RabbiYehoshua Feitel lost no time in teaching Rabbi Shnlaya the dinim which a s@r should know. While RabbiYehoshua Feitel was still hesitating about begll-~nin~ his work. and repeat to himself several times that the work in which he xvas engaged was n holy work and required his best services. xvould stand by and constantly remind him of the holiness of his undertaking. while he set himself no less than one hundred and twenty (three times forty) fasts. while he was engrossed in his work. He decided without hesitation that he.

having listened very carefully. but that it was entirely the result of Chaim Shimon's "sermon" in the merchatz which RabbiYehoshua Feitel had felt was attributable to himself and in consequence felt obliged to step aside and make way for a worthier successor. he could find no rest. He had told the dayan that." fasting and praying to wipe out his transgression. but the latter disclaimed any responsibility for Rabbi Yehoshua Feiteli decision. told him he had committed no offense and required no form of penitence for his exemplary behavior. Rabbi David Moshe. telling him he must give up his work. Some circulated a rumor that his former teacher had appeared to him in a dream. he in any event wished to give up the work as his eyesight was failing and he was afraid of making mistakes in his writings. RabbiYosef determined to have a talk with Chaim Shimon. But R-abbiyehoshua Feitel was not satisfied to accept this easy judgment. . Firstly. The dayan.Conceit and Modesty Sacred Trust That Shabbat. told him of his "sin. This version of the story eventually reached the ears of Chaim Shimon's wife's grandfather. and inflicted upon himself his own "punishment." and asked him to tell him what form of penitence he should take upon himself. he went off at once to the dayan. apart from the fact that he felt h m self no longer worthy of the sacred tasks of a sofer. and secondly because as a consequence of Chaim Shimon's words. Others contended that it was due to no dream or fantasy. Rabbi Yosef. on account of the fact that the young Chaim Shimon should have shown such disrespect towards the great and saintly Rabbi Betzalel. The news that RabbiYehoshua Feitel had given up his work as a sofev spread like wildfire through the town. and everyone started guessing what could be the reason for his apparently sudden decision. RabbiYehoshua Feitel had given up his holy work. He recommended Rabbi Shmaya as worthy in every way of beconllng the Scribe of Dobromysl in his place. who was greatly distressed about it. and as soon as Shabbat was over.

as was customary for bridegrooms. for other matters came up in Dobro~nyslwhich claimed the attention and interest of its Jewish inhabitants. however. A firm and warm friendship had sprung up between them at their first meeting. still felt strongly about the "impertinence" of Chain1 Shimon tallung as he had done to Rabbi Bt:tzalel. at whose wedding Chaim Shimon was a noted guest. He then heard how. The old Rabbi received Rabbi Yosef very kindly. and B a r u c h Among the people whose displeasure Chaim Shimon had incurred were the two elder sons-in-law of Eiiezer Reuven the Snnth. in thc main. with the third and youngest son-in-law Yitzchak Shaul." said he. and in his speech had said that while joining in the praise of the groorn for his . Betzdlel went back to Rososno wlthln the next few weeks. and everyone had greatly applauded. They felt his criticism to be directed against themselves and resented it. and Rabbi Yehoshua Feltel also left Dobrornysl. when the latter had made his speech at his wedding. however. Chaim Shimon had risen. for they had a mutual respect and admiration for each other's character. even when they think they do not show ic outwardly. "for. my words could so have been understood. It was entirely different. The whole incident was soon forgotten. Chnirn S h i m o n . and could very easlly have led to misinterpretation " Rabbi Yosef returned home with a hghter h e ~ r tR a b b ~ . are conceited about something.L u b a v i t r h c r K n b b t ' s Menlorrh RabbiYosef. People. During Baruch's stay at the smith's house for Pesach. "the truth is that w-hile my intention was not to boast. Yitzchak Shatri. through Yitzchak Shaul. he had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with Chaim Shimon. and consoled him by telling him not to take Chaim Shimon's well-meant remarks so badly. It was natural that Chaim Shinlon should lose some of his popularity in Dobron~ysl. where he so outspokenly corldemned each and every person who showed any conceit. anti decided to go to the old man and ask his forgiveness.

for his very strange nickname was due to the fact that from his earliest childhood he had been extremely delicate. obviously disapproving of such candor." as the saying goes. and so his nickname stuck to him all his life. of course. he fussed over himself even more! Right into manhood he treated himself." Baruch learned all about Zalman Fischel. as a delicate and only child. I like that young man! He is a fellow after my own heart."My son. Yitzchak Shaul introduced Baruch to another young man named Chaim Elya." hsd The C a i within him told him that here was a potential follower of the new Chasihc teachings which were about this time making themselves felt in the Jewish world. and. he still did not attempt to do anything to support his ." Until he got married. or at any hture date. and one should ever be on one's guard against falling a victim to it. however. bent forward and whispered in his ear. and thinking uncomfortably that the speaker was surely referring to them! But the groom's father. he never did a stroke of what might be termed "work. and after his marriage his father-in-law kept him for twenty years! When the latter died and his source of income disappeared at the same time. he would warn him against allowing himself to become conceited because of his learning. The reason. He never as much as "dipped a finger in cold water. his father kept him. I'm sure he has a great future before him. the son-in-law of a certain Zalman Fischel "the Only Son. For conceit was a terrible trait in man. teachings which were in contradiction with the line of thought as represented by the scholars present at the wedding. and while his parents fussed over him so fondly. either now. His parents were well aware of this. sitting next to the groom. Many of those present lowered their heads when they heard Chaim Shimon's outspoken words. and saw to it that everyone did likewise. and treated him as if he were the most delicate plant which the slightest puff of wind could blow away and destroy! Young as he was. It appeared that in reality he was the ninth child of his parents and his eight other sisters and brothers were all living.Conceit and Modesty scholarly and excellent speech. he soon learned the advantages of accepting the role of a "delicate" child.

was that he took every opportunity of dtrvenirg b e b r e the amnd.4t~ (two nlonths before Rosh Hashanah) than Zalman Fischel began to take what he considered to be the necessary precautions in protecting his voice. that was when he took hinlselfand his voice very seriously indeed! H e would drink endless cups of raw eggs beaten up with honey. he would ask. and away went the Gernara. but left all the responsibdity to his witt."Well. and this nobody could deny. he to just had to eat somethil~g keep up his strength. And of course when Elul came. It \vould be either a biscuit. that was certainly understandable.wife and children. piece of cake. and whomever he visited. but even an ordinary weekday was good enough to afford hinl h s particular pleasure of acting as chazaan. "sweetn~eat:' or fruit. "Did you hear how I davened in the Beit Hamidrash?" H e even went to the extent of"tippingU the attendant at the baths so that he would say to the bathers. Zalman Fischel might have become a scholar had he not been too lazy even to concentrate on his studies. of course. "Did you hear how wonderfully Zalman Fischel davened the other day? If only we had more chaizanim like him!" T h e Jews of Dobron~ysl looked on Zalman Fischel as something of a '2oke. he would invariably ask. but wherever he went. so that his voice should be smooth and sweet for the Yamirn Nora'irn. N o sooner came the rrlorlth of . H e had a way of getting o n with people who found his light manner a pleasant . and if ever he happened to pick up a Cemara he quicMy rerrlenibered soinc trifling task that he simply had to attend to. and how did you like ~ n dilvening?" Or. O n Shabbat o r Yom Too. if it was y soineorle who had not been present. he was in the habit of assuring everybody. as he had n very weak heart! Another "weakness" of his." and laughed either ~ v i t h him or at him. For. O n e could always be sure to find Zalrnan Fischel nibbling at something. He would walk about conspicuously with a rabbit-skin scarf around his throat. Whenever he dnvened before thc amnd he would not content himself with merely hearing thc immediate criticism of those present.

relevant to whatever was the topic. which a laughing manner and a "peculiar" father-in-law contrived to hide from the less understanding. He got on very well with his son-in-law Chain1 Elya.Corlceit a n d Modesty change from the more serious side of life. Because of his father-in-law Zalman Fischel. . people around him. and while he did not talk too much. but Baruch was discerning enough to recognize and appreciate the many excellent traits in Chaim Elya. he always managed to quote the sayings of our Sages. He was a gentle-spoken person. In addition he was fond of cracking jokes. and it must be admitted that he fussed over him as much as he did over himself! Baruch found he liked Chaim Elya incomparably more than he did Zalman Fischel. but to scholars in particular. Chaim Elya was a very friendly soul. and therefore less interested. was nice to everybody. and had a very pleasant voice to listen to. Chaim Elya was often included in the laughter hrected against the former.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN The Tyrannical Squire and His Jew-Baiting Overseer A Cancelled Orderfor Snow Boots The Squire Reformed .


a few miles away from Liadi. Thus it was that the poretz StefanVerbitzlu.EIGHTEEN T h e Tyrannical Squire and His J e w .B a i t i n g Overseer E v E n v wdn. the order was no trifling one. As the poretz employed no less than two hundred workers on his estate. Here. despite their sentiments. The fact that StefanVerbitzki was rather a capricious nobleman. His name had reached even as far as the Dnieper. sent his overseer Jan Bednitzki to Dobromysl. to buy a large quantity of volikes from Chaim Shimon. and many noblemen and government officials of the highest rank sought him out. Chaim Shimon would leave Dobromysl and set out with his wares for the marketplaces of various towns. flocked to buy his famous volikes. and the cold winter approaching. they were determined to obtain volikes from Chaim Shimon and no one else. When the latter received this wholesale order. and he wished to supply them all with volikes.Jews and non-Jews alike. and his overseer Jan Bednitzki a recognized "Jew-hater. he was very SOON AS . AS Sukkot was over. whose estate was on the banks of the Dnieper." shows how.

then that will have to be sufficient for you! I'll soon put a stop to your questions!" Saying which he grabbed hold of a gun and was going to shoot at Chain1 Shimon. and for some personal reason of his own. but. so that the order should be ready even before the promised datc. and an anti-Semitic overseer. and the quicker the better!" When Chairn Shimon began protesting and asked the reason for such unwarranted treatment. therefore. he was met by the overseer who greeted him in an angry voice: "The poretz has changed his mind about the order so you'd better get back home with them. however. So he was deter-niined that there should be no possible grounds for complaint! A (:unicllr~d Order i h r Stloto B~CJIA Imagine his astonishment. the two carriers who had brought the wagon of voliker. the overseer lost his temper completely and began raging against Clialm Shimon and Jews In general. on day-shifts and night-shifts. he gave the overseer all he had on hand."How &re you question my word! You low-down Jew! If I say that the poretz has cancelled the order. H e took great pains to see that the material and workmanship should he of the highest quality. 'The overseer then returned home to the yoretr. for he knew with whom he had to contetld. jurnped at Jan Bednitzki and caught at his arm. stopping hini just in time to save Chaim Shirnon ti-orn being shot. The infuriated overseer again began screanung at him. When all details about price etc. were agreed upon. a$ lie liad not such a large quantity ready imrliediately. a "crazy" nobleman. H e was now absolutely ~onvrrlccdthat the over5ee1 was dt the root of the trouble. 50 he again reiterated that he must see the poretz and speak to him persorlally. and Rabbi Chain1 Shimon got busy making volikes to complete the large order. when on arrival a whole week earlier than promised. a coiltract Xvas drawn up in businesslike fashion. and prorilised to deliver the rest of the order 011 a specific date. with his order loaded on wagons. with a receipt made out tor the money paid.pleased. . H e engaged more workpeople. Fortunately.

