Stories Archive:
#1188 - present (5781)

As told by Yerachmiel Tilles,
the co-founder and first educational director of Ascent-of-Safed, originator and maintainer of this website, and managing editor of Kabbala Online, who has hundreds of published stories to his credit, with many having been translated into other languages. He tells them live in Tsfat (Safed) nearly every week, at his home on Friday evenings and at Ascent on Saturday nights. To receive the Story every Wednesday by e-mail--with a printable PDF option--sign up here!


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#1206 (s5781-18) 5 Shvat 5781 / Jan.18, 2021) Next week

"A Blessing for Broadway"

"I [Dudu Fisher] am descended from generations of those who opposed Chassidism, and yet I am walking this earth because of a blessing from Rabbi Yosef-Yitzchak Schneersohn,,who was the Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch from 1920 to 1950. "

Connection: Seasonal -- 10 Shvat (Shabbat, Jan. 16) is the 71st yahrzeit of the Rebbe Rayatz.

#1205 (s5781-17) 27 Tevetv 5781 / Jan.11, 2021) This week

"The Party Spoiler"

The party hosted by the local Moroccan Jewish community was a success, with the cruel Muslim ruler seemingly enjoying himself very much, bu then Baba Sali made his entrance.

Connection: Seasonal -- 4 Shvat (Sunday, Jan. 11) is the 37th yahrzeit of Baba Sala.

#1204 (s5781-16) 20 Tevetv 5781 / Jan. 4, 2021) Last week

"An Acknowledged But Unalterable Mistake"

The Imperial Government replied, “Yes, we see that the provincial government gave you permission, but they mistakenly permitted you to use land that is not theirs. Your loved ones and your Rabbi must be removed from the place where they are now buried.”

Connection: Seasonal -- 1This Friday 24 Tevet, is the 209th yahrzeit of Rabbi Shneur-Zalman of Chabad.

#1203 (s5781-15 / 13 Tevetv 5781 /Dec.28, 2020)

"The Final Word"

The “Bnei Yissaschar” was in his final hours. His eyes were closed; a medley of awe and ecstasy played upon his holy face.

Connection: Seasonal -- 18 Tevet (Shabbat, Jan. 2) is the 180th yahrzeit of Rabbi Zvi-Elimelech Shapira, the “Bnei Yissaschar.”

#1202 (s5781-14 / 6 Tevetv 5781 /Dec.21, 2020)

"The Delayed Delivery"

“I wish you to deliver this letter yourself, not by messenger. And give it only to the people I have addressed it to,” said the Baal Shem Tov.

Connection: Seasonal -- This Sunday Dec. 20, 2020, was Hei Teves (5th day of the Jewish month of Tevet) the Chabad "Holiday of the Return of the Holy Books," ("Didan Netzchak") the events of which in the late 1980's included a delayed delivery.

#1201 (s5781-13 / 28 Kislev 5781 /Dec..14, 2020) Last week

"The Menorah vs. the Swastika in 1930's Nazi Germany"

or 51 of the 52 weeks of the year, the menorah belongs to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

Connection: Seasonal -- CHANUKAH

#1200 (s5781-12 / 21 Kislev 5781 /Dec..7, 2020)

"The Magical and Anti-Magical Chanukah Lights"

While on the phone with the sorcerer, he absently looked out his window and noticed Chanukah lights burning in a neighboring house.

Connection: Seasonal -- CHANUKAH

#1199 (s5781-11 / 14 Kislev 5781 /Nov.30, 2020)

"The Shah, the Ayatollah and the Book of Tanya"

The next Shabbos in shul, the entire community celebrated the miracle with me that took place in the merit of the Tanya.

Connection: YUD-TES KISLEV!

#1198 (s5781-10 / 7 Kislev 5781 /Nov.23, 2020)

Wedding Hardships

For some, meeting their life-partner is like encountering a long-lost friend, and marriage like slipping on a pair of comfortable houseshoes. There are those, however, who have to drag themselves to the chupah—their cold feet weighing them down like icebergs.

