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Thursday, September 10, 2009



Tonight and Friday is 22 Elul, and the 106th yahrzeit of the first Hornosteipel Rebbe, Rebbe Mordechai Dov Ber Twerski, also known as the Peleh Yoeitz. A direct descendant of the Rebbe Reb Zusia of Anipoli, he was also the grandson and successor of the Cherkassy Rebbe, a son-in-law of Rebbe Chaim of Sanz, and a tremendous Talmid Chacham [Torah scholar] and Chassidic Rebbe in his own right.

Previous posts: A Bracha for a Thief
Saved at the Mikva
A Simple Voice from Hornosteipel

Once again we have chosen a story from Rabbi A.J. Twerski’s wonderful book on the Hornosteipler, The Zeide Reb Motele. This one really fits the season we’re in as well…

My father’s brother, Uncle Nachum, told me that Zeide R. Motele’s followers from Ignatovke once complained to him about their bitter lot. The poritz of their fiefdom appointed a Jew who had converted to Christianity as the local governor, and who relentlessly persecuted the local Jews even more than the non-Jewish anti-Semites.
One day, Zeide R. Motele came to Ignatovke and was greeted by a throng of Chassidim. As the procession made its way through the town, Zeide R. Motele instructed the driver to stop in front of a house, which was the residence of the governor.
Hearing the commotion outside, the governor went out to see what was happening. To the astonishment of the Chassidim, Zeide R. Motele went into the house of the governor. The Chassidim were even further surprised that the governor followed him, and a few of them made their way inside.

a staring match

Zeide R. Motele seated himself at a table opposite the governor. The Chassidim were certain that he was going to plead on their behalf, but he did not utter a single word. Zeide R. Motele just stared at the governor for a while, then rose and left the house. The bewildered Chassidim did not know what to make of this.
At Shalosh Seudos (the third Shabbos meal) on Shabbos, although the room was dark, someone noticed that the governor had come in. After Havdala (ritual at the closing of Shabbos), Zeide R. Motele had a private session with the governor for three hours. The following day the governor, who had announced that his name was Avraham, threw away all his kitchen utensils and made his kitchen kosher.
In short, Avraham became a complete baal teshuva and did his utmost to compensate for the suffering he had inflicted upon the community. But within the year, Avraham the baal teshuva died, and the community mourned the loss of one who had become their benefactor.
One day, Zeide R. Motele was sitting with his Chassidim and said, "Nu, what do you say about Avraham? He was a true baal teshuva, wasn't he?" All the Chassidim concurred.
There was one Chassid, however, who had suffered severely from the governor’s persecution, who said, "What! That rasha (wicked person) who had caused us so much grief?"
Zeide R. Motele turned pale. He sank into deep meditation and then said, "Unanimous opinions are suspect. It is good that there was one dissent. Now Avraham's soul can rest in peace."

Zechuso yagein Aleinu v'al kol Yisrael - May the Hornosteipel Zeide's merits protect us all!

Shabbat Shalom and Shanah Tovah
Hey Yitzchak!

I just stumbled onto your site while searching for Zeide Reb Motele, zy"a...Didn't know you were such writer. Very nice, 'sher koyach on the hard work done for this blog.

Hope to see you again soon, my friend.

Zeit Gezindt and Git Shabbes!
A git Yohr, A Git Yuntif.

Great blog.

I have a question for you - the Reb Shlomo ZT"L tape Live from Vienna, I used to have it but my car radio got stolen and the tape was inside, nebuch. So Ive been trying to replace it for a couple years now. It has this incredible Torah of the Ishbitzer's in Yiddish/German from Reb Shlomo during "Uvinei Yerushalayim" about Lochem, Lechem, and Chalom. He had repeated some of the Torah in English on other discs, but this one was the most special and complete. I finally found the cd "Let there be Peace" but they cut the Torah from the cd version!!! Do you know anyway I can get an mp3 or something of the Unvinei Yerushalayim? Email me please (mimaayanhashiloach@gmail.com) so we can speak. I also have a lot of Reb Shlomo stuff, live, etc. that I would love to share with you.
Those were the times when rabbis were real rabbis. Where do we find a rabbi today to make baal tshuva out of Israeli politicians?
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