Friday, October 30, 2009

Upgrading From Manischewitz to Dom Perignon

If you have a cup of Manischewitz and you want to upgrade to a cup of Dom Perignon. You can't just add the Dom Perignon to the Manischewitz. If you do, then you don't really have Dom Perignon. You'd just have a corrupted mixture of Dom Perignon and Manischewitz. The Manischewitz may be good on a certain level. But if you want Dom Perignon, you have to pour out the old wine completely and wash out the cup. It may hurt to "waste" the lower wine, but the only way to have a pure cup of Dom Perignon is by purging the cup of the lower quality wine first.

This idea connects to a story that I just received from a reader about his meeting this week with the mekubal, Rav David Chaninia Pinto:
Have you heard of Rav David Chanania Pinto? He's fairly well know with the Sephardic/M'kubal community. He's also, it seems, know as a Baal Mussar (his father learned in the Novardok Yeshiva)...

He asked if I had given my wife a watch. I did give her a watch when we got engaged and I got her another one about a year ago. My wife mentioned to the Rav that both of them were broken. He said "If it is broken, then it's as if you have nothing". Fairly profound mussar, if you ask me. I was a bit overwhelmed, but was able to speak with him on the phone yesterday.

I asked him about what he said regarding "if it's broken, it's as if you have nothing" in contrast to the teaching of Reb Nachman "If you believe you can damage, believe you can fix". He said that "if you do not have the skills to fix a watch, then really have nothing". If you can't fix something then you need to start from the beginning...

I wish I could write that "I don't know what to make of it", but the truth is that it's what I needed to hear.
See also:

One Must Destory in Order to Build
One Must Destory in Order to Build Part II

Picture courtesy of Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Marching Toward Eretz Yisroel - R' Itchie Mayer Morgenstern on Lech Lecha

The following is a section from Rav Itchie Mayer Morgenstern's drasha from this past week on Parshas Lech Lecha. You can get the links to download the full pdf versions of the write-up of these shiurim in both Hebrew and in English translation below:
The entire Torah is actually the word of Hashem cloaked in a seemingly physical form but which reaches the supernal worlds. The garments that reach the three lower worlds are the halachos, the pilpulim (complex reasonings), and the dikdukim (detailed exegesis). It is only through these aspects that the supernal worlds and all souls are rectified. But there is an even higher level of connection, the aspect of Atzilus, which one can access through the vital emunah that is hidden within. Our avodah is to attain the deep pleasantness and sweetness of the Torah, which is the source of our souls. Through this pleasantness we draw down such a deep illumination that we merit to receive the entire Torah. But one who does not strive to access this higher level will not truly attain the Torah.

This is the deeper meaning of Rashi who tells us that it is specifically through traveling to Eretz Yisrael that we merit “children,” that our Torah bears fruit through feeling a deep pleasure in our learning. It is only on this level that one truly attains a complete knowledge of the Torah.

“Every Step I Take is Toward Eretz Yisrael”

When a person first tries to turn his path toward Eretz Yisrael, however, the forces of evil tell him that he will never attain true mastery of the revealed Torah if he makes dveikus through Torah his goal. Since the way to Eretz Yisrael “diminishes children,” this can mean that one risks losing the revealed aspects of Torah that are symbolized by children since the offspring of the righteous are their good deeds. Another way to understand this is that the evil within argues that focus on dveikus will cause one to do less good deeds than if he would just act without trying to maintain any special intentions.

Another potential danger of the path to Eretz Yisrael could be that through focusing on dveikus one’s good name will suffer. [What will people think if he suddenly starts to serve Hashem with his entire heart? He might not fit in with the crowd, and this would tarnish his reputation.] Surely one who feels degraded will be unable to truly connect to Hashem anyway, since one’s name represents his mission in life. In addition, the yetzer claims that too much focus on the spiritual could make him lose his livelihood.

Hashem counters all of these claims by promising Avraham that his journey will bring him children, wealth, and renown. It is incumbent on every Jew to do some serious self-searching. Why doesn’t he feel the powerful light and vitality of focusing on the holy Names of Hashem? Why isn’t he like the holy tzaddikim who ascended to Eretz Yisrael?
Toras Chochom on Lech Lecha
Toras Chochom on Lech Lecha in English

Picture courtesy of R. Lazer Brody. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The "Chiddush" of the Baal Shem Tov - Translation from the Piaczena

As more of an explanation of this post, about the "innovation" of the Baal Shem Tov, I wanted to translate (loosely) the first couple of paragraphs of the third perek of Mevo Hashe'arim by Rav Kalonymous Kalmish Shapiro of Piaczena, the author of the Aish Kodesh, which is printed in the back of his sefer Hachsharas Ha'Avreichim. Some explanatory translation here is attributable to the shiur on this piece by Rav Moshe Weinberger downloadable here. Any mistakes in explanation/translation are due to my failure to understand either the sefer or my rebbe's shiur...

When the Baal Shem Tov ascended to the upper world on Rosh Hashana of the year 5507 (1746), he entered Moshiach's courtyard. There, he asked Moshiach when he would come. Moshiach answered "When your wellsprings spread outward," as is known in the letter in the sefer Poras Yosef by Rav Gershon Kitover. Chassidus is the last revelation before Moshiach, may he come soon in our days. And it is the beginning of the rays of light of Moshiach's sunrise.

The primary messianic revelation is impied by the pasuk in Chavakuk 2:14, "כִּי תִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ, לָדַעַת אֶת-כְּבוֹד יְהוָה, כַּמַּיִם, יְכַסּוּ עַל-יָם," that the world will be filled with knowledge of Hashem as the water covers the sea-bed. And the main foundation established by the Baal Shem Tov was in the explanation he revealed in the pasuk in Yeshaya 6:3 "מְלֹא כָל-הָאָרֶץ, כְּבוֹדוֹ", "the kavod of Hashem fills the world." (In this pasuk, the Baal Shem Tov taught that the pasuk was also to be understood literally, that there is Elokus in everything.)

