Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Week 39 (Book 4a): Years of Fullness and Peace
Week 39 is the last week of Rosh Chodesh Tammuz and Gimmel Tammuz. The verse from the story of Channah speaks of how Elkanah went to his house and Shmuel served Hashem before Eli, the Kohen Gadol. It is a peaceful end to Channah’s life’s dream of having children. The end is really a beginning: a life full of meaning and accomplishment, as Shmuel would now spend his days in the service of the leader of the generation.
The quotation in Pirkei Avot regarding the greatness of the Torah for this week speaks of length of days and years of life, as mentioned previously as well. This week includes the attribute of “peace” as well.
Chapter 8 of Ecclesiastes speaks of how the days of the wicked will not be prolonged: “13. But it will not be well with the wicked, and he will not prolong [his] days, like a shadow, because he does not fear God.” Furthermore, even the days he does have will lack peace: “16. When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the conduct that is done upon the earth, for neither by day nor by night does he see sleep with his eyes.”
Along with the yahrzeit of the Lubbavitcher Rebbe, this week includes the yahrzeits of Rabbi Shlomo of Bobov (1st of Tammuz), Rabbi Nachman Horodenker (2nd of Tammuz), Rabbi Avraham of Trisk (2nd of Tammuz).
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (11 Nissan 1902 - 3 Tammuz 1994), became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty after his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, passed away in Brooklyn on 10 Shvat 1950. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century. Although a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and fluent in many languages and scientific subjects, the Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet. His emissaries around the globe dedicated to strengthening Judaism number in the thousands. Hundreds of volumes of his teachings have been printed, as well as dozens of English renditions.
Rabbi Shlomo of Bobov [1848 - 1 Tammuz 1906] was the first rebbe of the Bobover dynasty, which he became shortly following the death of his renowned grandfather, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. He was noted for strengthening the Judaism of the younger generation and founding numerous yeshivas. His chasidim numbered in the thousands.
Rabbi Avraham of Trisk (1802 - 2 Tammuz 1889) was one of eight sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl. was one of the eight sons of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, all of whom became chasidic rebbes in their own right. In addition to being wee known because of the success of his blessings, his approachability and friendliness to all comers drew thousands of Chassidim to the court which he conducted for some fifty (50!) years at Trisk. His book, Magen Avraham on the Torah and festivals, enjoys great popularity among Chasidim, and among ywshiva students for whom it offers many guidelines.
Rabbi Nachman Horodenker
(1680 - 1766) The Rebbe's [Rebbe Nachman’s] grandfather, Rabbi Nachman Horodenker was associated with the pious scholars of Brody.
Around 1740, he traveled with his son Reb Shimshon to Eretz Yisrael, but left two years later. When Rabbi Elazar Rokeach (Rabbi in Amsterdam and later Tzfat) heard that Rabbi Nachman was in Eretz Yisrael, he said that if they would both be there together, they would be able to bring the Mashiach! Rabbi Elazar rushed to join Rabbi Nachman, but Rabbi Nachman had already left. When Rabbi Nachman – who had meanwhile returned to Europe - heard that Rabbi Elazar was in Israel, he traveled back to Tsfat to join him, but Rabbi Elazar had died.
When Rabbi Nachman's wife passed away, he returned to Europe to become one of the closest followers of the Baal Shem Tov. It was around this time that he remarried, and Rabbi Simcha, the Rebbe's father, was born.
The Baal Shem Tov said that Rabbi Nachman Horodenker had prayed that he not be able to hear anything that was not necessary for his service of G-d, and his request was granted. He was known for his custom of remarking on every occurrence that it was for the best.
He is quoted a number of times in the works of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polonnoye and in Degel Machaneh Ephraim.
The Baal Shem Tov restrained Rabbi Nachman from returning to the Land of Israel. In 1764, after visiting the Baal Shem Tov's grave, he said that the Baal Shem tov had appeared to him and granted him permission to return.
Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz said that as long as Rabbi Nachman was in what was then Poland, the Cossaks were incapable of entering the country. It was while Rabbi Nachman was on his way to Eretz Yisrael that the massacre in Uman took place. Rabbi Nachman of Horodenker is buried in the old cemetery in Tiveria.
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