Merchandise Is Superior
In honor of the yom
ha’hilula of the Rebbe Maharash, Beis Moshiach presents this
compilation of stories
Difference Between An Oveid And A Maskil
Tzemach Tzedek once told his son, the Rebbe Maharash, to repeat the maamarim
as he had heard them from R’ Isaac and R’ Hillel, because he
wanted to know how they gave them over. The Rebbe Maharash did so.
Afterwards, the Rebbe told him, "R’ Isaac is a maskil and
R’ Hillel is an oveid."
Rebbe Maharash asked, "What is the difference between a maskil
and an oveid? After all, a maskil is also an oveid,
and an oveid is also a maskil!" The Tzemach Tzedek
week later, the Tzemach Tzedek said a special maamer Chassidus
for his sons and R’ Isaac and R’ Hillel. In the middle of the night,
at about two or three in the morning, the Tzemach Tzedek called for the
Rebbe Maharash. He told him to go and see what R’ Isaac and R’
Hillel were doing. He added that he shouldn’t go in to see them, but
should view them through their windows.
Rebbe Maharash took his steward along with him and went to R’ Isaac,
who was sitting deep in thought, his head tilted back, his eyes closed,
his face aflame, and holding a lit pipe. From there, he went to R’
Hillel, who was sitting, bent over. Since he was short and slight in
stature, he appeared even shorter and thinner than usual. His finger was
in his mouth, a sign of concentration, his face was pale, and he looked
the Rebbe Maharash reported back to his father, the Tzemach Tzedek said,
"Both are deeply contemplating yesterday’s maamer Chassidus.
R’ Isaac is thinking about kesser ilaa, which is discussed
there, while R’ Hillel is contemplating the topic of kabbalas ol
and relating it to himself.
Yitzchok Isaac, p. 73)
Could Have Learned In That Time
Tzemach Tzedek especially loved his son, the Rebbe Maharash, who came to
see him every day, and sometimes a few times a day. He once visited his
father late at night after a lengthy yechidus that took longer
than usual. The Tzemach Tzedek complained about the time he had spent on
yechidus. "What do they want from me? I could have learned
in that time!"
Rebbe Maharash went to the bookcase in which the Tzemach Tzedek’s
writings on Chassidus were kept. He removed the curtain and counted over
thirty volumes on one of the shelves. He asked his father, "Would
you have written so many maamarim if you had not received so many
people for yechidus?" His father answered, "Yes, you
HaToldos, the Rebbe Maharash, p. 34)
You Will Remain Silent
5640 , when anti-Semitism in Russia intensified," the Rebbe
Rashab related to his son the Rebbe Rayatz, "in many locations the
Jew-haters incited the populace to start up with the Jews. My father,
the Rebbe Maharash, traveled to Petersburg to do all he could for the
betterment of the lot of the Jews.
father was acquainted with well-placed ministers, and shortly after his
arrival in the city he had already found ways to quiet things down. In
order to publicize matters, the ministers advised him to visit the
interior minister and the head of the Senate. This would get the wealthy
people and maskilim involved.
father called a meeting of wealthy and enlightened Jews and suggested a
plan in which they would select a circle of people to participate. Since
my father did not usually deal with these people, they weren’t happy
with him. One of them said, ‘We aren’t blocks of wood you can play
with as you would play with chess pieces. You have to take us into
father replied, ‘It says in the Megilla, "If you will be
silent at this time, salvation will come to the Jews from elsewhere, and
you and your father’s house will be destroyed." Thank G-d,
salvation will come to the Jews. If you do not want to participate, it
will come from somewhere else. But then ‘you and your father’s house
will be destroyed,’ i.e., you will lose out.’"
Chassidim, Zevin, p. 346)
I was 19 years old," the Rebbe Maharash related to his son the
Rebbe Rashab, "I became ill, and the specialist, Dr. Heibenthal,
was brought to see me. When my health stabilized somewhat and I was no
longer in critical condition, I still had to remain in bed for another
three months. Each day, my father would come to visit me and sit by my
side for two hours, and sometimes three and even four hours.
of the time he told me about the years he had spent in his grandfather’s
[the Alter Rebbe’s] house. He told me stories about the Alter Rebbe
when he was in Mezritch with the Maggid.
HaToldos, the Rebbe Maharash, p. 35)
Merchandise Is Superior
the Rebbe Maharash traveled to Belz disguised as a merchant. On Shabbos,
at the time of the late afternoon meal, he went to the beis midrash
of the tzaddik Rav Sar Shalom and stood off to the side.
beis midrash was packed solid when Rav Sar Shalom arrived, so the
Chassidim cleared a path for him to his seat. But as the tzaddik entered,
he paused and said he smelled something good. Then he immediately turned
to where the Rebbe Maharash was standing, following the fragrance until
he came face to face with him. He grasped the Rebbe Maharash’s hand
and said, "Young man, you can’t hide from me!" Then he went
to his place.
of the Belzer Chassidim assumed their rebbe had erred since he was
blind, and they said to him, "That Jew is merely a merchant!"
"That is correct," replied the rebbe, "he is truly a
merchant! His merchandise is superior than all others!"
Chassidim, Zevin, p. 339)
Such A Thought Came To Me While Wearing Tefillin…
Rebbe Maharash was in Vitebsk at an inn renowned for its kashrus.
For this reason, everybody was surprised to see that the Rebbe ate
nothing at lunchtime. Shortly thereafter, someone dashed into the dining
room and yelled that the chicken shouldn’t be eaten. A serious
question had arisen about it, and it couldn’t be considered kosher.
Rebbeim have ruach ha’kodesh, they prefer to act within the
context of the natural world. The other guests asked how he knew that
the chicken was not kosher. The Rebbe Maharash answered, "This
morning, as I was putting on Rabbeinu Tam tefillin, a
thought about lunch came to me. I realized that if such a thought came
to me while wearing tefillin, there must be something wrong with
the lunch, so I decided not to eat it."
Chassidim LaNoar, Vol. 2, p. 161)
You Don’t Know The Basics
Rebbe Rayatz related, "Once, when the Rebbe Maharash said a maamer,
the Chassid R’ Shmuel Ber of Borisov was present, and he did not
understand the maamer. The Rebbe invited the elder Chassidim for
the Shabbos meal, among them R’ Shmuel Ber. The Chassidim asked my
grandfather to explain the maamer. The Rebbe Maharash replied,
"What kind of explanation can be given when you don’t know the
foundation?" So he repeated the maamer.
HaSichos 5710, p. 148)