Sunday, February 8, 2009
Reb Elya Ber Un Di Vizhnitzer Minchah
(Many thanks to a devoted reader who found this picture on YWN)
The name, just like that, sends waves of Yiras HaKoved through the Olam HaTeyreh. Not for nothing do even so many Chassidishe Bachurim - who for some reason end up learning there - have some Ahavah for him. He seems to have some a special Cheyn that few others have today. I had the good fortune of davening in REBW's (we can add that to the לוח ראשי תיבות) minyan this Sunday. What, Tzig, you traveled all the way to South Fallsburg to see the Rosheshive? no, I didn't. I was in the Vizhnitzer shul davenen mincha this Sunday, something I haven't done in a long time, and something I still wonder why I did, considering that my shul had a minyan at the same time. I'm standing in the foyer, trying to gauge where the latest minyan will be, when the door flies open and in walks the Rosheshive! Looking better than ever, if I may so myself. The Hadras Ponim was working very well, even Bukoviner and Marmoresher Yidden on Phyllis Terrace could tell that here goes epes ah choshuver yid.
Vizhnitz and Satmar are for those who may not know, two of Monsey's "minyan factories," with Satmar probably the bigger and better of the pair. If you thought a minyan was the only thing you could chap here, think again. Think cellphone accessories, bread, rolls, torah tapes, "Neitra raffle" and much, much more. At any given time of day you could drink a L'chaim for a yahrtzeit or a shlishi leMilah without actually knowing who's making the party, because the man has long since gone. Men from all across the spectrum daven there, Sefardi, Ashkenazi, Lubavitch, Litvish, Chassidish, MO; you can see them all davening in one minyan. Yet, on this Sunday afternoon, other than a few Yeshivishe Bnei Torah, most of the others were Vizhnitzer Chassidim, so REBW's entrance made a shtikkel roshem. One could sense somewhat of an anxiety in the Roshshive's demeanor; it was about 10 minutes to shkiah and he had just arrived. There was no minyan yet, and the clock was waiting for nobody that day, not even him.
Der Eybershtrer takes care of that serve him and immerse themselves in his Heylige Teyreh. Within seconds of the Rosheshive's arrival there was a man standing at the door to the minyan room closest to the Rosheshive calling out "Minchah, Mincha!" Thus, we were all zoche to daven before the shkiah in the Roshshive's zechus. Me being a fargrebte Chabadsker who only thinks about the Rebbe, I finished Shemone Esrei first. By a long way. First among some 30-40 people, so I was able to observe the Rosheshive's Hanhogos during davening. I'm happy to report that there were no funny faces, extreme clenching of the fists and brow, nor was he shaking like a madman, like some people think necessary. It was a lesson in davening. KeAvda KaMei Moroh in the simplest sense, without any fanfare, except for maybe the Vilde Payos, neat, clean, yet vild, if you get my drift. When davening was over it was out the door for him, almost as if it could not happen sooner. But that's to be understood, a Rosheshive of his caliber among Bukoviner and Marmorusher peasants. But still, I learned a lesson on how to adapt to situations that are a bit different than what you're used to. All thanks to a minchah in Vizhnitz.
(Pics of REBW are hard to come by, if you have a good one please won't you share with the rest of us? Right now all that I have is his father, the Mashgiach, with his boss, Reb Aryeh Malkiel, shlita.)