Many people, even many who were great in Torah, persecuted the holy one of Israel because of this by claiming that, G-d forbid, the Baal Shem Tov was saying that the kavod of the One Above was physical [thus degrading the kavod of Hashem]. But the ever-awake and holy one who descended from heaven, our holy Rebbe, the Baal Shem Tov, knew that not only was he not making Hashem's glory corporeal, G-d forbid, but rather that he was increasing and revealing the kavod of Hashem through his teachings. And not only is the Baal Shem Tov's explanation of the above verse in accordance with it's simple meaning and with logic, but it was also necessary to reveal this "first light" before the the awakening of the sunrise of Moshiach from above. And if shamayim had not allowed him to reveal this light in advance of the dawn, and the world had not been prepared for the illumination of morning, then the sunrise of Moshiach would have, G-d forbid, been prevented from occuring.

Therefore, he announced the truth that not only is G-dly life found within everything of this world and that all physical life revolves around and conceals this G-dliness, but that physicality and earthliness themselves, which appear to us as only physical, are, in truth, completely Elokus. All we require is eyes to see and a sanctified body. Then, when you look at the world, you will be looking at G-d, and G-d at you. Hashem's glory fills the entire earth, so that even earthliness which enclothes [the Elokus], and the vessels of this world themselves are full of the illumination of Hashem's glory. And so the Baal Shem Tov was the beginning of the fulfillment of the Navi's promise that the earth would be filled with the knowledge of Hashem, which will be fulfilled with the coming of Moshiach, may it be soon in our days, that even the earth itself (not just the G-dliness concealed by the earth) will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem.

The "drawing down" accomplished by Tzadikim in earlier generations drew down Hashem's light more and more, and deeper and deeper into the world, but this "drawing down" was only done into the space within the vessels which comprise this world. But now, the "drawing down" and revelation accomplished by the Baal Shem Tov and his students is completely new. It was a drawing down into the walls of the vessels, which comprise this world, themselves, such that the walls of the vessels of this world themselves were transformed into "light." But this does not mean that they were "transformed" into light per se. Rather, the light that they already contained was revealed.

Consider what these vessels actually are. Hashem created them from light. Thus, they are the light of Hashem. It is known that the root source of the letters of the Aleph Bais and the vessels of this world are higher than the inner root(?). And that they came from the world of "Atzilus" originally. (which is explained in Eitz Chaim Heichal 1, Sha'ar 4, and specifically in the drush of Rav Gedalia Halevi there, and in Sha'ar 1, Anaf 2 in Haga'os U'biurim 1, he brings a distincition, that the vessels of Malchus She'b'asiya (the physical world) were created by Hashem at the beginning of creation, even before the first man and the world of "Atzilus", and that their lights, i.e. of Malchus D'asiya were created last, ayin sham.)

This means that the vessels of the world of Asiya were created before the lights that they concealed/contained, even before Adam Harishon and Atzilus. So the root of the vessels, even of the lowest world of Asiya, are much higher [than the revealed light), and only afterward became coursened vessels which conceal.

More, perhaps, to come...

Picture courtesy of easydayswork. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

The Humility to Change Direction

Check out this great post by Neil Harris at Modern Uberdox on the Alter of Slabodka and how he recognized the changing nature of the generation and switched direction accordingly!

Picture courtesy of Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Fruit and the Peel

Earlier generations knew that the peel concealed the fruit inside. The Baal Shem Tov revealed that the peel itself is also the fruit. (See Mevo Hashe'arim 3)

Picture courtesy of gaia. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Deciding to Be The Object of The Divine’s Desire - Video/Audio Shiur

In his latest shiur on Berchas “Retzay” in Shemoneh Esrei, Reb Yerachmiel gives-over an amazing maamar from the “Sifsay Chaim” (Reb Chaim Friedlander zt”l) and sheds light on an often-missed theme contained throughout the “Hodaah” section of the Shemoneh Esrei, designed to inspire each Yid to once-and-for-all decide to become “the Object of The Divine’s Desire”.

CLICK HERE to get the shiur by either left clicking to listen right away or right clicking and selecting "Save Target As" to download.

And you may CLICK HERE to view the video version of the shiur from

Picture courtesy of Nasa. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Koidinover Rebbe in the 5 Towns Thu. - Sun. of Parshas Lech Lecha

The Koidinover Rebbe of Bnei Brak will be in the Five Towns/Far Rockaway area starting in two days, on Thursday, until Sunday night. You can see the flyer for this visit above and click on the image to get a larger, high quality pdf version. The schedule is also as follows:

This Thursay night, October 29th, 2009

The White Shul, Far Rockaway
7:00 - 9:30 PM
The Rebbe will be available for private meetings

Mishmar Kumzitz at the home of Rabbi Eytan Feiner at 1133 Sage, also in Far Rockaway.
10:00 PM

Friday night, Parshas Lech Lecha, October 30th, 2009

Mincha and Kabbalas Shabbos 5:45 PM at Chefetz Chaim Torah Center, 7 Derby Ave., Cedarhurst

Friday night Tish at the home of Dov and Allyson Perkal, 858 Fiske Street, Woodmere
9:00 PM

Shabbos morning davening at 9:00 AM, followed by Kiddush at Cong. bais Medrash HaRav (Rav Nayman) at 3 Beechwood Drive in Lawrence.

Shabbos afternoon Mincha at 5:20, followed by Shalosh Sheudes, where the Rebbe will speak at Cong. Aish Kodesh in Woodmere

Sunday night, November 1st - Private meetings beginning at 7:00 PM at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Freud at 866 Oxford Rd. in Woodmere

To schedule a meeting with the Rebbe, please contact Reb Chaim Freud at 516-851-8855.

Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yosef Karduner in Chicago/New York City/Brooklyn This Week

Although Yosef Karduner does not use the internet, someone has set up a facebook account that he uses to help people be in touch with Yosef Karduner if they would like. You can contact him that way here.

Sunday Oct. 24 @ 7:00PM
Adas Yeshurun
3050 W Touhy Ave.
$15/adults $10/students

Tuesday Oct. 27 @ 8:00PM
Mount Sinai Jewish Center
135 Bennett Ave. (Corner of 187th) Washington Heights, NY

Saturday Oct 31 @ 9:00PM
(doors open 8:30)
Jewish Music Café
401 9th Street (under shul)
Brooklyn, NY

Sunday Nov. 1 @ 7:00PM (doors open 6:30)
The ROC House
550 West 110th St.
New York, NY

Picture courtesy of Mesilat Yesharim. Interview with Yosef Karduner can also be seen at that link. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New (To Me) Yeshiva Boys Choir Video

Although I may be criticized a bit for liking a form of shiny shoe music, I can't help it! (See my earlier post.) I just noticed this Yeshiva Boys Choir video that I hadn't seen before.

Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Help Needed to Bring R Lazer Brody to Five Towns Area

Rav Lazer Brody will be in the New York area the second week in November. There are some people who would like to bring him to speak in the Five Towns, in Nassau County. They have some sponsors but more are needed in order to invite him for the last available date he has open, Monday night, November 9th. If you are interested in becoming a partial sponsor to help make this happen, please e-mail Benyomin Wolf or call him at 516-668-6397.

Picture courtesy of Mesillat Yesharim. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Piaczena Yohrtzeit Torah and Famous Moishele Good Shabbos Story




By Rav Zvi Leshem

Rebbe Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira was martyred 66 years ago today. In his 1929 drasha for Parshat Noach[1] he addresses the famous dispute regarding the comparative righteousness of Noach as compared to that of Avraham.[2] His conclusion is that whereas Avraham spread monotheism throughout the world, making many converts, Noach was concerned only with saving his own sons. Avraham was constantly looking outwards, towards all of humanity, to teach the true service of the Divine, but Noach, although he was a Zaddik, had a very narrow agenda of familial spirituality and was unconcerned with the religious welfare of his generation.[3]

This distinction has strong roots in earlier Chassidic literature. Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev[4] also sees the two figures as two different models of Zaddikim. For Reb Levi Yitzchak, famous as the defender of Am Yisrael, the main difference between Noach and Avraham was in their attitudes towards the people around them. Noach walked with G-d, that is to say, only with G-d whom he served, but he did not walk with other people in order to bring them close [to Divine service]. Thus Noach also made no attempt to rebuke his contemporaries, nor did he pray to HaShem on their behalf. He rather accepted the Divine decree of destruction passively. This is in dramatic contrast to Avraham, whom we know devoted his life to spreading the word of the L-rd and making converts. He also prayed to avert the Divine decree of destruction from the depraved populace of Sodom.[5]

How did the Piaseczner put this insight into practice? In his Letter to Parents and Teachers, that serves as the introduction to his 1932 revolutionary education classic, Chovat HaTalmidim, the Rebbe writes as follows regarding the trend in his time of young Chassidic youth "going off the derech": The yeshiva heads are only concerned with their own yeshivot and students, and they are only concerned with the "best" boys. They comfort themselves saying "while it is true that there are now a lot of irreligious Jews, but there are also a lot of fine Tora students and servants of HaShem. But they also need to look outside of their yeshivot, and see the massive numbers of the irreligious…are we to be satisfied with the mere handful of students in our yeshivot, is that all of Am Yisrael?[6]

The message is clear. Am Yisrael needs leaders who do not only think about the needs of their particular group, or of the Tora "elite" but who, like the holy Piaseczner Rebbe himself, have the needs of the entire Jewish People at hand. May the merit of the holy Rebbe protect all of Klal Yisrael, and may his Tora continue to guide us in true Chassideshe Avodat HaShem. May we merit the speedy fulfillment of the words of the Mashiach to the holy Baal Shem Tov, that when the wellsprings of Chassidic teachings and mystical practices spread throughout the world, the Redemption will occur.

Shabbat Shalom.

[1] Derech HaMelech pp. 5- 9.

[2] See Rashi, Bereshit 6:9 s.v. B'Dorotav.

[3] There is however an opinion that Noach did rebuke his fellows (unsuccessfully). See Tora Shlama 155 and 171 in the name of the Yemenite Midrash HaGadol.

[4] Kedushat Levi s.v. Eleh.

[5] For another discussion on two models of Zaddikim, see Noam Elimelech, Veyechi, s.v. Vayikach, regarding Ephraim and Menashe.

[6] Chovat HaTalmidim, p. 12.

Dixie Yid 10/23/09 Update: R' Leshem just e-mailed out a recording of Rav Shlomo himself singing the "Moishele Good Shabbos" nigun. ENJOY!

Dearest Friends,

Sometimes, as hard as it might to be to sit and write, you just gotta share… no matter what.

This past Wednesday night changed my life forever, but before telling you exactly why, PLEASE refresh your memory, and open your hearts to one of the Reb Shlomo's most powerful moments in his life.

Reb Shlomo ztz'l:

Ok, I don't want to tell you sad stories, it's not really sad, maybe a little bit, but it's a gevalt. Every person needs, especially our children, we should have our fathers and mothers for a long time. We also all need Rebbes, and then every person, once or twice in your life, you meet somebody and it mamesh reaches you so much that it mamesh carries you your whole life. So one of my Rebbes, which I saw just twice or three times in my life, was a Yid and his name was Reb Moshe.

My father was a Rabbi in Baden Bei Din, in Austria, and here comes 1938. I don't want to mention their name in shul, but they mamesh they took over. And you know in Germany it was not so dangerous yet to walk on the street. In Vienna it was mamesh dangerous from the first day on. Yidden couldn't go to shul anymore, especially my father.

So Shabbos morning it was only dangerous from 8 o'clock on, but between 5 and 8 in the morning it was less dangerous. So my father made a minyan in the house. People would come at six o'clock, mamesh they davened so fast mamesh, Kriyas Hatorah would go so fast because everyone wanted to be home before 8.

My brother and I were little kids. When you don't see people all week long, you are mamesh hungry to see a person. So I remember my twin brother and I, we were nearly up all Friday night. We couldn't wait mamesh, we wanted to open the door for the minyan.

At six o'clock, a knock at the door, mamesh to see a yid mamesh standing there with Pachad, afraid. I open the door a little bit and he would slip through the door, and then I close the door fast.

But then one Shabbos, I remember it was Parshas Bamidbar. I open the door. I see mamesh a Yid with little peyis, like most Rizhiner chassidim, they didn't have big beards. They just have a little beard. But this yid? He's not afraid. He started singing:

Good Shabbos good Shabbos. Good Shabbos good Shabbos, Good Shabbos good Shabbos, Good Shabbos good Shabbos, Good Shabbos good Shabbos, Good Shabbos good Shabbos, Oy Good Shabbos good Shabbos, Good Shabbos.

