Stories Archive:
#255-309 (5763)

Original translations/adaptations by Yrachmiel Tilles - co-founder of Ascent of Safed, creator of  Ascent's seminars,  editor of Ascent Quarterly, director of Kabbala Online and maintainer of this internet site and its e-mail lists.
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story #309 (s5763-55/ 20 Elul 5763/2003)

Saved at the Mikva

Replied Rabbi Mordechai Dov of Hornesteipel, "A person's sincere wish is never denied, but that wish must be the person's foremost desire."

story #308 (s5763-54/ 13 Elul)

The Delayed Answer
The Baal Shem Tov traversed the vicious mob, with the frightened young man at his heels.

story #307 (s5763-53/ 6 Elul)
The Importance of a Brother-In-Law
"Now you come?" the Tsemek Tsedek rebuked him. "You should have consulted me before the engagement."

story #306 (s5763-52/ 29 Menachem-Av)
Before Their Eyes
"There are no words adequate to comfort you," said the Gerrer Rebbe, Rabbi Israel Alter.

story #305 (s5763-51/ 22 Menachem-Av)
Inside Job
The share that was drawn by Rabbi David-Moshe of Chortkov included the most prized treasure of all.

story #304 (s5763-50/ 15 Menachem-Av)
Song For All Seasons!
The visible joy of Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sossov spread to the band of klezmer musicians whom he had engaged.

story #303 (s5763-49/ 8 Menachem-Av)
Empty Bottles on a Window Ledge
When we have a good Simchas Torah, we will also have a good Tisha bAv, the Seer of Lublin remarked cryptically. 
story #302 (s5763-48/ 1 Menachem-Av)
An Unusuasl Reward
As "payment" for the trip, the holy ARI revealed to them a deep secret... 

story #301 (s5763-47 / 23 Tammuz)

Heavenly Intervention

One of the greatest of all Kabbalists was Rabbi Moshe Cadorvero...

story #300 (s5763-46 / 16 Tammuz)

The Fifth Aliyah

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi commented: "this young man is a chasid of sacrifice."

story #299 (s5763-45 / 9 Tammuz)

A Grandfather's Tears

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Scheersohn shared a very interesting idea from the Baal Shem Tov.

story # 298 (s5763-44 / 2 Tammuz)

In the Elevator

"The Lubavitcher Rebbe's appearance has changed, but his eyes, ah, his piercing blue eyes are exactly the same."

story #297 (s5763-43 / 25 Sivan)

From Salah to Yehuda

On his maternal side, Salah Abdel Manam's great-grandfather was a famous Safed mystic.

story #296 (s5763-42 / 18 Sivan)

The Holy Kiddush Cup, Aliyah and Redemption

"My white beard is unwilling to allow any postponement," replied Rabbi Moshe of Lelov

story #295 (s5763-41 / 11 Sivan)

Coming Home from Ramalllah

"I'd really like to sing Lecha Dodi again."

story #294 (s5763-40 / 4 Sivan)

Power Books

"Why don't you give Alexei, the peasant driver of the Baal Shem Tov, some money with a bottle of whiskey."

story #293 (s5763-39 / 26 Iyar)

Salmon on Shavuot

Special attention was given to the preparation of fish for Shabbos and Yom Tov for Rebbe Yechezkel of Kuzmir.

story #292 (s5763-38 / 18 Iyar)

From Mount Skopus to Mount Meron

How could it be that so many people inside were crying, while outside an even larger crowd was singing?

story #291 (s5763-37 / 12 Iyar)

Gold Coins on Shabbat

Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov had leased a hut in the middle of a forest in order to meditate and pray in the stillness of the woods.

story #290 (s5763-36 / 5 Iyar)

"Double Healing"

When the Rebbe Maharash of Lubavitch was a young child, he was unusually serious but often a bit mischievous.

story #289 (s5763-35 / 28 Nisan)

Dire Obstinacy

he local folk were stupefied: surely their Rabbi had not won over Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg!

story #288 (s5763-34/ 19 Nisan)

Torn between Two Loves

The prayers of Rabbi Yitzchak Aizik of Zhidachov on the second night of Pesach were not fired by their usual enthusiasm.

story #287 (s5763-33/ 13 Nisan)

"A Fortune in Whisky"

Reb Koppel of Kikova hoped his small fortune in whisky barrels would provide dowries for his many daughters.

story #286 (s5763-32 / 7 Nisan)

"A Lesson from Baseball"

"Do you ever play baseball with your friends?" the Lubavitcher Rebbe asked me.

story #285 (s5763-31/29 Adar II)

One Horse for Purim, one Horse for Pesach

The Sassover Rebbe gave the most perplexing blessing I ever heard of in my life."

story #284 (s5763-30 / 22 Adar II)

