6 Kislev 5778 / Friday, November 24, 2017 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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The Pearls of Noam Elimelech, 1    

The Pearls of Noam Elimelech, 1

The 21st of Adar is the yahrtzeit of the holy Chassidic master Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, whose teachings, stories, and parables now appear in English...


Part 1
The Light of the Rebbe’s Gartel
Related by the rav of Madin, a grandson of the Ropshitzer:
Rebbe Elimelech had a custom that after the afternoon minchah service he would converse with his close followers. He would then proceed to a special private room to pray the evening ma’ariv service in seclusion, purity, and sanctity. Rav Naftali Ropshitzer, a disciple of the Rebbe, yearned to also be in that room. He constantly wished to observe the deeds of his Rebbe and so wanted to see how he prayed there. Once, he stole into the room unnoticed and hid beneath the bed. The holy Rebbe entered and closed the door behind him. He took out his gartel and proceeded to fasten it about himself. The first time the Rebbe wound the gartel about his waist, the entire room was filled with an awesome unbelievable light. The second time he tied the gartel, the light grew in intensity until the Ropshitzer could no longer endure it. He grew weak and found himself feeling faint. He could not help himself and called out in a loud voice. Rebbe Elimelech heard the cries of distress coming from his disciple and recognized their source. “Naftali, my son, are you here?” the Rebbe asked. “Fortunately you did not remain here for the third and final time I wound the gartel. If you had remained, your soul would have surely left your body from the intensity of the great light.” (Eser Tzachtzachos 27; Ohel Elimelech 248)
A Guest for Tea
The following story was related in the name of the Shinover Rebbe:
The author of the chassidic work Ma’or VaShemesh was a disciple of Rebbe Elimelech. One time he asked Rebbe Elimelech to be allowed to serve him so that he could thereby learn directly from his Rebbe. Rebbe Elimelech conceded and asked him for a cup of tea. The disciple prepared the tea and brought it in to give it to the Rebbe. When he entered the room, he saw the awesome figure of an old man sitting beside Rebbe Elimelech. He was overcome with such fear and trembling that he dropped the cup, spilling the tea on the floor, and ran out. Later Rebbe Elimelech saw his disciple and asked him why he hadn’t given him the tea he requested. He had brought it, he answered, but when he saw the figure of the old man, he was so frightened he spilled the tea. “Oy vey iz das kind,” said the Rebbe, “vus ken nisht kiken dem tatten in punim arein. Woe to the child who cannot look his own father in the face! That old man you saw was none other than Avraham Avinu!” (Eser Tzachtzachos 24; Ohel Elimelech 245)
The Three Visitors
The Rebbe of Dzikov would relate the following tale every year:
The holy Rebbe of Belz told the holy Rebbe of Kominka the reason behind a trip that the Rebbe Elimelech made to see the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsberg. Once, the three patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, visited Rebbe Elimelech. He asked them how the coming year would fare. They answered him that all the prayers of the past had been accepted for good more so than in previous years. The next year they came again, but this time they said the opposite: none of the prayers were able to ascend properly. If not for the four pillars of the world, the world would not have been able to continue existing. Rebbe Elimelech asked the patriarchs to reveal the identity of these four pillars. They told him that one of these four was the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsberg. Rebbe Elimelech traveled to Nikolsberg to see the Rebbe. When he arrived at Reb Shmelke’s door unannounced, Reb Shmelke ran toward Rebbe Elimelech and said to him, “Who are the other three?” (Ateres Zekeinim, p. 24; Ohel Elimelech 9)
Shabbos Arrives Early in Lizhensk
One of Rebbe Elimelech’s chassidim related that every Wednesday, when they chanted the psalm of the day from the daily shacharis morning prayers, and they reached the verse of “Lechu neranenah...” they already felt a taste of Shabbos. (Eser Tzachtzachos 26; Ohel Elimelech 247)
(From the new book - Mipeninei Noam Elimelech: A selection of teachings, stories, and parables of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, translated and compiled by R' Tal Moshe Zwecker. Buy Noam Elimelech now at a special discount price from Targum Press at http://www.targum.com, plus get a free download of the Noam Elimelech's powerful "Prayer before Praying". Visit the author's website at http://www.chassidusonline.com.)

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