Weekly Chasidic Story #1217 (s5781-29) 23 Nissan 5781 /April 5, 2021)
Rabbi Baruch-Shalom Schneersohn, great-great-grandfather of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, receives a message from Heaven
Connection--Weekly Reading: The latter half (Levit. ch. 11) presents Laws of Eating Kosher
Story in PDF format for more convenient printing.
Yosef-Yitzchak Schneersohn (the Rayatz, the 6th Rebbe) wrote of him:
The Rayatz wrote that
the Rabash also once told his father (R. Sholom-Ber Schneersohn (the 5th Rebbe):
As an adult, he was renowned for his extreme humility. While each of his five brothers became the head of a Chassidic community, he remained inflexible in his determination not to accept any position [saying he knows too well from his early years with the Alter Rebbe what a genuine Rebbe is], even though he was eminently qualified.
After his passing, numerous manuscripts that he had authored came to light, containing writings on both nigleh ['the revealed' Torah - primarily Talmud and Jewish Law] and on chasidut. When his will was unsealed and his manuscripts were read, all were dumbstruck by the evidence of his profound intelligence and wisdom.
Connection - Weekly reading of Shemini: the entire latter half is about which living creatures may be eaten and which not.
Before he was able to dip in the ladle, a spider descended into the careen. He ordered that the large bowl should be removed from the table and the spider extracted, and then a fresh bowl be brought in its place. But a spider also descended into the second serving bowl, and again he ordered that it be removed and another fresh bowl be brought out. But this third bowl was also 'invaded' by a spider.
Eye-witnesses to the event insist forcefully that it was clearly three different spiders.
The Rabash asked the ones who had provided the food where they had obtained the meat. They replied that they had slaughtered a lamb for the sake of the circumcision Mitzvah Meal. When he next asked from where they purchased the lamb, they said from a certain non-Jew in a certain nearby village.
The Rabash requested that they please ask the man to come to speak with him. They did so, and when the man arrived the Rabash asked him if there was anything unusual about this lamb, and make sure to tell him the truth. "I shall tell you the truth," declared the gentile. "This lamb was 'orphaned' from its mother, so I took him to a sow to suckle. And indeed, he stayed with her and she fed him until he was grown."
Upon hearing this, the Rabash commanded that all the vessels in which the lamb meat was cooked should be broken.
The shamesh (attendant/shul manager), Avraham-Eliyahu, from whom we know this story, was a simple, sincere, pious Jew, whom no one ever suspected of being untruthful. He would tell what he personally saw that day with great enthusiasm, including all the details.
Once again was proven the Talmudic dictum, "The Holy One, blessed be He, never brings tzadikim (the perfectly righteous) to stumbling blocks." Tosfos (a primary commentary) states that this principle manifests particularly in matters of eating and drinking.
The Rabash replied, "If you leave a charitable donation with me of 25 rubles I'll pray for the snow that you need. The man agreed.
That night there was a very heavy snowstorm.
This was not 100% necessary. See Shulchan Aruch Yorah Deah 60:1 and the learned
commentaries there. See also Tzemech Tzedek Responsa #15 (end).
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of the Full Moon"