Wednesday, September 07, 2005
"Hinei ma tov, u'ma naim, sheves achim gam yachad - How good and pleasant it is, when brothers sit down together" [Tehillim, 133:1]. Reb Hershel Taub z"l's father, the Imrei Shaul, brings a statement of our Sages - Chazal - that says that Yaakov [Jacob] Avinu took the letter "Vav" from the name of Eliyahu HaNavi [Elijah the Prophet], as a security, that he would come and inform his children of the Redemption. Why the letter "Vav"? R. Shaul asks. This indicates that even if we are not worthy, and the only thing we have going for us is the attachment - as symbolized by the letter Vav [which means "and"] - to one another with "baseless" love, we will merit the full Redemption, may it come soon!
As mentioned, it was truly awesome. Only a few short days after the disengagement/expulsion of Jews from Sa-Nur and Chomesh, a few short kilometers from Shavei Shomron, and the Modzitzer Rebbe Shlita, with dozens [close to 100] of his Chassidim, comes there to honor his recently-departed uncle and to make a Tish [a Chassidic gathering, centered around a meal at the Rebbe's table = Tish] - and of course, to provide chizuk and support for the beleagured residents of the yishuv.
A full bus of Chassidim, plus a number of private cars, made the journey from Bnei Brak to Shavei Shomron. Arriving not too long before sunset, we hurried down to Shavei Shomron's cemetery, to pay our respect to R. Hersh z"l with the recital of several Tehillim in his memory. Upon finishing, we hurried back to the Beit Knesset [synagogue] to join Moshe Taub and R. Hersh's other sons in the Mincha [afternoon] service. The sun was just about setting, and the Modzitzer Rebbe was due to arrive shortly.
The Rebbe was greeted by his family, his Chassidim and the residents of Shavei Shomron, and immediately entered the Beit Knesset for Ma'ariv [evening service]. The short service ended, and everyone made their way over to the hall that was set up for the Tish, which included a full meal for all the guests, and a video which simultaneously showed everything that transpired to the women, who were gathered in an adjoining hall.
The tables were beautifully set with food for a fine meal, and the Rebbe, as he does at a Tish, shared his food with his guests: the Chassidim and residents of Shavei. L'Chaim toasts were made as well. An acappella recording of some Modzitz niggunim played in the background. Reb Hersh's son Moshe made a Siyum Masechta - completion of a tractate of Talmud - in his father's memory. Shavei Shomron residents, and Modzitz Chassidim, also made a Siyum Mishnayos - a completion of the entire Mishna. This was followed by the traditional Kaddish. Soon there were some speeches - describing the area we were in and its history, and of course, hespedim [eulogies] for R. Hersh by the local Rabbis.
Then it was the Rebbe Shlita's turn. He opened with a stirring Tish niggun, and soon we were all transported - to Bnei Brak, to Modzitz [Poland], to the Beis HaMikdash - it was truly uplifting. As I sang along, my mind sometimes reflected on past Tishes, where R. Hersh z"l would be sitting a few feet away from the Rebbe Shlita - and I broke into tears. I should mention that in recent years, R. Hersh came - consistently - to every Modzitz Tish and Simcha with two other Shavei Shomron residents, who have become regulars on their own accord. They often would bring their children and/or friends as well.
Shortly thereafter, the Rebbe said a lengthy drasha [Torah discourse] in Yiddish, on the weekly Torah portion, and about the upcoming month of Elul.
Then R. David Zeira, a practicing lawyer by day, and head of the Modzitz Machon L'Negina [Music Institute], spoke very warmly to the residents of Shavei Shomron, quoting various portions of the sefer Imrei Shaul by the second Modzitzer Rebbe, about the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael. He was followed by R. Yehoshua Kempinski, who has one of the sweetest voices in Modzitz. He sang three niggunim, from R. Shaul, from the Imrei Aish and from the Rebbe Shlita, which everyone accompanied.
Finally, the "ball passed" over to Rav Avraham Shenker, R. Hersh z"l's brother-in-law, who sang an inspiring niggun, followed by a dance tune of the Rebbe Shlita's, that everyone rose up and danced to. There was really a feeling of warmth and achdus [unity], as the dance and the Tish came to a close. We made the long journey back to Bnei Brak [and for us, on to Yerushalayim], tired but truly uplifted by this inspiring event.
Our deep gratitude goes out to Ora Taub, R. Hersh z"l's widow, for her tireless efforts in making this event happen! We hope it is only the beginning of a real "Sheves Achim gam yachad", a true unity of Modzitz, from Bnei Brak to Shavei Shomron.