fearing that in his rage. but stopped at a nearby village to think the matter over. "I don't understand it. Meanwhile. had he not been lying in a drunken stupor. the nobleman. the poretz would treat him to a beating with his whip. probably due to their not yet having the volikes and other warm clothing they so urgently needed for their protection against such weather. The poretz was accustomed to regarding himself as an "overlord" . when they are so badly wanted? It beats me!" "What are you saying?" roaredverbitzki.A J e w . who must undoubtedly have had his mind poisoned against Chain1 Shimon and his wares. "And tell him to bring the Jew along with him!" The old servant took to his heels. but it was not until he awoke to comparative sobriety that he was aware of his old servant who was his personal attendant. go straight home. Their grumbling soon reached the nobleman's castle." Thus he called all those employed on his estate). word got around that the latter had brought volikes for all the workers of the poretz. "why should Chaim's volikes have been refused. and all his servants went about their tasks discussing the matter of the cancelled volikes. which he had tasted on more than one occasion.B a i t e r G e t s HISD e s s e r t s Chaim Shimon saw that further argument was useless. but that despite the fact that Chaim Shimon had brought them before the date promised. whom he always referred to as "a dog. and shrugging their shoulders in bewilderment. so he had no alternative but to take his wagon-load and depart. "Call that dog here at once!" (Meaning Bednitzki. Verbitzki. and many of the workers were laid up with heavy colds. and wagging his head in perplexity. would surely have heard what was going on.The news therefore angered them and they began to murmur their protests against the overseer's incomprehensible behavior. going about talking to himself. and see in which way he could at least prove himself in the right with StefanVerbitzki. He did not. however. the order had nevertheless been refused by the unscrupulous Jan Bednitzlu! The weather had by now become really cold and nasty." the old valet was murmuring.

" The pomp and ceremony pleased his vanity and made a great impression. saying politely. arid told him that the poretz had ordered hiril to go at once to find Chaim Shimon and bring hiin back inlmediately with his t~olikt7. and when he appeared in pnblic. the porctz greeted Bednitzki with a roar of curses. He would then seat himself'on a raised dais with a sceptre in his hand and survey them all with a penetrating gaze! Heaven help the one upon whom his eye settled! For a he would for no apparent reason clloose so~neone t random. But as soon as Bednitzki opened his mouth to speak.with power over his workers and their hnliiies. the poretz screamed at him. Chain1 Shimon was staying. they all went In fear anti trembhng o f h l m and 111s crazy impulses. "It was extremely nice of you to bring the ~jolikesso quickly. and demanded an explanation of him. where he had heard. I like people . The old valet came running to the overseer Jan Bednitzki. then poretz Thls he did to demor~~trate hmitless power over ther-r~. which could not be questioned or disputed by anyone! O n marly a11 occasion he would call together all his workers with their households.s. But he had no alterlxative than to do his niaster's bidding. for he realized that trouble awaited him. This "nobleman" Stefan Verbitzki liked to call himself "Stefan Vielmozshni. he felt. so he went off to the village. As soon as they both appeared at the castle." ("almighty"). h15 drld naturally enough. he always had a band of his workers blowing the trumpets to herald the approach of their "lord and master. and order him to be whipped before the eyes of the whole gathering! Then the unfortunate creature was ordered to crawl on all fours and kiss the tips of the "nobleman's" boots! While the onlookers had to sing a song of praise to him. and have them all assenlbled in front of his castle. When the overseer got the message he paled. upon his suhservient employees. "Silence. you black dog!" and turncd with a completely changed mailner to Chain] Shimon.

so he replied: "I was told that you had cancelled your outstanding order for the volikex and I was already on my way home with them. who was aware of the capriciousness of the crazy poretz. This I would never do even if the prices were too high!" Calming down he concluded. so I wilI show you my appreciation by dealing with you in the future. as I have already stated. thought he was making fun of him. until the blood spurted forth from his wounds! In his rage he turned also upon Chain1 Shimon. and I like people who keep their word. and give you a repeat order for a further two hundred pairs!" Chaim Shimon. I want you to supply me with another batch of volikes. He could not imagine he spoke seriously. Chain1 Shimon looked towards Bednitzki but said not a word. The poretz knew without being told that his overseer was at the bottom of the unwarranted cancellation. so that my 'dogs' do not freeze in the cold!" The poretz gave orders for the book of accounts to be brought in. The latter looked as if he would willingly have sunk through the floor. even if they be Jews! To show you how pleased I am with you." "Who was it who told you such an untruth?" asked the poretz. trembling like a leaf. but now I hear a different story from your own lips. meanwhile wrapping himself up before going out to have a look at the new volikex that Chaim Shimon had brought along in the wagons. I had accepted the cancellation without intending to make any counterclaims. "How dare you bring such dshonor upon me by saylng in my name that I wished to retract the order I had placed with this Jew! You shall pay dearly for this. And. and hurled himself at him thundering.You brought my order even before the time you promised.A Jew-Baiter Gets H i s Desserts who carry out my orders so capably. "I see I am dealing with an honest man. I am going to pay you a gilden more on every pair of volikes. saying:"You also deserve a whipping for believing that I would go back on my word. He stood there. you black son of a dog!" The "nobleman" accompanied his tirade with a slashing of his whip over the face and body of the luckless overseer. his eyes full of terror. When the goods were uncovered and the poretz bent forward to .

I warn you I shall have no mercy upon you and beat you to death!" The two frightened peasants needed no second bidding. that he was even now still lying in bed suffering from his wounds! . but imniediately began."I will give each of you a drink of whiskey and a loaf of bread. with the two hundred pairs of snow boots. and kept him under close guard. He heard that the overseer Jan Bednitzki had been so badly beaten by the poretz. after Jan Bednitzki had received the volikes from Chaim Shimon.'Thus he had made a profit in both directions. but should I discover that you are telling lies. "If you tell me the whole truth. he shouted out his approval with glee and said he wished them to be taken to his storerooms to compare them with the previous lot that Chain1 Shinlon had sold him. he found a new overseer there. he had taken them to another town and sold them at a good profit. and had brought then1 to the poretz. When he came back to the castle after three weeks.With part of the money he had purchased a cheaper quality volikes elsewhere. these are not my volikes! Mine were entirely different. and of a definitely superior quality! These are not worth half of the price of mine!" "What in the name of Heaven has been going on around here?" again roared the poretz. He then ordered the two drivers who had been in charge of the wagons when the overseer had obtained the volikes froni Chairn Shimon. First on the "sale" and secondly on the purchase ofthe volikts to replace those he had obtained from Chaim Shimon. "I must get to the bottorn of the matter!* Bednitzki could stand no more. a Jew named Aaron Yosef of Liadi. making out an account for a higher amount than he had paid to Chaim Shimon. to be dealt with at a more convenient moment." the poretz told then1. The poretz ordered him to be carried into the castle. to relate how. and fell down in a swoon. The latter was thus completely exonerated. Chaim Shimon returned home and set about making up the new order.Lubavitcher Rabbi's Mernoivs examine them. in trembling voices full of fear. No sooner had they entered the storeroonl and seen the boots than Chaim Shimon called out in surprise. to be brought to him and commanded the111 to tell him exactly what had transpired. "Why.

too. for such a conceited man as he. When Chaim Shimon arrived one day to make a delivery. and his dignity!) He had asked Aaron Yosef to come back and again be his overseer. with the extremely high opinion he had of himself. would pay for everything. But when the old poretz (who was a friend of the Jews and gladly had them work for him) died. who had made up all sorts of stories against the Jews. as he had been until Bednitzki had come along and made mischief for him and for all the Jews in and around the estate. And in order to make certain that it would be kosher enough for him. Now everything was changed for the Jews. that Bednitzki was a swindler and had been consistently defraudmg him during all the time he had been in his employ. he had asked his Jewish overseer AaronYosef to arrange the meal for then1 all in his own house.A J e w . the young poretz began telling them of his late father's friendship with the Jews. many Jews had employment on the Verbitzki estates. (Which was much. and had made a public apology to them. When they were all sitting together at the table (and it was indeed meant as an honor. . his power. for the better. It was he. Thus the Jews were chased out of theverbitzki estates and had to look for a living elsewhere. he was told that the poretz had arranged a special meatless meal which he would be able to eat. This state of affairs would probably have continued. the young poretz took over and fell under the influence of the anti-Semitic overseer Jan Bednitzki. that the poretz should sit at the same table as Chaim Shimon and the overseer). Now that he had been shown his mistake. had not the poretz discovered.B a i t e r G e t s His Desserts During one of his business visits. and he. accompanied by his armed guard. through this business transaction with Chaim Shimon. the poretz. so that the poretz had believed them and had mistreated the Jews because of them. he had gone to the Jewish community in Liadi. the father of the present poretz. Chaim Shimon learned from the new overseer Aaron Yosef that in the time of the old poretz. and were very well treated. He told them with such pride about the time when there had been a big fire in Liadi.

and he was glad that his father had never known that his own friendship with the Jews had been terminated for a time by his son. house. ship.: who was sitting in Aaron YoseE:. and chatting in such friendly fishion with his two Jewish companions. H e knew his father would have wished it so. and he gave then1 permis-sion to take wood from his fbrests to use in the rebuilding of their homes and community centers. .destroying a very large part of the town. And so it was with a light and gratefill heart that Chaim Shimon left the yoretz Verbitzlu. The Rav of Liadi and other heads of the Jewish cornrnunity o i Liadi had come to him in their trouble. Both Aaron Yosef and Chain1 Shimon were delighted with this "change of heart" on the part of the young poretz. their Brit Hanlidrash. was one and the same man! H e told thern how delighted he was at the renewal of friendship with the Jews.. as well as their holy place of wor. was absolutely in the seventh heaven of delight that it was he who had been instrumental in bringing about such an improved state of affairs for his fellow Jews. and how his tjthcr had helped the Jews then. and niade his way back to his 11o111c ill Dobron~ysl. but Chaim Shimon. in particular. would hardly have recognized that the poret. Anyone who knew the young poretz as he had been under the evil influence of his Jew-hating overseer Jan Bednitzki.

CHAPTER NINETEEN A Chasid Befriends a Lost Soul Yearning for a Scholarly Son-in-Law Humble Veterinarian W h o Rises to Fame A Lesson in Love for Dumb Creatures Chasidic Father and Son Rabbi A d a m Baal Shem .


It was therefore all the more disappointing to him that this youngest son-in-law should show this peculiar desire to become a workman like himself. as well as to his daughter. He had striven and succeeded to obtain scholars for all three of his daughters. Eliezer Reuven had always felt very proud of his learned sons-inlaw. and enjoyed listening to their learning.NINETEEN of Uobromysl. Yitzchak Shaul's wife. His two older sons-in-law had eventually obtained respected rabbinical posts in yeshivot. He received scant sympathy "Why should it trouble you?" asked his wife. It was beyond his comprehension! He spoke to his wife Devorah about it. however. was still enjoying his father-in-law's "board and lodgings" until he too would find a suitable post. and he had not minded how much it had cost him or how hard he worked in order to realize this ambition of his. to get used to the idea of his third son-in-law RabbiYitzchak Shaul becoming a smith like himself and working together with him in the smithy. Eliezer Reuven. His third son-in-law. "Haven't you yourWASN'T EASY FOR THE SMITH IT . and left his house now that they could afford to live independently.