Connection: Weekly Reading (Talk about wedding hardships!)

#1197 (s5781-09 /29 Mar-Cheshvan 5781 /Nov.16, 2020)

Necessary Repairs

Two yeshivah boys decided to take a drive north in order to visit some of the gravesites of the righteous in the Tsfat area. Things were going along smoothly until…

Connection: A recent personal eventl

#1196 (s5781-08 /22 Mar-Cheshvan 5781 /Nov.9, 2020) Last week

Hebron Stairs of Hope

Although the majority of Schwartzie’s summers in Israel was spent teaching in ASCENT, he always spent at least two weeks in Hebron. His daily schedule included immersing, praying in Machpelah Cave, learning Torah in the Menucha Rachel shul; reciting some psalms at the graves of Jesse and Ruth; and of course, talking to every IDF soldier along the way.

Connection: Weekly Reading -- Jewish rights in Hebron, and especially the ownership of Machpelah Cave, date back nearly three thousand seven hundred years (3695, to be precise), as documented in the opening verses (Gen. 23:1-20).

#1195 (s5781-07 /15 Mar-Cheshvan 5781 /Nov.2, 2020)

The Trench Bargain

We asked him why he said the lengthy blessings after a meal so slowly and carefully; after all, it was just a simple weekday meal.

Connection: The first mention of blessing G-d after eating is implied in Gen. 21:33 and explained explicitly by Rashi

#1194 (s5781-06 / 8 Mar-Cheshvan 5781 /Oct.25, 2020)


Hearing voices, the innkeeper peeked through the keyhole of Naftali Katz's room and and saw him sprawled on the floor, begging and pleading, even though no one else was in the room..

Connection: Weekly Reading of Lech Lecha (Gen XX:X-X -- Abraham rescues from captivity his nephew and brother-in-law)

#1193 (s5781-05/1 Mar-Cheshvan 5781 /Oct.19, 2020)

Laser Vision

Here was a man who was not religious, sitting in front of me without a yarmulke, and he was telling me to consult the Lubavitcher Rebbe! about a major life decisionI almost fell off my chair.

Connection: Weekly Reading of Noach ( building the 'Tower of Bavel', the world's first skyscraper, was a significant techical-logistical achievement)

#1192 (s5781-04/ 24 Tishrei, 5781 /Oct.12, 2020) Last week

A Sudden Specialist

The doctor told them there was no cure, but they insisted, saying that the Ribnitzer Rebbe had sent them specifically to him

Connection: Seasonal -- Monday, the 24th of Tishrei (the day after Simchat Torah outside of Israel), is the 35th yahrzeit of the Ribnitzer Rebbe

#1191 (s5781-03/ 11 Tishrei, 5781 /Oct. 7, 2020)

“Sweet Songs I Shall Weave”

On Simchat Torah night 1961, shortly before dawn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught to the large crowd assembled there a version of the popular Anim Zemirot song which had never been heard before.

Cannection: Seasonal -- SIMCHAT TORAH

#1190 (s5781-02/ 11 Tishrei, 5781 / Sept. 29, 2020)

Stuck in the Chain (At the Crossroads, Part 2)

The Sukkot festival was drawing to a close. The young Chabadnik reloaded his basket with the four species, the vodka, the cookies and the pamphlets.

Cannection: Seasonal -- SUKKOT

#1189 (s5781-01/ 3 Tishrei, 5781 / Sept. 21, 2020)

"The Surprise Cantor"

It was just before the start of Yom Kippur when suddenly a mysterious stranger appeared in the shul. Without a word of introduction he went up to the reader's stand and began to chant the Kol Nidre prayer

Cannection: Seasonal -- YOM kIPPUR



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Stories Archive:
#1189 - Present (5781)


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