Friday, April 30, 2010

Amazing Quote From Satmar Rav: Where's Your Yid???


The Satmar Rav was once talking to a gvir from the more modern sectors of Yiddishkeit, meaning he was clean shaven, beardless. Some of the chassidim were chuckling to themselves, wondering why is the Rebbe speaking with such a person? The Rebbe recognized their confusion and said to them: when he dies the heavenly court is going to ask him "Reb Yid, where is your beard?" but when you die they are going to ask you: "Reb beard, where is your Yid?"
via: Raisin' Soul

Update: I asked my rebbe, Rav Moshe Weinberger and he told me a more detailed version of what is probably the same story.

There was a clean-shaven Litvishe Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Leib Mehlman who was very close with the Satmar Rov. He always got into Reb Yoilish whenever he wanted to and the Satmar Rov even did something very rare with him. When he walked Reb Leib out, he walked him all the way to the street, an unusual honor. Some of the Chassidim were a bit jealous of him and weren't happy that he got in to see their rebbe immediately when it took some of them weeks to get an appointment.

Finally, one of the choshuveh older Chassidim came up to the Rebbe and asked him why he was honoring Reb Leib Mehlman so much. He wasn't even one of his chassidim and didn't even have a bord, a beard!

So the Satmar Rov answered him, "It's a gut kashe. So when he goes up to shomayim, they're going to ask him, "Ah Yid un a bord!?" "A Yid without a beard?!"

But when you go up to shomayim, they're going to ask you, "Ah bord un a Yid?!" "A beard without a Yid?!"
Ouch!

Picture courtesy of matzav.com.

11 comments:

yaak said...

Nice!

Neil Harris said...

And timely, before Lag B'Omer.

Anonymous said...

The yis was Mike Tress.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Anon, how do you know that? What's the backstory?

Lvnsm27 said...

beautiful, so true about seeing the person and not just the face.

Anonymous said...

this story isnt true..

Shmuel said...

Dixie, nice postscript to the story...

Anonymous said...

Thank for posting this. On a related note, I seem to remember a story told by R. Sholem Kowalsky in his book (From My Zeidy's House) of how he went to visit the Satmar Rebbe on the first Lag B'Omer after becoming a community Rabbi in Queens. The Rebbe motioned for him to sit down at the table next to him. R. Kowalsky knew that the Satmar Rebbe has strong views against Zionism and was hesitant, saying to the Rebbe "Maybe it is not appropriate...it has been said that I am a shtickle zioni."

To which the Rebbe responded "nonsense, I have bigger things to worry about."

TzidkasAzriel said...

i think the story is brought down in "They Called Him Mike" - the story of Elimelech "mike" Tress, but dont quote me 100%....ill do some research

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Anon 12:26 and Tzidkas,

Okay, two people who's seen the mekor that the gevir (in that version of the story) was Mike Tress.

But Rav Weinberger's version is very specific and with a name also. I suppose that while it's possible that there are different "mesorahs" as to who the story was with, it's also possible that it happened twice with two different audiences of chassidim. It could be that this was the Rov's response whenever people looked ascance at someone without a beard.

But we shouldn't lose track of the point of the story either. Which is the real reason for telling the story, and which is equally true regardless of which person the Satmar Rov was talking to in the story.

:-)

Mendel Brimberg said...

His name is not not Rav Mehlman, it is Rav Leib Malin, Rosh Yeshiva of Bais haTalmud, star pupil of Rav Yerucham levovitz Zatzal and Gadol BaTorah in his own right. His chidushim were printed as Chidushei Rav Aryeh leib and are studied in Yeshivos across the world.