Extracting Food’s Holiness

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The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Mordechai Twersky (“Chernobyler Maggid”, “Reb Mottel”) (1770-1837) is commemorated on the 20th of Iyar. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

He Raises Sparks of Holiness

Once, a well-to-do Hasid of Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl who lived in a different town sought to invite his master to stay as a guest at his house the next time he traveled to his town. And the holy Rav accepted his invitation.

So when the Rabbi was in the vicinity of his town, the Hasid, joined by many of the townspeople, came to meet him to accompany him into the town. The Hasid prepared a big meal for the holy Rav and, when they reached the town, they went to the wealthy man’s house.

When the time for eating arrived, the man noticed that his master had hardly tasted anything of the meal, that the Rav’s way was to either insert the spoon at an angle into the plate and eat that which stuck to the spoon or, he would insert the spoon straight in and then do the same.

This really bothered the man so he approached his master and said to him:

“Rabbeinu (our teacher): I went to all the effort just on account of the holiness which is so much a part of who you are so that I would earn the opportunity for Rabbeinu to eat at my house.

“But instead, his honored holiness won’t taste anything!”

And Rabbi Mordechai answered and said to him:

“You are confused.

“Behold, the purpose of the eating is in order to extract the holy sparks.

“As I stick in my spoon, they are adhering to it, immediately, all the sparks!”

(Library of Tzaddikim)


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