Weekly Chasidic Story #877 (s5774-55 / 20 Elul 5774)

After Midnight Guests

Rabbi Hayim Pinto had a dream in which a great rabbi complained to him, "I sent you my grandson happy, and you sent him back to me sad."

Connection: Seasonal--Saturday night, 26th Elul (2014: Oct. 21) is the 169th yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Pinto


After Midnight Guests

Rabbi Hayyim Pinto awoke every night to recite prayers and to make "requests of G-d." Afterwards, he would study Torah until dawn. One day his daughter Mazal entered into his room in the middle of the night and saw him studying with a man she did not recognize. In the morning, he went to speak with her and asked her sadly, "Why did you come into my room without knocking? You are not at the level to see Eliyahu Hanavi (Elijah the Prophet). Now Heaven has decreed a punishment: on the day of your marriage you will become blind."

A few years later, the grandson of the deceased Torah sage, Rabbi Khalifa Malka, came from Agadir to Mogador and went directly to Rabbi Hayyim Pinto's home. When he saw Mazal, she found favor in his eyes. Having already heard much about her excellent character and exemplary behavior, he asked Rabbi Hayyim to give his daughter to him in marriage, but the tzadik refused. He pleaded, he insisted, but the tzadik continued to refuse. The grandson of Rabbi Khalifa Malka returned to Agadir saddened and hurt because Rabbi Pinto had refused to let him marry his daughter.

Weeks later, Rabbi Hayyim Pinto had a dream in which he saw Rabbi Khalifa Malka, who told him, "I sent you my grandson happy, and you sent him back to me sad."

Rabbi Hayyim responded, "Your honor is aware that my daughter Mazal saw Eliyahu Hanavi when she shouldn't have and a decree was issued that on the day of her marriage she will become blind. This is why I refused to consider letting her marry your grandson."

Rabbi Khalifa replied that his grandson would accept this decree and still want to marry her. All this dialog occurred during the dream.

The next day, Rabbi Pinto sent a special messenger to Agadir asking that the grandson of Rabbi Khalifa Malka should come to him again. When Rabbi Hayyim saw him, he explained what would happen to his daughter on the day of her wedding. The young man quickly responded that even so, he still desires to marry her and no one else.
The young couple married, and then, thanks to the merit and righteousness of both of them, the decree of blindness was annulled. They had children and lived to ripe old age, eventually passing away in the same week.

When Rabbi Hayyim Pinto would arise every night to study Torah, his shamash (attendant), Rabbi Aaron Ben-Hayyim, would also arise and prepare him a cup of coffee. Once, Rabbi Aaron awoke a little late and therefore hurried to prepare a cup of coffee for the Rabbi, when suddenly he heard two voices coming from the inner room. He then went and prepared an additional cup for the unexpected guest.

In the morning, Rabbi Pinto asked his attendant, "Why did you prepare two cups of coffee during the night?"

"I heard two voices and I thought to prepare a second cup for the guest."

Rabbi Hayyim told him, "Happy are you, my son, you who had the merit to hear the voice of Eliyahu Hanavi. However, I decree that you repeat this secret to no one while I am alive."

It was not until after the death of the tzadik that the shamash recounted this incident to the inhabitants of the city.

Rabbi Maklouf Ben Lisha once needed to discuss with Rabbi Hayyim Pinto matters of importance for the community of Mogador. Due to the seriousness of the matter, he went directly to the Rabbi's room in the middle of the night. Entering, he was astonished by the "illuminated" face of Rabbi Pinto and the presence of someone else who resembled an angel. He wanted to approach closer, but was seized with such great fright that he fled to his home.

The next day the tzadik told him, "Fortunate are you, my son, who had the merit of seeing the face of Eliyahu Hanavi."

Rabbi Maklouf lived a long time, to the age of 110, and he described this incident in his prayer book.

On the day of Rabbi Hayyim Pinto's passing (see "Biographical note" below), he promised his disciples that those who would invoke his name on the day of his Hilula would see their prayers answered.

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition on //www.hevratpinto.org, based on the book, The Light of the Righteous.

Biographical note:
Rabbi Hayyim Pinto Hagadol ("the Great") [Tammuz 15, 5509 - Elul 26, 5605 (July 1, 1749 - September 28, 1845)], a descendant of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto--the "Rif" of Ein Yaakov--was born in Agadir, Morocco on the 6th Hilula of Rabbi Hayyim Ben Attar. At age 20, he became the head rabbinical judge in Mogador, exercising this function for more than 70 years. The greatest Torah scholars of the generation esteemed him, and Jews and Muslims alike venerated him. It is said that Eliyahu Hanavi revealed himself regularly to him and studied with him. On the day of his passing, at age 96, he promised his disciples that those who would invoke his name on the day of his Hilula would see their prayers answered.

Connection: The 171st yahrzeit of Rabbi Hayyim Pinto Hagadol (2014: Sat. night, Sept. 21).



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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