Known for his Tzedakah

Click here for Hebrew text.

The Yahrzeit of Reb Mendele of Vizhnitz zl (1830-1884) is commemorated on the 29th of Tishrei. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

The Charity Commandment

Every Sunday (lit., day one of the days of the week), while it was still before the [morning] prayer [service], he was compelled to get two hundred silver roubles ready under his hand for charity. To distribute the charity, he used to keep a particular Shammos who went at times on an errand and distributed it within the city.

And everything was [decided] through permutations of the holy names so that the tzedakah would repair the brokenness at the level of its roots in the supernal source.

On every day when he put on Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam there were ready in his hands chai  / 18 [roubles]. (This was usual for him.) And with the coins, he filled his fist and said prayers for some and supplications and struck on his heart and afterwards gave them out through the aforementioned man, who was there at times, to pass them out.

We do not know how much they would raise for the weekly money that he would give out to his relations, for, in addition to the money that he explicitly received, (they would raise in an amount of several thousands), through his trading with the peddlars and ranchers and inn-keepers and wood-merchants they multiplied the money that he would subsequently distribute, adding a half, a third or a quarter – all of this was reserved for Tzedakah. And in particular, money that he received on behalf of redeeming a soul – everything went for Tzedakah.

The holy Rav, our teacher the Rav, Reb Nachum z’l of Shtefanesht correctly said that to the extent of his success in all his affairs and to the degree of numbers of people who would turn to his guidance, including rulers, dignitaries of the land and royalty, together with rich Hasidim, they would enlist the holy Rav of Vizhnitz. One could raise a sum from his funds as one could from one of the Rothschilds. As in an ocean, his way and his path was in abundant waters in matters of charity and, there, all the required demands could be put to rest.

(Foundation Stone)

Leave a Reply