Weekly Story: Go To My Son In Law for Advice

I heard this story from Rabbi Mangel sheyichye, on the Shabbos before Gimmel Tammuz, and although it isn’t new, when I repeated it, people thanked me for reminding them of it. Your feedback is always appreciated.

A Rov who was a student of the Munkatcher, came to the Frierdiker Rebbe shortly after WWII, and asked him two things:

Rebbe, I know that you were extremely close to my Rebbe the Munkatcher, and being that I can’t ask my Rebbe, I came to ask you. Please give me a brocha that I should have the strength to rebuild my life and start anew. My wife and children were killed in the war, together with many of my extended family, and I went a brocha to be able to rebuild and continue.

Secondly, If I am to continue, [I am asking the Rebbe for his guidance, as to] where should I settle?

The Frierdiker Rebbe gave him a brocha to have the strength to continue and then said, concerning the second point, go downstairs and ask my son in law for advice.

Following these instructions, the Rov came downstairs and knocked on our Rebbe’s door, and told him that The [Frierdiker] Rebbe instructed/advised him to ask him the second question as to where he should settle.

The Rebbe replied, I heard that many Jews from Hungary are settling in Argentina. Being that you are a Rov and a Talmid Chocham, I am positive that they would welcome you and you will be matzliach.

Taking the Rebbe’s advice, he went to Argentina, and like the Rebbe predicted the community was thrilled and honored that such a prominent Rov was considering to settle in their community and they made him as comfortable as they were able to.

The Rov, being a true Rov, set out to establish a school and other things that he saw as a necessity for a Jewish community, and the community supported all his efforts. Everyone was satisfied with the arrangements.

Some years passed and one day a woman came to the Rov in tears; her wonderful daughter met a young man in college and wants to marry him, even though he is not Jewish. All of her entreaties, promises and threats fell on deaf ears. While in general the daughter was extremely respectful, and would do anything her mother asked, this was the exception.

The Rov called up the daughter and began a conversation. The young lady responded respectfully to all of his questions, but as soon as he broached the sensitive topic, she replied, there is nothing to discuss, I decided that I am going to marry him, and hung up. When he redialed, she didn’t answer.

The mother is sitting there and crying, and the Rov doesn’t know what he can do.

After a few moments, he remembered that the Frierdiker Rebbe instructed him, that if he needs guidance/ advice, he should speak to his son in law, whom is now the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

So he calls Rabbi Hodakov and tells him the story, and concludes, the Rebbe’s father in law, the Frierdiker Rebbe told me that when I need to know what to do, I should ask his son in law, the Rebbe.

He then hears the Rebbe instructing Rabbi Hodakov to tell him, The Rov should tell the young lady, that there is a Jew in Brooklyn who cannot sleep, because of what she is planning on doing.

Hearing this, the Rov was uncertain on how this will work out, as well as how this will solve the problem. The young lady refuses to talk to him, so how is he going to give her this message. And if she does hear it, how would that affect her.

However, he was a talmid of the Munkatcher and knew that if a tzaddik tells you to do something, you do it, without trying to understand it.

He called the young lady, and to his surprise and delight, she picked up the phone. Knowing that he has her attention for only a few moments, he said to her, “I received a very important message from New York to give to you, and it will take only a few minutes. Please come to my office as soon as you can.”

The young lady, said she will be there in around a half hour and came.

The Rov told her, after our conversation, I called a very righteous Rabbi, and he told me to tell you that there is a Jew in Brooklyn who cannot sleep, because of what you are planning on doing.

Hearing this she became furious and declared, you deceived me. I know no Rabbi in Brooklyn, and no Rabbi in Brooklyn knows me, this is a lie. There is nothing to talk about.

Seeing that she was about to leave, he told her, I will show you a picture of the Rabbi that told me this. Saying that he left the room, noting that he will return in a moment. Going to another office, he took a frame with a picture of the Rebbe and brought it back, saying, this is that person.

Seeing the picture, the young lady began to tremble, and said; the last few nights, this man is coming to me in a dream and instructing me not to marry that person, and warning me of the consequences that would befall us, if we marry.
I never saw that Jew and didn’t know who he is, so I dismissed it. But now that you tell me that he told you this, I see there is truth to it.

She then broke up and the following year married a Jewish man.

This week’s post is in memory of Chaim Scneur Zalman ben Betzalel yibadel lchaim tovim arucim HaKohen, in commemoration of his third yahrzeit, this Friday, the 22nd of Tammuz.

Rabbi Avtzon is a veteran mechanech and the author of numerous books on the Rebbeim and their chassidim. He can be contacted at avtzonbooks@gmail.com

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