This Yid was mamesh in another world.

Finally he walked in and he walks up and down and the whole time he is singing Good Shabbos good Shabbos.

Then he turns to me, I'm a little boy and he says to me in Yiddish, "what is your name, what is your name,"

So I didn't want to chas v'shalom stop the melody, so I answered him back singing, "my name is Shlomo, what is your name."

He said "Moishele, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Oy Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos."

So my brother and I called him "Moishele Good Shabbos"

I want you to know, he came in for the minyan and we began to daven fast. And you know, basically when it comes to Nishmas Kol Chai you are not permitted to talk, but obviously Reb Moishele, nebech, couldn't hold back. He said to the chazzan 'you are davening down instead of davening up. Your tefillahs have to go up and the way you daven everything goes down because you daven so fast.' And he was crying. Listen to what he says. He says, yidden, maybe this is the last Shabbos we are saying Nishmas Kol Chai. Is this the way to say Nishmas Kol Chai?

So the chazzan said, I don't know any better.

I'll remember it till Mashiach is coming. Moishele walks to the amud.

I want you to all to sing with me softly. He started singing: Nishmas Kol Chai Tevarech Es Shimcha Hashem Elokeinu Veru'ach Kol Basar Tefa'er Useromem...

But you know friends, he davened the whole davening with this niggun. Even chazaras hashatz, kedushah. Then they lained, and by that time it was already 10:30 but nobody mamesh cared. Moishele mamesh lifted up the whole, nobody had fear anymore.

Finally the davening was over around 11 and my mother brought in wine to make Kiddush. And I want you to know, the whole time the windows were closed and the shades were down. Moishele says, when you make Kiddush, you have to open the windows. You have to say Kiddush for the whole world.

I mean it's crazy. People started saying Moishele, this is just too much. The people in the street want to kill us.

Mamesh I'll never forget it. Moishele says, who are they, the children of Esav? He says, they are our cousins. You know why Esav is Esav? Because he forgot what Shabbos is. Maybe if some Yid is saying V'shamru B'Nei Yisrael Es Hashabbos, maybe Esav will remember what he learned by Yitzchak.

He opened the windows and Moishele was mamesh standing by the window and mamesh you could see the Germans walking up and down the street. It was Min Hashamayim, He mamesh had the wine outside of the window and he was singing:

"V'shamru B'nei Yisroel Ess haShabbos….."

After davening my parents invited him to eat with us and Moisheleh began telling us, mamesh so much b'tzniyus, half telling half not telling. He says, I want you to know I am on the black list of the Germans. Suddenly we remembered, Moisheleh's picture was on every street corner. It said 'the most wanted Jew by the Furor.'

What was his avodah? What was he doing? If you remember thousands of Yidden were arrested and nebech, their wives and children were dying from hunger. Moishele was up all night carrying food to every house.

This was Parshas Bamidbar, and on Pesach he mamesh brought matza to 2000 families in Vienna, gevalt.

So they were looking for him and one night he says they caught him and hit him over the head but mamesh at that moment, he said that the Ribbono Shel Olam gave me koach, he turned himself away and ran off. So he says, during the day I cannot walk on the street so I'll stay here.

Then he says to us, I want to come again, most probably I'll come Wednesday night. Now friends.,I want you to know how shabbosdik he was. He says I'll come Wednesday night and it will be around 4 o'clock and I will knock on the door 7 times l'Kovod Shabbos and you'll know it's me.

And again, the way my house was that my brother and I slept closest to the outside door.

And I mamesh could not sleep all night, waiting for Moishele Good Shabbos to come.

At around 4:30 we hear mamesh a subtle knocking 7 times. We open the door and Moishele is standing by the door singing:

Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos

We asked him where is this niggun from. Moishele told us that he was in Lublin on Rosh Hashana, davening with the Breslover chassidim. He heard it there from the old chassidim who said that his was the niggun which Reb Nachman himself davened too. It was the first time we ever heard of Reb Nachman.

He stayed in our house all night long singing. That was the last time I saw him.

We left for America and my brother I went to Mesivtah Toras VaDa'as. Everyone that came to the Mesivtah … we mamesh taught them the niggun "good Shabbos."

Later on I had the privilege of meeting young people, especially in San Francisco. I had the house of love and prayer, it was a gevalt. Baruch Hashem, I want you to know, this niggun mamesh turned on hundreds of thousands of people to Shabbos. Not to be believed.

The most important thing is that I taught all those kids that even on Wednesday night we say good Shabbos. We are living in an age before Mashiach, we cannot wait till Shabbos to say good Shabbos. You can say good Shabbos all the time.

Anyway, this all took place 1938, and in the meantime, time is flying. And I don't want to tell you bad things but just open your hearts. A few years ago I walk on the street in Tel Aviv on Ben Yehuda by street, by the Yarkon. Suddenly a Yiddele from Vienna see me. Aren't you Shlomo Carlebach, and I said yes. 'Do you remember Moishele, you know, Moishele from Vienna?'

Somehow it struck me and I said, you mean Moishele Good Shabbos? Is he still alive? maybe he's in Bnei Brak, Gevalt! Who knows where he is!

He says, let's go down, there's a little park by the river and I'll tell you the story.

He says, I want you to know I was one the closest friends of Moishele good Shabbos.

(By the way, I thought my brother and I were the only ones who called him Moishele good Shabbos. Obviously everyone called him that. All of Vienna called him Moishele good Shabbos)

Chevre, give me your hearts for a second. This Yiddele says that Moishele finally got himself a false passport, an English passport. Moishele had two children, a little boy and a little girl. He, his wife and two children were sitting on the train leaving Austria, with a passport to go to London. And this yidele says 'I was there on the train'. His wife kep on begging him Moishele, please don't sing And he was singing this niggun nonstop. Please, she said, don't make any noise. Wait until we go out of the border.

The train is slowly leaving. Moishele says I have to sing Good Shabbos Good Shabbos one more time to say so long to Vienna, I have to say goodbye to the city, I have to say good Shabbos. He opened the window and started singing one last time Good Shabbos Good Shabbos Good Shabbos Good Shabbos.

