Friday, September 07, 2007

Written On The First Day Of Selichos

Seder Selichos - Ostrog, 1836

Excerpt from The Maggid of Mezritch:

Each year on the first evening of Rosh HaShanah, Eliyahu the Prophet appeared to R. Elimelech of Lizensk, revealing something from Above. In the year 1772, he told R. Elimelech that the world exists because of the prayers of three Tzaddikim, and he identified them. R. Elimelech was amazed that the Maggid was not among them. He later understood why - the Maggid passed away shortly thereafter.

On the first day of Selichos in the autumn of 1772, he wrote his will:

Since one never know when his last day will be, I therefore write these words to my dear, beloved son, the holy Tzaddik Avrahaminyu:

1. Daven Minchah and Maariv every day with a minyan.

2. Learn halachah from [Rambam's] Yad HaChazakah each day, studying its sections in order.

3. Between removing the Rashi Tefillin and laying those of Rabbenu Tam, eat something and learn afterwards.

4. Recite at least four chapters of Tehillim a day, with the same intense concentration reserved for the four chapters that are said on Yom Kippur night.

5. For the sake of Heaven, spend only one day per month in solitary meditation; but on that day, do not speak, even to the members of your household.

6. Be generous: Whatever money left over after paying for absolute necessities should be given to charity.

7. Each day, learn the manuscripts in which I recorded what I heard from our holy master, the Baal Shem Tov.

8. On my Yahrzeit, do not fast; rather, enjoy a festive meal and give generously to charity.

9. Use my Yom Tov tallis, a gift from the Baal Shem Tov, only on Yom Kippur.

10. Daven from a simple Siddur that has no commentary.

11. Visit my grave only once a year, on my Yahrzeit.

12. If the misnaggdim provoke a quarrel, be silent - HaShem will rebuke them.

13. Among my disciples, take advice from R. Mendele of Vitebsk, and cling to the holy virtues of R. Yehudah Leib HaCohen, and to the humility of R. Zusia. The initial deliberation of my faithful pupil R. Zalman is a minor form of prophecy; do whatever he says, for even in the generation of the Baal Shem Tov he would have excelled. Heed him in all matters, for his wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are unfathomable.

14. Do not insist that my student R. Zusia become a leader of chassidim, for he has already risen above this path...

The will was signed by the Maggid and witnessed by R. Azriel Meisels and R. Shlomo of Lutzk.


At September 7, 2007 at 5:59:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting how no mention is made of R' Elimelech in the instructions the Maggid left for his son...

At September 9, 2007 at 2:47:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASJ - In the past you mentioned the Kherson Geniza. Is that where this will was found?

At September 9, 2007 at 3:19:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

His_Storyian: I honestly don't know.


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