Monday, April 2, 2012

Pesach in Czernowitz

The year was 1946. The Skulener Rebbe had been living in Czernowitz, which was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. It later fell into German and Romanian hands until the Soviet forces liberated the city in 1944. Czernowitz is currently divided between Romania and Ukraine. A number of Rebbes and other tzaddidim arrived in Czernowitz after the war to regroup and decide where to settle. But nobody really knew what to do or where to go. It was only one year after the hororrs of the camps. Just as an aside, Rav Aharon Kotler could not decide whether to go to Israel or the United States. He did the goral hagrah (the Vilna Gaon's method of opening to a random page of Torah, and looking for the first pasuk that stands out, in order to decide a difficult question). The first pasuk that caught his eye spoke of Aharon going out into the wilderness to meet Moshe. And so it was decided. Rav Aharon Kotler, like his namesake in the Torah, Aharon, would go out into the wilderness, the United States (then considered a spiritual wilderness), to meet Moshe, Rav Moshe Feistein, already in the States. Similarly, when Rav Shach couldn't decide whether or not to leave Europe, he opened to the parshah. It was lech-lecha: go from your land and your people and your father's house. He then knew what to do. But back to the story. The Skulener Rebbe found himself in a situation where all those who had come from the camps had not a penny to their name. In addition, the Rebbe was the only person in town that had the resources to bake shemurah matzah for Pesach. Due to his infinite chesed (kindness) he decided to go to work for the sake of the people. He would bake and he would bake, until the resources ran dry, and he would then distribute three matzos to anyone and everyone who knocked on his door. Three matzos and no more.

A young man came to his home, and was given his three matzos. He told the Rebbe that he needed six matzos. The Rebbe said that he was very, very sorry, but he must provide for all of the Jewish inhabitants of the city. The young man would not take no for an answer. He said that his father asked for six matzos, and he could not disobey. "What is your name?" asked the Rebbe. "Moshe Hager," answered the boy. "And just who is your father?" asked the Rebbe. "Reb Baruch Hager.". The Rebbe was astounded. The Seret-Vizhnitzer Rebbe asking for six matzos! But despite his great esteem for the Seret-Vizhnitzer Rebbe, a rule is a rule. He reminded the Rebbe's son that only three matzos were required for the seder, so why the adamant request? The young man said that on the grounds of kibud av (honoring one's father) he must take home six matzos. The Rebbe reluctantly agreed, and handed over six matzos.

Days later, as the Rebbe had finished giving out shemurah matzah for Pesach, Reb Moshe Hager returned. He had come back with three matzos. The Rebbe was astounded, once again, and inquired as to the turn of events. The young man had refused to go home with less than six matzos, and here he was returning three! The young man replied, "my father knew that the Rebbe was going to expend all of his energies toward baking matzah and handing out matzah to the needy. My father said that considering the Rebbe's overwhelming chesed he might unwittingly give away all the matzos, leaving none for his own seder." The Rebbe was touched, and took the three matzos. On his way out, Reb Moshe Hager checked with the gabbaim (assistants to the Rebbe). And so it was. The Rebbe had unknowingly given away all of the matzos, leaving none for himself.

Speaking of honoring one's father on Pesach, a comical ma'aseh involving the sharp Reb Aharon of Belz as a child. The Belzer Rebbe, Reb Yissachar Dov Rokeach, was sitting at the seder table with his family all around. He wanted his young son, Reb Aharon (later to be Rebbe) to say the ma nishtana, and ask why this night is different from all other nights. In the general spirit of the seder he wanted his son to ask questions. But young Reb Aharon sat in silence. The Rebbe started doing out of the ordinary and outlandish things to arouse his son to ask questions, throwing his hands in the air with wild gesticulations. But Reb Aharon remained silent. "Don't my actions seem strange to you?" questioned the Rebbe in utter and complete frustration. The boy answered sharply, "father I always show you honor, and would never question anything you do!"


Anonymous said...

Shekoacho Ugvoruso Malay Olam

Very interesting image rendered on the weather mape, no? It looks like a question mark. As if the One above Hashem Yisboruch is asking us loudly - SO what are “you” going to do now? It’s obvious to anyone on the spiritual wavelength that the Holy One, blessed be He, Hashem our creator is going all out to get people’s attention with this storm.

But, while they recognize the uniqueness of this situation, they still refuse to see in it Yad Hashem - the hand of Hashem. This should be a reminder of the Dor Hamabul. We live in a corrupt society and Hashem is telling us to do Teshuva. If not I can destroy parts of the world again. Some conspiracy web sites are even claiming “Superstorm Sandy” is man-made, a manifestation of weather wars that was created as a weapon to upset the elections or as an excuse to begin filling up FEMA camps Chas VeSholom.

Among all the preparation lists being handed around, I have yet to see one that included an admonition to pray to Hashem to say Tehilim to improve our Tznius give Tzedokah and no Loshon Hora. It’s up to us - the Jews - the servants of God - to proclaim His Mastery over all that He has created and continues to create at every moment. Please don’t make lite of this post, we have to wake up Moshiach is at our doorstep waiting for us to do Teshuva so he can do his job.

It’s not to late yet. Do yourself a favor & hit the road out of the USA & into Israel before you head into the future COMMUNISM of America that’s where we are heading to. It’s not a joke. Please Google “the new world order” then google “FEMA camps” get educated you’ll be shocked and hopefully understand what’s happening “to us” here in the (US) Golden Medinah. Time IS running out for us.

No Rav/Rebbeh will tell you to run from US, use your brains, same thing happened in Nazi Germany, the Rabonim where thinking about their future, the Rabonim with nice incomes were afraid to loose it. Time to think how to save yourself and your family, no matter what, it will always be better and safer in Eretz Yisroel, even though it won’t be easy street any place in the world, but here in the USA we clearly see the handwriting openly, understand that there is very little time left for us to save our future.

The way things have been going, one day we’ll wake up and be stuck here C”V the doors are going to be locked, SHUT DOWN FOR EVER don’t wait for the last moment look and see what happened in Sedom. I beg you to get hold of you friends parents in-laws wife and kids etc. and explain that the US is coming to an END

Open your eyes & watch on a weekly basis as you get watched more & more & all rights & freedoms are removed from all of US in the USA. i.e. see what’s doing with Rabashkin, the US is about to become a full dictatorship like what communist Russia was combined with the “kindness” of Nazi Germany C”V, what’s with the FEMA camps that the US government built throughout America? With the gas chambers and trains etc. NOW we have to do Teshuva must beg Hashem for the Geulah, very hard time are approaching our way C”Vץ lets have lots of Achudas do Teshuva to be Zocha for the Geulah

Anonymous said...

Make sure you don't confuse the selflessness of the Chassidic Rebbes with the ego of others who only insulted them!