was one of the greatest talmidim of the Magid of Mezritch, with his seat
being between Reb Ahron of Karlin and Reb Mendel of Vitebsk. He is the
author of Ohr HaMeir, one of the essential texts of Chassidus. He may not
be as well known, because he didn't leave behind a dynasty, but in the world
of Chassidus, the Ohr HaMeir is among the most respected seforim.
Reb Volf's way was to never show any outward sign of emotion in serving
Hashem, such as clapping hands or davening loudly. He said this could only
be done when you feel inside the way you want to express yourself outside.
Reb Volf said that in all his life he never showed any outward signs except
once. This is what he said happened:
He was in the Beis Medrash one Erev Shabbos, with many of the other
tzadikim, and the Magid was sitting in his house, which was adjacent to the
Beis Medrash, reading the parsha, shnaim mikra v'echod targum. (He always
did this in a closed room, without anyone watching.) The door to the Magid
accidentally opened and all the talmidim in the Beis Hamedrash saw him in
this great state of kedusha - there was such a light coming from the face of
the Magid. The brothers, the Rebbe Reb Shmelke and the Haflah, and the
brothers, the Rebbe Reb Meilech and the Rebbe Reb Zisha ran out of the Beis
Hamedrash from fear. Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev was rolling under the
benches, feeling like his neshama was going to leave him.
And Reb Volf, from seeing this awesome sight of the Magid reviewing the
parsha, simply clapped his hands. Reb Volf said that for the rest of his
life he did teshuva for this outward sign of emotion - the clapping of his
hands. Praiseworthy is he whose teshuvah is on such an act.
What can be learnt out from this is that even those who follow tzadikim that
say to daven with outward emotion should strive to internalize in their
neshama the expressions the do externally.
Reb Zev Volf ben Reb Shmuel HaLevi of Zhitomir
Zchuso Yogen Aleinu
It is also the yahrzeit of R' Chaim Yaakov Safran of Komarna (1969) Author
of Shabbos Sholom U'Mevorach and Beis Avos. He was the son of R' Avrohom
Mordechai of Bureslov. Moved to the USA and the to Eretz Yisroel.