13 episodes

Hold on to Shabbos with Stories of Tzadkim with Rav Yossie Zakutinsky

Stories of Tzadikim TYH Nation

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Hold on to Shabbos with Stories of Tzadkim with Rav Yossie Zakutinsky

    Seeing beyond the smack

    Seeing beyond the smack

    A gut voch everybody, let me tell you a maaseh. There was once a yid who was a chassid of the great Chozeh of Lublin. A custom amongst the chassidm was, that before you undertook any business proposition you would get a bracha from the Rebbe. Not every tzaddik would be willing to give advice when it came to business, some tzadikim were purely focused on ruchniyus of their chassidim. The Chozeh and the entire Shalsheles were comfortable giving eitzahs about gashmiyus as well.
    So someone goes to the Chozeh about a business deal with a particular on-jewish person and it looks like it should be successful. The chassid is telling me to do it, but I wanted to come to the Rebbe first. The Chozeh looks at him, looks at the Kvittel and says I don’t think you’ll be matzliach. I don't think you should do it? The chassid says really? I’m shocked because it seems like it’s a perfect opportunity and all signs point to hatzlacha. The Chozeh says ya, I don’t see it as being matzliach. But you know, like things in medicine sometimes we need to get a second opinion. The Chozeh was a talmid of the great Noam Elimelech, Reb Meilech of Lizhensk. It happened to be that this chassid was going to Lizhensk soon anyways, so he figured he’ll push off this business venture until he sees Reb Meilech.


    So the time comes and he goes, he doesn’t tell him about the interaction with the Chozeh. He tells Reb Meilech that he has this opportunity that he thinks will be successful but he wants a bracha from the tzadik and the Rebbe says Bracha Vehatzlacha. He got his heter, finally.


    After a few months of being involved with this non-jew he saw real signs of how difficult of a person his new business partner was. Not only was his personality overbearing but he wasn’t as honest as he thought he was. Not only that, the business began feeling apart. There weren’t any profits and even many losses. He also began having a lack of hatzlacha in his other business dealings as well. It seemed like the Chozeh of Lublin’s eyes saw the truth and his prediction was correct.


    This was going on for a couple of months, and this chassid’s whole life was beginning to be affected. Until finally after about half a year, slowly but surely the tide begins to turn and things begin to pick up. After another few months everything goes back to the way it was. He even begins to make greater profits than ever before. There’s a change in personality with this non-jew and that business begins to turn-around as well. Then it seems that Reb Meilech was actually correct, it’s a funny thing.


    About a year or so later, there was a chasuna where the Noam Elimelech and the Chozeh were at a wedding together and this chassid was invited as well. He was a little bit awkward because he asked both of them for eitzah on the same thing, but to his knowledge they both didn't know that he spoke to the other one. He goes to say hi to both of them. When the tzadikim both look at the yid, they understand what actually happened. The Noam Elimech turns to the Chozeh and tells him that he has very good eyes. But you only saw the difficulty. I saw further, until after the difficult patch.


    That’s how we have to think about the Ribbono Shel Olam towards us. It’s one thing to see until the difficulty, but we have to work to see beyond it. B’ezras Hashem we should be blessed with no difficulties at all. But if there is, even on any level b’ruchniyus or b’gasgmiyus we should be zocheh to have the eyes of Reb Meilech. To see, to hope and to wait for the menucha and the nechamah that will come after the difficulty.


    Hashem should bless us to have a mazaldik voch, a geulahdik voch, we should be zoche to celebrate this week with mashiach tzidkeinu bimherah beyamenu amen.