Whereas the otherr generas ally carrled their learning around with them as if wearing a label marked "scholar. in addition. Zevulun Binyamin was an expert veterinarian and. that no one showed him any attention or interest. It was due to the fact that he could no longer bear to be so ridiculed. and moved to Dobromysl where they were fortunate enough to become friends and neighbors of the good-hearted smith Eliezer Reuven. other than to have a laugh over his crude appearance or simplicity. came along. he decided that Yitzchak Shaul was unlike his other two sons-in-law. earned his living by skinning the carcasses of animals. Yitzchak Shaul would invariably put aside hls Gentara and give him a welcoming smile. so had perforce to resign hiinself to the idea. the strangely uncouth Zevulun Binyarnin. You/ S~ Thus it came about that Eliezer Reuven often noticed that. Even Eliezer Reuven saw nothing wrong in his two older sons-inlaw having a joke at his expense. Maybe it was because of what people considered his low calling. They therefore believed they were absolutely within their rights in poking h n at hirn if they felt like it. was exceedingly modest and treated everybody with equal respect dnd kindly Inanner. Everybody in Dobromysl regarded Zevulun Binyamin as the ignoramus he was in fact. The veterinarian recognized his own appalling ignorance and what an object of contempt he was in the eyes of all his fellow Jews. and in fact unlike most other young Inen who had as good an edu~atlorl he had."Yitzchak Shaul. O n reflection. be he d ~ h o l a r uneducated or A C h a s i d Hqfricitds a L C I . whenever Zevulun Binyamin called at the smithy. when his old neighbor. that he and his wife and children left the small town in which they lived.L u b a v i t c l i e r R a b b i ' s iZlcrnotrs self proved that a worknian can also be a decent person? Must one be a rabbi before one can earn respect?" Eliezer Keuven saw that he could receive no backing fro111elther his wife or daughter. on the contrary. .

a brilliant young inan. But it was not in the shul alone that people found an opportunity of making fun of poor Zevulun Binyamin.Yitzchak Shaul. too. He thought that the only course open to him at this stage was to become resigned to his unenviable position. when he joined the young boys in the aliyah of kol hane'arim. who should have had more sense and some regard for the feelings of the unfortunate Jew. the greater was his appreciation and gratitude to this warmhearted individual who could make him feel that he.L a w At first the humble Zevulun Binyamin hdn't dare say a word to this brilliant young scholar. He would ask him to sit down and talk to him. he would repeat it after the others. particular friendliness. But now. but he knew of no way to alter matters. and when he had to recite the brachah. too. a Torah student. If Zevulun Binyamin had not felt it to be the duty of every Jew to be called to the Torah at least once a year. muchabused fellow. Of course. But little by little. which was on Simchat Torah. was a person of value to the community! Yitzchak Shaul always made a point of showing this poor. the latter's . had been Eliezer Keuven the smith. wonder of wonders. joined in the hilarity.Typical Chasidism Zevulun Binyarnin well remembered how he used to be called to the Torah but once a year. He would ask after his family and encourage him to tell him of his problems. he simply could not have found enough courage to go through the terrible ordeal of publicly facing the congregation. all the youngsters thought it very funny and just roared with laughter. was making a friend of him! He could hardly realize the enormity of his good fortune! The more he thought about it. He would then hide behind some adult so that he would be as inconspicuous as possible. and many of the grown-ups. Yearning -for a Scholarly S o n .i n . thus far. He no sooner entered the merchatz than a peal of merriment rippled through the place! The poor fellow literally writhed in discomfort and unhappiness. As has been said. the only exception.

they just laughed at me. I never had an opportunity to learn anything whch you might include in the term 'education." Zevulun Binyamin continued eagerly: "My oldest daughter is now nearly eighteen years old. and I feel I ought to be looking iitr a suitable husband for her." KabbiYitzchak Shaul was touched at the pathos in the voice and face of Zevulun Binyamin. "Don't you give a thought to those people! They are not worth chilthinking about. "I shall never forget you as long :IS I live!" ' 4 . and Zevulun i3inyanii11'stBce lit up with pleasure at the warn1 and kindly words. and I should love them to attend some yeshivah! But until now." replied Yitzchak Shaul." "By all means. thinking nit: unworthy of having educated children. You cannot imagine what your kindness means to me!" Zevulun Binyamin said."Yitzchak Shaul concluded. He seemed so grateful that such an educated person should take any interest in him. whenever I as much as mentioned it to anyone. "You have saved me from despair!" the latter cried out gratehlly.'That is why I felt I should so like illy children to have the benefit of what I missed! My younger boys are also growing up. "1 really have many problems I should be grateful to discuss with you if you l~ave time and patience to listhe ten. "Everything will be alright. "I shall be delighted to advise you in whichever way possible. I shall myself tutor then1 with the greatest of pleasure until they know enough to begin their studies at a yeshivah. however. that the tears rushed to his eyes. If. that has been due to the fact that I have lived all my life among non-Jewish uneducated peasants.You have as much right to hope for ed~icated dren as anyone else.You just send thern along to rrle and 1'11 examine then1 and tell you if they are of a sufliciently high standard to be admitted to a yeshivah. but I find they haw the riecessary talent. don't you worry 111yfriend. for although I am such an ignorant man myself.Lubavitcher Rabbt > Mrmoius gentle manner and obvious interest put him at his ease. I would like a learned son-in-law. they are not.

in his old age. "1 shall find you such a son-in-law. if the right suitor be found for her. telling him all about Zevulun Binyamin's lovely daughter." said Zevulun Binyamin earnestly. "And dare I ask you what I can do about my daughter?" asked Zevulun Binyarnin hopefully.Tell him that my wife is as ignorant as I am. Now is it her fault. I assure you. and even now I do not know much more than a little Ivri and the essential Brachot! I still cannot daven sufficiently well to follow the service with all the other congregants.Yitzchak Shaul explained to him that his father Rabbi Nissan lived in Harki. write to his father without delay."Yitzchak Shaul told him confidently. my teeth begin . that she has such an ignoramus for a father?" "And why shouldn't you have a learned son-in-law?" said Yitzchak Shaul encouragingly. He would. and her father was a cobbler until. he gave up his cobbling and became a shamash in a shul in Dubrovna. with a beautiful trousseau. Why then should I not be able to provide my dear daughter with a learned husband too?" Zevulun Binyarnin spoke with such yearning in his voice that Yitzchak Shaul was very moved. Until I was married I did not even know an aleffrom a heit. too. earning my livelihood by skinning carcasses and healing sick animals.Yitzchak Shaul patted him on the shoulder understandingly. "I have saved quite a nice dowry for her. and whenever I am called up to the Torah. poor child. although he himself is not educated. and asking him to find a nice young man for her." continued the veterinarian in a confidential tone. "I have never dared tell anyone how I yearn to have a learned husband for her! She is a lovely girl in every way. and Zevulun Binyamin jumped for joy. he would be short of nothing in my house! I have always envied your father-in-law his good fortune in obtaining such learned sonsin-law. "You had better tell him that I am a very lowly person. hearing these unexpected words. "You know. and sufficient money to provide a complete outfit of clothing for her prospective husband. and that he took great delight in finding wives for the excellent young men of his acquaintance. "But please tell your father the whole truth about me. therefore.

Still. "I once heard that a common person need not be trusted. O n the following n~orlling. since I can remember." he concluded simply. "I should feel so very much obliged to you. and put it into Yitzchak Shaul's hands saying. even when it is not so pleasant. my tongue should get all tied up! I know tull well that at such a time. people laugh at me behind 1 x 1 ~back if'not openly. they never seem to take any notice of the fact that I am uneducated! They also do not requlre . as if to an equal. and. "I have also always impressed upon nly childre11 the ii~lportance of being ho~lestand decent. uneducated Zevulun Binyamin made a deep impression uporl the scholarly Yitzchak Shaul. andyitzchak Shaul listened throughout. "In fact I have always acted according to the best of my knowledge and understanding. if you would kindly keep it in your possession until we need it.Zevulun Binyamin brought a bag containing the money which he had saved for his daughter's dowry. absolutely carried him into the seventh heaven of delight! O n e day Zevulun Binyamin asked him. Nor h ~ v e ever dealt disl~ouI estly either with Jew or non-Jew. so I thought it better that you should see that I have the money. tell lne why it is that when 1 am anlong non-Jews. like other Jews? 1 can honestly chatter from fright lest. with patience and understanding. that 1 Slave never. which I know. while I make the brachall. though." While the honesty and sinlplicity of the humble. told a lie. the truth must be told." Z E V U L UBINYAMIN N LOOKEI) RELIEVE]) when he had gotten that speech off his chest. as well as to people. the latter's synlpathetic understanding and friendliness towards Zevulun Binyamin. "Please Rabbi. and so I shall not feel cornfortable unless your y father knows all there is to know about me and ~ n faridy and about our hmnble origin. But is it my fault that 1 have been so cursed that 1 never had the opportunity to study in tny childhood. by conlparison with other people's. is not very high. and kinti to anirnals.

"Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish tells us in the Gemara C h u l l i ~ 'The Jewish people is com92a. that even this simple soul could understand and appreciate them. "But we Jews have to be able to read and recite all the prayers and services. As for one's occupation. whose branches represent the baalei batim. They are therefore under obligation to study the Torah and carry out all its teachings. the amei ha'aretz. who were appointed for special duties. when there are two Torah scholars. see how I am laughed at and scoffed at. as is the unfortunate case with myself. therefore. nor.Yitzchak Shaul spoke to this uneducated Jew as an equal. And in both cases it is not essential for the additional Jew to be a scholar like the others.' "The scholars. must pray for the welfare of those who . and earn equal merit. but all other Jews can carry out all other mitzrrot of the Torah. one need never be ashamed of one's work so long as it is done honestly. "A11 Jews are equal in relation to matters of sanctity except the Kohanim. ourselves! And if we can't. but the mere fact of his being a Jew gives him an equal right and status. but the only nation to accept it was the Jewish people. can they constitute a rnezuman until a third Jew joins them. <.You see. Remember that even where there are nine scholars they do not constitute a minyan until a tenth Jew comes to join them. and whose leaves represent the uneducated. parable to a vine.Typical Chasidism so much education." All the time.-d offered the Torah to the nations." Zevulurl Binyamin's eyes lit up with pleasure and relief as his friend continued. and quoted the sayings of the Sages to him in such simple lanp a g e and explained them to him so clearly." "My dear friend. "But don't think that only a scholar is a man of account. "no one has the right to make fun of you under any circumstances! But I will tell you why it is necessary for us Jews to know more than the non-Jews." replied the scholar. They will then be a credit to their Maker and an example for the rest of the world to follow. whose clusters of grapes represent the scholars.They go to church on Sundays and just listen to their priest praying or giving them a sermon and it is sufficient for them.

