Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20 Av stories

Here are the stories about R' Levik, the Rebbe's father, in honor of his Yahrtzeit, which is tonight and tomorrow.
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A Jew once visited R' Levik, the Rebbe's father, in exile, and R' Levik held the Jew for five hours saying Torah.

R' Levik held a Minyan at 7:00 AM on Yom Kippur so that people could Daven and then head off to work.
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JJ Hecht told a story on his radio show once. His father, Yehoshua Hecht, was a Chassidic business man, and once he went to a Doctor. After the examination he asked the doctor how much he owed? The good doctor said, "I don't charge Rabbis". The doctor was informed that the honest business man was not, in fact, a Rabbi, even if he did have a beard and long coat. Still, the doctor refused to charge, and after this had gone on a couple times he explained, "You have six sons who are Rabbis. By me you're a Rabbi!"
JJ said, "I didn't know the Rebbe's father, but I know the Rebbe, for me that's enough."
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A non-religious Jew once came to R' Levik and said, "I need to bake Matzos today for Pesach." R' Levik answered, "That's nice, but I can't do it today. Tomorrow will work for me though." The Jew said, "No, I have to do it today." Again R' Levik tried to explain that it would have to wait a day. The Jew said, "Then I won't have Matzos to eat this Pesach." R' Levik said, "Nu nu, you won't have Matzos for Pesach." The Jew exploded, "What kind of Rabbi are you? A Jew won't have Matza for Pesach and you don't care? That's sick!" R' Levik later said that this was the happiest he ever felt.
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R' Levik was eventually released from exile in Chile, but he was not allowed to go home. Instead he was sent to Alma Ata, which at least had some Jews. The Raskin family was among these Jews, and they used to help R' Levik. R' Levik's final Tisha B'Av happened to fall out on a Sunday, which meant of course that the day before the fast was a Shabbos. R' Mendel Raskin helped out R' Levik on this Shabbos. R' Levik began to say Chassidus in the early afternoon, and continued on for many hours. R' Mendel wanted to go home and eat something, but he felt bad leaving R' Levik while he was still saying Chassidus. Eventually nightfall came, and still the Chassidus continued. Eventually R' Levik ended, at around 11:00 PM. When R' Mendel came home theu told him how lucky he was. This was 1944, and the Russians were in the middle of a fearsome war with the Germans. The authorities had come around that very night with the intention of snatching R' Mendel, who was of military age. They were told that he was not home, and so left, but they soon came back. They turned the house over, convinced that he was hiding, yet they didn't find him. Eventually they gave up, and a little while later R' Mendel walked in the door, unharmed.
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Rebbitzen Chana said, on the last 20 Av of her life, "I've seen great men. I saw my husband (R' Levik), my father, and my grandfather, but none could compare to my son (The Rebbe). He combines the greatest brilliance with the greatest Pshitus (simplicity)."
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As Rabbi Lew prepared to tell the following story he remarked, "This is the first time I'm telling this story; I don't think it's printed anywhere." I turned to Rabbi Manis Friedman and Rabbi Yosef Eizicovics and said, "Not for long".

R' Levik had a brother who was married to Rebbitzen Chana's sister, meaning that two brothers married two sisters. Near the end of R' Leviks life, a letter came in the mail for him, but he didn't open it. A few months went by, and he passed away. The letter was then opened, and it was discovered that it contained news of R' Levik's brother's passing. It was theorized that the reason R' Levik didn't open the letter was because he knew what it contained inside, with his Ruach HaKodesh, but he didn't want to have to sit Shiva, which he would Halachicly be required to do if he read the letter, because he was too sick.
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Rabbi Manis Friedman
There is a famous story of R' Levik; in short, he was appointed by the Soviets to be in charge of the Shmura Matza, and one of the cars carrying the Shmura wheat wasn't covered properly, which lead to its being suspected of not being Kosher for Pesach. R' Levik refused to accept the shipment of wheat, and the Soviets allowed for another train to come instead, which brought Shmura what this time.
The Rebbe used to tell this story with great fervor. Why? Any other Chassid who was in Soviet Russia would have done the same thing as R' Levik. What was so special about his actions?
The difference between R' Levik and all other Chassidim is that the Soviet government capitulated to R' Levik. This means that R' Levik was connected to Malchus, sovereignty, which means that he had a connection to Nesius, leadership. All the Schneersons had this special connection.

10 comments:

e said...

Dropping a line, to tell that I read the stories. I'm still waiting to hear your take on the new Lubavitch media phenomenon: Chrudge.

The Real Shliach said...

I'm still waiting to build up the necessary annoyance, and then I'll unleash with full force in a rant of epic proportions. Until then, hold tight, and stop insulting your relatives.

EndOfWorld said...

Thanks for the stories. A mini farbrengen, right at home. Waiting to hear more.

Anonymous said...

um just a thought. does the fact that you said it in front of RMF and RYE give it any more credence than if you wouldve said it to joe shmo ??

It was your comment, and it seems that you put some names there to make it a little shtark....

The Real Shliach said...

Shtark? Now there's a word we don't often see on TRS. The reason I put their names there is because they laughed when I said it, and so I remembered their presence and decided to put it in.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for the clarification TRS, that was shtark!!

The tzniut police said...

TRS, this blog is starting to attract a lot of girls. What's going on? Now you've got End of the World, Rachel, Cheerio; what is this? You're a regular stud muffin!

The Real Shliach said...

Tznius Police, I am quite shocked. That was a disgustingly non-Tznius comment of yours. Instead of castigating me for being quite the ladies man (thank you very much) you apparently complimented me! Where have your caveman morals gone?

EndOfWorld said...

MMmmm. Muffin. Must. Go. Eat. Lunch.

Cheerio said...

hey, tp, don't forget wannabe and ptown girl (who left an incredibly intelligent and serious comment on this blog. on this blog!!?! yes, on this blog. wow.)!