#499 (s5767-38) 27 Sivan 5767
Holy Books Allowed in the Rebbe's Room!
Avraham (the Maggid) of Trisk hardly ate or
Holy Books Allowed in the Rebbe's Room!
of Trisk lived like this. Eight o'clock in the morning he'd get up, go to
the mikveh, pray. Two o'clock in the afternoon, he would start to yawn. "I'm
so tired, I've got to lie down a little bit." He'd go to his room until three,
then pray the afternoon prayer. After the evening prayer, at ten o'clock at night
he might start yawning again. "I'm so tired. I've got to go back to my room."
The fact of the matter was that the Trisker Maggid hardly ate or slept.
Rather -- as everybody knew -- when he closed the door to his room he was dealing
with souls from the Other World who needed fixing. This is because before his
father, Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, passed away, he divided his kingdom among
his children and put Rabbi Avraham in charge of the people from the Other Side.
this reason he also never kept any books in his room, because souls from the Other
Side are not able to read Torah. In order to avoid making them feel bad, the Trisker
Maggid never permitted books in his room. If he found one, he removed it.
Trisker Maggid once came to a village where only one Jew had enough room in his
house to accommodate the rebbe and his chasidim. But this man was a mitnaged (opposed
to the chasidic movement). He had heard many stories from his fellow mitnagdim
and was suspicious of the rumor that the Trisker Maggid hardly slept or ate.
I can believe. He sleeps so much, he doesn't need to eat. But he doesn't even
keep a book in his room, so you can't tell me he isn't up there napping!"
This wealthy Jew was more than happy to have the Trisker Maggid as his guest,
because it would give him a chance to prove what the rebbe was doing behind closed
doors. "He's snoring, I'm sure."
That evening, while the Trisker
Maggid was praying the evening prayer, the Jew managed to get into Rabbi Avraham's
room and to hide under the bed. At ten o'clock, when the Trisker Maggid said to
his chasidim, "I have to go back to my room," the rich Jew heard R'
Avraham come into the chamber and felt him sit down on the bed.
had the chasidim closed the door to give the rebbe a little privacy when it seemed
to open again. A crowd pushed their way into the room. The man could hear the
shuffle of feet, the murmuring appeals. During the day, the host had already witnessed
the Trisker Maggid's audiences with ten, maybe even thirty people, at a time.
But this sounded like thousands. What was happening? Where were all these people
coming from? How could there even be a place for them in this little bedroom?
the day, people would complain: "Rabbi! I'm sick. Please cure my back."
"I need money for my business." "Would you find a wife for my son?"
But by night, the people were saying, "Rebbe! I'm so broken! They won't let
me into Gan Eden (Paradise). They won't let me into Gehinom (Purgatory).
All I can do is wander. Rebbe, please fix my soul."
The worst was
that the host heard many voices in the room, but when he peeked out from underneath
the bed, he couldn't see any feet. The Jew was so frightened that he was shaking
and had to do his best to keep his teeth from chattering.
heard another, different voice cry out: "Rebbe! Have compassion on my tormented
neshama. Fix me! Fix my soul!"
"What can I do for you?"
the Trisker Maggid asked. "While you were alive, you never bothered to come
to me. You didn't even give me one kopeck for tzedaka, one penny for charity,
to connect yourself to me. So how can I help you now?"
must be a way!" The poor soul pleaded with the rebbe, from a place of deep
"Actually, there is one possibility. Your neighbor, Shmuelik,
was one of my top chasids. Shmuelik gave me a great deal of charity during his
lifetime. If he were to tell me now that one penny of the riches he gave as tzedaka
was for you, then I could find a way to help you."
would do that for me, I'm sure."
"Fine! Then I want you to go
and ask him!"
"How can I do that? He won't believe that I come
"Then I'll send somebody along to act as your witness."
At this point, the Trisker Maggid gave a strong, swift kick under the
bed and said to the owner of the house: "Come out!"
man realized that the Trisker Maggid was about to send him into the Other World
as witness to an exchange between two souls, he began pleading from under the
"Please, Rebbe! Don't do this to me! I promise I won't tell
anybody what I saw!"
"Come out!" the Maggid repeated firmly.
Jew came out, crawling on his stomach. He was crying, screaming, clinging to the
rebbe's feet. "Please, Rebbe! I have a wife and three children. You've seen
them! I don't want to die yet. I'm not ready to die!"
you should die. But if you're going to spy on me, then you are the one who must
go as my witness. Take my stick and walk with the soul of this man to the cemetery."
The Jew looked around. The greatest nightmare of all was that there was
absolutely no one else in the room, only himself and the Trisker Maggid. "Knock
on the first grave in the second row and say that Avraham ben Chanah orders Shmuel
ben Rivkah to give one penny to fix the neshama of this Jew - Yussel ben
Baila, his neighbor."
The Jew fulfilled his mission obediently. It
goes without saying that not only did he not die, he lived on to become a dedicated,
faithful Trisker chasid.
Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from
nehora.com, where it is published as having been heard from the great-great
grandson of the man who hid under the bed (and confirmed by the general manager
of Ascent, who is the great-great grandson of the Trisker Maggid).
Rabbi Avraham of Trisk (1802 - 2 Tammuz 1889) was one of eight
sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl. During his 50 years as rebbe, he was well
known for blessing people, blessings which did not go unanswered. In his book
Magen Avraham on the Torah readings and the festivals, he includes many
guidelines for yeshiva students.
is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and editor of Ascent
Quarterly and the AscentOfSafed.com and KabbalaOnline.org websites. He has hundreds
of published stories to his credit.back to Top
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