Weekly Chasidic Story #1070 (s5778-39/ 28 Sivan 5778)

Avoid Quarrels

The Tolner Rebbe in Jerusalem has testified that due to the fantastical nature of this story of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, before telling it in public he personally re-checked and verified all the details.

Connections (2):
~ Shabbat Reading of Korach, the name of an important Jewish personage who complained publicly against the leadership of Moses and Aaron (ultimately instigating a rebellion against them).
~ This Shabbat is the 28th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. May all the seeds he planted continue to grow, flourish, and have their intended effect.


Avoid Quarrels


The nephew of the Tolner Rebbe in Jerusalem was on a plane from Israel to NY [this year-2018]. Sitting next to him was a strictly religious looking man with his two young sons. As is customary in such a situation, they got to chatting -- why they are going to NY, etc. This is a brief retelling of the story the Tolner Rebbe's nephew heard from the young man as he told it to his uncle.*

* Editor's note: The Tolner Rebbe has testified that due to the fantastical nature of the story, before telling it in public he personally re-checked and verified all the details with his nephew.

They are a very "Litvish" [Lithuanian-style, very non-chasidic] couple from Kiryat Sefer, Israel, known to be a very non chasidic community." They had been married more than ten years with no children. As a result, they were not living harmoniously and the marriage was on the rocks.

One evening, the husband went to his mentor, his main teacher at Ponovitch Yeshiva in Bnai Brak (the most famous and prestigious of all Lithuanian-style yeshivas in Israel or even the world) when he had been a student there, to ask what to do at this point. He replied that unfortunately there are cases that a divorce is the only option and this seems to be one of them. The husband responded that he doesn't want to tell his wife, as it will probably lead to another fight. His mentor agreed that perhaps he should find the right time to tell her and meanwhile just go back home.

He went home and soon after that they went to sleep. An hour later the wife wakes up her husband in a panic and insists on telling him the following:
She had a very intense, disturbing dream. In it the Lubavitcher Rebbe appeared to her (she recognized him from the many pictures of him in newspapers, on posters, etc.) in a very vivid manner and said, "I understand that you both are contemplating divorce." (It was not clear to the nephew if the wife even knew of the conversation her husband had with his rabbi at the yeshiva that day.)

I want you to know, the Rebbe continued, that in the early 80's, when your husband learned in Ponovitch, there was terrible hostility from the Bnei Brak Litvish community towards Chabad. Your husband and some of his friends spoke and wrote many negative and hateful things about me and my chasidim.

"So before you get divorced, perhaps you both should go to a Rav [high-level Rabbi] and tell him what I said, and he should guide you what to do."

She asked her husband if it is true what the Rebbe told her in the dream. He, annoyed that he was waked suddenly in the middle of the night, and angry that she mentioned a Rebbe whom he had extreme negative issues with, screamed at her, "For this nonsense you wake me up?!" and went back to sleep.

An hour later it was the husband who woke up the wife and shakily told her that he just had the exact same dream.

He went again to Bnei Brak to speak to his mentor, and told him about the dreams. He confessed he was not merely a participant in the dispute but a ring leader, someone who really stirred up issues against Chabad and the Rebbe in the Yeshiva. The rabbi (who was not at all chasidic) said if that's the case, you need to go to the gravesite of the Lubavitcher Rebbe with a minyan of ten men and ask forgiveness for what you said and did. The preferred method is to first specify exactly what you said and did that was not appropriate, and then ask his forgiveness.

After a moment he offered another piece of advice: Do not to ask the Chabad chasidim around there to be part of the minyan, because when they hear what you said and did, their reaction may be violent!

The husband smiled. He told the rabbi that he has a brother-in-law in Brooklyn who heads a kollel [advanced Torah studies for married men], and he almost surely will be happy to organize for him a minyan.

As soon as the strands of his life allowed, the young man flew to NY. He arranged with his brother-in-law for the minyan, and together with them he went to the Rebbe's burial site, where he asked sincerely for forgiveness. A year to the day of the visit to the Ohel [the Rebbe's resting place in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY], his wife gave birth to twin boys!

The happy father concluded his story by saying that every year on the twins' birthday, he takes them to the Ohel and tells them the above story. Then he explains to them the consequences of speaking against tzadikim [especially holy Jews], such as what happened when Tatty ['Daddy'] made the mistake of speaking against the tzadik that is buried here.

The Tolner Rebbe added his opinion that the Lubavitcher Rebbe came all the way down from Heaven to save the marriage and life of a highly non-chasidic couple, a person who insulted and belittled him, etc., because that is the essence of the Rebbe, to help people...even those who are strongly opposed to him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from a synopsis of the story told by the Tolner Rebbe of Jerusalem lately, as posted by Moishe Weiss, who was present at the telling, on a WhatsApp group for Chasidic stories, on May 10, 2018.

Connections (2):
~ Shabbat Reading of Korach, the name of an important Jewish personage who complained publicly against the leadership of Moses and Aaron (ultimately instigating a rebellion against them).
~ This Shabbat is the 28th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. May all the seeds he planted continue to grow, flourish, and have their intended effect.

Biographical note:
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe: [11 Nissan 5662 - 3 Tammuz 5754 (April 1902 - June 1994 C.E.)], became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty after his father-in-law's passing on 10 Shvat 5710 (1950 C.E.). He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century. Although a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and fluent in many languages and scientific subjects, the Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet. His emissaries around the globe dedicated to strengthening Judaism number in the thousands. Hundreds of volumes of his teachings have been printed, as well as dozens of English renditions.




 



Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

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