    • 5 min
    A high pain tolerance

    A high pain tolerance

    A Gut Voch everybody, I’ll tell you a Maaseh. There was a great tzaddik from the town of Hornosteipel. There was one time when the tzaddik was very ill and he needed a procedure done, what doctors would call a minor surgery. The problem was he was at an old age, his medical situation wasn’t great so Anesthesia wasn’t an option for him. The Doctor’s don’t want to operate on him without it, it would be extremely painful but the Rebbe is in danger if he doesn’t get it. The rebbe says it’s okay, I’m used to pain just do what you have to do. They're saying well, a person can’t really tolerate this but the tzadik insists, no I can handle it.
    The Doctors begin and want to test out if he’ll be able to handle it. First they take a metal rod, they heat it up a little to see his tolerance and the Rebbe doesn’t make a sound. They go a little more painful, still no reaction. Finally they’re confident enough to actually go through the procedure. They do it, and the whole time he was learning, davening without a krechtz, a moan or a cry.
    After this, the goyish Doctors were very shocked and awed that this person was able to experience such pain. They said, Rabbi, we have determined that it can’t be that you’re a regular human, you must be an angel of some sort. The Rebbe answers, no not at all. I just developed a high-tolerance for pain. How is that possible? What suffering do you have in life that makes you equipped to handle a surgery like this?
    The tzaddik explains, when Jews come to me everyday with their tzaros, oftentimes I look at the kvittel and there’s nothing I can do. I have to hold in the pain that I’m feeling and give a bracha that Hashem should help, give some kind words and hope because I know that there’s nothing I can do to help. That’s how I learned to withstand pain.
    That’s the highest madreigah of a tzaddik. Caring so much for other yidden, that seeing their pain and being unable to help hurts them more than having an intense surgery. Hashem should bless us, we shouldn’t have any pain at all, but to feel the life of another yid, feel their pain, feel the simcha of another yid, like it’s mamash ourselves, it’s the biggest madreigah in the world. Hashem should bless us with such a jewish heart. We should be zocheh to have a lichtigeh Voch, a mazal’dik Voch, a Geulahdik Voch.

    • 3 min
    The Hidden Talmid Chacham

    The Hidden Talmid Chacham

    A gut voch everybody. The Baal Shem Tov had many students, there were 2 particular brothers who were absolutely brilliant people, huge talmidei chachamim. Not only that, they also came from a family of rabbis, judges, dayanim, a very illustrious family of torah and they got connected to the Baal Shem.
    These 2 brothers had a younger sister and she was getting to the age where she could get married. They figured they’d go to the Baal Shem for a bracha for shidduchim that their sister should get married without any problems. So they go and ask for a bracha, the Baal Shem says you know what? I’ll do something even better, instead of just giving a bracha I'll tell you who the chosson is and where to find him. The Baal Shem takes a paper and writes down the name and the shtetl where he could be found.
    In those days things were a little different, when these brothers told their sister that the Baal Shem Tov has a chosson she said okay gevaldik let’s get married. The 3 siblings travel to the shtetl, they’ve never been there before and start asking around. Let’s call him Moishe so they begin asking around for Reb Moishe. People are thinking Reb Moishe? I’m not sure. Finally people say you mean Moishe the peasant?
    So they meet this Moishe, he’s a sweet guy, delightful middos and is a complete am ha’aretz. Doesn’t know the alef beis, his family is all the same way as well. It seems like it’s not a good shidduch for this illustrious family of talmidei chachamim but the Baal Shem Tov said it’s a shidduch so they listen.
    The chasuna was held back by the girl's family where the Baal Shem Tov was. By the sheva brachos the chosson is sitting next to the Baal Shem Tov. The minhag was that the chosson says a deep torah by the sheva brachos. The Baal Shem Tov turns to the chosson and says nu, say a vort a torah. The chosson answers I don’t know anything, not even the alef beis. The Baal Shem Tov took his handkerchief and waved it over the face of the chosson, all of a sudden the chosson’s eyes lit up and he began saying the most beautiful and deep torah for half an hour. Once he finishes his eyes go back to normal and he asks what just happened?
    The sheva brachos the next day the Baal Shem Tov asks again, nu, share a torah? The chosson has the same answer and says he doesn’t know anything. The Baal Shem Tov waves his handkerchief, the chosson lights up and shares incredibly beautiful and profound torah for a long time. Once the shiur is over he’s back to being the same ignoramus. This follows itself every single day of the sheva brachos.
    After the week is over the Baal shem Tov brings the chosson into his office and says I’m not stupid, I understand that the family you married into has a different background than you. I understand that you’re not as learned and you probably think that the miracles that took place over the week with the handkerchief is just a miracle that I caused. You should know that you are a talmid chochom, you have the soul of a talmid chochom, you have lots of Torah inside of you. It happens to be that the Torah is covered by years of ignorance.
    All I did in those times was uncover the Torah you already have. Now after sheva brachos, that you now know what kochos you have inside of you, go to yeshiva, go learn and discover the words of Torah that are beneath your surface.
    That Maaseh is not only true for that chossid, it’s true for every single one of us. A yid is overflowing with torah and kedusha. A person doesn’t have to acquire Torah or Madregos from the outside. You have a neshama, a chelek eloka mima’al mamash it means you are a lebedig, living piece of dvar Hashem. Avodas Hashem is about uncovering that, the chosson was able to realize that with the handkerchief of the Baal shem. We have to realize that from the story of the handkerchief of the Baal Shem Tov to remember who we are and the kochos we have. Bezras Hashem to uncover the kochos that we have to become the...