The most heartbreaking thing happened. Since his picture was all over the city, one of the people on the train recognized him and called over one of the Germans. They stopped the train and dragged off Moishele. And I swear to you, this yidele told me. Moishlee didn't stop singing Good Shabbos till that final whip which killed him.

Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos, Good Shabbos Good Shabbos.

I want you to know something incredible.

A few years later, I was supposed to go to do a concert in Manchester on Sunday. and the way to go to the concert I had to leave Tel Aviv Friday morning and I was thinking of going to London and then Sunday I would go to Manchester.

While we are flying, suddenly they announce there's a gas strike in London and they are landing in Zürich. Anybody who wants to go to London when they get to Zürich - they would take care of it and it would be a 16 hour delay, minimum, Friday afternoon.

So one Yid says why don't you got to Antwerp for Shabbos and from there, there will be a ship that leaves at six o'clock in the morning and gets to London at 12 and from there go to Manchester.

Ok, I'm right in Antwerp it was two hours before Shabbos and the Yid who is sitting next to me on the plane invites me for Shabbos and I say yes.

While I'm still talking to this Yid, someone comes up to me. I know this face. He was so sweet that I didn't want to hurt him that he should think that I don't know who he was. He says, mamesh Shlomoleh, come to my house for Shabbos.

I said I'm already going to this Yiddele but give me your telephone, if I have a Melaveh malka I'll invite you. So he writes it down, his name is Heschel.

After he left I said, who is this Heschel. He said, he's the son of Moishele Good Shabbos. Oy, Gevalt, I couldn't believe it.

We have a Melaveh malka, and this yid is there. I say to Hesheleh, do you know your tatty's niggun?

You know something, the most heartbreaking thing; he was too small to remember. I mean Can you imagine it was clear to me the holy gas strike in London was only that I should be in Antwerp and I gave him over his father's niggun.

And gevalt, he looks exactly like his father.

And I want to share with you one more thing.

The last time I saw Moishele, the last time before he walked out he was standing by the door for a long time and he sang

"Tzur Yisroel Tzur Yisroel Kume Be'ezras Yisrael Ufdei Chinumecha Yehuda Veyisroel..."

I want you to know friends, I'm singing this niggun all the time, all the time.


This past Wednesday night was the wedding of our dear friend Rocky Ziegler to his beloved Bina Wilkinfeld. The wedding was awesome, mamesh awesome. The colorful range of Shtreimels and hippies singing and dancing together was incredible.

Our dear friend and teacher, R Sholom Brodt had the zchus to marry off the couple.

After the chuppa, a young chassidishe yid, a princely looking chassid came up to R Sholom asking him if he was using the tune of Moishele Good Shabbos for the brachas under the chuppa. R Sholom said yes and asked him why he is asking.

'I am Moishele great-grandson, it's my great-grandfather's niggun' replied this yid.

We all began to come up to this very young, shy and humbled yid. We couldn't believe it… we felt we were all part of the story. One by one, we came up to him, bursting with utter simcha and total amazement. This chassid never saw anything like this, and hinted to me that this was very overwhelming for him.

How do I begin to explain to him who his great-grandfather is to us, and to thousands and thousands more? How do I begin to explain to him that thousands of yiddelach daven to his great-grandfather's niggun every day, every Shabbos, every holiday? How do I begin to give over to him who his great-grandfather was to our Rebbe?

He approached me a few minutes later and asked me if I was driving back home, and if I had room in the car for him, his wife and two children. Crazily enough, he only lives 15 minutes away from us. I was humbled beyond belief by the thought of driving him and his family home.

As we closed the door of the car, and a 25 minute ride approaching us, I began to seriously feel Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succos, all at once. It was so beyond my wife Bina and myself, we simply couldn't believe it.

But then, thank G-d I remembered a recent disc of Reb Shlomo ztz'l I had in the car during Succos. It was a concert on Succos, on the night of the Ushpizin of Moshe Rabbeinu. And during this concert Reb Shlomo began pouring out his heart. 'Friends, I want you to know, one of my greatest Rebbes in the world, one of my greatest teachers I will ever have was Reb Moishele Good Shabbos…' And then Reb Shlomo told over the story with more fire than ever before.

My wife Bina found the cd, and we put it on.

This chassid, whose name is Eliezer Heshel, the son of Moshe Heshel, the son of Eliezer Heshel, the son of Moishele Heshel – thee Moishele good Shabbos… he had never heard the story before. He knew some facts and some stories about his great grandfather, but other than knowing the tune… he didn't know that much more.

He sat behind me, and all I could hear while Reb Shlomo ztz'l was davening away in the backround, was Moishele's great-grandson's amazement. Pshhhh…psssss. He was literally going out of his mind.

His wife (who is related to Rocky's kalla) gave me their home number. Eliezer told me that they have a picture in an old family picture album… one picture of their great-grandfather. He is going to dig it out of the storage in his parents house, and get it to us.

As he got out of the car and was about to walk into his home, he tuned to me and said 'May the zchus of my grat-grandfather Moishele stand for you, your family and your freinds forever.'

I spoke to him last night, and he told me that all they know is that Moishele's ashes are burried somewhere in Vienna. He then told me that Moishele's yahrtzeit is coming up, the tenth of Chsehvan, just six days before our Rebbe's yahzrteit.

What on earth do we know?

Good Shabbos Kodesh

Shlomo & Bina Katz

(Video is of Yehuda Green using R' Shlmo's Moishele Good Shabbos Niggun for Kadish after Slichos and other great niggunim)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Were Cham and Kena'an Not Actually Cursed With Avdus and Turning Shachor?

Apropos to Parshas Noach, This post by MaNishtana makes an interesting argument, going back to Gemara and Midrash, that Cham and Kena'an were not cursed with blackness, and therefore that Noach's curse of slavery pinned on them was not referring to the African race. I like his use of comparative psukim and Gemaras to ellucidate the meaning of uncommon and unusual words, though I simply don't have the time to do independent research into the issue right now.

While the author's (almost) use of curse words and his erroneous assumptions about Rashi and other Rishonim are offensive, he does have some very interesting arguments that I had not heard before.

Do any of my more knowledgable readers know if these arguments are legitimate? Shkoyach!

