Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Attracted To Holiness"

(Picture courtesy of kehotonline.com)

Atara commenting on The Kherson Geniza: Chassidus & Historical Accuracy:

Reb Shmuel Gurarie once bought manuscripts and other items that had been discovered in Kherson, which were thought to have belonged to the Baal Shem Tov and his students. He brought them as a gift to the Rebbe Rashab.

When the Rebbe received them he picked them up one by one, handled each item, and proceeded to identify which of them was authentic.

When he had finished examining all the objects, he told Rabbi Gurarie to show them all to his son, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok (later to be the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe).

The items were handed to Yosef Yitzchok in no special order, and he also handled each one in turn. Surprisingly, he made the same selections as did his father, identifying exactly the same items as being authentic.

How had the Rebbe been able to discern the authenticity of the items?

Rabbi Gurarie was intensely curious, but was too shy to ask the Rebbe. He was very close, however, to Yosef Yitzchok, and so he questioned him instead.

Yosef Yitzchok responded:

"Every Jew possesses a certain degree of holiness, and holiness is attracted to holiness. So, when a Jew handles a holy object, the holiness within him is drawn to the holiness within the object."


At November 20, 2007 at 1:13:00 PM EST, Anonymous Schneur Zalman said...

I think the Rayaatz was certainly correct in his statement in terms of the ability of a Jew raised in a complete and authentic Jewish "sviva" to trust his hergeshim that they will not mislead him. How much more so the grandchildren of the Holy Baal HaTanya veHaShulchan Aruch.

In this case, the Kherson Geniza is a controversial subject, but the fact that father and son both came to the same conclusions shows the power of Zechus Avoth and Mesorah.(I am not talking here of the authenticity issues etc)

At November 20, 2007 at 1:14:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Mile Down The Road said...

I once heard from Chabakuk Elisha that the RAYATZ had grave doubts about the contents of the Kherson Geniza, and that a letter to this effect was shown to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zatzal -- whose response was something to the effect of "Let's not reopen this can of worms." Maybe CE remembers the story more accurately...

At November 20, 2007 at 1:16:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Mile Down The Road said...

PS: Virtually all experts, including the Minchas Elazar, deemed the Kherson Geniza to be a fraud.

At November 20, 2007 at 7:13:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

The Sudilkover Rebbe told me that his family tradition maintained that one may only rely on Chassidic stories that were from reliable sources. When I mentioned the Kherson Geniza he made a face as to indicate that he did not think it was reliable in the slightest.

At November 20, 2007 at 7:19:00 PM EST, Anonymous A Yid said...

Most of the chasidic researchers find it non reliable as historic source because of factual and stylistic proofs of forgery.


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