Tuesday, March 21, 2006
This is a really great story about one of the earliest niggunim of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, whose yahrzeit begins tonight. More tomorrow, IY"H'!
It is told that even from distant Galicia the holy Tzaddik, the holy Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, may his merit protect us, came up to the Degel. When he arrived, he sent his student to inform the Degel about his coming. The Degel responded coldly, “The border dwellers are all Rebbes; I don’t want to see him!”
That student understood what he faced, and went and informed his rabbi that he could go in to the Degel. The Degel was then trimming his fingernails in honor of the holy Shabbos, and he sat with his back toward anyone who entered. After he washed his hands from a golden pitcher, he stretched out his hand behind him to greet the guest, simultaneously asking,
“Are you a student of Reb Elimelech? Could you tell about one of your teacher’s wonders?”
“That I cannot do precisely,” answered the holy guest rabbi. “But this I can tell from my teacher. That there is an artery in the ear that can be perceived to be pulsating only at the time of a person’s death. And I saw it pulsating in my teacher every time that he prayed Shemoneh Esreh!”
Only then did the Degel turn his face to him and greeted him anew with a smiling countenance. After additional conversation, the Degel became attached to him with love, and they were inseparable for that entire Shabbos.
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