CHASSIDISHE STORY ON THE PARSHA
בנערינו ובזקננו נלך (בא ו:ג)Moshe told Pharaoh… our children and our elders should go…
Reb Yankel Jacobowitz a’’h, a Belzer Chassid, lived in the city of Niderhaz, which at the time belonged to Hungary. During WWI, the Russians overtook the city and assigned a Yid named Kimbla to be the overseer of the area. After two years, the Hungarian government reclaimed the town of Niderhaz.
Since Kimbla was a diehard Communist, he had a terrible hatred towards Hungarian Jews. Before Pesach of that year, he arrested many Jews in the area.
A few days after the arrests, Reb Yankel Jacobowitz received a visitor from the neighboring city of Radford. Reb Yissachar Dov Rokeach of Belz zt’’l lived then in Radford and sent a messenger, Reb Duvid Getzil a’’h, to Reb Yankel, asking he should accompany Reb Duvid to the overseer since he can’t speak Hungarian.
Reb Yankel and Reb Duvid, on the request of Reb Yissachar Dov of Belz, headed to the overseer and said, “We’re here as messengers of the Belzer Rabbiner who commanded you to release the Jews.” Kimbla became enraged and yelled at them for their audacity to even approach him. Reb Duvid didn’t understand what he was saying but realized that the overseer was enraged. He told Reb Yankel to say, “If you don’t release the Jews, your end will be bad!”
Reb Yankel was afraid to relay the message but warned Kimbla, “I’m a messenger from the Belzer Rabbiner, and you must listen to him!” And then took the courage to repeat, “If you don’t release the Jews, your end will be bad!” With that, Reb Yankel and Reb Duvid left Kimbla’s headquarters.
Two policemen came to the shul to summon Reb Yankel and Reb Duvid to their supervisor’s headquarters the following day. Kimbla welcomed them warmly, offered to release some of the Jews, and asked which of the Jews the ‘Rabbiner’ would want him to release.
Reb Duvid answered, “בנערינו ובזקננו נלך… – you must release all the Jews, no matter what!” After negotiating back and forth, the overseer agreed to release all the arrested Jews. He added, “You must be wondering about my change of heart following yesterday’s episode when I was enraged and refused to release even one Jew.” He explained, “Last night, I came home so mad, and my wife asked me why I was so angry. I told her about your chutzpah warning me in the name of the ‘Rabbiner’. My wife warned me that I must release the Jews, and I asked her why. She said, ‘Don’t you remember what happened with Pharaoh who didn’t listen to the Jewish commander who commanded he should release the Jews from Mitzrayim! You better listen to this Jewish Rabbiner!’”
Filed under Parshas Bo | The Frierdige Rov