Reb Shlomo Pesach Stories
Stories on pesach
Reb Zvi Elimelekh of Dinov (a grand nephew of Reb Elimelech of Liszensk)'s custom was to visit someone's house on the first night of Passover in order to see how he was making the seder. So he stopped in front of one Yiddele's house and Iistened to the Yiddele read from the Haggadah. He was chanting, "In regards to four sons the Torah speaks: One who is wise, one who is wicked,. ." and every time he would read the word "one" he would shout out in a loud voice "O-N-E" as if he were saying the Sherna.
Afterward, Reb Zvi Elimelech recounted his experience, saying that this little Yiddele was making such a holy prayer from the "four sons" - by the way he was saying "O- N - E-" that Reb Zvi realized that even the wicked son knew the Oneness of haShem.
I want to tell you a gevalt story which my brother told me an Chanuka. On the third day of Chanuka them was a bris (commission) in Boro Park. The holy Bobover Rebbe was the sandek, and he told this story at the bris. There was a woman in Brooklyn who was married fifteen years, and she was not blessed with children. She want from rebbe to rebbe, from tzaddik to tzaddik, from one to the other, but still she had no child. She did not know what to do with herself. Since she had a lot of time, she became a volunteer in a hospital, and there she discovered a woman who was all alone, who had nobody in the world. For two years she took care of her. After two years the woman left this world and she, the woman who didn't have children, was there when she died. The dying woman said to her: "There is no way for me to thank you in this lifetime, for what you did for me. But, I promise you, the moment I go up to heaven, and stand before the Ribbono Shel Olam (G-d), I swear to you I will send you a baby." The Bobover rebbe said: "The baby that was just circumcised is this baby. He is a gift from that woman." Unbelievable.
Them are a gevalt story about Rabbi Levi of Berditchev. When his son, Reb Yisrael, was on his way to become one of the biggest Rebbes, when he was seventeen, he left this world. And Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditzhev was walling behind him, and he was dancing. We have no idea of this kind of worship of G-d. The Hasidim asked him "How can you dance?" He answered: "The Ribbono Shel Olam sent to my house a holy soul. And I am giving it back as holy as I received it." Awesome▼
The Redomske Rebbe (Reb Shlomo, Redomske), one of the greatest Rebbes in the world before World War II, in Redomsk, a city in Poland near the border of Germany. After the First World War, Poland was so poor that a lot of them moved to Germany, to Berlin. And he was afraid that a lot of them would stop keeping Shabbos. So he said to them, go to Germany under one condition, that I become a partner in 10% of your business. I promise you you'll get rich. The most unbelievable thing happened, all those people who were his partners become multi-multi-millionaires.
It sounds like a joke. Do you know that the Redomske Rebbe owned half of Berlin in apartment houses? Do you know what he did with his money? He had a Yeshiva of 30,000 children. And he, with his own money, with the money he made from those apartment houses, supported 30,000 kids. And they were mamash, his children, he supported them, he took care of them..
.And the saddest thing is, that from all those 30,000 children, there are only five left. But I don't want to tell you the sad thing, I just want you to know that when he and his son came to Auschwitz, they changed the whole camp, because they were so filled with life, and joy. When people came home at night they were beaten, and wounded, and sad and they (the Rebbe and his son) would say,'Listen, this is not the way, you're helping them, right?
They want you to be sad, they want you to be broken. So you're doing everything they want you to do. Don't you have a little character? Let’s do what they don't want us to do.
They least thing is, they don’t want us to be happy, right?' All night long, they were teaching and saying Torahs, and the next day, when a Nazi beat up a Jew, they[the other prisoners] would say to him, 'You remember what the Rebbe said last night'. It would give them strength. And sad enough, for four weeks, while they were there, I heard also from people who were there, it's unbelievable, especially the Shabbos,it was like paradise.
But when the Germans saw that they had taken over the camp with joy, they took the Rebbe out, and his son, and shot them.
