Friday, August 21, 2009

How Could You Make Fun Of Him?

Rabbi Tal Zwecker commenting on Trying To Understand The Younger Brother:

An excerpt from the Kedushas Levi that I am working on:

The Sincere Intentions of Reb Baruch Mezibuzher

The Tchortkover Rebbe would often relate the following story:

Reb Moshe’le from Zhvill, the son of Reb Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov, was once visiting the Rebbe Reb Baruch of Mezibuzh. At that time, the chassid Reb Yaakov Mohilliver, who was known by his nickname Reb Yakovka, was also visiting Reb Baruch. Reb Yakovka was the court jester and would entertain Reb Baruch by acting out the antics of the holy Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchever, how he would bow and prostrate himself during the shofar blowing or during the lighting of the Chanukah candles.

The Rebbe Reb Baruch would laugh out loud at these performances, and it appeared as if he was making fun of the holy Berditchever.

Reb Moshe’leh of Zhvill was present at Reb Baruch’s Shabbos table when Reb Yakovka performed his comedy act, mimicking Reb Levi Yitzchak’s bowing and gestures that he would make when he served the Creator. Reb Baruch laughed so hard it seemed that his stomach would burst! But Reb Moshe’leh was beside himself with anguish. How could anyone in the world could laugh and make fun of such a Tzaddik as the holy Rav of Berditchev?

The scene replayed itself at each of the Shabbos meals: Reb Yakovka acted out different antics of the Berditchever’s holy avodah, and Reb Baruch did not stop laughing during the entire meal.

Reb Moshe’leh’s hair stood on end and he felt chills run through his body as he observed the travesty going on before him. He could find no explanation for Reb Baruch’s shameful behavior. Although he had originally planned on spending another Shabbos in Mezibuzh, he immediately decided against it. On Sunday, he came to take his leave of Reb Baruch and return home.

“Why are you in such a hurry? Stay a little longer. Spend another Shabbos with us,” Reb Baruch entreated his guest.

Reb Moshe’leh could not contain himself. He burst out with a pained heart, “How can you make fun of the holy Berditchever Rav whom I know to be a saintly man of G-d!”

“Another good Jew who does not know what he is saying!” Reb Baruch exclaimed. “For several years now the holy Berditchever has in mind all the kavanos that the Kohen Gadol had in the Beis HaMikdash when he prays. In order to preempt the prosecutions of the satan, I have no choice but to mock and belittle the Berditchever’s avodah. This nullifies the prosecutions of the satan and hastens the redemption and the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash. I know the truth in my heart, that the holy Rav of Berditchever is great and awesome. My laughter is solely to cancel the satan’s evil intentions.”


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