Honored in Heaven

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The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl zl (1730-1797) is commemorated on the 11th of Cheshvan. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

Rabbi Nachum and Rabbi Baruch of Medzhibozh

Once, Rabbi Nachum and Rabbi Baruch happened to meet in a town and, they lodged at the same inn.

When Rabbi Baruch came to dine for the Shabbos meal, Rabbi Nachum had not yet returned from shul, for he was taking a long time in prayer. Rabbi Baruch waited in vain for awhile but Rabbi Nachum did not come.

He didn’t want to wait any longer, so he began his meal.

As soon as Rabbi Nachum arrived, Rabbi Baruch said of him, in jest:

“In deference to his honored place, it’s an elder before whom one delays the eating.”

Rabbi Nachum answered with a bit of rage:

“Eat! And you shouldn’t wait.”

The warm feelings between them were cooled for the duration of the meal.

After the meal they went to retire to bed. (Rabbi Nachum’s room was opposite the room of Rabbi Baruch.)

The next morning, Rabbi Nachum was first to arise and, when he passed by Rabbi Baruch’s room, he found him there, in his bed, groaning and crying.

He asked him:

“Why are you crying?”

He answered:

“My grandfather the Baal Shem Tov came to me just now and said to me:

‘Go and appease Rabbi Nachum for, you are damaging his honor because, he is important and big in heaven and, they are very careful, there, to make sure he is honored.’

“I am crying over the fact that I was to have needed to go and appease a man who, as I, is only human. But now that he has come to my room, I am happy that I will not have to go to him…

“And, now, here am I, seeking his forgiveness.”

Rabbi Nachum fully pardoned him and the friendship between them was renewed with extra energy.

(Congregation of Hasidim)

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