In his reply Rabbi Nissan stated that there were several very worthy young men. for tlie latter protect the former. H e also encouraged the veterinarian to attend a shitrv at the Beit Harnidrash between Minchah and Maariv. the daughter of Zevulun Binyamin.Yitzchak Shad assured hirri that. by l~sterling the d~scourse after day.'' and When Zevulun Binyamin heard such encouraging words fronl his new friend. who could be said to be a good match for Dinah. And if even this would be too difticult for him to understand. but he wished to give the niatter his further consideration so that he could be more . and became filled with a burning desire to show his acquaintances that he could becorne as good a Jew as they. so sadly lacking before. shall show them what I can do!" From that tinie he really began to believe in himself and to acquire a certain amount of self-respect. when the ordinary people came and had everything explained to them in siniple terms. he always came toyitzchak Shaul.are less educated than thenlselves. who was only too pleased to explain things to him so that the problem disappeared." Zevulun Binyamin said "1 with a new confidence in l~ili~self.Yitzchak Shaui received a reply from his father Rabbi Nissan in connection with the matter of the niatch for Zevulun Binyamin's daughter. ail Torah scholars. H e attended the shiur in the Brit Hamidrash most religiously. Meanwhile. "I don't rrlind if they laugh at nie now. And so he hastened to assure his friend that he was more than willing to come to the shiur at the Beit Hamidrash as he had suggested. he was absolutely thrilled." Yitzchak Shaul told Zevulun Binyanlin that the Jews differ from non-Jews in that the former value learning so highly that there are Jews who spend all their time in lbrah study. he would eventually becorrie to day faldiar with the ternis u ~ e d learn to understand their meariiilg and "Above all. retnenlber that you are a Jew the same as the others. w ~ t h the same opport~~nities responsibilities. as the leaves protect the fruit. and listened so carefully and earnestly to all that he heard there. if ever something cropped up that h r could not understand.

the people were literally terrified. Zevulun Binyamin. And when he dwelt upon the possibility of really and truly becoming the father-in-law of a Torah scholar. But in the letter which Rabbi Nissan had written to his son. nor why he devoted so much of his precious time to an ignorant Jew. This came about when a dreadful epidenuc attacked the town. It was wonderful to feel that he was being treated as an equal. that Zevulun Binyarnin had in himself the makings of a great Jew. and not looked down upon as he had been practically all his life. and if he could help him to such an elevation.Typical Chasidism definite about the one he would finally recommend. who had a lifelong knowledge . the latter was overjoyed! He really appreciated such genuine interest on the part of someone who had not even met him. The epidemic attacked young children in particular. he would have shown that every Jew can aspire to great spiritual heights no matter from how low a level he should begin. he had urged him to take the veterinarian under his wing and look after his spiritual welfare for. as well as animals. G-d was being very good to him and he would try to be worthy of such undeserved grace in every way he could think of. Eventually this previously despised Zevulun Binyamin earned the respect and admiration of the Jews of Dobromysl. And more than anything he appreciated the tone of the letter. he felt. here was "fertile soil" upon which the seeds he would plant would blossom and flourish. H u m b l e Veterinariarr Who R i s e s t o F a m e Yitzchak Shaul had not told Zevulun Binyamin why he took such an interest in him. which by no word or syllable suggested that he had anything but respect for the humble and ignorant Jew who was looking for a scholarly son-in-law. Rabbi Nissan recognized even from afar. When the death toll increased day by day. WhenYitzchak Shaul reported the contents of the letter he had received to Zevulun Binyamin. So decided Zevulun Binyamin out of the fullness of his grateful heart. his pleasurable anticipation carried him into indescribable raptures.

had been able to do anything in the face of this dreadful calamity.We must all endeavor to be worthy of such a choice!" Saying which. the Rov of Dobronlysl decreed a special day of fasting and prayers in gratitude to the Almighty for having sent his healing through Zevulun Binyamin. He therefore quickly set about preparing his med-icines w h c h he prescribed for the children. just opened their eyes in wonder and admiration! So there was something in Zevdun Binyanlin after all! Where 110 one else. AU the inhabitants of Dobro~nysland around. he praised Zevulun Binyamin. it proves he has failed them. as their spiritual guide. "that the Almighty can choose anyone. "Our Sages tell us that when a community is at fault." he continued. either by prayer or practical application. the sirnple veterinary had quietly made up his prescriptions and brought relief and joy with his healing. which made a most profound impression upon his listeners. and gave instructions on how to avoid further contamirlation and spreading of the disease. is meant to lead and keep his 'flock' in the right path. to carry out His missions. the responsibility and liability rest upon their mv who. recognized that this epidemic was the result of contaminated milk frorri cows and goats that had been eating poisonous grasses. and a l l the Jews of Dobromysl had gathered together in the Beit Hamidrash to listen to the words of their rav. however uneducated he may be. He also treated and cured the affected animals. he burst into tears. When the epidemic had completely abated. It was Ercv Rosli Chodesh Elul. o He knew exactly how to treat this hsease as well as how c corn-bat its recurrence. and the deaths among the infected ceased. The result was miraculous! 111 the course of a couple of days the afflicted were cured. In his sermon. If they go astray. into many stricken homes. That is why I feel that the epi- .Ltrbavitcher K a b b i ' ~M r n ~ o i r s and experience in healing sick anirnals. as was his custom when deeply moved in prayer. and said he had come like "an angel from heaven" to save their children! "We can all learn from this episode.

telling him what had just happened. As he entered the room where the Jews were bathing. now there were many who spoke up in his defense and rebuked those who made attempts to belittle him.The simple Zevulun Binyamin who was unaccustomed to such an attitude on the part of his fellow Jews. While recognizing the sorrow of what has befallen us. and very disturbed to find himself the object of praise. I feel the fault is mine. we must at the same time rejoice that the Almighty in His goodness. When Zevulun Binyamin had concluded his work of healing in Dobromysl. he heard himself being discussed. or at least unrecognized healing powers. learn so much from this!" Everybody began to talk about Zevulun Binyamin and his previously unknown.Typical Chasidism denlic was sent to us as a punishment for some wrongdoing. he went out into the surrounding villages to bring relief to the afflicted peasants. the merit is deducted &om one's portion in the world . too. has sent His salvation to the sufferers through such a humble person as Zevulun Binyamin. as well as about their ravk unstinted praise of him. had been so happy to see how their humble friend had risen to a place of recognition and respect in the community. if we will. and the first thing he did was to rush into the merchatz in order to make himself ready for Shabbat. He hurried to his friend Eliezer Reuven and burst into tears. He was amazed at what he had heard. Eliezer Reuven andyitzchak Shaul. and as head of the community. rushed his ablutions and literally fled before he would be recopzed. The two smiths. but whereas before this excited little if any interest. There still were some who continued to make fun of him. And now here was the poor man in tears! "I have heard it said that if one receives a reward on this earth for a good deed." so it was not until Friday afternoon that he managed to return to Dobromysl in great haste.We can. He was kept busy. They were all talking about the way the rav had praised the veterinary and they agreed.The room was full of steam. and no one saw that the object of their discussion had just come in. as he was alone in his role of "doctor. that he was deserving of such praise. in his presence or behind his back.

Don't you think it would be a good idea for me to leave l)obroinysl and go to a place where nobody knows me?" he pleaded. morning and evening. and grass-es which were poisonous.hev R a b b i ' s h l e m o i ~ s to come. unaware that his was a rllost unusual modesty They had now reached the Bcit Natnidrash. He was looking for an opportunity to "rid" himself of his friend." said Zevulun Binyamin. It is seldom that animals eat of the poisonous grasses. they put aside the amount that his tneal would have cost theem. they discussed the wonders of'the Creator who haci created grasses which could heal. telling him not to worry. could have done the sarne as I did. so that each week. there are still some grasses which have the power to nullifi the poisons already imbibed. "Yes." he continued. Eliezer Reuven was ainong the first of the worshippers to arrive. there was a nice little sun1 collected by his wife. for he wanted to put some money in the charity box which always stood in a prominent place in the Beit Hamidrash. and as was his regular custom. "Now people will hear me being praised and will envy me. and when no one was looking. they added a penny on its behalf. who knew much about the powers of nature.Lubavitt.Then as each child was born to them. "And you know that that is a thing which does not appeal to me in the least. to As the two friends walked together. it would be a worthier deed. and even when they do. Eliezer Reuven spoke conifortingly to his friend and tried t o reassure him. From the day he xnarried. so that by giving his charity secretly. whenever they sat down co a rneai without a guest."G-d has further shown h15 greatness by glving the animals the instinct to recognize which grasses they may eat to their advantage and wh~chto avoid AS bang pouononb. Eliezer Reuven had arranged with his wife that they put a penny aside. and accompanied h i n ~ skrrl. It is ridiculous to attribute to me powers which belong to the Almighty! Anyone who knew which elements are contained in the various plants and herbs. which he took along with him in a handkerchief. As the two Inen entered the Beit Harnidraslz on this particular ." he said between his sobs. for charity Also. quickly put into the charity box in the Beit Harutidrash." he concluded.

He believed it was a segulah for keeping peace in the home. Reb Zevulun Binyamin. my friend. and learned from the lad that the shamash had fallen and broken his leg." the rav said to him. he was still standing quietly in his corner. are not pursuing honor. Reb Zevulun Binyamin!" He turned around and gasped as he saw who had thus addressed him. But you. "Shalom Alechem. as well as those in the candelabra which hung suspended from the ceiling. It was the rat{ who stood there greeting him with outstretched hand. so that when the other congregants arrived for Kahbalat Shahhat. reciting the chapters of Tehillim which Rabbi to Yitzchak Shaul had advlsed h i n ~ repeat after each time he davened. he took his place as usual. and blessing one's children with long life.Your portion will remain undiminished. After the service." the rav told him reassuringly." Zevulun Binyamin was overcome with emotion and burst into tears. behind the bimah. everything would be ready and in order. "will I not have my portion in the world to come diminished. "Dear Rabbi. Eliezer Reuven and Zevulun Binyamin quickly took over his duties. It is only those who pursue honor." . they saw the eleven-year-old nephew of the shamash busily sweeping the Beit Hamidrash. on account of the great honor I am receiving now?" "Do not be upset." he asked in the midst of his tears. when suddenly he was startled by hearing himself addressed from behind his shoulder: "Good Shabbat to you. "you certainly will lose nothing of your portion in the next world.You have nothing to worry about on that score. When the other congregants assembled. and lit the candles for the amud.Typical Charidism Friday evening. Zevulun Binyarnin filled the laver with water. who thereby lose their portion in the world to come. and as he realized that he had actually been addressed by the honorable title "Reb. It had long been Eliezer Reuven's custom to change the weekday parochet for the more elaborate one used for Shabbat. They realized that something must have happened. but receiving it as your just due.

