Wednesday, November 26, 2008


(Picture courtesy of

The Sudilkover Rebbe told me recently that he had some bad news to share with me. The laptop computer he was using to work on his new edition of Degel Machaneh Ephraim was severely damaged and computer specialists could not restore the contents of his hard drive. This hard drive contained the only copy of his commentaries on the Vayikra and Likkutim sections.

Countless hours and of months of work vanished.

When his son asked him why he thought it happened, the Rebbe responded that perhaps he not have the right machshavos (thoughts) when working on it. He had done much of the work on these lost sections following the death of his father. The Rebbe explained to his son that it was also possible that he did not work with the proper simcha that was necessary when working on a sefer as holy as Degel Machaneh Ephraim.

Instead of becoming frustrated and irate about this unfortunate occurrence, the Rebbe accepted it with simple emunah. His reaction thus became an important life lesson to me; don't rush to cast blame on something external when more the likely the problem was created by a deficiency that was internal.


At November 26, 2008 at 8:34:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have chizuk from this story, but l'maaseh, someone should politely explain to the Rebbe about backing up one's work. Maybe one of the chasidim knows a bit of technology and could get him a usb thumb drive or something like that.

At November 26, 2008 at 8:49:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Michoel: I actually did make this comment to the Rebbe and he said, "I know, I know..." and that that he has learned his lesson.

At November 26, 2008 at 8:53:00 AM EST, Blogger pgreen said...

In the greater scheme of Hashem will, true the gasmiyuh may sdedm to ahev been erased and vanished; but all the efforts spent and valuable time spent to create this work of torah which went into creating the book are ruchniyut and will always remain.
On a more practical level there are specialist that still may be able to retrieve the data from the hard drive.
Hatzlacha Mamash

At November 26, 2008 at 9:39:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

G-d bless you and yours. The happening re the rebbe's work getting lost reminded me of what happened to my torah tutor (years back). Reuven ginat of nei Brak.
He bought a new car. Since it was through a relative, he asked reuven to take the car home and do the insurance next day.
He parked the car in the aparment space and next morning it was stolen. His son, Uriel who was a small boy then (now 14) and the second baby and wife plus friends were all there grouped and talking.
Reuven seemed unperturbed and when asked he replied, 'see my son, and baby, as long as they are smiling and happy, i am happy. he had to pay for the whole car, over time and settled it.
reuven quoted the chofetz chaim and said something like.... money lost is sins forgiven.
For which he felt is a small price to pay.
blessings, theresa

At November 26, 2008 at 9:51:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASJ (& Theresa),

How very inspiring! I feel so far from that level these days...Thanks for the chizuk!

At November 26, 2008 at 10:03:00 AM EST, Blogger Anarchist Chossid said...

Back in the day, when Hashem wanted some great seifer to be concealed, it usually happened in a fire (parts of Alter Rebbe’s library — including the Seifer haTzaddikim, which the Berdichever said the world was not yet ready for, and parts of Shulchan Aruch HaRav — were destroyed by several fires).

Nowadays, it is enough for a hard drive to crash. Much less dangerous. Advances of technology, huh? :)

May this temporary setback be for the purpose of an even greater ascent.

At November 26, 2008 at 10:26:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a product, SpinRite, which may be able to fix the hard drive. It is written by Steve Gibson. I have seen drives with physical errors being revived.

At November 26, 2008 at 11:07:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the Rebbe published any seforim yet?

At November 26, 2008 at 11:35:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it happened because no one told him to make backups. So perhaps you could familiarise the Rebbe with the concept of backup. I am sure he will like it.

At November 26, 2008 at 12:35:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Jonathan: Not under his name. E-mail me for more details.

At November 26, 2008 at 2:08:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rebbe Nachman writes that when a holy sefer is destroyed this rids the world of spiritually damaging books. Presumably the same holds true, to a lesser extent for setbacks. Who knows what awesome tikkunim were caused by this...

At November 26, 2008 at 2:37:00 PM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

I've read this post 4 times today. It's totaly insightful and inpressive.

At November 27, 2008 at 11:41:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you have posted this before. But can you please describe who the Sudilkover Rebbe is, where he is located, what chassidus, etc.? I am very interested in your interest in him.

At November 27, 2008 at 8:17:00 PM EST, Blogger Unknown said...

Please contact me for assistance. I am an IT consultant and have considerable experience dealing with data recovery. It is extremely rare for data to be completely unrecoverable (although recovery is sometimes expensive).

At November 28, 2008 at 7:20:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Shoshana: Please see the side bar links, this should give you some more information about him.

Winter Solutions: Thank you for your kind offer to help. The Rebbe actually was able to get in contact with a computer technician and I haven't heard back yet whether or not they were sucessful to recover the lost data.

At November 28, 2008 at 9:33:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEVER keep THE ONLY copy of vital and precious information. Always make backups. This is a simple rule.

My friend also once lost countless ours of work (audio tapes transferred to hard drive) like that, and now he always makes a backup of his work.

At December 1, 2008 at 6:23:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

aren't backups a p'gam (flaw) in one's emunah???


btw. my Rav once taught me that whenever one loses his/her temper, they lose their whole spiritual level and need to start once again from scratch.

i asked him, what about the Torah being a shield to all those who cleave to it?

He explained that when one studies Torah, the Torah maintains and protects his/her previous spiritual level so that through teshuvah one can return to it and it isn't lost forever.

So the lesson i take away from this is: just like you need to back up something in the physical world--- you'd better study Torah every day to make sure you have your spiritual backups done as well :)

At December 1, 2008 at 6:26:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks for sharing that thought, Yitz!

At August 26, 2011 at 12:59:00 PM EDT, Blogger Michaela Stephens said...

I once had something like this happen to me, and my lesson that I got out of it was this:
If I am frustrated with a technological device that gets corrupted and doesn't do its job, how must my Heavenly Father get frustrated with me when I get corrupted and don't do His work?

In the end, my husband was able to retrieve my data, so it wasn't a total loss, and I gained a good lesson too.


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