Picture courtesy of MaNishtana. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Awesome New Little-Known Album is Out - Shirei Halevi'im

My holy and awesome friend and inspiration R' Ben Epstein (highly sought-after Sgan Mashgiach at YU) lists, among his many talents, the fact that he has a beautiful voice and a talent for composing great music.

You can hear one of his songs from his new album, Shirei Halevi'im, in-full right now. The song is "Ra'ava D'Ra'avin." The words are from Mizmor L'Dovid, the 23rd perek of Tehillim. Just click on the "play" button next to the title of the song, Ra'ava D'Ra'avin over at CDBaby. You can also get these songs at iTunes.

R' Epstein has structured this album after the days of the week. So the songs are "Sunday," "Monday," etc. and then three additional songs, including Ra'ava D'Ra'avin. You can sample portions of all of the songs and then either buy individual songs, the whole album, or order the physical CD at iTunes or over at CDBaby.

The artwork for the album is by Dan Weinstein, who has been featured here already.

Pictures courtesy of the Ben Epsteins of the world and Dan Weinstein. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bart Simpson Forgot to Say Mashiv HaRuach!!!

Picture courtesy of Stuart Honikman. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

The Fifth Begger - Breslov Chassidus on the Parsha by Rebb. Yehudis Golshevsky

I am happy to present the second shiur for the new year on Breslov Chassidus for women by Rebbetzin Yehudis Golshevsky.

This shiur is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Tehilla Sura bas Yocheved, the granddaughter of a dear friend of Rebbetzin Golshevsky.

CLICK HERE to get the shiur.

Picture courtesy of sacred Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Marcheshvan, Shema Koleinu & Retzay - Audio Shiur - Video Now Available!!!

Below is the link to Reb Yerachmiel’s latest shiur which opens with a yesod from Rav Pincus zt”l on the topic of Marcheshvan. Reb Yerachmiel then transitions to his usual topic, the in-depth study of the Shemoneh Esrei. Specifically, Reb Yerachmiel concluded the bracha of “Shema Koleinu” with two tremendous points to ponder, and introduced berchas “Retzay” with a number of bomb-kashas, one of which was answered by the Baltimore Community Kollel’s own Rosh Kollel, Rav Nesanel Kostelitz, who attended the shiur.

Please CLICK HERE to get the shiur by either left clicking to listen right away or right clicking and selecting "Save Target As" to download the shiur.

You can watch a video of this shiur on by clicking HERE!

And you can see all newly added shiurim by Reb Yerachmiel on by clicking on his page HERE.

Picture courtesy of Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nigun Nevo & Baruch Hapores - Pay Dalid - Video - in Savannah, GA

While they were there, the Landon family, who we've written about before, came to the concert and Menschi had a blast!

You can get more info on Pey Dalid from their myspace page or contact them by e-mail at or call 347-945-0652.

Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Piaczena Rebbe's Copy of the Zohar on E-BAY? (updated)

Rabbi Shlomo Gelbtuch brought to my attention that someone is selling what is purported to be Rav Kalonymous Kalmish Shapio's copy of the Zohar. It would be a shame if this is legitimate and this sefer ends up in the hands of a secular collector or something like that. The pictures seem to show a stamp on the sefer with the Rebbe's name on it.

You can see the e-bay page HERE.

You can see the text on the e-bay sale page here:
This is a Zohar which belonged to the renowned Rabbi Klonymus Kalmish Shapira - the Piaseczno (Poland) Rebbe. It was given to him as a present for his wedding by a Chassid named Yehuda Yechezkel.
The Zohar has his personal seal on the title page [see scan] and the inscription.

Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira (or Klonimus Kalmish Szapira) (1889–1943), was the Grand Rabbi of Piaseczno, Poland, who authored a number of works and was murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
Kalonymus Kalman Shapira was born in Grodzisk, Poland to his father, the Imrei Elimelech of Grodzhisk. Named after his maternal great-grandfather, the renowned Maor VaShemesh, he was a scion of a distinguished family, which included Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, the Chozeh of Lublin and the Maggid of Kozhnitz.

At the age of three, he was orphaned by the death of his father. In 1905 he married Rachel Chaya Miriam, daughter of his nephew Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Moshe of Kozhnitz. She helped him prepare his lectures and books, even adding pertinent insights of her own. The couple had two children: a son, Elimelech Ben Zion, and a daughter, Rachel Chayyah Miriam, both of whom perished in the Holocaust.
In 1909 he was appointed rabbi of Piaseczno, near Warsaw, and subsequently attracted many hasidim. He was deeply focused on the education of children and young men, establishing the yeshiva Da'as Moshe in 1923, which became one of the largest hasidic yeshivas in Warsaw between the wars

In his work as a teacher, Rabbi Shapira attempted to reverse the trend toward secularization, which swept the Jewish community in Poland between the wars. The vibrant cultural life of the city, as well as the attractions of political movements such as Zionism eroded the number of students wishing to pursue a yeshiva education. These trends, Rabbi Shapira argued, could only be exacerbated by archaic educational methods, harsh discipline and rote learning, such as were often the practice of the day in yeshivas. According to Rabbi Nehemia Polen (a noted expert on Rabbi Shapira’s work) in his most important work, Chovas haTalmidim (“The Students’ Responsibility”), Rabbi Shapira argued that a child must be imbued “with a vision of his own potential greatness” and be enlisted “as an active participant in his own development.” Likewise, teachers “must learn to speak the language of the student, and graphically convey the delights of a life of closeness to God.” Rabbi Shapira argued for positive, psychologically sensitive, joyous educational methods.

