Saturday, June 30, 2007

15 Tamuz - Yahrzeits

R' Chaim ben Moshe Ibn Atar, the Ohr HaChaim HaKodosh (1743) For more, see A Simple Jew, Heichal HaNegina, and another great story here. (Some of these are old but worth seeing again.)

R' Aryeh Leib ben R' Asher Ginzberg, the Shagas Aryeh (1695-1785) One of the greatest minds of his time. The Vilna Gaon said that the Shagas Aryeh was greater than him in nigleh, but not in nistar.

R' Amram Blau, head of Neturei Karta in Yerushalayim (1974) This "Neturei Karta" is not to be confused the one in the news recently. The shita of the real "Neturei Karta" was basically the same as that of the Satmar Rebbe. He fought against the desecration of Shabbos in Eretz Yisroel and was respected by the Chazon Ish and many other gedolim of the time. His brother was R' Moshe Blau of Agudas Yisroel.

Friday, June 29, 2007

14 Tamuz - Shabbos Yahrzeits

R' Yosef ben R' Moshe Trani, Maharit (1639)
R' Mordechai Attiah (1978) Great Sephardic Rosh Yeshiva in Yerushalyim

R' Yaakov Yitzchok ben Yehudah Leib HaLevi Ruderman (1987) Founder and Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel of Baltimore, talmid of the Alter of Slabodka

R' Yitzchok Issac Rosenbaum, Zutchka Rebbe (2000) son of R' Isamar of Nadvorna

Thursday, June 28, 2007

How We Learn Ahavas Yisroel From Balak

The following was said over by Rabbi Yissachor Frand. I believe he said it in the name of the Ohev Yisroel. I asked around and couldn't find the actual source but either way it's an unbelievable lesson.

The Ohev Yisroel, as the name implies had a great and sincere love for every Jew. He used to say that you can learn out Ahavas Yisroel, the love of every Jew, from every parsha in the Torah. Someone once asked him where we can learn this out from in Parshas Balak. The Ohev Yisroel replied that you can learn it out from the name of the Parsha, BaLaK. The letters stand for the following: the first letter, "beis", without a dot is "veis" for v'ahavta. The second letter "lamed" stands for l'reiacha". The last letter, "kuf" stands for "komocha". Right in the name of BaLaK we have the famous words of "v'ahavta l'reiach komocha", you should love your fellow Jew as yourself.

The questioner responded that this explanation was a real stretch because only the middle letter was correct – "lamed" for "l'reiacha; the first word "v'ahavta" starts with a "vav", not a "veis", and the last letter "komocha" starts with a "khof", not a "kuf". The Ohev Yisroel responded: "When it comes to Ahavas Yisroel, loving a fellow Jew, one can't be so exacting."

Reb Elchonon Wasserman - Chosen to be Korbonos

This Friday, 13 Tamuz is the 66th yahrzeit of Reb Elchonon Bunim Wasserman. One just has to say "Reb Elchonon" and everyone knows who you're referring to. He was a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim and was Rosh Yeshiva of Baranovitch. His seforim are widely used in Yeshivas and include Kovetz Heoros, Kovetz Shiurim, Kovetz Maamarim and Ikvasa D'Meshicha. Reb Elchonon was murdered in cold blood together with many other Jews, when the Nazia y's, entered Lithuania. Reb Ephraim Oshry, who was a Rov on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, was 27 years old at that time; he was one of the few that managed to escape. He related over the following about the last thing Reb Elchonon told them.

When they saw the end was near Reb Elchonon got up and spoke to them. He spoke the same way he always did; he was calm and there was no indication of panic. He said the following:

"In Heaven it seems that they deem us to be tzadikim, because we have been chosen to be korbonos for Klal Yisroel. Therefore, we must do teshuvah now. We don't have much time. We must keep in mind that we will be better korbonos if we do teshuvah. In this way we will save the Yidden in America. Let no foreign thought enter our minds, Chas V'Shalom, as that will make us pigul, an unfit korban. We are now fulfilling the greatest mitzvah; Yerushalayim was destroyed with fire and will be rebuilt with fire. The same fire that will consume our bodies will one day rebuild Klal Yisroel."

How can a person say these things in such a manner, knowing they will be murdered shortly? If one lives his whole life al Kiddush Hashem and is always ready to sacrifice himself al Kiddush Hashem, then he can die al Kiddush Hashem.