their erlgagernent was immediately arranged. none other thanyitzchak Shaul.'The young man. His narne wasyirnllya.lconie to him. that he had fillally chosen the n~ostsuitable yourlg Inan tbr the vetls young daughter Dinah.Zevulun Binyamin calmed himself as he heard the comforting words of the rav. and before the news had fairly reached the ears of the congregants who were present that evening ill the Beit Hamidrash. and Zevulun Binyamin was so happy about it and so enraptured with hi< future \on-in-law. -I'l~ere being no reasoil for postponement. the particular who irlost emphaticaUy welThere was one person i r ~ 2nd that was comed the new status acquired by Zevulun Binyami~i. as he shook hands with him and bade him "Good Shabbat. Another rrlatter which pleased him was that he had now received word fro111 his father Rabbi Nissari. and an orphan. Now he could really feel an equal with his fellows. but inrtead of being plea. Yirmiya arrived in due course and made a rnost pleasing impression upon both father and daughter. He conanued to be the same simple unassuming veterinary as he was before he becan~e hero of the hour. practically everybody in Dobromysl had learned of the astonishing event that had taken place there. was q Zevulun Binya~n~n now treated a a person to be reckoned with. When Zevulun Bi~lyar-ninheard the glad tidings that Rabbi to Nissan had found a real Torah scholar who was willir~g contenlplate becoming his son-in-law." It needed neither telephone nor telegraph for news to get around in Dobronlysl. but what a stir was created anlong all the others who had seen the rav seek out Zevuluri Binyamin and address him with such honor.ed by the unaccustomed attention afforded him. the honor was unwt. he was cvverjoyed. Rabbi Nissan wrote that he had spoken with the your~g man who had expressed himself willing to meet the young lady. he was a very learned young nlar1. was very favorably impressed with Diriah and approved of the father. too. that he at o~lce gave h ~ n lsuficient Inoney for 111~expenses until the tlnle he would . but he would not be able to make the trip to Dobronlysl for another few months.

while it was in action. "Wherever you findTorah there also will you find wisdom. broke up the earth into small pieces. They also gave him their orders fix making carriages. "Here have I been working in the smithy for the past forty years without being able to introduce a single innovation! Then here comes a yeshivah hachur and shows us his tricks!" he finished with evident pride.Typical C h a s i d i s r n return for his wedding. Yitzchak Shaul's work was becoming known both near and far. being in a position to support him. This naturally made quite a nice sum of money which Eliezer Reuven could not otherwise have expected. He brought the benefit of his brilliant brain right into the humble smithy! He introduced all sorts of innovations to improve their business. they all flocked to the smithy and begged him to fix such an attachment on their ploughs. he also assured him of his future care. Naturally. would be more than happy to attend to that as long as he lived. This saved a great deal of time for the ploughman. and one of them was his invention of a certain attachment to a plough which. and they were happy to pay the price. telling him he need have no worry about finances. Zevulun Binyamin. And so his youngest son-in-law was proving himself a very exceptional young man indeed. and his father-in-law could not but admire him for his obvious ability. "The answer is a simple one. NOT ONLY AS A TORAH SCHOLAR didyitzchak Shaul excel himself. for he. and many noblemen sent him orders to attach his invention to their ploughs." . but also the Rav of Dobromysl was more than satisfied with the scholarship of the prospective groom. for he had shown his abilities in every branch of the work at the smithy. When the peasants heard o'iYitzchak Shaul's invention." replied his wife calmly. "What do you think of our brilliant son-in-law?" Eliezer Reuven remarked to his wife. The joy of this simple Jew knew no bounds when his friend Yitzchak Shaul came to tell him that not only he.

And we owe it all to the Torah!'' Yitzchak Shaul's purpose in doing manual work to earn his living was not merely because he wished thus to make money. . but he reckoned that in this way he would have Inore and better opportunities of coming into contact with the workers."It is in the !Mishnah that mention was made of a plough which had an attachment for breaking up the soil. and to give them the incentive to follow their ethical teachings. and then they were joined by other women. his father. thought nothing of throwing stones at birds. Kabbi Nissan. and you already know how successful the idea was. This. so I decided to introduce this innovation. getting to know them and winning their confidence. for he had. as though he were one of them. and one must not harm any of His creatures. plucking up plants. by teaching them of the greatness and nobility of our Rabbis and 'Teachers. Yitzchak Shaul also began to teach his own wife. He extended his love also to four-footed creatures." saidyitzchak Shaul. Rabbi Nissan had had good reason to teach his son to be merciful. like tnany another boy.nilrmoirs "It is in fact theTorah to which the credit should be given Lbr 111). "I noticed that the ploughs which the peasants brought to us tor repair did not have such attachments. had implanted in him since his earliest childhood. telling him that one must love everything that G-d has made.Lubavitc1tcv R a b b i ' s . The love and patience which Yitzchak Shsul showed to all. Soon his mother-in-law came along to listen. dogs or cats. were unsurpassed. for they too could feel pain. invention. to birds. and to everything of G-d's Creation. or tearing up grasses. He wanted to help then] achieve a higher spiritual level. He explained the Torah to these sinlple souls in terms which they could grasp and appreciate. and his eagerness to teach them. goats. and not even hurt plants. chasing cows. Every Shabbat he read the sidrah to her and explained it to her inYiddish. be they Inen or women.

which were a joy to behold! But the little tyrant used to pick up small stones and aim them at the chicks. . looking up. Suddenly. underneath the oven. Every evening he used to bring it into the house and put it in a warm. the more pleased was Rabbi Nissan.Yitzchak Shaul felt a heavy hand on his shoulder and. clear crowing. with blows to follow. so d d his young son hate it. little Yitzchak Shaul. Whenever his father was out of the way. And if he could get a dog to chase a cat. "So this is the way you spend your time? Ill-treating helpless creatures!" his father rebuked him sternly. Thus he would be sure to hear its crowing and be in time to go to daven. which was h s father's favorite. dry place. why that was one of his special delights! But one day. He therefore looked after it himself. making them "run for their lives" all over the yard! Then he thought nothing of catching flies and placing them inside a spider's web. But not so. until the latter finally captured its victims and swallowed them. so that nothing should affect his excellent. The louder the cock crowed. making sure it had enough to eat and was kept in good condition. littleyitzchak Shaul used to chase the poor cock all over the yard! He treated animals in no kindlier manner. He was a melamed and everybody knows that boys can drive any teacher to losing his temper. so that he could have the pleasure of watching the struggle between the flies and the spider. But this was not Rabbi Nissan's way. his father had come into the yard and observed his son's cruel behavior. beheld his father's angry face. unnoticed by himself. As much as his father loved the cock. "I could never imagine that a child of mine could be so cruel!" The little frightened boy thought his father would surely give him a beating.Typical C h a s i d i s m Yitzchak Shaul especially remembered what his father had told him about a cock. They had a "broody" hen which eventually hatched her eggs. he looked so angry. He treasured this cock so much. and he delighted in persecuting the bird at every opportunity. and fluffy little chickens emerged. because very early every morning it used to crow so loudly and wake him up to go to shul.

and tell h i n ~ for the culprit. H e told him to read the Mishnah relating to the illjunction to look after chickens with gentle care. respected then. so that the tender little chickens should not have to hurt themselves by junlpirig a distance beyond their capacity!" Rabbi Nissan enthusiastically explained to his little son. in tact. lowering the basket for them to go out or corrle in. instead. But if a pupil deserved punishment. have not only ignored this teaching. he had only to indicate the strap what he deserved.The pupil felt he had "had it" and resolved to ~riake amends. Rabbi Nissan asked hiin to bring the Gemara Shabbar and open it at page 125. "Then in Brachot we find on page 40. but have inoreover shown a cruelty towards the poor creatures. that we niust never sit down to a meal before first looking after the dunib creatures. he heard his father saying in :I very serious voice: "You know that it is not in n1y nature to hit anyone. until they were big enough and strong enough to manage it for themselves. and I have never beaten you.teacher. H e thought his father had finished with hinl when. Entering the house with his son. "See how the Torah thinks of everything and allows us to d o something o n Shabbat which otherwise we are not allowed to touch. and werr more afraid of him than the pupils of other teachers who used thc strap and enforced discipline and order by this means. and I am . Rabbi Nlssan's pupils. which I could hardly have believed possible in a child of mnine!You have acted murderously. and in a bloodthirsty manner!" Yitzchak Shaul trembled before the reproof and reproach in his father's cutting tones.L t ~ b a v i t c h e rR a b b i ' s Mer?ioiws But Rabbi Nissan had never in all his experience laid a hand upon a pupil. it is true. and it was always enough on the wall. nly son. but this tiine 1 am going to ask you to take down that 'cat-o-nine-tails' which you see hanging on the wall.Yet you. His "strap" hung on the wall of the classroom.' "Thus we see that we niust first of all care for the other of G-d's creatures before we look after our own needs. For first we find the words: 'I shall give grass in your fields for your animals: and later 'and you shall eat and be satisfied.

he was so elevated since his . if he would forgive him. and he determined from that moment. your father. "Before I whip you. I want you to feel the: taste of real pain so that you will better realize the pain you have inflicted upon the creatures you have so thoughtlessly persecuted. he suddenly went up to his father.This in itself impressed upon him the enormity of his crime. His father very gravely took it from hiin and told him to stretch out on the bench. use the 'cat-o-nine-tails' which had always seemed part of the furniture until then. you are still a little boy and I. he realized that it was all his fault for having made his father do something so contrary to his nature."My son. deep and painful sobs escaping him which he seemed unable to restrain. Rabbi Nissan quickly went into another room without a backward glance. which is not quite so serious. with tears in his eyes. have to bear all your sins. WhenYitzchak Shaul heard his father sobbing.Typical C h a s i d i s w l going to whip you. and he accepted them without a murmur. and walked about full of regret and shame for his misdeeds. that is." These were the first and last blows that Yitzchak Shaul ever received at the hands of his father. is so that you will the better remember the pain you have inflicted upon the birds and other living creatures. This gave the little boy more pain than the actual whipping." Yitzchak Shaul gravely took a chair and reached up for the strap which he had never before seen his father use. face downwards. and a moment lateryitzchak Shaul heard his father crying. never again to hurt anything or anyone! He felt the pain a couple of days. But it would be dreadful if you grew up to be an unfeeling. and asked hitn. I want you to know quite clearly that the only reason I am domg this.'' he said. and never an instrument of physical punishment. cruel creature!" Yitzchak Shaul felt a changed boy. After the whipping. kissed his hand. Rabbi Nissan's eyes also filled with tears as he said to his son tenderly. On the third day.

. a man of simple habits. one of the batlanim at the Beit Hamidrash. O n e of these friends was Avraharn Abba. Apart from his thorough knowledge of Crmara he was so well-versed in the Rambam." (For. that he "the Harklan matmtd. During the following days and nights. and on Mondays and Thursdays he fasted altogether. This made a tremendous in~pression upon the young lad. as you know. and exceptionally learned. But gone was his previous pleasure in such pastinles. not to listen to gossip nor to indulge in this common weakness himself. these visions filled him with fear and pain. who. and he knew he could never again inflict pain and be cruel. He used to take the boy with him to meetings where there was a select gathering of scholars. dogs. was a great scholar. who now took an interest inYitzchak Shaul and kept an eye on hi111. He became \uch a zealous student. he earned the n~ckname came from hark^). WHENYITZCHAK SHAUL eleven years old. All week he ate but the minimum of simple fare. a baker. He used to say toyitzchak Shaul that unless one's Torah was based upon the fear of the Lord and the love of one's fellow Jews. despite his occupation. imaginary and actual. cats. Yitzchak Shaul was nloct careful to follow his father's advice not to waste time on things of no real value. goats and flies. Instead. and thus had made friends in that city.father's "lesson" that he could almost believe it was someone else who had perpetrated the sinful cruelties which had earned the culprit such a just punishment. Kabbi Nissan had also studied in Minsk as a youth. h a father sent him to WA\ the Mlnsk yeshivah. ic was no Torah. that he knew it all by heart. chasing and persecuting the birds. From this time onwards. Rabbi Nissan devoted special time to teaching his son Mussar in addtion to his regular studies. conle to dlscuss "service to the Almighty" It was at one of these meetings that Yitzchak Shaul made the acquaintance of Rabbi Moshe Nissan. he was haunted by visions of hiniself as he had been.