The following story was told by Shlomo Carlebach, who heard it first hand from the surviving chossid in the story. It occurred in the year 5703 (57years ago).In the last year of the Warsaw Ghetto, one of the rebbes was arrested a few days before Pesach with a young chossid who was seventeen years old.
They were supposed to be shot the second day of Pesach.In the meantime, the Nazis put them in prison, with thieves, prostitutes, all kinds of criminals. Meanwhile ,it's Seder night, the Rebbe is sitting in the prison and says to his young chossid, "We have no wine, no matzo, nothing. But, let us say the, Haggadah ."The chossid says, "Rebbe, I'm so broken, I don't even know if I believe in G-d at this moment. I'm completely out of it. “The Rebbe says, "Just sit next to me, and we are going to say the Haggadah."
The Rebbe begins to say the Haggadah. He says to the chosid, "Now, please, ask me MaNishtana (the four questions)".The chassid says, "Rebbe, I don't believe in it anymore. I'm so broken. My parents are killed, my whole family is killed, I'm in prison. It's a joke to be celebrating Pesach here in prison."The Rebbe begs him, "Please, please ask me Ma Nishtana." So, he asks him Ma Nishtana. The Rebbe begins, "Avadim HayinuWe were slaves...".Suddenly, a Polish thief opens his mouth and starts yelling, “You dirty, filthy Jews. Keep your filthy mouths shut. You are disturbing my peace.” He is yelling and cursing them.
A Nazi walks in with a gun, point sit at the Rebbe, and says, "If you disturb the peace in prison one more time, I won't wait until the second day. I'll shoot you right now. "He says to the thief, "Thank you so much. Thank you so much for keeping an eye on these dirty Jews. I'm really proud of you. If you have any trouble again, just call me." The Nazi walks out.
The rebbe, who spoke Polish fluently, said to the thief, "Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? The Nazi took away your country. They treat you like a dog. You are going to be on their side against me? I am the same like you. I'm on your side. You go with the Nazis? Don't you have a little bit of character?” And, the thief began crying. He said, "Holy rabbi, I'm so envious of you, that you are Jewish. You Jews, you have so much character, so much inner strength. Nobody can knock you down. But, I am Polish. I have no inner strength, no pride, nothing. I am like a dog."
He starts crying and saying, "I wish I could be Jewish .
I wish I could be Jewish. Then I would have a little pride. Rebbe, please forgive me that I called the Nazi. I beg you, forgive me. But, just tell me, what are you doing there?” The Rebbe says, "Tonight is the night when we came out of Egypt, and we are celebrating.” The Polish thief said, "I can't believe it. These Jews are so holy. They are sitting in prison, they have nothing, and yet, they are celebrating freedom? Rebbe, could you please say the Haggadah in Polish? I want to know the whole story.
"The Rebbe starts saying, "avadim hayinu were slaves in Polish. And, the thief is next to the Rebbe, and every few minutes he cries, "Oh, I wish I could be Jewish.” And, the Rebbe says the whole Haggadah in Polish. They have no matza, they have no afikomon, they have nothing to bench on (say grace after meals). They get up to "Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet)."The Rebbe explains to the Polish thief that you are supposed to open the door and Eliyahu HaNavi comes in. The Rebbe says to his Chassid, "Are you ready for Eliyahu HaNavi? "He answers, "Rebbe, please, leave me out. I'm not ready.” The Rebbe says to the Polish thief, "Are you ready for Eliyahu HaNavi?"The non-Jewish thief says, "Rebbe, wherever you go, I go.” The Rebbe-stands up and begins saying, "Shfoch chamatcha al hogoyim--Spill out your wrath upon the nations who don't know You.” At that moment, the Nazi walks in and shoots the Rebbe and the thief. Their neshamot (souls)went to heaven together.
I want to tell you a good story that I heard on the first day of Succos. Someone told me he heard it from his father, a Hasid, and just forgive me, because I have to throw a lot of names at you, but just imagine for a moment that you know them... Again, this is a story of the highest and the deepest, the Heileger Reb Mordechai, Reb Motelle Neshcheezer (whose Yahrzeit is tonight).
