#159 (s5761-06 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan 5761)
The 'Tzemach Tzedek' remarked:
'When the tzaddik, the holy saint Rabbi Yisroel of Ruzhin says Tehillim/Psalms,
all of Creation is revealed to him.
[Excerpt from a letter of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneersohn, the sixth
My diary records something I heard from my famed teacher and
outstanding Chassid, Rabbi Shmuel Betzal'el (the 'Rashbatz'), which he
heard from my grandfather (Rabbi Shmuel Shneersohn, the fourth Lubavitcher
Rebbe-the 'Maharash'). These are my grandfather's words, as he reported
"One Shabbat when I was eight years old, I walked into the study of my
father (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneersohn, the third Lubavitcher Rebbe-the
'Tzemach Tzedek') and found him sitting at his table studying the Zohar.
Just then my eldest brother, Rabbi Baruch Shalom [ancestor of the seventh
Lubavitcher Rebbe], also entered. My father closed the Zohar and remarked, 'When
the tzadik, the holy saint of Ruzhin says Tehillim/Psalms, all
of Creation is revealed to him. And when he recites them on Shabbat, he sees
the spiritual roots of everything in this World, and is then able to rectify
problems directly at their source. Thus, any evil decree in this World can be
anulled. As for me, I agree with the advice of the tzadik of Ruzhin.'"
This rather enigmatic statement has an explanation. A
remarkable affection existed between the Tzemach Tzedek and the Ruzhiner,
even though they may never have actually met face-to-face [and wow!-did both
of them have remarkable faces! -y.t.]. At the time this episode took place,
the Jewish people in Russia were under the threat of a terrible decree that the
Czar was about to issue against them. The Tzemach Tzedek sent his great
chassid, Rabbi Yitzchak-Isaac of Homil, to the Ruzhiner Rebbe, in order
to consult with him and devise a plan to nullify the decree. The Ruzhiner
received Reb Isaac most warmly, as befitted a man of Reb Isaac's stature.
rest of the story my teacher, the Rashbatz, subsequently heard from Reb
"After I relayed to the Ruzhiner exactly what
the Tzemach Tzedek had assigned me to tell him, the tzadik replied,
'Very well, let us say a couple of chapters of Tehillim and G-d will open
for us the "Portals of Light," and we shall see what is going on.'
Shabbat, the Ruzhiner was in the midst of saying his customary Torah discourse,
when he suddenly stopped and ordered everyone to leave the room, indicating that
I alone was to remain. When they had all gone he said to me, 'My opinion is that
two messengers be sent to the capital where they should present such and such
arguments, and with G-d's help the decree will be abrogated.'
"Then he added, 'By the way, your Rebbe agrees with me.
by Yrachmiel Tilles from Tehillim Ohel Yosef Yitzchak and other written
and oral sources.]
Rabbi Yisrael Friedmann of Ruzhin [1797-3 Cheshvan 1850], the great-grandson
of the Maggid of Mezritch, at a young age was already a charismatic leader
with an enormous following of chassidim. He was also greatly respected by the
other rebbes and Jewish leaders of his generation. Six of his sons established
Chassidic dynasties, several of which -Sadigora, Chortkov, etc- are still thriving
Yitzchak-Isaac of Homil [1780-1857], author of Chanah Ariel, was such
an outstanding disciple of Rabbi Shnuer Zalman and Rabbi DovBer, the first
and second Rebbes of Chabad-Lubavitch, that when the latter passed
away in 1827, Reb Isaac was seriously considered as a candidate for the succession.
He refused, instead becoming the chassid of the eventual third rebbe, the
Tzemech Tzedek (see above), who was twenty years his junior.
Yrachmiel Tilles 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.
page soft-covered booklet containing eleven of his most popular stories may be
ordered on our store
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