Tehillim with Dvorim Bteilim

One Shabbos Mevorchim morning, R’ Volf o”h Greenglass walked over to a fellow who was yapping away and instructed him to say Tehillim with everyone else. He explained that in Gan Eden (after 120+), he’ll be handed a Tehillim which’ll include all the דברים בטלים he ever spoke while saying Tehillim and he’ll be instructed to read it all…


Born a Rebbe

R’ Pinchos Althaus was very instrumental in returning Mr. Shazar to his Lubavitcher roots. He visited Mr. Shazar regularly (weekly?) in his government office. Each such visit lasted well over an hour. R’ Pinye general arrived unannounced. Mr. Shazar interrupted his daily schedule in order to see him.

One morning, a delegation of French politicians arrived for their appointment with Mr. Shazar. France at that time was very valuable to the fledgling Jewish sate as it provided Israel with invaluable funding ad other resources. Just then, as luck would have it, R’ Pinye walked in. R’ Zalmen ushered him right into his office, leaving the French delegate outside to wait… As time went by and the audience gave no signs of ending, Mr. Shazar overheard his head of staff (מנכ”ל) apologizing to the delegate for the delay “due to some Rabbi who came to visit”. But the apology was purposely intended to be overheard as its primary purpose was to tell off Mr. Shazar for insulting France and its delegates.

As R’ Pinye exited Zalmen’s room, Mr Shazar, who had yet to return to yiddishkeit, explained to his head of staff. He spoke in English to ensure the French entourage understood well: “This Rabbi precedes these French delegates. These delegates were appointed by the current French government. Their appointment will last as long as the current government – until the next French elections. This Rabbi represents the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe was not elected into office. He was born Rebbe and remains Rebbe for life. It’s for this reason that I let the French politicians wait outside while I chatted with Rabbi Althaus.”

Mr. Shazar’s secretary noted in his journal his impression from the display of Zalmen’s גאון יעקב (Jewish pride).

(Heard several times from my father.)

Always count your money

The Frierdike Rebbe once attended a pidyon haben. The Cohen barely glanced at the silver coins as he hastily placed them in his pocket. The Rebbe then told him that money must always be counted. Dutifully, the Cohen counted the coins, revealing that he was one coin short…

(Heard from R’ Leibel Wolowick)

(Incidentally, כסף is the acronym of כסף סופרים פעמיים – one needs to count money twice.)

Mihu Yehudi

R’ Yudel Krinsky brought a secular couple to the Rebbe for Dollars. Upon receiving his dollar, the husband challenged the Rebbe’s stance on Mihu Yehudi meddling into the affairs of Israel and so on. One of the points the Rebbe touched upon in his response was the theme he mentioned in several sichos that everyone who objected the Rebbe’s position on this issue had a personal stake as one of their own relatives was converted improperly. The Rebbe concluded, “and your wife certainly appreciates everything I’ve said.”

As they left the Rebbe’s presence, the husband remarked to Rabbi Krinsky, “My wife was actually converted improperly. But what impresses me more than the Rebbe’s open ruach hakodesh is his personality. He could have said outright that the reason I was so angry was because my own wife is an improper proselyte. He basically could have put me to the wall. But the Rebbe conveyed the message in such a delicate and kind manner.