The Holy Ropshitzer, Reb Naftali, was one of his followers. Okay, at the time, Reb Naftali was maybe seventeen years old and he came to Neshcheez for Purim, and after Purim, the Holy Neshcheezer tells him, "Do me one favour. Please don’t come here for Pesach." Now Reb Naftali really wants to be with his Rebbe for Pesach. So he thinks to himself, "Hmm. Pesach is in four weeks time. Okay, I'll talk my way back into getting invited to Neshcheez for Pesach."So it's a few days before Pesach. So Reb Naftali goes to the kitchen and helps the Rebbetsn. You know Pesach is coming, it's the Holy Nescheezer, there are thousands of Hasidim and the Rebbetsn needs help so badly.
So after he helps her for a few days, Reb Naftali asks the Rebbetsn, you know, just do me one small favour, just ask your holy husband, my Rebbe, to let me stay." Okay, he talked her into it, so the Rebbetsn asks the Neshcheezer, "I need Naftali so badly, and he helps me so much in the kitchen." So the Neshcheezer tells his Rebbetsn, "Okay, he can stay. But I'm telling you now, he will make me a lot of trouble.” So if you know a little about what we do the morning before Pesach,say about ten in the morning or so, you burn whatever is left over from the bread.
But it's not only burning a crumb of bread. It is mamash wiping out all the evil from the world. You are mamash cleaning yourself in the deepest way. Okay, after this is over, Reb Naftali goes to the beis medresh (the synagogue), because now the cleaning is all finished and this is a good time to learn just a little bit..
.Now let me interrupt the story for a minute. Imagine you sit in a room that smells bad. Then you don't even know after a while that it smells bad. Sadly, sadly enough, we are so accustomed to the spiritually evil smell of this world, that we don't even know anymore what good smelling is. But the Holy Ropshitzer knew what a good smell and a bad smell is. So suddenly the door to the Beis Medresh flies open, and nebekh, a schlepper walks in and oy, gevalt, does he smell bad! You could see that there is not a sin he has not committed yet-- and -- guess what-- he is ready for more! So the schlepper comes in and asks Reb Naftali, "May I see the Rebbe?"
Now the Heileger Ropshitzer thinks,"Gevalt oy! Just two minutes ago my holy master, the Neshcheezer burned all the evil. He mamash cleansed himself and the entire world.There is absolutely no evil left! And this disgusting low filthy schlepper is destroying my whole Yom Tov! I won't allow it!" So he says to the shlepper, "Is that all you need to do, see my Rebbe? Why don't you go home first, cleanse yourself a bit, wipe out your chumetz and do just a little teshuva first before you have the chutzpa, the audacity to disturb my holy Rebbe. Araus! Out! Chutzpa!"So the shlepper walks out of the Beis Medresh and Reb Naftali entirely forgets about it. A minute later, the Nascheezer comes running into the Beis Medrash and asks Reb Naftali, "Was anyone just here?" He answers him, "No, at least nobody I know of."
So the Nashcheezer tells him, "I'm not asking you if it was anyone you know, I'm not asking whether someone who looked holy to you was here. I am asking you if any one was just here?" So Reb Naftali answers him, "Now that you mention it, yes, there was this disgusting shlepper... disgusting..." The Neshcheezer is throwing up his hands! "Gevalt! What did you say to him?" So he answers, "What do you think? I threw him out, of course." So the Nashcheezer is about to have a heart attack. So he grabs the Holy Ropshitzer by the neck and screams, "If you don’t bring him back right away, I don't want to see you here ever again."Mamash, the Ropshitzer is besides himself. He runs around all over the city.
Finally he finds the shlepper in a bar somewhere, already he’s drunk like a dog, without saying anything too disrespectful about dogs... Now you know how disrespectful the Ropshitzer was to the shlepper before. But this time, the Ropshitzer treats the shlepper as if he were the holiest Rebbe in the world. So he says to him, "Please, I am begging you! Please come back with me to the Neshcheezer, because if you don't come back, my holy Rebbe will never speak to me again!” But it's not so easy.
