Friday, November 14, 2008
belated yet timely
(RBR of Munkacs farhering the Bachurim on Motzoei Shabbos - photo by R Vishniac)
A heartwarming yet chilling story told by Rav Baruch Rabinovitch of Munkacs, son in law of the Minchas Elozor and father of the present Munkacser Rebbe about his late shver, zt"l, and his great Ahavas Yisroel despite his reputation as a "firebrand."
Reb Baruch had a son named Tzvi Nosson Dovid, the Minchas Elozor would call him Tzvi, whereas his father would call him "Dov'che." Tzvi after the Minchas Elozor's father and Nosson Dovid after Reb Baruch's father. For a long period of time Reb Baruch was separated from his wife and lived in Warsaw, the reason being arguments with the shvigger over some matter, and the wife - of course - sided with her mother, so the two split up... The Minchas Elozor finally sent his daughter to go live with her husband in Warsaw, far from the shvigger, but after 3 months fell ill with yenne machla and begged them to come back - which they did. Reb Boruch would say that his shver loved his dear grandchild in an "exaggerated way," being that his daughter waited for along time to have that first child. He would play with and spoil the child, and Hershelle would sit on his zeide's lap at the tish.
Yidden in Munkacs
In the final year of his life the Minchas Elozor took the shofar on Rosh Chodesh Elul and tried the horn to see if it was in OK condition. Hershelle was in the room then and was very visibly excited with the shofar and its sounds; he asked his zeide for "noch ein blooz," one more blast, which his zeide gladly obliged. From then on, for the next month, this became a ritual; the Rov blowing once for little Hershelle. On Erev Rosh Hashonoh Hershelle was there awaiting his daily blast, but he was disappointed. "Haynt iz Erev Rosh Hashoone, Haynt bloozt men nisht, morgen vet men bloozen asach mool in shil," his zeide told him. The child knew no Chochmes. He kicked and screamed, telling his zeide "Nor Ein Blooz! Nor Ein Blooz!" After a while his zeide had rachmones on his favorite eynikel and took the shofar and blew one blooz.
More Yidden in Munkacs...
On Rosh Hashoneh before Tekios the minhag in Munkacs was that the Rov spoke. That year the Rov went up before the aron kodesh, opened the ark and said: "Ribono Shel Olam, Ich darf tshiveh tuhn, ich hub over geven af an halochoh. It's written that on ERH one mustn't blow shofar, yet I did. He began to sob uncontrollably and called out: Ribono shel olam, do you know why I transgressed that halochoh? it was because my young (grand)child lay on the floor and begged me and cried that I should only blow one blooz for him. My heart melted, I couldn't bear to watch him cry like that, so I blew once for him, despite the fact that I shouldn't have. Tatte, how can you stand by and see how millions of your children are down on the floor and cry out to you, Tatte eyn blooz - TeKa BeShofar Godol LeChayruseynu, Even if the time is not right for it yet, the time for Moshiach has yet to arrive, but your children cry out to you, how can you stand idly by?!"
When Reb Baruch told the story he cried, and recounted how at that time the crowd cried along with the Rov, the Tekios were delayed, and for a long time they could not "come to themselves, loud wailing was heard throughout the shul." (Such stories can always be told, and one can always learn from them.)