Thursday, November 26, 2009
There was a Yid in Crown Heights named Reb Shamshon Charitinov. He passed away last night, on the YomHoledes/Yohrtzeit of the Mitteler Rebbe. I was actually his neighbor for several years, but I don't think I ever said more than "ah gut morgen" to him. I had other such neighbors, elderly chassidim; I should've mustered the courage to speak to these Yidden. Reb Shamshon did not merit to have what you can call an easy life. His father - Reb Sholem - died when he was a young bachur, he grew up under Soviet rule living with constant mesiras nefesh, and - I assume make the long journey to Uzbekistan during the War. After arriving in New York after WW2 RSC worked very hard for his daily bread. You may have never heard of him were it not for the Neginah that he produced, rather sang, from his ancestors, some of the most beautiful neginah ever composed, IIMSSM. Neginah that takes you from the mundane on a cold and rainy Monday morning and scrubs your soul clean with tears of loving Tshuveh. Quite literally. If you are not or were not inspired by his singing then you need to examine yourself very closely, because a man with soul NEEDS to be inspired by something as G-dly as that. If he isn't then his "receptacles" may not be working at full capacity.
In Crown Heights today the eynikel Reb Sholem Charitinov is one of Chabad's true gems. A durchgeveikte chassidishe yid whose home is always open to any and all visitors, "Sholem" is where many a bocher got his first Shabbos in Crown Heights with the Rebbe. I too benefited from their hospitality, as well as my kids. The one thing he may not have yarshened is the singing voice, but he makes up for it in his hafotzas HaChassides among a cross spectrum of Jews. The same goes for his choshuv'e Rebbetzin, who puts many a chassidisher yungerman to shame with her broad knowledge. They both would be terribly embarrassed if they knew I was speaking about them here, but I feel it's necessary. The world must know of such gems, of the kiddush hashem that they perpetuate with their good deeds. That's part of what we do here at the Tent; we try and be mekadesh shem hashem to those who may not know about G-d. I believe I've been somewhat successful here, despite all the attacks. May Reb Shamshon be a maylitz yosher for all of us, and may we hear his sweet melodies, yachad im kol bnei mishpachas Charitonov LeDoroseyhem, b'vias Moshiach Tzidkeinu Taikef U'Miyad Mamesh!