Friday, January 27, 2006

Wednesday Night Meeting With Rabbi Lazer Brody

In his lecture at the Passaic Torah Institute, Rabbi Lazer Brody related how the Melitzer Rebbe humbles himself before he meets with his Rav, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe. It was with similar feelings that that I anticipated Wednesday night when I was scheduled to meet with Rabbi Brody during his visit to the United States. Before our first meeting a year ago, I did not realize how brightly his neshoma burned. I have never met a person whose emuna was as tangible as Rabbi Brody's. He is an extremely special person and I am convinced that one day people will look back on his life and say that indeed he was a tzaddik.

During our meeting last year, Rabbi Brody successfully helped me rearrange and revitalize my daily learning seder. My neshoma instantly responded to this new seder and I felt like a sick person whose medications were properly readjusted. The new learning seder, coupled with reading his book and using the tefillin that he wrote for me, did wonders for me over the past year.

I was thrilled when I received the e-mail from him last month that inquired about getting together during his visit. At the same time, unexplainably, I also anticipated our meeting with a bit of trepidation.

On Wednesday night after work, I went over to meet with Rabbi Brody in his mother's nearby apartment and quickly realized that all my worries were in vain. Rabbi Brody welcomed me in with a huge smile and a friendly "Shalom Aleichem!".

Although the time I spent with him flew by quickly, every single second was precious. Unlike my last visit, I did not have any particular problem or question to ask him so our conversation crossed over many topics.

Shortly before we finished, I showed him a small section in Degel Machaneh Ephraim (Parshas Pekudei) that I had trouble understanding. We reviewed it and Rabbi Brody explained that in this section, the Degel taught that there were great secrets of the Torah hidden in the description of the Mishkan and its keilim. While a person who relies solely on his intellect would never comprehend these secrets, a person who attaches himself to a Rav who received these teachings from his Rav has the possibility of being able to understand these secrets.

Rabbi Brody explained that the Degel was specifically referring to the paramount importance of having a guide in learning to Torah, since a person who arrogantly believes that he can make his own way will remain lost and never be able to comprehend the Torah’s teachings. It is impossible to properly learn Torah without humility and attachment to a tzaddik.

At the end of our meeting, Rabbi Brody gave me a wonderful brocha and encouraged me to write a letter to the Melitzer Rebbe, a descendent of the Degel, at times when I find that I need guidance or have questions about my learning.

Rabbi Brody helped me put my jacket on and escorted me out to the elevators where he gave me a big hug and another brocha before I left. As I drove home, my mind raced and tried to review all our discussions.

I will always treasure the moments I was able to spend with Rabbi Brody. G-d willing, I will have the opportunity again in the future.

16 Comments:

At January 27, 2006 at 9:58:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That guy is a one-man PR machine for Melitz, I hope they appreciate it!

:)

 
At January 27, 2006 at 11:25:00 AM EST, Blogger torontopearl said...

So glad for you that you were able to have this meeting, and a personal uplifting as a result.

May you use your new-gained knowledge wisely...and, of course, SIMPLY!

 
At January 27, 2006 at 12:29:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Pearl! :)

 
At January 29, 2006 at 5:36:00 AM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

Very inspiring post, ASJ! I was in Passaic two shabbosim ago, and now after reading this post, regret that I did not stay in Passiac for Rav Brody's lecture! Hopefully next time...

 
At January 29, 2006 at 8:19:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

MCAryeh: The .mp3 files on the site are fantastic. I highly recommend that you listen to them.

 
At January 29, 2006 at 11:52:00 PM EST, Blogger Fedora Black said...

I am glad that you found a path that you feel strongly about and that you have someone to guide you along the way.

By the way, how are you wrapping your tefillin now?

 
At January 30, 2006 at 6:39:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

According to Breslov minhag.

 
At January 30, 2006 at 11:49:00 AM EST, Blogger Fedora Black said...

So I assume that breslov uses the sfard/chassidic method, wrapping out with a shin on the hand, opposite that of what ashkenazim would do?

Is the tefillin knot on the shel rosh a double dalet or a single dalet?

Sorry about all the tefillin questions in this thread, but I am really curious to see what Reb Lazer made for you. Do you think you could post a picture of them?

 
At January 30, 2006 at 12:47:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Fedora Black: Yes, Breslov uses the method you describe. The tefillin knot is a single daled.

I don't know how interested others would be in a picture of them, but I could take one and e-mail it to you, ok?

 
At January 30, 2006 at 1:23:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

The finger winding looks like this

 
At January 30, 2006 at 3:15:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

I am pretty sure that the Tzefas Breslov community, led by Rav Kenig, use a double daled on the Shel Rosh.

 
At January 30, 2006 at 4:59:00 PM EST, Blogger Fedora Black said...

I have heard that as well, but Reb Lazer follows the costums of the Yerushalmi community, right? So perhaps this is why he suggested the single dalet.

I also think that the costum in Tsfas is to wear the tallis koton under the shirt. Reb Lazer certainly wears it over, proudly showing it to all!

 
At January 30, 2006 at 7:47:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Fedora Black: As I e-mailed Chabakuk Elisha earlier today, I remember seeing a reference in the sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim to his use of the single dalet on his shel rosh.

 
At January 31, 2006 at 12:10:00 PM EST, Blogger Fedora Black said...

I'll have to look into that sefer. Sounds like a fantastic book. A Simple Jew, you are probably the best PR-man the Degel has had in years!

 
At January 31, 2006 at 1:22:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Fedora Black: Thanks for the compliment ;)

You can purchase a copy of the sefer here

 
At January 31, 2006 at 1:25:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

If the link doesn't work, see my sidebar under "Degel Machaneh Ephraim" for others.

 

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