Monday, December 05, 2005

Illuminating The Path

For the past two months, I have been corresponding via e-mail with Rabbi Aryeh Wohl of Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel who is a direct descendent of the Degel Machaneh Ephraim. While visiting Boro Park last Thursday, he called me on his cell phone and we finally got a chance to talk. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with someone with authoritative knowledge of the Degel's life and teachings.

When I asked him what Chassidus today was the truest to the path of the Degel Machaneh Ephraim, Rabbi Wohl answered with one word; Breslov. He then cited the numerous similarities between the seforim Degel Machaneh Ephraim and Likutey Moharan.

Before we ended our conversation, he said that he would like to meet me and referred to me as a "Sudilkover chassid". When I told him that I was not yet a chassid, he replied, "A streimel, golden coat, and tall white knee socks doesn't make a chassid. You are a chassid because you learn the seforim of Chassidus and seek to follow its path."

The guidance I have received from Rabbi Wohl, Rabbi Brody, and Rabbi Sears has helped illuminate the way back to the path of my ancestors. It now is up to me to continue this journey.


At December 5, 2005 at 6:46:00 AM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Wow! How did you find Rav Wohl? I would also have said that you are already a chassid. It is so clear that you have a chassidic neshama!

At December 5, 2005 at 6:48:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Of course you're a Chassid, I never doubted that!!!

To embellish what he said:

"A shtreimel or shpodek, golden or long black coat, and tall white or black knee socks don't make a Chassid. You are a Chassid because you learn the sefarim of Chassidus and seek to follow its path."

Let me tell you something... I used to wear a long black bekeshe and a Chassidish hat [but not a shtreimel or shpodek]. For personal reasons, I gave it up. During those days, I didn't really have a Rebbe or a Derech.

When friends of mine asked me about this later, I told them that I feel more Chassidic now - because my attachment to Chassidus is more pnimi, internal. I subsequently intensified my attachment to both the Chassidus of Modzitz and Hornesteipel, and feel more Chassidic than ever!

Keep up your wonderful Avodas Hashem!!!

At December 5, 2005 at 6:50:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

MCAryeh: I got his e-mail address from Hirshel Tzig, a good friend of Chabakuk Elisha.

Yitz: Thank you for your continual words of encouragement. It is nice to have cyber-friends like you!

At December 5, 2005 at 9:06:00 AM EST, Blogger Tamara said...

Breslov rocks!

At December 5, 2005 at 9:13:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I can't disagree with you Tamara :)

At December 5, 2005 at 9:39:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Very cool!

At December 5, 2005 at 9:41:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Alice :)

At December 5, 2005 at 11:29:00 AM EST, Blogger Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Thanks for the shout-out, ASJ, for a moment there I thought you forgot about me...

At December 5, 2005 at 12:08:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Hirshel: Of course I didn't forget about you! I am deeply appreciative of all your help.

By the way, if you would like me to send you a picture of a real Ukrainian shtetl goat for use on your website, just let me know. I have got one just for you :)


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