Breslev Israel, Emuna Outreach and the Beams grieve from the loss of an enormous tzaddik, Rabbi Yoram Abergel osb"m, who returned his holy soul to Hashem earlier today on Shabbat afternoon. At the time of this writing (10;30 PM Israel, Saturday night), the funeral procession is about to begin in Netivot, in the south of Israel, where Rabbi Abergel lived.
Rabbi Yoram was the head of the "Rav Pa'alim" Institutions, a huge network of Torah learning all across Israel. He had thousands of students, many of whom he personally brought in to observant Judaism.
He was not only a tremendous scholar and Kabbalist, but he cared tremendously about each human being and did tremendous loving-kindnesses for widows, orphans and the needy. He always had a smile on his face.
This is an irreplaceable loss for the Jewish People at a difficult time, when we need the merit of our righteous spiritual leaders. Maybe Rabbi Yoram plead in our behalf at the Heavenly throne, and may we soon see Moshiach and the full redemption of our people, amen.
Above image - the holy gravesite of Rebbe Levi Yitzchok in Berditchev, Ukraine
Today, the 25th of Tishrei, is the 206th yahrtzeit of the holy Rebbe Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev (1740-1809), may his sacred soul intercede in our behalf, amen. When Rebbe Levi Yitzchok died, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev said that the world became a darker place. Rebbe Levi Yitzchok is especially known as the senegor of Israel, the defending attorney of the Jewish People in the Heavenly Court, for he only saw the good in people.
Light a candle in memory of Rebbe Levi Yitzchok ben Sara Sasha. may his holy memory invoke blessings for all of us, amen.
Rebbe Levi Yitzchok's hauntingly beautiful niggun (melody) is one of my favorites. Here is Yehuda Green singing it for us. Enjoy this bit of inspiration, and may you be blessed with a healthy winter and a wonderful new week.
Rabbi Yoel ben Shmuel Sirkis (1561-1640), aka the "Bach", named after his landmark commentary on the Arba Turim, was one of the greatest rabbis and scholars of all time. He was also my 11th generation great grandfather on my mother's side, which makes me a distant cousin of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, of blessed memory, who was a great-grandson of the Bach.
In the following memorable clip, here's Rabbi Shlomo telling a classic story about the Bach, which I enjoy telling to my guests and grandchildren in our Succa. It's really moving, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Moadim L'Simcha and Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Kenig osb"m, one of Breslev's leading rabbis, revealed before he died that a modest tinsmith from Jerusalem, Menachem Menashe osb"m (1892-1968, image, left), author of the 'Ahavat Chaim' commentary on Torah (a book that never leaves my Shabbat table), was the leader of the 36 hidden tzaddikim of their generation.
The "Ahavat Chaim" describes at the end of Parshat Tzav an argument that the angel Gabriel had with Hashem. "Hashem, you made me send down the fires that destroyed the Holy Temple. It looks like I wanted to do it!" He explains that Gabriel was the guardian angel of Esau, but once he was defeated in the all-night grappling match with Jacob, Gabriel turned his allegiance to Jacob and since then has been defending Jacob's offspring. Hashem consoled Gabriel and told him that he would be privileged with taking revenge against all the nations that tormented Israel. Nothing will be left of them.
The nations will attack Israel and the fear will be great. The "Ahavat Chaim" promises that if Israel does teshuva, there won't be any fear at all. Furthermore, he makes an amazing unconditional promise, which he wrote over 50 years ago, that Gabriel will make a protective fire-wall around the Land of Israel and "no atom bomb will hit the Land of Israel." This is the sentence underlined in green in the photo of the page from "Ahavat Chaim" below.
Our so-called friends and our enemies can continue with their schemes, but they'll all blow up in their faces. The Nation of Israel is becoming spiritually stronger by the minute, despite what the media may say otherwise, and our full redemption is close by. We all fel it.