At the beginning. did not divulge to Baruch the fact that his father Rabbi Nissan belonged to the new sect of Chasidim. Kabbi Nissan was born in Bobruisk. that his father was a Chasid. and he recognized thatyitzchak Shaul was following a line entirely original. he devoted a great deal of his time to divine service. was very impressed with the interest and friendship the latter showed the humble veterinary. together with Kabbi Nissan and some others. had been brought up by his father along these Chasidc lines. But as time passed and their friendship grew. and Yitzchak Shaul was one of his willing and admiring listeners. Yitzchak Shaul was not too communicative about his thoughts and convictions. The result was thatyitzchak Shaul greatly improved in character. he continued his studies under Rabbi AzrielYosef. Baruch had always believed that nothing was as important as scholarship. conducted a yeshivah there.Yitzchak Shaul. though he did not as yet know that he was heading for the new school of thought of Chasidism.Typical Chasidism In addition to his extensive studies. So he told him all he knew about Chasidism. Baruch. Nor did he tell hinl that he. and when he was sixteen . He used to pray at great length and apply He himself to the study of ~Vussar. His sympathies were drawn even closer to his friendyitzchak Shaul. who also. taught as well as studied Mussar. the local magqid. and he. being greatly impressed and influenced by all he heard. and thus it was that the latter's teachings reachedyitzchak Shaul too. had paid several visits to the Baal Shem Tov. therefore. for a period. who was most interested in studylng his friendyitzchak Shaul. It was something that nobody else would be likely to do. Rabbi AzrielYosef.Yitzchak Shaul felt th he could confide in Baruch and be frank ~ ~ i him without fear. and acquired a burning love for his fellow beings! Chasidic Father a n d S o n When Yitzchak Shaul left Minsk and returned to his hometown Harki. and how it had come about. yet now he was becoming convinced that one's actions were more important still. too.

through this reincarnation. . submitting that the souls of all our Znnirn. managed to be admitted as one of them. For twelve years. under Rabbi Yechiel. he had heard of a group of scholars who used to meet for the purpose of studying Kabbalah. spending his time in Torah study and divine service. From there he went to Halusk.Lubavitcher Rabbi's Menzoirs years old. by of He lived at the ho~rie his father-in-law in the village. . Gaotfim. both at the yeshivah and beit diw.and Zokav. our Prophets and all the others mentioned in the Tanach. while all the other members were married men. who had taken over the headship from the Cnon of Posen. RabbiYechiel was their rabbi. He was still comparatively a young lad. Rabbi Nissan had been very greatly impressed by all he heard. Then Rabbi Nissan married the daughter of a nearby villager. Even when liabbi Nissan was in Minsk during his earlier stay. who had revealed to him the secret as to which souls had been reincarnated in people living at the moment. Thus. at which yeshivah he continued his studies for four years. at which yeshivah only outstanding scholars were admitted.4inorc1im. KabbiYechiel expounded the theory of reincarnation. He had taken all possible trouble to find out where they were. there was a direct link between the generations of old and those of our present day. so he returned to Minsk where he received a very warm welcome from his old teacher ILabbiYechiel. recommended to h i ~ n the head of his yeshivah in Minsk. Here he made such excellent progress that hc was able to enter the yeshivah in Minsk. principalled by the Guon of I'osen. all were reborn and existed in persons living in our genera ti or^ .Talmud. this being the rule for admission. An exception had been made in his case on the reconlrnendation of RabbiYechiel who had a very high opinion of Rabbi Nissan's mental perception. beginning from Adam and including the souls of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. he argued. 'Then his wife became ill and died. he was already onr of the outstanding pupils of liabbi Shalom Tzvi's yeshivah in his native town. and after much efiort.and saints of all times. All the members of the group believed that Rabbi Yechiel had received this infornlation through the prophet Elijah.

returning to Minsk after his twelve years' absence. influencing them. and Rabbi Nissan became aware that there were among the group some members who had adopted a new form of divine worship. They could then talk freely to these ordinary. and many more had been added to this group who were studying this secret teaching. And even those among them who were rabbis. in order to encourage and elevate them to a higher level of thought and way of life. . A few months elapsed. Rabbi Nissan further learned that these members devoted much time to prayer. Many of these Chasidim would undertake varying periods of exile. finding that many of them had spread far afield. They did not believe that the only way to serve G-d was by devoting all of their time to study. attired themselves in ordinary workingmens' garb so that they should be able to appear among the workmen as members of their class. etc. They also made a special point of living simply and modestly. Rabbi Adam Baal Shem Now. he had given up this study of Kabbalah.Typical C h a s i d i s m After Rabbi Nissan had married and gone to live in the village. he immediately rejoined the group of Kabbalists. and inspiring then1 to take a greater interest in the Torah and its commandments. by doing all His bidding in a joyous rather than a somber spirit. and travel among ordinary folk. before which they first went to the mikvah. earning their livelihood by the work of their own hands rather than by the rabbinate. as Rabbiyechiel had advised him that this study should not be undertaken unless under the guidance of an authority. dressed like ordinary workers. uneducated people and have them speak freely in return. thus having a much better opportunity of teaching them. Nor did they believe that the correct way to serve Him was by afflicting their bodies by prolonged fasting. They contended that it would please the Almighty more if they were to show Him that they rejoiced in serving Him.

Rabbi Nissan was very interested in these particular Chasidinl. and that the head of all these groups was a great tzaddik and wonder-worker. named Rabbi Adam Baal Shem. too. Rabbi Nissan had made himself thoroughly conversant with all the teachings of Chasidism. learning much more of their ways and line of thought. all interconnected. Much to his astonishment. After a short while he. as it appeared in its first form. was admitted into their circle. . This was the Chasidic school of Rabbi Adam Baal Shem fro111 whom Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov later learned the way of Chasidism and was crowned as the leader of the new movement in Judaism. Kabbi Nissan now learned that the group to which he had attached himself was only one of rnaxly such ones. In less than six months. and became rather friendly with thern.


RabbiYosefYitzchak arrives in NewYork and founds the United Lubavitcher Yeshivot Tomche Tmimim of the U. The following year. he organizes a massive outreach activity throughout Russia for the strengthening of Torah and Judaism. he undertakes a trip abroad and succeeds in obtaining the intervention of influential circles to stop the pogroms on Jews in Russia.. 5688.S. At the age of 15 he begins to participate in the ramified public activities of his illustrious father. In 5694. the monthly magazine Hakeriah 1. 2. 49 ff. 175 ff. he founds the World Agudas Chasidei Chabad. A1 b ff. as a result of a denunciation by the Yevsektsia. A Biographical Sketch in On the Study of Chasidus (Kehot. capital of the Latvian Republic. A brief biography is available in Yom ?bv She1 Rash Hashanah 5659 (Kehot 2000). he takes up residence in Warsaw. the fifth . In 5699. he takes up residence in Riga. In 5701. but is released on Tammuz 12-13. and Canada. in 5666. Shortly thereafter. he is arrested for his work. and Canada. in 5681. 5640 Yx1 (1880) in Lubavitch. Rabbi Shalom D ~ v B e r In 5658 he is appointed administrator of the Yeshivah Tomchei Tmimim. and subsequently in Otwock. and in 5689-90 he visits the Holy Land. after the demise of his father on 2 Nissan.Biographical D a t a i 0f RABBIY O S E F Y I T Z C H A KS C H N E E R S O H N RABBI YOSEPY SCHNEERSOHN was born on 12 Tommui. In 5680. Then. O n 9 Adar I1 5700. Russia. at the young age of 26. p. p. .~ Lubavitcher Rebbe. Poland. he accepts the leadership of the Chabad hierarchy. For trlore details see Hayom Yom. he founds the Agudas Chasidei Chabad of the U. and then afterwards the United States of America. In 5684.p.S.A.A. 1997). Eng. ed. O n 15 Sivan 5687.

In 5705. philosophical. near Tel Aviv. 5710 (1950). he establishes the Kelzot Publication Society and creates the central orgariization for Jewish educatio11-i1/ferkos L'lnyonei Uhintiih. In 5704. Ezrat Pleitim Veriduram. In 5702.. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohri returned his sainted soul to heaven. with a regional office in Paris. he organizes the Aderlu group for the promotion of higher Talmudic studies and creates his central bureau for refugee aid. RabbiYosefYitzchak establishes his Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Organization. b) the twenty-fifth anniversary of his leadership of the Chabad movement. Rabbi YosefYitzchak turned his attention to the needs of North African Jewry. . he establishes the Otzar I-iachasiditvl Library. schools for girls. arid cj the eighteenth anniversary of his release froni in~prisonmentin Soviet Russia. which have since flourished under the name of Oholei YosefYitzchok Lubavitz. etc.Veltakedushah makes its first appearance. A short time before his demise. including yeshivot. it1 5705 (1945). at the age of seventy. Talmud Torahs. *** At the end of the war. a series of commemorative publications are undertaken of his vast homilectic. In this connection. O n the 10th of Shutlat. the Kovetz Ldavitz periodical makes its first appearance. where he had been imprisoned for his relentless chanipionship of Torah and Judaism. and literary contributions. Chasidic. he founds the Bikkur Cholim society and founds the Niihoaih (Nigunei Chasidei Chabad) organization for the collection and proniotion of Chabad melodies. of which the present Memoirs are a part. and the foundation was laid for a network of educational institutions in Morocco. In 5703. Many refugees were helped by this office to emigrate to EretzYisrael. Australia. and in 5708 (1948) the Lubavitcher Rebbe establishes the ChabadVillage (Kfar Chabad) in Safariah. and a yeshivah in Melbourne. he then founds the h/lailzr~r Israel organization. I11 this year worldwide celebrations take place to mark the three-fold jubilee of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Yrt: a) The completion of fifty years of his public work. A simdar network of educational iristitutions was established in the Holy Land.


5680-5691. SAYINGS (Likkutei Dibburim): LETTERS (IGROTKODESH): 14 vols. 3 vols.Shaarei Orah Kitzurim LJKuntresHateJillah Kitzurim L'Torat Chaim . MEMOIRS (ZICHRONOT): Sefer Hazichronos .2 vols.5696-571 1. COLLECTIONS OF SERMONS AND 4 vol.Yiddish.Chrrmash.B vols. Sefer Hamaamarim .5696-5710. Sefer Hamaamarim .5692-5693 Sefer Hamaamarim . 15 vols.Published Works 0 f R A B B IYOSEF Y I T Z C H A KS C H N E E R S O H N DISCOURSES (MAAMARIM): Sefer Hamaamarim . 5698 SYNOPSES (KITZURIM): Kitzurim LIBiurei Hazohar Sefer Hakitzurim . Sefer Hasichot . Tanya Kuntres Torat Hachasidut Kuntres Limud Hachasidut Admur Hatzemach Tzedek U'Tenuat Hahaskalah Maamar v'HaJish Moshe Anav.5680-5689.B vols.Yiddish TALKS I C H O ~ ) : (S Sefer Hasichot . Tehillim.Kuntresim. TREATISES (KUNTRESIM): Moreh Shiur B'Limudei Yom Yom . 2 vols. Sefer Hamaamarim .

