The Rebbetzin Malka

When the Sar Shalom was 12 years old his father, Reb Eliezer Rokeach, passed away at the age of 32. After a while, the Sar Shalom’s mother remarried and he was further raised at the home of his mother’s brother, Reb Yisochor Dov Ramraz. Reb Yisochor Dov Ramraz was the Rav of the city of Sokal (סקאהל), he was a great masmid and oved Hashem. Although he admired Chassidus, Reb Yisochor Dov was not a Chossid.

Maran Maharid z”l (the third Belz Rebbe) retold the following interesting story. When Reb Yisochor Dov Ramraz was davening and reached ויברך דוד, he used to put aside a ducat (a gold coin common in European currency in those times; a רענדל in Yiddish) on his lectern (a Minhag from Kabbalah) and after Davening he used to distribute it to Tzedakah. Once, after Davening he didn’t find the ducat. A while later, he found a ducat in his lectern with a note attached to it. In the note an individual confessed that he used to be a wealthy person, but a while back lost all his riches. At that time, he was extremely poor and took the ducat from the lectern. He then started doing commerce with the money and soon after saw great Hatzlacha in what he did, and regained his wealth. Now he was apologizing in the note and returned the ducat. Maran Maharid z”l used to say “from here we see the power of Tzedakah, even money that was prepared for Tzedakah can bring such a Beracha, how much more so when giving Tzedakah and fulfilling the Mitzvah!”
The Sar Shalom was immersed in Torah and Avodas Hashem. Sokal was a large city and many great Tzadikim lived there. The Sar Shalom learned from a lot of them, especially from Rav Shloma Flam, known as Rav Shloma Lutzker. In the next post we’ll explore this special relationship.
Reb Yisochor Dov Ramraz had a daughter named Malka. When she reached marriageable age, many great Shidduchim were suggested to Reb Yisochor Dov Ramraz as befitting someone in such a prestigious position. One of the suggestions was the Sar Shalom who grew up in his house. He was deliberating, since the Sar Shalom was a Yasom and he had other illustrious suggestions. Although he wasn’t a Chossid, he sent the question to the Chozeh of Lublin to whom he had great respect (the Sar Shalom was not yet a Talmid of his). The Chozeh responded “I was shown from Shamayim that the right one is the Sar Shalom”.
Rebbetzin Malka was a great Tzedeikes and many stories are known about her; we’ll write about them at a later date. She strongly supported the Sar Shalom so he could delve in Torah and Avodah. When he confided with her that he is drawn to Chassidus, she helped him pursue it and keep it unknown from her father, Reb Yisochor Dov Ramraz, who at that point kept away from Chassidus.
To be continued…