Reb Zev Calms Him Down

Click here for Hebrew text.

The Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polonoye (“Toldot”) zl (1695-1782) is commemorated on the 24th of Tishrei. The following meise / hasidic tale appeared in Sefer HaHasidut, Meah Tzadikim, Raphael, Yitzchak, 1961, Tel Aviv. (Freely translated by Gabbai Seth Fishman.)

His book, “Toldot Yaakov Yosef

When the book “Toldot Yaakov Yosef” came to light, its author took care of its sales by himself and, he journeyed in the lands of Israel’s diaspora to distribute the book.The price he set was dear: Red gold in exchange for each book. He came to Berditchev, he set up in an inn, he is waiting for purchasers and, no one asks and no one is shopping.

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef was a severe personality:

“A great complaint should be stirred up on high over the city and at least, there should be a decree for its destruction!”

Rabbi Zev of Zhitomir, author of “Or HaMair” could sense the situation and, he came to Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, to Berditchev, through kefitzat haderech / instantaneous transport: And he asked:

“What is all the rage and the severity? – What’s the reason? !”

 The author of Toldot complained:

“I came to sell my books within which is included the torah of my master and, when all is said and done, there is no selling!”

Rabbi Zev answered:

“What is his commotion? And is it because of his being greatly raised in esteem by the Kadosh Baruch hu for his having returned [the treasures] with his torah [to the world spreading it] over all the nations and, [is the fuss simply that] they didn’t want to receive?”

Immediately he calmed down and withdrew the decree.

(Chassidic Tales)

Leave a Reply