Zchuso Yogen Aleinu - Hashem Yinkom Domov

13 Tamuz is also the yahrzeit of:

R' Aryeh Leib Epstein (1775), author of Hapardes

R' Chaim HaCohen Rappaport, Rov of Lvov

R' Moshe ben R' Naftoli Hirsch Rivkash (1671), the author of Be'er Hagolah on Shulchan Aruch

R' Chanoch Henoch Dov Ben Elazer Rubin (1920), Sassover Rebbe of London

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

12 Tamuz - Yahrzeits

R' Yaakov ben R' Asher, Baal HaTurim (1270-1340) son of the Rosh


R' Eliyahu Yosef ben R' ryeh Leib Rivlin (1805-1865) Taught Chabad Chassidus in Yerushalayim, wrote Ohalei Yosef

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Reb Tzvi Hirsch of Zhidachov and His Great Brothers

Reb Yitzchok Issac Eichenstein of Safrin, Hungary, besides being a great philanthropist, was a tzadik and talmid chochom, despite the fact that he never held a rabbinic position. He was also a descendent of the Tosafos Yom Tov. He had five sons that were all great tzadikim; Reb Tzvi Hirsch of Zhidachov, Reb Moshe of Sambor, Reb Alexander Sender of Komarna, Reb Yissachor Beirish of Zhidachov and Reb Lipa of Sambor. The oldest son, Reb Tzvi Hirsch used to say about his father: "I am like vinegar the son of wine", indicating how great he considered his father.

Once, when Reb Yitzchok was already quite old, he gave a long loud krechtz, a sigh. His wife asked what was bothering him. He answered that he was worried about how they would merit going to Gan Eden. His wife replied with two words from this past week's parsha, Chukas (20, 19): בַּמְסִלָּה נַעֲלֶה, on the highway we will go up. What she really meant by these words was: נַעֲלֶה we will go up to Gan Eden - בַּמְסִלָּה has the first letters of their son's names: Beirish, Moshe, Sender, Lipa and Hirsh. Through the merit of our great sons we will merit Gan Eden.

This Wednesday, 11 Tamuz, is the 176th yahrzeit of the oldest brother, Reb Tzvi Hirsch of Zhidachov. He was a talmid of the Chozeh of Lublin, Reb Moshe Leib of Sassov, Magid of Kozhnitz and Reb Mendel of Rimanov. He was very involved in the study of kabalah and wrote seforim on kabalah and the revealed Torah. His many seforim including Ateres Tzvi on Zohar (he is known by the name of this sefer) and Bais Yisroel on Torah.

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Klausenberger Rebbe's Visits to Kivrei Tzadikim

This Monday, 9 Tamuz is the 13th yahrzeit of the great Klausenberger Rebbe, Reb Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam. He was the son of Reb Tzvi Hirsch of Ridnik, a grandson of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz and the Yetev Lev of Sighet. The Rebbe’s wife and 11 children were murdered by the Nazis y’s, but he survived, remarried, raised a family and established a large community of dedicated followers. He founded the Kiryat Sanz community in Netanya and the famous Laniado Hospital there. There are also large communities of Klausenberger Chassidim in Boro Park, Williamsburg and Union City, NJ. His seforim include Divrei Yatziv, Minchas Yehudah V’Yerusholayim and Shefa Chaim.

There is so much to write about the Klausenberger Rebbe, from his early days to his years in the concentration camps to his numerous accomplishments after the war. There are many books written about him and many articles have been written on this great tzadik, who was and still is a household name to many of us.


After the war the Rebbe came to America and then moved to Eretz Yisroel in 1960. After arriving in Eretz Yisroel, the Rebbe traveled throughout the country visiting the Mekomos Hakedoshim. He went to just about all the accessible kevarim, including the great sages of the Mishna and Talmud. Here are two stories about his visits to these kvarim:

Why The Rebbe Went to Rebbi Yehudah Bar Iloy's Kever 2 Days In A Row
One day he went with his Chassidim to the kever of the Tanna, Rebbi Yehudah bar Iloy, the Rebbi Yehudah mention in Mishna. They all said Tehilim and then davened Mincha there, as it was getting dark already. After Mincha, the Rebbe’s mood changed; something was troubling him. When asked what was troubling him, the Rebbe explained: “Rebbi Yehuda bar Iloy says in Mesechta Brochos (4th perek, 1st Mishna) that one can only daven Mincha until Plag HaMincha (one and one quarter hours before dark). Even though we don’t hold like his opinion, it was a chutzpah to daven Mincha after Plag HaMincha by his kever, since he holds the time for Mincha has passed. We must go back tomorrow and set things straight.”