The shlepper has had enough of the Ropshitzer. He only wants to be left in peace, let alone go back with him. So the Ropshitzer physically grabs him and literally carries the shlepper back with him to the Nashcheezer. And the Holy Nashcheezer is so overjoyed to see him! He hugs and kisses the shlepper, telling him, "Where have you been? I am so overjoyed to see you... I am so overjoyed to see you!" So the Nashcheezer dismisses the Ropshitzer and takes the shlepper into his humble abode. The Nashcheezer gives the shlepper a bath and new garments. For Yom Tov, he gives him a long "bekeshe" and"shtreimel". And the shlepper is shining mamash from one corner of this world to the other.So after Pesach, the Nashcheezer explains it to the Rophsitzer.
"I want you to know that this shlepper was not always a poor shlepper. He was my greatest, utmost holiest of the holy, deepest of the deep, student. His head was mamash in heaven, maybe, maybe, his feet touched the ground. But the saddest thing happened. You know he is just a human being. Once he made a mistake. But since he knew that I knew about it, even without his telling me or my telling him, he left and was ashamed to ever come back. And since he was so ashamed to come back, it was just downhill, downhill, downhill... I want you to know that on Purim, I mamash davened so strong to HaShem,"Please bring him back!" So I saw in prophecy that he would come this Eruv Pesach. And I also saw prophetically, that you would be here in the Beis Medresh when he came back and would throw him out. So I wanted you out of the picture.
That's why I told you not to come. Eruv Pesach, he had decided to give it one more chance. He thought, "If my holy Rebbe the Nashcheezer takes me back without saying anything, then I shall stay. But if his Hasidim throw me out, then I'll never come back again." So now you know the story. You know this story is so gevalt, so awesome. You never know ,someone you meet, and maybe for that person it's the last try...
HOW THE TAZ MARRIED THE DAUGHTER OF THE BACH
It's like a little personal story, because, you know, the two nearly, maybe the two greatest commentators on the Shulchan Aruch were the Holy Taz and the Holy Bach. The Bach, whose name was Joel Sirkis, was the Chief Rabbi of Krakow and the Taz was the Chief Rabbi of Lemberg. The Taz was the son-in-law of the Bach. It so happens that we are descended on my father's side from those two.
So it's very special. The story, which I just heard recently, is how the Holy Taz became the son-in-law of the Bach. Okay, it's a crazy story, so just bear with me. The Bach -- you know it's very, very, strange.
You know, sometimes, if you’re mediocre, you always find your place, very easily. But, if you’re special, you know, you may not find it. Ever. So the Holy Bach was mamash so, so, deep. Wherever he went, he always got thrown out. A rabbi here, a rabbi there. Finally, he was again in another city, and again he got thrown out. I mean, they asked him to leave.
You know, this was stupid! Anyway, so you know, according to Kabbalistic tradition, on Friday you go to the mikve -- pure rainwater -- or a lake. And after that you have to sleep a little in order to receive your super soul before Shabbos. Now the Bach was to be thrown out of the city on Monday. Can you imagine --he had a lot of children, how downhearted he was. What was he to do now? But he went to sleep before Shabbos. A few minutes before Shabbos there was a knock on the door, and a little Russian peasant says,
"I come from Federal Express with a letter for you". So the Bach's little girl ,Rivkele, had answered the door and she didn't know whether or not to wake up her father or not for the letter. But then she thought, maybe it's important. I'll wake him up. So Rivkele woke up the Bach and gave him the letter. And the letter said, "We appoint you Chief Rabbi of the City of Krakow." So you know, the Bach is so happy. So he says to his daughter, "Thank you so much for waking me up. I was so worried, even during my sleep. So you gave my soul back to me. For that I bless you that you should be privileged to marry someone who is at least at my level of learning.” Okay, at the time Rivkele was four, five, six, whatever.