Rabbi Shapira's only son, his daughter-in-law and his sister-in-law were killed during the Nazi aerial bombing of Warsaw in September, 1939. After the invasion of Poland, Rabbi Shapira was interned with a few of his hasidim in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he ran a secret synagogue. He invested enormous efforts in maintaining Jewish life in the ghetto, including arranging for mikveh immersions and kosher marriages. Rabbi Shapira was able to survive in the ghetto until its liquidation, avoiding the great deportations to Treblinka in the summer of 1942, because of the support of the Judenrat. Like other notables, he was given work at Schultz’s shoe factory -- a path to ongoing survival.
Rabbi Shapira is well known because of a book he wrote while in the ghetto. The book, which is a compilcation of weekly sermons to his students, contends with complex questions of faith in the face of the mounting suffering of the Jews in the ghetto. When it became apparent to Rabbi Shapira that the end of the ghetto and all its inhabitants was near, he buried the book in a canister. This canister was found by a construction worker after the end of the war. The book was published in Israel in 1960 under the title Esh Kodesh

After the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was crushed in 1943, Rabbi Shapira was taken to the Trawniki work camp near Lublin. Although offered the opportunity to escape from the concentration camp, he apparently refused. Following the Jewish uprising in the Treblinka death camp (August 2, 1943) and in Sobibor (October 14, 1943), there was increasing concern among the Nazi authorities that there would be further outbreaks of violence at other concentration camps. For this reason, Aktion Erntefest (“Harvest Festival”) was launched. During this operation, carried out on November 3, 1943, all the remaining Jews in Trawniki, included Rabbi Shapira, were shot to death.
Rabbi Shapira’s memory is revered, and he is held as an example of faith under enormous duress. Orthodox Jewish thinkers, however, have not always been comfortable with his opinions. In his article about this issue. Amos Goldberg states that other, more traditional portrayels of the Holocaust in Orthodox writings tend to dwell on the miraculous survival of famous rabbis and on the strength of the faith of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe despite their suffering. In contrast, Shapira does not shy away from describing the deterioration of faith in the ghetto. He also wrestles with the difficulty in continued faith in God’s justice under such circumstances, drawing answers from Kabbalah and other Jewish sources. It is important to note, however, that despite these intellectual and emotional struggles, Rabbi Shapira’s faith remained strong and unwavering and he continued to inspire others to the end of his life.
Update 10/15/09: Sold for $1000.00. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Breslov Chassidus on Bereishis - Women's Trip To Uman Coming Up!

I am happy to present the first shiur for the new year on Breslov Chassidus for women by Rebbetzin Yehudis Golshevsky. Here, she speaks on how "big things" often come in small packages, like "Bereishis," the Beis Hamikdash, and the Tzadik.

CLICK HERE to get the shiur.

And here's an announcement from Rebbetzin Golshevsky regarding some spots that are available for women from North America, Europe, or Israel to go learn Torah and daven by the Kevarim of a number of Tzadikim in Eastern Europe and then go to Uman for Shabbos. It really sounds amazing!
It looks like I still have a few seats for women who would like to join us from the States or Europe on the trip to kivrei tzaddikim in Ukraine next week.

For women who like to decide last-minute, this is a great opportunity!

Anyone who is interested can contact me directly at for more details.

We will be spending one night in Berditchev, one night in Mezhibuzh, and three nights in Uman, b'ezras Hashem.

I will be teaching about 1.5 hours a day, from the teachings of the tzaddikim we visit, history of Chassidus, stories, and much Likutei Moharan.

We will be spending Shabbos in Uman--an experience that is not to be believed.
Picture of the Tikun Klali by Rebbe Nachman's tziyon in Uman taken right before Rosh Hashana courtesy of Simcha Goldberg. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why I Changed Minhagim After Yom Kippur - Guest Post by "The Changer"

After an interesting e-mail correpondance, I wanted to share the following guest post:
After several years of a deepening interest in Chassidus and of living in a community where most people daven Nusach Sefard, I have long meant to change my minhagim.

The nusach and the minhagim of Ashkenaz have been both uncomfortable and more comfortable for me. Uncomfortable because as I have learned more Chassidus and lived for several years in a place where the nusach and minhagim of Sefard are the norm, I identify with the nusach and the minhagim of Sefard as being more appropriate for me. And this is true for social reasons as well, because keeping minhagei Ashkenaz puts me in a position where I am performing different minhagim than those around me.

However, the minhagim of Ashkenaz are also more comfortable to me for several reasons. The first is that Ashkenaz was the way I have done it from the time I became religious about 15 years ago, so I am more familiar and comfortable with it. I can easily bentch or daven in Nusach Ashkenaz by heart (notwithstanding the fact this this is not necessarily a good thing...). The other thing I like better about Ashkenaz is that virtually everything in davening is shorter. There are no Korbanos before mincha, no Shir Hama'alos before Ma'ariv, no extra paragraphs in P'sukei D'Zimra, no vidui before Tachanun, and no Ein Keilokeinu/Ketores after Ashrei/U'va'l'tziyon.

Knowing all of this I was very hesitant to switch to the minhagim and Nusach of Sefard. Once one goes there, there's no going back. It's a big commitment and I did not want to make that change unless I knew that I could stick with it.

Before going further, I should mention that I discussed this issue with my Rav about three years ago, and while not advising me to make the change, he certainly gave me permission to do so and gave me some guidance about how to handle certain practical and halachic issues relating to the big switcheroo. So there was no issue for me as to whether there was any technical issur in making that change.

But the main reason I was hesitant to make the change had to do with the fact that the importance of my external minhagim pales in comparison to the importance of my internal level in ruchnius, in the level and character of my deveikus with Hashem. I actually felt completely unworthy of taking on a "holier" type of minhag-set when I knew about myself that I was clearly not holding there. It would have felt fake and phoney to take on a Chassidish set of minhagim if my inner life was so far from what I felt Nusach Sefard minhagim stand for.

For instance, I did not come to minyan on time generally, and I thought that it would be quite absurd to trade a Nusach Ashkenaz P'sukei D'Zimra that I (mostly) wasn't saying for a Nusach Sefard Psukei D'Zimra which I also (mostly) wouldn't say.

And generally, I just felt that I was not "on the level" to keep those "holier" minhagim. So my thinking, over several years, was that after I continued learning and growing for a while, and felt like I could keep those minhagim with a feeling of consistency and when I had the "moral standing" to do so, then I would make the change.

