His Answers Like Urim V’Thummin

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The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Chaim Yisrael Morgenstern (“Pilover”) (1840-1906) is commemorated on the 12th of Sivan. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

One of Kotzk’s Most Important Rebbes

Once, a wealthy person, who was a big-shot in Warsaw, came to ask for advice of the well-respected Gaon and Tzaddik of Pilov as to whether or not he should travel to Vienna to pursue some business.

The Tzaddik gave him the answer:

“You should not do the trip.”

The rich man went from there to Gostynin for a second opinion, asking the advice of the esteemed Rabbi of that place.

The Tzaddik of Gostynin answered him with a simple question:

“And what was the answer from the Rav of Pilov? Whatever he told you is what you should do. I, too, am in agreement with whatever he said. For he is a very great and holy person, held in high esteem by Hashem. He is one of the great Hasidim and, he is one of Kotzk’s most important Rebbes.

“Please! Listen to his words!”

Later, we heard that the wealthy Warsaw person traveled to Vienna dismissing the advice he had received. And sure enough, the matter didn’t go the way he wanted and, he was unsuccessful.

For there is one thing that is quite apparent and well-known to everyone: When the holy Rabbi of Pilov says something, you can count on it.

As when in Temple times the Kohen Gadol / High Priest used to ask a question of the Urim V’Thummim to get back an answer in accord with God’s will, so it is with the Rabbi of Pilov.

(From the Lips of Tzaddikim)

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