I don’t know. In the meantime you know she isn't getting any younger. She's supposed to marry someone. So she's looking for the best but obviously it's not the best, right? Now she's twenty years old. And you know friends, those days weren’t like today. For a girl to be twenty and not married, it was like being at least one hundred thirty-nine nowadays and not yet married. Even worse,
One hundred eighty-nine. Nebekh. Can you imagine? She's already twenty years old and not married? I mean, that's the end. Finally, the Bach's wife says, "You know what's wrong -- it's all because of your stupid blessing. You gave her a blessing to marry someone as great as you. There just isn't anyone as great as you." That simple. "Okay," she said, "Either you take off your blessing, or you think of something else.” So the Bach is so broken. He had blessed her with all his heart. So, crazy, open your hearts for this, the Bach makes a vow. "I don't care anymore. I'm going to my Beis Medresh now. The first young man I see who isn't already married will marry my daughter." Crazy, right? Okay, let's stop here. Now in Lemberg lived a young man, Dovidl (haLevi). Later he became known as the Taz. You know, "Bach", is short for “Beis Chadash” or "new house".
"Taz" is short for "Turei Zahav", stones of pure gold. Anyway, the Taz had already published a commentary on the "Yore Deah", the Laws of what is kosher and non-kosher. But Dovidl didn't mention his name, because he was but eighteen years old. He thought, "If I were to put my name on it, they’ll see I'm only a boy of eighteen and they won't buy my book. Without my name they'll say, 'Oh, it's the greatest rabbi in the world!'" Right? So the Taz walked all over the world, dressed like ashlepper.
On that day he hit Krakow. Now, today, when you get to a new city, you walk into the Ramada Inn or the Marriott. But in former good days, you walk into the Beis Medresh. So the Taz is sitting inside the shul, brother shlepper. My great-grandfather is sitting inside the shul and the Bach who has just made his vow and is totally beside himself runs into the synagogue. So the first person the Bach sees is the Taz. So the Bach asks him, "Are you married?" So the Taz answers, "No." So the Bach asks, "Would you like to marry my daughter?"
So the Taz asks, "Who are you?" So the Bach answers him, "I'm the Chief Rabbi of Krakow." The Bach thought that he’d blow this young man's mind, yet all the Taz wasn't excited at all. All he said was, "Okay.” So the Bach came home to his wife and told her, "I met this boy. He's not married but looks like the biggest shlepper in the world. I don't know how much he knows but do you know what bugs me the most? He's not even happy! Who does he think he is? You know what, I'm going to the high court and annul my stupid vow!” At this point Rivkele walked in.
"You know, I heard every word you just said. What do we know? You made a vow and this young man was the first person you met. What do we know? Maybe it was from Heaven. Maybe he is my soul mate after all.” Now open your hearts and listen to this. Nowadays, if you’re super-religious, and you want to marry a girl, you might call her phone number and meet her in the lobby of the Marriott for coffee, maybe even date each other once or twice first, just to make sure that you're soul mates. If you're religious, but don't overdo it too much, then you date each other a few times.
Maybe even live together for a few years, ten, or twenty even, then you begin to seriously think about getting married sometime soon, perhaps. But in those days, a groom and his bride didn’t do that. They didn't date each other, not even once. They didn’t even talk to each other. They could just see each other for one minute before. The Taz, you know he's strong like a lion. So the Taz told the Bach, “I’m so sorry, but I cannot marry your daughter unless I first talk with her in private." Unheard of! But he said, "Otherwise, I'm not marrying her, the wedding's off." So what can you do? So the Taz talks to her. And this is what he says,
"First of all, I want you to know that we are soul mates. And I want you to know that I know your father made a vow that you would marry someone as great as he. And, believe me, I am equal to your father. I want you to know that your father is the greatest in the world of deep depths and I am the greatest in the world of sharp depths. But you must swear to me not to tell your father this until the time comes.
