CHASSIDISHE STORY ON THE PARSHA
ואתחנן אל ה’ בעת ההוא לאמר (ואתחנן ג:כג)I implored Hashem at that time, saying…
HaRav Reb Hersh of Riminov zt’’l lost eighteen children r’’l during his lifetime, yet accepted his pain in grace.
One Friday Night, when Rebbe Hersh was saying the ‘לכה דודי’ prayers, his daughter-in-law came running into the Beis Medrash screaming that his daughter’s situation was grave; it seemed she was about to die.
The Rebbe, Reb Hersh, said, “The pasuk says ואתחנן אל ה’ בעת ההוא לאמר – the word בעת derives from the word בעתה – which means a terrible calamity. Moshe Rabbienu asked that even when one is in a situation of בעתה – he should still be able to לאמר – say a word to Hashem.”
The Rebbe Reb Hersh continued, “I ask of You, Hashem, allow me to have a lechtiga Shabbos…”
His daughter lived through the Shabbos and passed away two days later, on Monday.
A subscript story depicting Reb Hersh of Riminov’s greatness of accepting challenges with faith.
Rebbe Yosef of Riminov zt’’l (the only surviving son of Reb Hersh of Riminov) related a fascinating story.
When Rebbe Shalom Kaminke zt’’l lost a son, he couldn’t be consoled. His father, Rebbe R’ Hersh, sent him a letter of consolation, saying: “It pains me that I, who already lost eleven children, and you, who only lost one child, can’t be consoled?” Rebbe R’ Hersh continued later, saying that he received his strength to accept יסורים באהבה – pain with love from a righteous woman who lived near Riminov.
The woman and her husband were childless, and the man was already in their fifties. One Erev Pesach, when the situation was dire by Rebbe Mendele of Riminov zt’’l, the Yid brought him matzahs, wine, fish, meats, and vegetables, plus a huge sum of money to bring in Pesach. Rebbe Mendele blessed the Yid that since you revived my family, Hashem should revive yours with children and long age
A year later, they had a girl. When their daughter was fourteen, she was proposed a shidduch, and her mother wanted to finalize it in Rebbe Mendele’s home. While traveling to Riminov, the daughter got a sudden headache and was rushed into a nearby hotel, where she fainted, and a short while later, she passed away.
When the Chevra Kedisha arrived, the mother told them they could arrange the funeral but shouldn’t yet remove the body. The mother entered the Beis Medrash of Rebbe Mendele and said, “Listen, everyone! I was on the way to Riminov to finalize my daughter’s shidduch, and on the way, a shadchen came to me and said, ‘You have one daughter, and you want to give her away to a human being? I have a mechutan, a wealthy person, where you don’t have to provide a dowry. All you need to prepare is her white clothes.’ Rabboisi, I am now finishing a shidduch, and now is the ‘באדעקן’ (time to cloak a kallah with a veil before the chuppa), and everyone should drink a L’chaim!”
When Rebbe Mendele heard the woman’s words, he said: “האשה בכל אלה לא מצאתי” – I never met such a woman, and the Rebbe went out to the levaya.
After the levaya, the woman invited the crowd to wash for a seudah and honored Rebbe Mendele to bentch. The Rebbe also added ברכת אבילים and sent כוס של ברכה to the woman, saying: “In the merit of your strong Emunah, you will give birth to a son within a year. But with this son, do a shidduch with a human, not the Ribono Shel Olam! With Hashem, you will do a shidduch by the seventy!”
Rebbe Hersh of Riminov concluded in his letter that he was honored with Mesadar Kidushin by this boy’s wedding since his mentor, Rebbe Mendele, wasn’t alive. And from this righteous and simple woman, he learned to have Emunah and accept his fate lovingly.
Filed under Parshas Va’eschanan |