But as I thought about this issue over Yom Kippur, I once again asked myself the same questions about why I didn't change over already, and I gave myself the same answers I always gave myself, which I mentioned above. And then I began to see the absurdity of my situation. Part of this had to do with reading the following story about Rav Saadia Gaon in my (Nusach Ashkenaz) Artscroll Machzor (p. XVII):
Rav Saadiah Gaon once told a talmid the following story when asked why he was constantly doing teshuva: He once traveled to an inn, where he was not recognized by the innkeeper as the great Saadia Gaon, but was treated respectfully as any guest would have been treated. After observing the throngs coming to see the Rav the next morning, the inkeeper came to Saadia Gaon in tears, asking his forgiveness. The Rav replied that he had done nothing wrong. But the innkeeper responded that although that may be true, if he had only known who his guest was, he still would have treated him differently. The Gaon explained the mashal to his student, that he too felt obligated to appologize for his spiritual level the day before. Even though he may not have done any technical sins the previous day, his understanding and level in avodas Hashem is higher today than it was yestereday. Therefore, he must do teshuva every day for how low his level in avodas Hashem was the day before. (DY: For more on this topic, see here.)
I was bothered after reading this story. Not only am I not growing "michayil el chayil" as time goes on, I am going in the opposite direction! I am lower now than I was when I first became religious (relative to who I should be now based on my experience and knowledge)! When will I get to the basic point every Jew should be at where he is becoming a better person, year after year, at least by a little bit!?

Old age is supposed to be the highest point in life, where I will reach the apex of my life in terms of ruchnius and Torah knowlege. But how do I think that I will ever get to that point if I am constantly regressing every year?! I've been religious for over 15 years now... How long exactly do I plan to procrastinate actually growing as a Jew??? Will I always say to myself that I may not be who I should be now, but one day I will be? Well when exactly will that "one day" come??? Dai! It's enough procrastinating already!

Since this thought process started by asking myself (again) why I wasn't yet switching to minhag Sefard, I went back to that question. Why won't I switch to Nusach Sefard? Because I'm waiting to be on the level to be "worthy" of taking on those minhagim. Well, "im lo achshav, eimasai?!" "If not now, when?" I'm certainly not getting any younger!

So I made the following cheshbon. Every year I have to take on some new thing. So for this year, let me make some change that will bring me at least one step closer to where I was 15 years ago and IY"H one day I can surpass that point and become a real Jew. So this year my kabala will be to change my minhagim to Nusach Sefard and to come to davening on time or early so that I will at least have enough time to sayh the longer davening properly (a big kabala, I know).

My cheshbon was that these two changes would have the following (more penimius'dik) effects:
  1. At least at the beginning, the unfamiliarity of the text will force me to read from the sidur, at least for a few months, which will make me more attentive to the words and meaning of the davening that I am saying
  2. It's important to come on davening in general. The tzura of a real Jew is one who comes on time to davening. It's bizyonos and it's just not tzuras HaYid to run into davening late almost every day, skipping huge portions of the sidur, etc.
  3. The desire not to feel fake and phoney about keeping more Chassidish minhagim should motivate me to be more medakdeik in halacha and to do what's more appropriate in general.
  4. Even though thinking about Hashem, hashgacha pratis, working on subtle ta'avos, etc. are the goal of life, a life of real avodas Hashem can only exist b'emes, in the context of a real halachic life. Without that kli, a life of high falutin' Chassidus and hisbonenus about Hashem in the world is just a "binyan ha'poreiach b'avir," a "tree without roots."
So I davened Ma'ariv Motza'ae Yom Kippur Nusach Sefard. The next day I began wearing a gartle and even brought my tefilin to a sofer during my lunch break to have the retzuah in the tefilin shel yad changed so that I could "twist outward." And, among other things, on Sukkos I will now do the "right, left, front, up, down, back" na'anuim. Etc. Etc.

Im Yirtzeh Hashem, all of these changes should be l'toeles. They should help bring me, as means toward an end, closer to the point when I will be a better Jew next Yom Kippur than I was this past Yom Kippur.

-The Changer
Picture courtesy of Tully Filmus. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

The World of the Sukkah: Sanctity, Insight & Protection - Audio Shiur

Below is a link to a shiur given by Reb Yerachmiel erev Yom Tov entitled: “The World of the Sukkah: Sanctity, Insight & Protection.”

It’s a recommended listen that will, be’ezras Hashem, enhance your appreciation of, and growth from, the Yom Tov.

CLICK HERE to get the shiur by either left clicking to listen to streaming audio now or right clicking and selecting "Save Target As" to download.

Picture courtesy of jewish search. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chesed in the Five Towns & Woodmere - Thank you Letter

Guest post by a guest in the Five Towns Community. Very nice to read:

I would like to Thank the 5 Town Community for its heartfelt Chesed to me during my trying time.

With the help of my musical friend Oneg, I posted 2 weeks ago, regarding my situation, having fractured my heal bone and had extensive reconstruction surgery done.

A good friend Levi, allowed me to stay at his place while I needed to recuperate. I have never been here in the 5 towns, and finding myself alone I didn’t know what to do.

I reached out to Bikur Cholim and Ester and family came to my rescue for everything, supplying me with lots of delicious food daily. A day later more people came to the house and shared nice Rosh Hashanah cards their children wrote.

Aaron of Medical Unique has been gracious in setting me up with a wheelchair and servicing it.

The Popacks have taken me in as a new member of the family, enjoying Chava’s magical touch and lovely Shabbat and Chag meals which are so scrumptious.

A few days later Yoni, "the roommate", came back from Uman and its been a Spiritual Ride literally wheeling me to and fro, morning shiurim with Rabbi Weinberger at Aish Kodesh and tending to me every need as well as meeting all the wonderful people caring for me there also helping with giving me rides to my destinations.

Rabbi Wolnwik’s warm Chabad Service at Haftr during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur was amazing with all the stories and explanations finally understanding what I was davening for as well as the Gabayim making sure I had the right place to sit and daven comfortably.

All the people who invited me for meals and who have wheeled me around and have given me rides to my destinations and more, I Thank You.

I was actually on my way back to Israel to reunite with my family, when this accident happened.

This short Chag time here has opened up my EYES to “SEE” how we as Jew’s care for one another and go to the extremes to help out.

As an ex volunteer Golani Machine gunner who fought in Lebanon and surviving a helicopter crash , saving soldiers and many other events that took place, I never thought I would be in this situation, but B”H, AM YISRAEL CHAI and its all about ACHDUT.

I wish each and every one of you, a year of Bracha and everything that you need and want, you should get with full abundance.

Shanah Tova Umetukah!!!

Eli Zemberg

Picture courtesy of Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.