Rabbi Aharon, the Rav
Rabbi Aharon, the son of Rabbi Moshe of Kherson, was a prodigious young scholar, descendent of a long line of distinguished rabbis. Even during his father's lifetime, he was a halachic authority, and often asked to give decisions.
Rabbi Aharon was once asked to travel to Medvedevka to mediate a business dispute. Upon his arrival in town, Rebbe Nachman
, who was then living in Medvedevka, asked Rabbi Aharon to come see him. Unable to refuse, Rabbi Aharon remained with Rebbe Nachman from late afternoon until dawn the next morning. He later said that if he had come into the world only for that night, it would have been enough for him.
Rebbe Nachman blessed Rabbi Aharon with the ability to clarify the halacha free of the distortions of the imagination.
Rabbi Aharon was noted for the beauty of his voice. He was the chazzan in the main synagogue on Rosh Hashana
When Rebbe Nachman moved to Breslov, he summoned Rabbi Aharon to be Rav in the town. Shortly after Reb Natan
became a follower of Rebbe Nachman, the Rebbe sent him to Rabbi Aharon's house. When Reb Natan arrived, he found Rabbi Aharon crying. Returning to the Rebbe, Reb Natan told him what he had seen. Rebbe Nachman explained that Rabbi Aharon's hitbodedut
reached the exalted level of "As one seated in secrecy to appeal to the face of the King, so was the appearance of the priest" (from the Mussaf prayer on Yom Kippur, describing the appearance of the Kohen Gadol [high priest] when he emerged from the Holy of Holies).
Rabbi Aharon continued to serve as Rav in Breslov after Rebbe Nachman passed away. He and Reb Natan became very close friends, and made a pact to remain together even after death. They bought plots next to each other in the middle of the cemetery.
Rebbe Nachman told him that he would die in the month of Av. One year he fell ill during Av. When Rosh Chodesh Elul arrived, he made a feast for his entire family, telling them that he knew he would be alive for at least one more year. Each year on Rosh Chodesh Elul, he would make a similar feast.
When he was seriously ill and knew that he would soon die, he called all his children and grandchildren to his bedside and said to them, "The world says that I am wise and a scholar. If this is so, then it stands to reason that what I chose was good. I say to you that I chose the Rebbe." He then added, "And I am giving you this as an inheritance."
Rabbi Aharon died on Rosh Chodesh Av, 1846.