Weekly Chasidic Story #1039 (s5778-09/
17 Cheshvan 5778)
When Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss's mother met her future daughter-in-law
for the first time, she she wanted to immediately cancel the wedding.
Connection: Weekly Reading of Chaye Sarah - featuring the first
"shiduch" in the Torah.
Rabbi Yitzchak-Yaakov Weiss, the former chief rabbinical judge of "Bedatz
Eidah Chareidis" in Jerusalem, was married three times. He used to
relate this inspirational story about himself:
When he was young, travel was difficult - unlike today, when one can get anywhere
in the world within a day or two. A shidduch [prospective match for marriage]
was suggested for him. Since the girl and her family lived far away and it was
hard for Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov 's parents to travel there, they sent a shaliach
[representative] to check out the girl and her family in order to determine
whether she was a fitting match for their son. The agent returned and reported
that it was a fine match, and Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov became engaged without (his
parents or anyone in his family) having met the girl.
As the wedding date drew near, all the Weiss's traveled to the town of the
kallah [bride] for the wedding. When Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov's mother met
her future daughter-in-law for the first time, she was very disappointed. She
felt the girl was not a proper match for her son at all. She thought this so
strongly that she was prepared to terminate the shidduch, right then
on the scheduled day of the wedding. Her son, however, pleaded with her not
to. Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov said, "Perhaps with time I will divorce her.
But right now, I don't want to embarrass her."*
They were married and had one son, Beirish, but then his wife was killed in
WWII. After the war, Weiss married again, this time to the daughter of the illustrious
Rabbi of Vasloy. They did not have children.
After his second wife also died, he married the daughter of the Viznitz Rebbe,
the Imrei Chaim, but they didn't have children either. His only child is Reb
Beirish, born to the woman he married only because he didn't want to shame her.
Rabbi Weiss testified, "Doctors told me that it was impossible for me
to bear children. Beirish was a miracle. I am certain that I merited this only
child as a reward for not embarrassing a Jewish girl."
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from "Shabbos
Stories for the Parsha" (dkeren18@)juno.com).
Rabbi Yitzchak-Yaakov Weiss [1902-1989], a Central European miraculous
survivor of the Holocaust, was the chief rabbinical judge of the Manchester
Rabbinical Court for nearly three decades. Upon the death of the Satmar Rebbe
in 1979, he moved to Israel to serve head of the Bedatz Eidah Chareidis Rabbinical
Court in Jerusalem from 1979-1989. He is the author of Minchas Yitzchak, a ten-volume
set of his responsa, of which it is said that in modern times most rabbinic
courts and works of Jewish law quote or rely on Rabbi Weiss's verdicts applying
to modern conditions, particularly in the field of medical ethics. (Based on
Connection: Weekly Reading of Chaye Sara - featuring
the first "shiduch" in the Torah.
*Editor's note: This is a most noble motive. Besides
that, there are some very religious Jewish communities where it is felt that
doing so is the best route to dissolve a committed relationship, because breaking
an engagement is not mentioned among the commandments while divorce is.
Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor
of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories
to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells
them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.
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