The Slaughtering of Birds, Animals and People

The Chasam Sofer and the Yismach Moshe differed in their rulings about the force-feeding of geese; the Tzemach Tzedek refers to the Beit Yosef and the Rama about lungs

story #283 (s5763-29 / 15 Adar II)

The Stale Comedian

"Let's go to console the widow of the Mikveh Yid of Lemberg," said Rabbi Dov Ber of Mizritch

story #282 (s5763-28 / 8 Adar II)

The Purim Governor

The tzaddik, Rebbe Zvi of Zhidachov, afforded his dramatic nephew the honor due a king.

story #281 (s5763-27 / 1 Adar II)

A Well Kept Secret

Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz gave with an open hand from his own meager funds and solicited from others as well.

story #280 (s5763-26/24 Adar 1)

The Middle of The Story

When the Chafetz Chaim opened his eyes, they were filled with tears.

story #279 (s5763-25/ 17 Adar 1)

The Life of an Hour

The tzaddik, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir of Ger, was unaccustomed to traveling on Fridays.

story #278 (s5763-24/10 Adar 1)

Protestant 'B'

How a Gulf War dog tag forced an American soldier to reclaim his Judaism.

story #277 (s5763-23/ 3 Adar 1)

Beyond Space

lthough he lived in the same town, he had never gone to visit the Maggid of Mezritch

story #276 (s5763-22 / 26 Shvat)

Beginner's Luck

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev hesitated to pronounce his verdict and finalize the case.

story #275 (s5763-21/ 19 Shvat)

The Shabbos Disease

"Oh, no! Not again!" he cried out. He decided to go to R. Shmuel Abba of Zichlin, and beg to be rescued from this bizarre affliction. 

story #274 (s5763-20/ 12 Shvat)

The Witnessing Tree

Being well aware of the Ohr HaChaims reputation as a miracle-worker, he  left without questioning the great rabbis instructions

story #273 (s5763-19/ 5 Shvat)

Air Fright

The Lubavitcher Rebbe added to the expected blessing a surprising instruction.

story #272 (s5763-18/ 27 Tevet 5763/2003)

"Master of the Universe: Enough Already!"

"His family and his chassidim pleaded with the Rebbe, Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, for an explanation."

story #271 (s5763-17/ 20 Tevet 5763/2002)

A Door on the East

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi mysteriously warned him not to enter any house that had its door on the east side.

story #270 (s5763-16/ 13 Tevet)

Yaakov The Innocent

The Tsemech Tzedek told of a desperate tenant who travelled to Rabbi Yisroel of Rhyzhin and asked him to intercede 

story #269 (s5763-15/ 6 Tevet)


Rabbi Hillel of Paritsh spent a substantial part of every year traveling through southern Russia in to arouse people to repentance. 

story #268 (s5763-14/ 29 Kislev)


R. Avraham of Slonim stood in front of the Chanuka menora staring at the wicks, meditating and contemplating

story #267 (s5763-13/ 22 Kislev)


Rabbi David of Tolna stood before the menorah, involved in his last-moment inner preparations.

story #266 (s5763-12/ 15 Kislev)


"The Lubavitch Rebbe told me to start learning Tanya because of a miracle in our family."

story #265 (s5763-11/ 8 Kislev)


Because of the drought, the rabbis of Jerusalem decided to dispatch Rabbi Avraham Galanti to raise money abroad.

story #264 (s5763-10/ 1 Kislev)


Feeling unclear about how to respond, Rabbi Schochet decided to consult with the Lubavitcher Rebbe

story #263 (s5763-9/ 24 MarCheshvan)


"I asked the Maggid of Mezritch to pray for me that the Al-mighty arrange that I meet my marriage partner..."

story #262 (s5763-8/ 17 MarCheshvan)


Tamar, a young child, was much less likely to be noticed by the Nazi beasts than an adult.

story #261 (s5763-7/ 10 MarCheshvan)


"Don't you remember me, Rabbi Lehmann? A few years ago I heard you give the most wonderful sermon."

story #260 (s5763-6/ 3 MarCheshvan)


"May the Al-mighty help him," said Rabbi Yisroel of Rhyzhin to the skeptical woman whose husband believed in the holiness of the Rebbe.

story #259 (s5763-5/ 26 Tishrei)


Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev made his way to the local shul... unable to contain the rapture and ecstasy that fired him in prayer.

story #258 (s5763-4/ 19 Tishrei)


Before Rabbi Yissacher Dov of Radoshitz became the Rebbe, he lived in abject poverty

story #257 (s5763-3/ 12 Tishrei)


Before Rabbi Morechai of Neshchiz decided to accept a rabbinical position, he was a merchant

story #256 (s5763-2/ 5 Tishrei)


Rebbe Zvi Hersh of Riminov reasoned that a Jew who lived to such an age must have some kind of merit.

story #255 (s5763-1/ 27 Elul, for Rosh HaShana 5763/2002)


The Baal Shem Tov - The Berditchever - The Tzemach Tzedek

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