The Rebbe Rashab

12 Iyor, Omer 27 5776

When a bocher newly accepted into Tomchei Tmimim of the shtetl Lubavitch had his first yechidus with the Rebbe Rashab, the Rebbe’s typical directive to him was to learn Torah weekly throughout Thursday night. Well, this story is aout a talmid who did not receive this directive. Nonetheless, he decided to conduct himself like most of the peers. The following week, he had pain in his eyes. The doctor who examined him observed that he apparently stayed up recently an entire night. He explained that the boys eyes could not handle an entire night staying open. Unfortunately there was no treatment for their condition which would sooner than later leave the boy blind h”y.

The mashpia R’ Shilem was very disturbed by this. He assumed that, like everyone else, this bocher stayed up on the Rebbe’s directive. In yechidus, he complained that the Rebbe had brought this calamity upon the boy. But the Rebbe Rashab simply remarked that he never gave the talmid any such instruction. At the first opportunity, R’ Shilem gave the bocher a piece of his mind. Nevertheless, he implored the Rebbe to pity the boy. The talmid’s condition healed and never again did he stay awake throughout the night.

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The veteran non-Jewish caretaker of the Rostov Jewish cemetery fulfilled his duties faithfully and in proper sensitivities to the place. Upon the Rebbe Rashab’s histalkus, he was particular to respect the sanctity of the Rebbe’s ohel. After several years, he was replaced by a young Jewish communist. In keeping with common practise then, the new caretaker, like his predecessor, lived in a hut by the cemetery. Some months went by when the Rebbe appeared in a dream to his son, the Frierdike Rebbe. He instructed his son to advise the young Jew that he could not stand his irreligious and irreverent conduct in his home by the cemetery and away from it. If the caretaker would not shape up, it’ll be necessary to replace him.

The caretaker simply laughed off the warning. But the day came shortly thereafter when his intestines suddenly turned inside out. The treatments we have today for this dangerous condition were not known then. It was long then that this fellow died.

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