“So there was a wedding and you know that in those days there was a custom that the groom gives a speech by the chupah, but the Bach was afraid, maybe his son-in-law doesn't know what to say, so let's leave the speech out. And you know something else -- much as the Taz was great, the Bach was still the greatest in the world. So the Taz wanted very much to learn by him, only without his knowing that he is learning from him. So they lived-in the ghetto of Krakow -- they were poor people. And the only place in the house where there was a little heat was on the oven in the kitchen. And the Holy Bach would sit close to the oven and learn, and the Bach's thing was that whatever he learned, even all by himself, the Bach would utter every word, saying aloud everything that he was thinking.
So one night, the Taz came and said, "Oy, you know its cold in my room. I'd love to sleep on the oven." "Oh," the Bach said, "Your wife is home and you're sleeping here." And the Taz said, "Yes, it's okay with her." Anyway, the whole time he is sleeping on the oven, listening to the Bach learning. He wants to see how the Bach learns. Okay, now comes Shabbos ha Gadol, the Shabbos before Pesach. You know, nowadays, Rabbis speak every Shabbos. But in those days, the Rabbis gave only two speeches a year. Shabbos Teshuva (before Yom Kippur) and Shabbos ha Gadol.
So the Bach is sitting there, preparing himself, uttering every word and mamash making up unbelievable things. And sometimes he'd fall asleep in the middle of his learning. So the Taz saw his father-in-law was fast asleep. So he got up and tip-toed to the other side of the room, took a Gemara, opened it, put it right in front of the Bach and went back to the oven. And open your hearts, that very page of Gemara was mamash against everything the Bach said.
The Bach had made a mistake. So the Bach woke up, saw the Gemara in front of him saying just the opposite of what he had just thought. The Bach was sure it was a sign from Heaven, after all you know, who else possibly could have put a Gemara in front of him turned to this page, right? "Mamash", said the Holy Bach, "Thank you haShem for opening my eyes." But it bothered him because the Torah he had thought to say was so beautiful. The next night, the Bach was sitting again by the oven, saying to himself, "Oy! I'm mamash so tzubrokhen, heartbroken! G-d you know that Torah was so good!" He falls asleep again for a minute or two. He wakes up again and sees a piece of paper right in front of him that explains the Gemara in such deep way that not only there is no contradiction, but gevalt, it's the greatest proof in the world that he was right in the first place. But that’s really from Heaven, you know, because how else can such a piece of paper fall down in front of the Holy Bach with such Torah? Okay, it's now Shabbos ha Gadol and the Bach gives a big speech and tells his people,
"I want you all to know that this is Torah min Hashomayim, from Heaven!” And he tells them the whole story, how he made up this Torah, how he fell asleep only to wake up and find a Gemara open, and how the next night he was so sad it was against the Gemara and how he finds a piece of paper that fell down from Heaven... Gevalt! So the custom was, in those days, all the great scholars of the city would come to the house of the Rabbi following the speech and he would give them a piece of cake. To receive a piece of cake was a sign that the Rabbi assumed you understood everything that he said. It was the highest honour possible.
Naturally, his son-in-law didn't get a piece of cake, because he assumed he doesn’t know anything. So the Holy Taz told his wife, "Now is the time to reveal to the world who I really am. Now is the time to tell your father. Go up to him and ask him how come you didn't give my husband a piece of cake? So whatever he'll tell you, tell him, with all due respect, this wasn't a teaching from Heaven, but that it was my husband who put it in front of you." So she goes to her father and asks him, "Why don't you give my husband a piece of cake?" "So he says,” Why? Did he give such a good speech today?" "You know," she says, "that was his Torah that you said." Gevalt. So this is how the Holy Taz was revealed to the world. Now open your hearts, the end to this story is sad and so deep.
The Taz was married to Rivkele only a few years, and the saddest thing was, she was sick and she passed away. And the most unheard of thing, the Taz said a eulogy over her that lasted for three days. And do you know what was the deepest thing? Every part of the Torah the Taz ever learned, from the revealed to the un revealed, the Taz connected to his wife. It just might have been the highest eulogy ever said in the entire history of the world. So a few months later, the Bach thought, "You know, I hate to let such a son-in-law out of my house. I have a younger daughter. Maybe the Taz will marry her." But she said to her father, "If he can deliver a eulogy over my sister that lasted three days, then their connection is so so deep.
