Monday, January 28, 2008
How to Deal with Sorrow…
Rebbe Menachem Mendel received a thorough Torah education from his father, R. Leibush Morgenstern, a zealous opponent of Chassidus. When he was 13 years old he had mastered the entire Talmud. After his marriage at 14, he was introduced to the world of Chassidus, and before long he became an ardent follower of the Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin and Rebbe Simcha Bunim of Pshischa, whom he eventually succeeded.
Singing at the top of the Ladder
"Three ways are open to a man who is in sorrow. He who stands on a normal rung weeps, he who stands higher is silent, but he who stands on the topmost rung converts his sorrow into song."
–– Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
This reminds me of a story Reb Shlomo Carlebach tells about one of his niggunim, Motzi Asirim.
"Last year on the fourth night of Chanuka, all of Israel was standing by the Holy Wall praying for the people of Leningrad, of the Leningrad trial. I was with them. Suddenly we heard over the radio that they were sentenced to death, G-d forbid. I put my guitar back in its case. And some great Rabbi standing next to me said, 'What are you doing? This is the time to make up a new song.'
"I took my guitar out again. I opened a prayer book and there it said, 'Motzi asirim…G-d opens all the prisons.' There’s Some One up there Who redeems all the humble. Because is there anybody more humble than the Russian Jews? They’re the holy of the holiest and they don’t even know about it...He helps all the poor, the Yiddilach in Russia…they’re so holy, they’re so poor and they’re so sweet. They’re on their way to Yerushalayim. G-d promised us you’ll listen to our prayers. Just one time, G-d, listen to us this time. Don’t let them die. I can’t wait to see all of them in Yerushalayim by the Holy Wall."
While searching around the Blogosphere, I found this link to, apparently, a Kotzker niggun. Can anyone verify this?
Zechuso yagein Aleinu – May the Kotzker’s merits protect us all!!!