by Rabbi Sholom DovBer Avtzon
As I begin the fifth yearly cycle of The Weekly Story, I thank all of you who have shared personal interactions with the Rebbe and/or stories that inspire. When someone meets me and says, Rabbi Avtzon my guest shared your story at the Shabbos table, that is truly a compliment; knowing that it is meaningful to others.
So please continue sharing them for the benefit of all the readers. Your comments and thoughts are also appreciated as it helps me decide what type of story should be included and for me to make a correction if necessary.
This weeks’ story was related to me on the Shabbos before Rosh Hashanah.
The Munkatcher Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim Elozer Spiro, known for his monumental sefer, Minchas Elozer had a grandson, Tzvi Nosson Dovid that was born to his daughter many years after her marriage to Rabbi Boruch Rabinovitch. So while every child and grandchild is precious, but one that you prayed for persistently for many years, is even more precious; and indeed there was a unique bond between grandfather and grandson.
The young child enjoyed the sound of the Shofar and the entire month of Elul after the shofar was blown, the young Tzvi requested from his grandfather, “Zeide, please blow it one more time.”
The Minchas Elozer acquiesced to his grandson’s plea and would pick up the shofar and give an additional blow. Erev Rosh Hashanah came and the young lad is in shul waiting with anticipation to hear the sound of the shofar; but after davening nothing. Everyone leaves to prepare for Yom Tov.
The boy is bewildered and downcast, he had waited quietly the entire davening to hear the shofar and nothing. So he rushes over to his grandfather and with his biggest smile asks his beloved grandfather to please blow the shofar.
His grandfather replied, today we don’t blow the shofar, but tomorrow we will blow it many times.
But I want to hear it today, he pleads.
Yes, I understand that, replied the Minchas Elozer, but we don’t blow a shofar today.
The youngster is confused and upset and begins crying and wailing, I want to hear the shofar.
Seeing that the child is crying incessantly, the Minchas Elozer decided to blow it once.
Hearing the shofar sound, the child stopped crying thanked his zeide and went on his way.
The following day, before the shofar was blown, the Minchas Elozer stood up to say a few words as his custom was. He said; “Hashem I must confess, yesterday I sinned. It is mentioned in the shulchan aruch that one is not supposed to blow the shofar on the day before Rosh Hashanah. Yet, my precious grandchild continuously requested and pestered that I blow it, until he began crying, so I gave into him. How can one turn down the plea of your beloved child?
Chocking with pain the Munkatcher cried out, “So Hashem, I turn to You. Perhaps according to the judgement in front of You the law states that we are not worthy and deserving that You blow the great shofar. Yet your children that are beloved to You are pleading continuously that You blow the shofar. How can our father in heaven refuse the plea and entreaty of His beloved child?”
May his plea and cry be accepted and may we merit the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.
Rabbi Avtzon is a veteran mechanech and the author of numerous books on the Rebbeim and their chassidim. He has farbrenged in numerous communities and is available to farbreng in yours. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org