    • 5 min
    a Jewish game

    a Jewish game

    Gut voch everybody. Let me tell you a Maiseh. One of the great tzadikim was the holy Ruzhyner. Reb Yisroel of Ruzhyn. He was a unique tzadik even since he was a child, the truth even from before he was born. Tzadikim say that when his mother was pregnant with him whenever she would go to a chashuv tzadik, they would stand up for her. The tzadik would say I don’t know who it is that you’re carrying, but whoever you’re carrying is a big neshama. From the time he came to the world he was mamash Kulo Ohr.
    There’s a Maiseh we have from the Ruzyner from when he was 7 or 8 years old. His father took little Yisroel to the side, and told bhim you’re already 8 years old and very smart. I want to teach you something. He asks what is it? His father says I want to teach you how to play chess. Listen, it’s a really interesting game, it challenges the mind, many tzadikim would play so he wanted to teach his son. Yisroel the little Ruzhyner is sitting next to his father who’s going through the chess-board introducing all the pieces.
    After Yisroel gets a handle of all the pieces and how they move around, what the objective of the game is, he asks his father a very innocent question. What happens if we’re playing, I make a move and then I pull back and I realize that it was a mistake. Can I go back and undo the move? His father says, Yisroel’ke that’s not how this game works. If your finger is still on the piece you can put it back. But if you took it off then you can’t take it back. Yisroel’ke then says, Tatte with all the respect, I never want to play chess for the rest of my life. Chess is not a jewish game. Such a thing that when a mistake is made you can’t undo it, that’s not a jewish game. A yid shouldn’t be playing such a game. That’s what little Yisroel’ke said.
    Listen, chess is an okay game to play. But the lesson to learn from that, that a game where we can’t undo a mistake isn’t jewish. The whole tachlis of yiddishkeit is to fix. Moshe Rabbeinu gave us a Torah that was taken from the Malachim. How was he able to take it? BEcause we have challenges, we have taivos, the whole essence of Torah is fixing. If a person realizes he has what to fix then that’s good, that’s exactly why we're alive. As long as we’re alive we’re here to fix something. To think that we can’t fix, it’s the opposite of what it means to be a yid. This week Hashem should bless us that we have a week of fixing, of Tikkunim. As long as we’re here there’s what to fix. We should grow, with tikkunim, shefa bracha Ve’Hatzlachah.

    • 3 min
    It's not too late

    It's not too late

    A Gut Voch everybody, they say a story that there was a particular wedding that was going to take place and everyone was super excited about it. For the usual reason, but this wedding in particular because the Baal Shem Tov was going to be mesader Kiddushin. The Baal Shem Tov knew the family and he was going to be mesader kiddushin. The way chasunas would work in the old country is that they were usually done outside, by the river and the whole town was invited.
    The day of the chasuna came the whole town was there, everyone was super excited. They waited in anticipation for the Baal Shem Tov and his people to come with the Chassidim. Finally the Baal Shem Tov arrives, the music playing and the chuppah is beginning. It was an unbelievable sight. Meanwhile the Baal Shem Tov is standing under the chuppah going through the process of the chasuna. All of a sudden there’s a wagon that was passing by, because it was outside by the river. All of a sudden a person in that wagon sticks his head out to see what’s going on to see the chasuna a little. The Baal Shem Tov takes notice of that person in the wagon, the Baal Shem Tov turns to the chosson and kallah and says excuse me I have to to take care of something I’ll be one minute. They stop the chasuna and he runs to the wagon, says something to the person in the wagon for 30 seconds. The wagon goes on, the Baal Shem Tov comes back and they continue with the wedding. All the Talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov were confused by this, to interrupt a chasuna it must be that the person in the wagon was one of the 36 hidden tzadikim. The chassidim decide that they want to find this person to get a bracha and hadracha, to connect to another tzaddik.
    They wait until after the chasuna is over, they start going around the town trying to find that wagon. They can’t find it at all, one day goes by, then another and they keep circling the area. They keep taking walks and rides around the area they can’t find it. About a week or 2 later these chassidim happen to be traveling to a neighboring town and they see that wagon that was by the chasuna in the driveway of a particular house.
    They get out, they knock on the door and a regular looking jew opens the door. The Chassidim asked him, sorry to bother you, but is that your wagon outside? He says yes, They say let me ask you a question. Were you in that town for a chasuna about a week or 2 ago? The man tries to think but doesn’t recall. They specify that there was a chasuna, maybe you passed by and the Baal Shem Tov came to talk to you? He jogged his memory and he remembers, “Yes, that was actually me.” The chassidim ask “Please give us a Bracha!” He answers, “I’m just a normal guy you don't want my bracha” If the Baal Shem Tov was willing to stop the chasuna and speak to you,clearly you're not just a regular yid. “I’m telling you I'm a nobody and am just a regular guy you don’t want a bracha from me.”
    “So then if you’re a regular person what’s your story, why would the Baal Shem Tov stop the chasuna what did he tell you?” He begins to blush a little and says he’d rather not talk about it. The chassidim say “We were looking for over a week, we're not leaving until we hear this story. Who are you, what did the Baal Shem Tov say to you?” He says okay if you need to know here’s the story. I have a neighbor across the street. We get along nicely but aren’t the best of friends. The way his business runs is that he’s out for business for 3 to 4 months a year and whatever he brings back in that time is how he supports his family for the rest of the year.
    It happens to be that a couple of weeks ago I was at home, a day just like today. And it happens to be the day that my neighbor came home from his business trip. I see from my window that this man came back with a big sack with all the money he made on this trip. I see that he puts this bag on the front porch and walks into his house. I assumed that he wa

