Baal Tanya Meise

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The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (“Alter Rebbe” / “HaRav” / “Baal Tanya”) (1745-1812) is commemorated on the 24th of Tevet. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

Bountiful Torah in Wispy Body

Once, in the middle of the night, the students were already fast asleep in the great hall of their teacher’s house, and the Rav, the young one of the group, had found his spot to lie underneath the table. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk was the only one still awake. All of a sudden, he heard the tapping of the stick of the Maggid, Rabbi Ber as he was entering the hall. Rabbi Menachem Mendel stood at the side and watched his teacher’s movements.

Grasping a lit candle in his hand, he walked from student to student perusing their faces.

As he approached Rabbi Schneur Zalman, he lingered a long while, perused his face and silently muttered with his lips:

“So amazing that into such a spare and wispy body as this, the Holy Blessed One will bring in such a bounty of Torah and wisdom!”

(Beit Rabbi)

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