Sunday, August 05, 2007

An angel once tread...

Today is the 50th yahrtzeit of the Holy Rebbe of Belz R’ Ahron..Zt’l

To even begin comprehending this angel in skin and bones would be an impossible task. It’s rare to find someone that elicits such awe and reverence from all circles of our community. Every single Gadol from Sefardim, to Litvish to other Chassidic Rebbes saw him as some kind of human aberation.

Reb Ahron of Chernobyl Ztl told his granddaughter while she was pregnant with Rev Ahron
“Your husband somehow managed to bring down a soul the likes of which this world hasn’t seen in 500 years”

The elderly R’ Yechezkel of Shineve..upon seeing R’ Ahron when he was just a teenager..
“It seems that the Yetzer Hora totally forgot about him..”

The Gerrer Rebbe...The Imrei Emes..
“He was a Malach Hashem..every singe second of his life was spent thinking of God..”

R’ Menchem Zemba Hyd.
“It’s frighteneing to look at him..”

The Lubavitcher Rebbe...
“He was all Chomer..(all matter)”

While there are so many qualities to focus on..from his dilligence in his endless his deep natural compassion and sensitivity to all people and even animals..

I’d like to focus on one trait that is difficult to comprehend yet something we can learn to emulate somewhat.

His inability to see anything bad in another Jew. He took this to such extremes it makes you wonder if he really believed what he said.
If anyone said anything bad in his presence about even the most vile of people he’d turn white and make the bearer of the news wash his mouth out 3 times.
He'd often spend hours in mental acrobatics to bend and twist events to somehow turn them from bad to good..

Here are a few stories that illustrates this.
The tiny town of Belz was a very religious town. One day a Chossid by the name if R’ Duvid came to the Rebbe and told him that a certain R’ Moshe opens his store on Shabbos. The Rebbe..started shaking and murmuring chas vsholem..chas v’sholem and made him wash his mouth out 3 times. He then called this R’ Moshe in and instructed R’ Duvid to pay R’ Moshe a token sum for his accusation.
He then turned to R’ Moshe and asked him nicely not to do anything that might make people think that he’s desecrating the Shabbos!

When he’d walk down the street in Tel Aviv (where he lived) on Shabbos and a car would pass, he’d smile and say B’sha’a Tova Umitzlachas (what you wish a pregnant woman), because in his mind only someone going to the hospital to give birth would drive on Shabbos.

Once someone, who was a well known sinner, came to him and he greeted him warmly to the amazement of his chassidim. After he left, the Rebbe turned to the Chassidim and said "The poor fellow is a batlan and can't figure out how to overcome his yetzer that a reason why I shouldn't be warm to him?"

Was this delusion?
I think if you really love someone, you simply refuse to believe anything bad about them, even if faced with evidence.
I also once saw from the Ba’al Shem Tov that only a sinner sees sins in others. Someone devoid of sins will only see good in everyone. I think that’s a very true psychological concept in that we accuse others and see faults in others sometimes to make us feel better about our own rotten selves. To convince ourselves that we’re not so bad after all.

May he continue to find merits for all of us in the next world and may we follow his ways...



Blogger anonym00kie said...

perception is reality. our perception is limited by the physical world, by what we SEE with our eyes.. his perception was obvliously dictated by other factors that are not accessible to the rest of us..
in the world of Truth .. who knows what's really going on, and how many of judgements and intepretations are off

August 05, 2007 11:57 AM  
Blogger MizEllie said...

The world could use a few more people who look for the good in everyone rather than the bad.....

August 06, 2007 9:56 AM  
Blogger Fajita said...

I think if you really love someone, you simply refuse to believe anything bad about them, even if faced with evidence.

I think if you love someone, there's not necessarily a need for denial. There simply ceases to be a need to find bad...

August 06, 2007 10:04 AM  
Blogger Open Up! said...

a beautifully written tribute to a great gadol...hopefully we can learn to apply his wonderful attitude towards the people in our lives

August 06, 2007 11:03 AM  
Blogger come running said...

He was certainly a great man, but I must also believe that he was protected from the outside world from the time he was born.

Most people encounter disappoint and betrayal throughout their lives, and then are able to see the imperfections in people. Perhaps he was able to rise above it...

I only wish I could.

August 06, 2007 11:35 AM  
Blogger The Dreamer said...

i wonder if i should even aspire to greatness such as you just mentioned...
is it possible?

the yetzer harah sure doesn't ignore me!

August 06, 2007 8:30 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Yup..Nothing is black and white..
There are myriads of layers..and someone can be sinning on one layer..and be a tzaddik in another..
Thats why when we're dan l'kaf zechus..Hashem finds a way to repirocate..

you got that right...

hmmm i like your perspective..


come running...
to a degree...But back between the one was protected..He spent half his life on the run
Oh its definitely not an easy task..But life must be so sweet...when you reach that level..

Hey..welcome back..
Of course you can spire and take baby steps..

August 06, 2007 9:00 PM  
Blogger jewmaican20 said...

I just read a great piece from the Melbourner Rebbe about him. I think it was in the Hamodia, but I'm not sure...

August 07, 2007 11:47 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

yup Hamodia twas

August 08, 2007 1:25 PM  
Blogger Bas~Melech said...

That second story reminded me of a similar incident:
I was in E"Y about two years ago, enjoying being surrounded by Jews. It was Shabbos and a car zoomed past. I'm thinking, "judge favorably... they must be going to a hospital or something... hope everything's ok... maybe I should say some Tehillim..." Meanwhile, the sweet little kid who was walking with me said, "Look! It must be a goy!"

:) Why did I miss the obvious?

August 11, 2007 6:09 PM  

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