Sunday, January 2, 2011
The new sefer about the Tzaddik Reb Shayelle Kerestierer, zt"l
In the tradition of sharing with readers what I'm reading I bring you this. 600 pages of Mofsim, one after the other, sometimes 2 or 3 per page, and most of them from Kli Rishon or Kli Sheyni. We spoke a short while ago how his main object in life was to help the unfortunate Yid in any way possible - even if he was a Mechalel Shabbos, and that very much is the case, but what got me was the Mofsim, one after another after another, Baal Shem'ske mayses one after the other, for 50 years. And it's not just that; Every person I spoke to about it - it seems - has a personal moyfes that wasn't even published in the book! I myself heard from my father, ZG"Z, how he heard from his shver, my zeide, how my Bubbe's parents (his wife - my Bubbe's - parents) were once evicted from their home by a non-Jewish landlord. They were left homeless, out on the street, with nowhere to go. IIRC they lived in Nyirmada at the time, which is about 50 miles from BodrogKerestur, where Reb Shayelle lived. They traveled there and told the Tzaddik how they were evicted from their home for no good reason by the wicked landlord and are homeless, a family with children. Reb Shayelle told them to write down the Orel's name on a piece of paper, and he then proceeded to take that paper and burn it in a burning candle nearby. He then sent them home, saying that it was all OK now, they had no need to worry any further. Sure enough when they arrived home the landlord had left this world. And the zeide would always stress that this wasn't some old man who you could say could've died anyway - he was "a champion," big and strong.
And there are hundreds and thousands more of those - unpublished stories that are kept in families and passed down from generation to generation. On the way back from a wedding last week I shared my thoughts with another Yid of Hungarian descent. He responded with a story of his own - where his father's mother lost TEN children in various stages of pregnancy - before she traveled to Reb Shayelle and asked for his help. The Tzaddik gave her some Kotzko Tzikker - sugar cubes and told her keep it with her during the whole term, maybe to wear it like a Kimeya, I forget that detail now. She had four children after that, with this man's father the first of the four. I could be here all year writing about the mofsim, but you can save me from doing all that work by buying or borrowing (like I did) this sefer'l and reading how G-d name was sanctified by both Jew and, Lehavdil, Gentile thousands upon thousands of times over decades. Surprisingly enough, one of the marei mekomos that they bring is the famous עולמו של אבא, which I took out to look at what he writes and I was more then a bit disappointed at that Pressburger Talmid's take on Reb Shayelle, which is not really respectful - since he says that he wasn't known as Godol BaTorah, and all he basically did was prave mofsim and serve food to hungry Jews... which shows you that jealousy is a terrible thing, and that even Rabbonim can suffer from it.