I can't possibly ever take her place." So that was it. Mazel Tov. The Holy Bach passed away the 20th day of Adar, 5400. His holy son-in-law, the Taz, passed away the 26th of Shvat, 5427. Some of the descendants of the Taz took on the Bach's first name, Joel, as their surname.
Rabbi Ephraim Fischel Joel of Moisling in Prussia, was a great-great grandson of the Bach and the Taz. Reb Ephraim had a daughter, Channale. She married Rabbi Alexander Adler of Luebeck. They had a daughter, Esther. Esther taught school in Luebeck. The principal of the school fell in love with Esther and married her. As it so happens, this principal, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, was my grandfather..
, Rabbi Akiva Eger, one of the greatest in the world--he had this tremendous custom; it's really beautiful to tell you. Obviously, he was the Chief Rabbi of Posen--he was the Rebbe of the world, about 200 years ago. He was mamesh the greatest. He was so afraid if one of the guests makes a stain, then his wife--hopefully not, but you never know. So you know what he did when he walked in to the Seder? The first thing he did, he took the wine and poured it all over the tablecloth--forget it! Forget about the tablecloth. Don't be a slave to the tablecloth. Don't be a slave to anything. Mochin d'gadlus, you know? Do you think the table is only beautiful because the tablecloth is white? When your heart is dark, what good is it? Right? Gevalt. Mochin d'gadlus.
. The heilege (holy) Ziditchover had so many grandchildren. But, one particular year, he said, "My grandson Bereshel should ask Mah Nishtana." Bereshel was then five years old; later on he became Rav Bereshel of Donina, a very great Rabbi. Comes time for Mah Nishtana and Bereshel isn't there. They started looking for him high and low. He's not there. Here, I interrupt myself with another story about Bereshel.
Bereshel was the favorite of his grandfather, because in that year one of the other grandchildren got very sick. Very, very sick. The mother of the child was begging the Ziditchover to please pray for him. Nothing happened. One night, the boy's condition worsened. It seemed he was going to leave the world. The Ziditchover, from 12:30 A.M. until three in the morning, did not want to be disturbed. He was writing his commentaries on the Zohar and did not want to be disturbed. But, someone had to tell him. They decided to wake up Bereshel and he will tell the Zeide. Bereshel was five years old. They tell him, tell Zeide that if he doesn't pray now, it will be too late.
Bereshel walks up to the higher floor, to his grandfather. He knocks on the door. His grandfather asks, "Who's there?" "Bereshel." "Why aren't you asleep?" Bereshel said, "Zeide, I came to bring you the most unbelievable good news. I want you to know that Moishele is getting better every second. But, Zeide, please pray for him. Please, Zeide, pray for him."
The holy Ziditchover prayed for him. He got well. The Ziditchover called in all his children and grandchildren. He said, "Do you know why I couldn't pray for Moishele the whole time? Because the way you asked me to pray for him was with so much sadness, so much brokenness. I felt so broken. I couldn’t pray. But, you know who is a Rebbe? Bereshel. Did you hear how he asked me to pray? He said, 'I bring you good news, Moishele is getting better, but I want you to pray.' Didn't I understand what was going on? When Bereshel is sent up in the middle of the night to tell me. But, the way he said it, with so much hope. I want you to know, Bereshel is a Rebbe." And, the truth is, Bereshel really became the successor of his grandfather later on.
Pesach stories – Eliyah Hanavi and more
On Pesach, we are telling Stories. We are sharing two parallel stories, two narratives. One on the national, historical, collective level and the other on the personal, intimate, individual level.
Reb Shlomo was very passionate about Pesach and the opportunity to connect to our children/ There are so many stories. In this post, we share a video of Reb Shlomo Favourite Seder Story.
We are we also sharing Reb Shlomo’s about a little girl call Maxine. In this story is she longing Elyihu Hanavi. The Final story was not necessary related by Reb Shlomo, but it is a call of action.