Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pekudei: Everyday Ruach Hakodesh

The Rebbe Reb Leibele: Questioning Order

In the area of Russia (present-day Ukraine) where Hornosteiple was located, it was common practice to serve the meat before the soup. The exception was Shabbos when they served the soup before the meat as we do today. It was a prevailing convention with no special reasons attached to it.
One Friday night, they brought in the chicken soup and placed it before the Rebbe Reb Leibele, zy”a. The Rebbe did not eat from the soup; it just sat there. Finally, he asked those seating around him, “Why is it that during the week we eat the meat before the soup and on Shabbos we eat the soup before the meat?”
Of course, nobody knew. It was nothing more than a convention. So the Rebbe said, “We might as well have the chicken first, just like during the week. Bring in the chicken.”
When the chicken was placed before the Rebbe, he immediately noticed something that didn’t look right. The chicken was sent to the Rav who promptly ruled it was treife. Had they eaten the soup first, which had been made from that chicken, they would all have eaten treife.
At once, the word amongst the Chassidim was this was a demonstration of the Rebbe’s ruach hakodesh, his prophetic sense.
Reb Leibele silenced them, “We have done it this way for years. During the week, first we eat the chicken and on Shabbos we eat the soup first. Tonight, when they placed the soup before me, was the first time I ever wondered about it. The question occurred to me now as opposed to any other time. It was clear to me that I should think about this. No ruach hakodesh was involved.”
The next Shabbos and on all subsequent Shabbosim, Reb Leibele continue to eat the soup before the chicken, just as he had until then, even though nobody could explain the reason for switching the order. But that one Friday night, because the question occurred to him, he understood that he had to change something. 

The Tzemach Tzedek: Illogical Logic

The Tzemach Tzedek, zy”a, the third Rebbe of Lubavitch and brother-in-law of Rebbe Yaakov Yisroel of Cherkass, was approached by an elderly man. The man told the Rebbe how he had worked an honest living his entire life and now, with what he had saved up, he wanted to devote the remainder of his days to learning Torah. Uncharacteristically, the Tzemach Tzedek told the man that he should not retire. He should continue whatever his regular learning schedule was until now but he must continue working his job. The elderly chasid returned home and despite his Rebbe’s clear instructions, he sold his business and became a permanent fixture in the Beis Medrash.
Not long afterward, this chasid became ill and grew progressively weaker until finally he couldn’t leave his bed. He sent his children to his Rebbe to pray on his behalf. When they came in with the kvittel, the Tzemach Tzedek immediately said, “I told your father not to stop working. Go back. Tell him to commit himself to start to work again and he’ll get better.”
One of the Tzemach Tzedek’s sons had been in the room, and when he was left alone with his father, he expressed his curiosity as to what could be so bad about sitting and learning.
The Tzemach Tzedek explained: “For a person whose mind is clear of debris and garbage, the first thought that comes to his mind when confronted by a question is the thought that Heaven wants him to have. It’s not that I have any logical reason for telling him he should remain working. If anything it is entirely illogical. But when he came to me originally that was the first thought that came to mind so it was clear to me what Hashem wanted him to do.” 

The Rebbe Reb Mottele: Halacha Mix-up

When the Rebbe Reb Mottele of Hornosteipel, zy”a, would often visit his magidus shtetlech (towns), he would stay at the home of one of his Chassidim in that particular town. On one occasion, he came to the front door of where he was staying and reached up to put his hand on the mezuzah. Puzzled by something, he stopped and put his hand down. He put his hand up to the mezuzah again and the same thing occurred. When he touched the mezuzah for a third time and put it down, Reb Mottele turned to the owner of the house and asked if there was an alternate entrance. The chasid replied to the affirmative and showed the Rebbe through a  side door.
“Is there something wrong with my mezuzah?” asked the chasid.
“No,” the Rebbe responded. “I think the mezuzah is okay.”
“So then why did the Rebbe insist on entering the house through the side door?”
Reb Mottele explained: “You must always strive to be connected to the Divine Will associated with any given moment. Whenever I engage in a mitzvah, I review all of the halachos of that mitzvah. When I came to the door and put my hand on the mezuzah, I should have been thinking about the laws of mezuzah. Instead, every time touched the mezuzah, I could only think of the halachos pertaining to ritual purity. I don’t know why.”
After some investigation it was discovered that the mat at the front of the door had become ritually impure to a degree that some Tzadikim were still careful about even long after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh.
“When I put my hand on the mezuzah for some reason I was thinking about the halachos of Tumah. It didn’t compute. What do the laws of Tumah have to do with a mezuzah? So I stopped and tried again. By the third time I understood something must be up.” 

To be continued...

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