    • 12 min
    A few candles to fix a soul

    A few candles to fix a soul

    Gut Voch everybody, they say a Maaseh that there was was once a yid that came mamash panic stricken, completely tzebruchen to a particular Rov of his town. And he knocks on the door frantically. The Rov opens and asks What’s the problem? He says I need a tikkun. Can you help me out? So the Rov asks again What’s the problem? He says that this past Shabbos I was away, and I was traveling to a neighboring village for Shabbos. I’ll tell you the truth, maybe it was my fault, I got a late start Friday afternoon.
    The weather wasn’t good, traffic or whatever and I got stuck on the road in my horse and wagon on erev Shabbos. I drove and broke Shabbos for the first time in my life, I was stuck in a position where I felt it was too dangerous to just stop in the middle of the woods. I had no choice but to move and continue riding. But I still felt like I broke Shabbos, what do I do? How do I fix myself?
    The Rov looked at him and said I'll tell you the truth. It’s a big problem to desecrate Shabbos, even though you were in a position where you had no choice and your life would be in danger spending Shabbos in the woods like that. But putting yourself in a situation like that is a serious thing you know? I think you should begin to fast Monday and Thursday, say sefer Tehillim everyday, commit yourself to learn more. A whole regiment. The guy is listening to this and he’s thinking to himself, okay you know maybe a second opinion could be helpful. He says thank you very much.
    Meanwhile this person is looking for a second opinion and a week or two later he finds himself in the audience by the Baal Shem. So he goes to the Baal Shem Tov and doesn’t tell him that he had this whole regiment from the Rov and just tells him the story how he was stuck in the road before Shabbos, and he feels terrible, what can he do now to fix his neshama.
    The Baal Shem Tov looks at him and he says, you know Shabbos is a very serious thing, it’s a very serious aveirah of having to drive on Shabbos. This guy is thinking to himself, now he’s going to have double the regiment, to say Tehillim twice every day. So the Baal Shem says maybe this Shabbos you could donate the candles for the shul. The guy is like just that? Nothing else? The Baal Shem Tov said if you do that you'll be okay.
    So this guy goes home, he tells the guy in the shul he wants to donate, he asks how much money it is and gives the money. Meanwhile before he leaves, the Baal Shem Tov says, do me a favor, when you go home tell your Rov that I want him to be my personal guest this Shabbos, he should come to me.
    The Rov is happy because he’s invited to the Baal Shem Tov’s house for shabbos. The Rov gets on the horse and wagon on Friday, all of a sudden the weather turns, there’s traffic and the Rov is stuck on the road. He has no choice but to drive because it’s dangerous to be in the woods all Shabbos. When he comes to the Baal Shem Tov Friday night he’s mamash beside himself. The first time in his life to break shabbos like that?
    He comes to the Baal Shem Tov and says “Rebbe, what am I going to do, I broke Shabbos, I can’t sleep, I can’t face myself. The Baal Shem Tov says, I caused you to break Shabbos, I changed the weather, I put the traffic there. Why? Because when that yid came to you a few weeks ago, complaining and bemoaning the fact that he broke Shabbos, you never tasted the bitterness and the guilt, that that jew was feeling over the fact that he broke Shabbos. So to you, you had to give him this big Avodah, davening, Tehillim, Mikvas, fasting, a whole thing. But if you appreciated what he was going through in his own mind, the guilt that he was feeling, then you would’ve realized the guilt itself that he was feeling wiped away four fifths of the aveirah. All that was left was a little inyan that he has to be mistaken, so I told him just to light candles and that will be enough. The truth is even that was really unnecessary but he needed...

    • 5 min

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