Sefer Hasichot . There are two exceptions. 2 vol.3 vol. 2 vol. 2 vol. Sefer Hazichronot. there was no possibility to publish any of the Rebbe's works prior to 1928.Lubavitrlter Rabbi's . however. . Saying TehiUlm The Tzemach Tzedek and the Haskala Movement O n Learning Chasidut O n the Teachings of Cliasidut Some Aspects of Chabad Chasidism Chasidic Discourses. Likkutei Dibburirn. The Principals of Education and Guidance The Heroic Struggle C D / VIDEO: America Is No Different Note OWING THE negative attitude towards religion prevailing in Soviet TO Russla.5700-5705.These are the two Maanzarim pubhshed by the Rebbe's followers in Warsdw in 1925.Llcmotr~ HEBREW TRANSLATIONS: Likkutei Dibburirn. ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS: Message to Servicetnen Lubavitcher Rabbi's Memoirs. 5 vol. Only after his departure from Russia in that year d ~ d his writlngs begin to appear in print. 5 vol.


vol. Bava Batra: Talmudic tractate mscussing certain monetary issues. Bava Batra." Members of the community.4 @p.. "House of Study. 1760). for the three tractates Bava Kama. Bavot: Colloq. 1698. 10-22). "House of Law.7-9). 1 (pp. vol. (Colloq. Al Kiddush Hashem: For the sanctification of G-dS Name. Batim: Lit.. Beit Hamidrash (pl. also name of Talmudic tractate discussing this subject. Alef-Beit: Hebrew alphabet. 3 (pp." Synagogue and place of study * See Founders of General Chasidism and the Heads of Chabad on p. d. "house owners. Avodah Zarah: Idolatry. 353 .E.: an idler."The square boxes of the tefillin housing the scrolls on which portions from the Torah are inscribed. Bava Metzia. Atarah: Silver headpiece adorning a tallit.) Bar Mitzvah: Status of a fullfledged Jew reached by a boy at the age of 13 years. amei ha'aretz): Lit. forerunner of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov.. Amoraim: Sages of the Talmud ("interpreters") who lived after the Mishnah was compiled until the completion of the Talmud (150-500 c. founder of Chasidism" (b. a recluse.).. Am Ha'aretz (pl. "houses. Mezibush. Aliyah: To be called up to the bimah for the reading of the Torah. X I . Baal Shem Tov: Rabbi Yisrael. lounger.GLOSSARY and NOTES Adam Baal Shem: Mystic. Batei Midrashot): Lit. Okup." Those ignorant in Torah learning. "people of the land. V O ~ . 17-19)." Rabbinical Court. Beit Din: Lit.. Amud: Reader's stand (pulpit) in the synagogue. Av: Hebrew month in late summer. See Hatamim. Baalei Batim: Lit. Batlan: A person devoting all his time to study.

Choshen Mishpat: Fourth volFour ume of Arba 7iirinz ( 7 % ~ Koius). binah (understanding). Brit Milah: Circumcision. .. mortar used by the Hebrew Dayan: Lit. fruit. 1265)1340). and wine.L u b a z ) i t c l z c v R a b b i ' s .. Chasidism: The Inovernent founded by Kabbi Yisrael Baal She111'Tov. Brachot): Blessing. 'ljudge. daat (knowledge). Chabad: Name of the Chasidic philosophical school arid movement. dealing with Jewish law. Follo\ver o f Chasidisnt. Brachot: Talmudic tractate dicussing the laws of circle." Din: Jew~sh law.) Bimah: The dais in the center o f the synagogue. written by Kabbi Yaakov bet1 Asher (c. "pious illan. Chevrah: Society-. The first one was built by King Shlorno and destroyed Nebuchadnezzar or' by Babylon. chazzanim): Reader or cantor in the syrlagogue.E. founded by Rabbi Schneur Zalnlan of Liadi. Chedarim): Lit. used nt the Pesach Seder as a symbolic renlinder of the clay and Daven: To pray. based on the initials of the Hebrew words clzochmal~ (wisdom). Chumash: Pentateuch. Brachah @1. the second was built by the returning exiles frorr~ Babylon and destroyed by Titus of R o m e (68 c." Merrlber ofslaves in Egypt.Z/Jcrnoiv. Chevrah Kadisha: Burial society." School for junior boys. civil and crilrli~lal Chullin: Talnludic tractace discussing various laws of kosher and sacrifices. Chazzan (pl. Chasid: Lit. Cheder (pl. preparatory to the yeshivah. Cherem: Excornnlunication. Challah @I. Charoset: Paste nude out of' nuts.i Beit Hamikdash: The Holy Tenlple in ancient Jerusalem. challot): Shabbat loaf. the beit ditr. "room. Chiddushei Torah: Original elucidations and interpretatloris in the field of' Torah study.

500-1000 C. e. permitting a further radus of 2000 cubits fiom that place. Ein Kelokenu: Lit. Erev Shabbat (Friday). Gaonim: Lit. . Ein Yaakov: Lit. Groshen: Small Polish coin. end of the morning service. a follower of Shabbetai Zvi (the false Messiah)." Title given to an exceptionally brilliant Talmudst. 396-408. See Talmud. This is done by going to the place before Shabbat or a festival and depositing some food." Liturgy.. For details. Erev: Lit.. Eruv Techumin: An establishment of "legal" residence before Shabbat in order to be able to go beyond the permitted distance of 2000 cubits. Gaon: Lit..They were opposed to the Talmud and often allied themselves with the Catholic clergy in their fight against Orthodox Jewry.E. compiled by Rabbi Yaakov ben Shlomo ibn Chaviv (d." Also. see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim. "geniuses. "Fountain of Yaakov.. "genius."eve of.G l o s s a r y a n d Notes Elul: Hebrew month.g. and contains the teachings of the Amoraim.. Gemara: The part of the Talmud which interprets the Mishnah. over which a blessing is recited. representing a compilation of Aggadic passages from the Talmud."The day preceding a holy day. Most of the followers eventually embraced Catholicism and the movement gradually died out. at the end of summer and beginning of autumn." A popular work. 1516). Gabbai: One who supervises the: prayer service in the synagogue.. thus establishing there formal residence. Frum: Religious. "there is none like unto our G-d. title given to Jewish Sages who lived c. Frankists: Followers of the illfamed movement organized in Poland in the 18th century by Jacob Frank.

.. "traditional" or "transmitted" teachings. Haggadah: Lit.. beginning with the words. Kabbalat Shabbat: Lit." Book containing the service at the Passover Seder. Prayer recited on Friday night in honor of the incoming holy day. .L u b i l v i t c h c r R a b b i ' s ." Title given to an exceptionally brilliant young student of the Talmud.. Kohanim: Priests. Ivri: Hebrew readmg. as con~piled by Maimonides in his famous work Mishnelz Torah or Yad Harhuzakah (popularlyknown as Rarnbam). Kol Hane'arim: Lit. Kaddish: Prayer for the souls of the departed. Kashrut: L>ietary laws. Kosher: Food permitted by the dietary laws. Iluy: Lit. Haazinu: Second-to-last sidrah of the Pentateuch. Haskalah Movement: The "Enlightenment. scholars of Kabbalah) through the generations. "Welcoming the Shabbat.. the final admonition ciehvered by Moses before his death.. Kiddushin: Talmudic tractate discussing the laws of marriage..The Zohar is one of the basic books of Kabbalah. "Lend ear." A movement to secularize Judaism in the mid-nineteenth century in Eastern Europe. Kiddush: Prayer of sanctification recited on the Shabbat and on festivals.Vlemoirs teachings and doctrines dealing with the "secrets of the Torah" and mysteries of the Creation. Hilchot Teshuvah: Laws of Trshuvah. containing the famous Song of Haazitzu. The Lamdan: Scholar. descendants ofAaron the High Priest.. "All the Boys. Kabbalah: Lit. "exalted.'. ye heavens." Name of the uiiyah in which all boys under the age of Bar Mitzvah are called to the Torah on Simchat 'Torah. transmitted by Mckubalirn (Kabbalists. "Narrative.

Mechutanim): Relative by marriage. a male and female Leviathan of gigantic proportions were created on the fifth day of Creation. and other important works. Its flesh was preserved for the righteous after the Resurrection of the Dead. d. Melamdim) : Teacher of young students. Maror: Bitter herbs (usually horseradish) used at the Pesach Seder. Midrash: Hornilectic explana- . author of Yam She1 Shlomo. Talmudist. holy teacher.." Popular greeting or blessing on a happy occasion. "tractate" (of the Mishnah or Talmud). Liozna: A town in Whlte Russia in the district of Mohilev. Matmid: A very ardent student. a "bookworm. such as the parents of the bridegroom to those of the bride. Menachot: Talmudic tractate discussing various sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash. Chochmat Shlomo.. "Good Luck. Leviathan: Legendary king of the fish. Mezuzot): The sacred scroll affixed on the doorposts of a Jewish home. Merchatz: Public baths. 1573). in memory of the bitter enslavement of Israel in ancient Egypt.Glossary and Notes Leket: Lit.. Maharshal: Acronym for Rabbi Shlomo benyechiel Luria (b. Mesichtah: Lit. There are altogether 63 Mesichtot in the Talmud." Matzeva: Tombstone. Yeriot Shlomo. Mezuzah (pl. Brest-Litovsk. Mechitzah: Partition. Maggid: Preacher. Mesivta: Academy of higher Talnlud studies. "gleanings. Mazal Tov: Lit. Mezuman: Invitation to recite the Blessing after Meals performed when a group of at least three males eat together at a meal. containing portions of the Shema. Maaser: Tithe. Melamed (pl. Mechutan (pl. and vice-versa. the only kind of bread permitted on Pesach. Matzot: Unleavened bread. famed Lublin. According to the Midrash. Maariv: Evening prayer service."The precept to leave fallen crops during harvesting for the needy. 1510.

" Congregation of at least ten male worshppers. "Damages. ters tiom the Torah." Chap-. Mitzvot): Bibhcal conlrnandments. Neshamah Candle: Candle lit on a yahrzeit andYom k p p u r for the benefit of the souls of the departed. Modeh Ani: Lit.. dealing with civil and criminal laws. There are 613 mitzvot in the Torah. Mitzvah (pi.. p. IX. Moreh Morenu: Lit.E. and 365 are prohibitions. Parush: Lit. . co~nplledby Rabbi Yehudah Hanass~ (c.. devoting all his time to study and warship.L t r b a v i t c h e r R a b b i ' s ililent(1ir. of which 248 are positive coinmands. (Colloq." A scholar and pions man. 150 c." The early opponents of the Chasidic inovenlent..). Mitteler Rebbe: Rabbi DovBer Schneuri. Mikvah: Ritual immersion pool. Nissan: Hebrew nlonth in the sprlng." First prayer on arising in the morning. Nezikin: Lit.) Mishnah @I. such as those enclosed in the t~fillin. "Teacher of our Teachers.. son of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of L~adi.: synagogue. "number" or " quorum."opponents."The study of topics on adnlonition and repentance. Mishnayot): The Oral Law.. divided Into suc Sedarim (Shas).c tions of Tanach by the Tanaim and Amoraim." The fourth of the six Sedarim of the Mishnah. "recluse."portions. Mussar: "Ethics" or "admonitinn. Minchah: Afternoon prayer service." P "Shabbat Parochet: Curtain covering the Ark in the synagogue. "I thank You. Parshiot: Lit. Minyan: Llt. Misnagdim: Lit. and taking little or no interest in worldly matters." A title of especial distinction.. 0 Oneg Shabbat: delight. Nedarim: Talmudic tractate discussing the laws of vows. See Founders of General Chasidism and the Heads of Chabad.

on the 14th day of Adur. author of Mirhneh Torah or Yad Hachazakah. Poland (b. (See Hilckot Eshuvah. Poretz: Estate owner or nobleman of the old feudal system. 1204). Sefer Hamitzvot. Most famous are his Ashkenazic annotations to Rabbi Yosef Caro's Shulchan Artrch. 1572).) Rashi: Rabbi ShlomoYitzchaki. d. usually in Eastern Europe. etc. Perutah: A coin of very little value..Troyes. Poskim: "Codifiers. who had their own synagogue. consisting of examining all arguments pro and con of a given text. "ransom of prisoners." Name often given to congregation of workers. or Feast of Esther. Author of many works. which belongs to the poor and needy. The principle source is the Shulchan Aruch.Glossary and Notes Peah: The precept of leaving a corner of the field unharvested. Pilpul: Method of Talmudic study." authoritative decision makers in Halachah. Rebbe: Rabbi and teacher. in decades past. Poalei Tzedek: Lit. Pesachim: Talmudic tractate discussing the Passover laws. 1530. Rav: Rabbi." The mitzvah of trylng to obtain the release of captives or persons arrested on false charges. 1135. Troyes. 1040. famous Talmudist.. 1105). Rambam: Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides). d. "righteous workers. leader of a Chasidic group. Purim: Feast of Lots. philosopher and physician (b. Fostat. supra. The method is usually a means of sharpening the wit and erudition of the student. codifier. Purification Board: Wooden board used for washing the deceased. famous expounder of the Tanach and Talmud (b. often involving reconciliation of apparent contradictory texts. which transformed this predominantly Sephar- . Pesach: Passover. Moreh Nevuchim. Cordova. Rema: Rabbi Moshe Isserles of Cracow. d. before dressing in shrouds for the burial. Pidyon Shevuyim: Lit.

lr~le~rr . also.. Sedarim (sing.. and many other works: pro.. Sifiei Torah): 'Tbrali Scroll.Si. consisting of on the first two nights of 71 members. Ueczalel. Rabbi Schneur Zalman hen Baruch.p ot' Kabbi Schneur Zaln~an goes back to the Maharal of' Prague. . celebrated on the first and second of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. author of ( R a v l ~ ) and tiuring the week precedShulchan Anich and ?bnpl. and his son as chr. Selichot: Lit.ubavitihcr R a b b i ' s it4etnoirr dic work into a universal Code of Jewish Law. Yehudah I.. discussing court justice. Among (:hasidin1 he is known as the '4 ltcv Rehhe. also. famous Talmudist. "13eginning of-Wisdom." A * For further details about his life." 'The honne service the Suprenle Court In ancient Israel. Yeliuclah LOZLV.A Biograpky (Kchot. "laylng of the genitor of the Schneersohn hands. nanle of Talmudic tractate discussing the laws of the festival. Rabbinic family-leaders of Shaalah: Lit." A book on morals by Rabbi Eliyahu hen Moshe de Vidas. as fol-lows: Rabbis Schneur Zalnlan of' Liadi. "forgivenesses. ing Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Yehudah Loew." Rabbinic orilirration.IS thc I. 1812). " order. I'esach. i2ilitteler Kehbc.cib.. Segulah: Mystical remedy o r codifier. 1745. traced his ancestry to S the Gaorrinz. 'The Maharal of P r a p e . Schneur Zalman of Liadi: Serer Torah (pl. Baruch. charm. work and basic trachi~igs. 2002). Shniuel. Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year. C:habad. d. "question. Rosh Yeshivah: Head or dean of a yeshivah. Schneur Zalman. descendants ot' Sanhedrin: Talmudic tractate King Jlavid. Moshe of l'osen. a Kabbalist of the 16th century.uhavitchcr Rebbex. near K~trsk." Prayers recited on fast days Liozna. Seder): Lit. known . Reshit Chochmah: Lit.L." The genea1o. i r ~ turn. scr Rabbi Zalrnr~nof Liadi.Semicha: Lit. founder of Chabad (b. and philosopher.

Vilna. Shalom Alechem: Well-known Hebrew greeting. "Gates of Repentance. it was also used at the pronouncement of a Cherem.. Shel Yad: Lit." The tefillin which is put on the (left) arm. "of the head." The precept to leave forgotten sheaves in the field during harvest time for the poor and needy. Shaarei Teshuvah: Lit.. author of the famous commentary on Yoreh Deah. Holleschau." Famous work by Kabbi Yonah ben Avraham Gerondi (d. Shatnes: Cloth in which wool and linen are intermingled and is forbidden to be used. Shor Habar: Lit. the "Great Shabbat. Shiurirn):A "lesson" or study in Talmud or other holy subject.. (See also Leviathan.) Shofar: Ram's horn sounded on Rosh Hashanah.. Shadchan: Marriage broker. Shas: Acronym for Shisha Sedarim ("Six Orders") of the Mishnah. "representative of the congregation. 0 Isrilel. "forgetting. the Lord is One.Toledo." The tefillin which is put on the head. Shacharit: Morning service.) ." The Shabbat preceding Pesach. Shema: First word of "Hear.. Shabbat: Talmudic tractate discussing the laws of Shabbat. Shivah: The seven days o E mourning after the death of a close relative.. Shach: Acronym for Kabbi Shabse ben Meir Hakohen (b. Shliach Tzibbur: Lit.Glossary and Notes question on a point of law referred to a rabbi for decision. Shiur @1.'' Reader in the synagogue. but generally referring to the whole of the Talmud. "wild ox" G~gantic legendary animal reserved for the feast of the righteous after the Resurrection of the Dead. Shevat: Hebrew month during the winter. "of the hand. 1621. Shikcha: Lit.. 1263). Shel Rosh: Lit. d. Talmuchst." by which this verse is referred to. Shamashim): Caretaker of a synagogue." Shamash (pl. 1662). called S$ei Kohen. (See also Chazzan. meaning "Peace UponYou. Shabbat Hagadol: Lit. the Lord is our G-d.

Spain. Taanit Tzibbur: A public fast. either of those in the Hebrew calendar. c." The Sages of the Mishnah.E. from the tune of the Men of the . Tallit (pl. known as the Talmud. celebrated o n 23 Tishrei. celebrated &om the 15th to the 22nd of Tishrei. 1575). Even faezer. The Shulchcrn Amch follows the arrangenlent of the Turin1 of Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher. Yoveh Deah. Talmud Torah: School fbr young students. when we sit in the sukkah. Shulchan Aruch: Lit. The Illore popular Babylonian Talniud was compiled by Rav Ashi and Ravina (about the end of the fifth century. "rejoicings. Simchot): Lit. Tanaim: Lit. c. or proclaimed by rabbinical authority on special occasions. Talletim): Prayer shawl with four fringes. and is therefore divided into four parts: Orach Chaini. Tarnmuz: Hebrew month during the summer. c. "teachers. 'The Jerusalem Taltllud was compiled by Rabbi Yochanan bar Nappacha (about the end of the third century. 3488." The authoritative code of Jewish law. "a fast. and Choshen Mishpat." Feasts or celebrations connected with or some mitz~jah happy occasion in the fanuly. Shul: Synagogue. "Prepared Table.E. Talmudic tractate discussing fast days." Also.. later discussions..).Lcrbavitcl. Safed. Simcha (pl. preparatory for the yesh~vah.. Simchat Torah: The festival of Rejoicing with the Torah.. J . Taanit: Lit. Sidrah: Weekly portion of the Torah read each Shabbat during the morning service. 150 (:.zrr R a b b i ' s M t m o i r s Shtreimel: Fur hat usually worn by rabbis or leaders of Chasidic groups. codified by Rabbi Yosef Caro (b. were redacted in two parts. Sukkot: Feast of Tabernacles. Talmud: The enlbodinlent of the Oral Law.E. Tachrichim: Shrouds of white linen in which the dead are buried.. Following the codification of the Mishnah by RabbiYehudah Hanassi.).

Yiddish paraphrase of the Pentateuch. therefore. consisting of the shel yad (hand tefillin) and the shel rosh (head tefillin). "days. d. The name is derived &om the initial word of this work. Tzitzit: Fringes on each of the . Liozna. (b. Teg: (Yid. Tzemach Tzedek: Important Halachic work of Rabbi of Menachem Mendel Lubavitch. 350 B. with Midrashic explanations written by Rabbi Yaakov ben Yitzchak of Janow (16th-17th centuries). Treifah: Food not in accordance with the Torah's dietary laws and. NY. published in an enlarged edition. First published in Vilna in 1871. Tefillin: Phylacteries. Lubavitch. Neviim (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Holy Writings). including hitherto unpublished manuscripts. Tanya: Famous philosophical work by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. Torah: The Five Books of Moses. leader of a Chasidic group.). 1789.. forbidden." Reference to the custom of providing poor yeshivah students with the meals of a day or several days in the week. Brooklyn. Tzaddik: Lit. Teshuvah: Lit." A very pious man." Prayers intended primarily for women. Teitch Chumash: See Tze'ena Ure'ena. hence. to 150 c. and Five Megillot.Glossary and Notes Great Assembly to Rabbi Yehudah Hanassi (c.E. made of leather boxes (batim) and straps. Techinot: Lit. Haftarot. in 1946. 1866). A new.) Lit. often referring to the entire Jewish Law. by Kehot Publication Society. including the Talmud and other sacred literature. Tanach: A word consisting of the initial letters of Torah (Pentateuch). in which the principles of Chabad are expounded. Tze'ena Ure'ena: Also known as Teitch Chumash.C. Tehillim: Book of Psalms.. "return. Also called Likuttei Amarim." Repentance. "supplications. "righteous. the Bible.. revised edition was published in 1994.E. and written chiefly in Yiddish (teitch) which became popular in Central Europe in the 16th century..

) Felt sno\n7boots worn in the cold climate of Russia during the winter. Zohar: Lit. also last confessional prayer for a dying man. Yeshivot): Talmudical academy. Yom Tov: Llt. Volikes: (Rus. the human soul. reclting Kaddish. the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tishni. "Good D. Yahrzeit: Anniversary of the death of a near relative. and profound doctrines and teachl~lgs concernlng the purpose of Creation.. Yeshivah Bachur :Yeshivah student. Vidui: Confession of sins." The principal work of Kabbalah. observed by lightlng A yahrzeit candle. a Talmudic Sage of the second century.) A distance measuring about two-thirds of a mile. a short undergarment). festival. Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement. It is arranged afier the sidrot of the Torah. and is written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Yeshivah (pl. Yoma: Talmudic tractate. "Brightness. prayers and customs." Jewish holy day. and various sp~rltualaspects of rllan's llfe . prima- Zevachim: Talmudic tractate discussing the laws of sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdah. Yamim Nora'im: The "Solemn Days" from Rosh Hashanah through Yorn Ippur. v Verst: (Rus. the author of which is Rabbi Shi~non bar Yochai. rily discussing the laws ot Yom Kippur. it contaiils cornmentaries and interpretations of the Torah.Lubavitclzur R a h h i ' s Memoirs four corners of the tallit (or tallit kattan..

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