The next day they went back to the kever of Rebbi Yehudah bar Iloy. This time they went in the early afternoon and davened Mincha before Plag HaMincha, in accordance with the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah bar Iloy. After they finished davening Mincha, the Rebbe was happy once again; he had made amends for what he considered an affront to Rebbi Yehudah bar Iloy. (I believe this story is mentioned in one of the “Magid” books by Rabbi Paysach Krohn)

The Gemara in Chulin (7b) says that Tzadikim are greater after death than when they’re alive. From this story we see that to the Klausenberger Rebbe, this was a reality. He felt as if he actually slighted Rebbi Yehudah bar Iloy, as if he was still alive.

Why the Rebbe Cried for hours on Reb Mendele Vitebsker’s Kever
Reb Shmuel Unsdorfer, was one of the closest and most devoted followers of the Klausenberger Rebbe. He later became the father-in-law of the Rebbe’s son, Reb Tzvi Elimelech, who is the current Klausenberger Rebbe of Netanya. Reb Shmuel related the following:

By every kever the Rebbe traveled to with his Chassidim, he said Tehilim and they would go on to the next kever and say Tehilim there. This continued until they got to the kever of Reb Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk. (He was one of the great Talmidim of the Magid of Mezrich, who moved to Eretz Yisroel in 1777) When they arrived at the kever of Reb Mendele Vitebsker, the Rebbe threw himself down and prostrated himself on the kever and cried - and he cried and cried and cried – for two hours straight.

Some time later, Reb Shmuel Unsdorfer asked the Rebbe why he read Tehilim by all the kvarim the visited, but by Reb Mendele Vitebsker he laid there and cried like a baby for hours. The Rebbe responded that he was so far removed from Rebbi Akiva and all these Talmidic sages – what was he compared to them – so he just said Tehilim. Reb Shmuel mustered up his courage and asked: “With all due respect, what kind of relevance does the Rebbe have to the great Vitebsker? He was one of the greatest talmidim of the Magid of Mezrich.” The Rebbe answered: “Compared to the Vitebsker, I’m also nothing, BUT you have to understand – the Talmidei Baal Shem Tov accepted upon themselves a special mesiras nefesh to help each and every Yid, even after death. So, yes, I do have what to do with him, and that’s why I lay there and cried”.

This last story explains a phenomenon that many wonder and question. We all know that the Meoras Hamachpela, Kever Rochel, Meron and many of the other kvarim in Eretz Yisroel have a special connection to every Jew and they are constantly full of people praying there. However, you don’t see this outside of Eretz Yisroel, except by the Talmidei Baal Shem Tov. We constantly hear about people flocking to the kvarim of the great Admorim in Europe. What’s it all about?

Just days ago, tens of thousands of people went to daven at the Ohel of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, on his yahrzeit. Every Adar, thousands travel to Lizensk for the yahrzeit of the Rebbe, Reb Meilich. For Rosh Hashona, tens of thousands flock to Uman, where Reb Nachman of Breslov is buried. For Shavuos, people go to Mezibuz for the yahrzeit of the Baal Shem Tov. The list goes on and on – Rimanov, Vilednik, Ger, Radoshitz, Berdichev, etc... All these places have people traveling there for the yahrzeits and at other times throughout the year. If one goes to these places, it is filled with all types of Yidden. One will see Chassidim and non- Chassidim, Askenazim, Sephardim and Yeminites, beards and clean shaven faces, payos and ponytails and many others. The one thing in common is that they are all Yidden being drawn to these places.

People ask: “Is this Rebbe greater than so and so?” The answer was given by the Klausenberger Rebbe. It has nothing to do with who’s greater, but these Jews feel in their heart a yearning for these great tzadikim who took upon themselves to help every Yid with mesiras nefesh, even after they leave this world. This explains why during WW II and during the Communist reign, people risked their lives to daven at the kvarim of the Talmidei Baal Shem Tov. Whether risking a life for that is a correct thing to do, is not the issue, but we can now understand why they did so. The Yiddishe heart drew them there, because Tzadikim are sacrificing themselves, even after death, for any Yid that needs help.
9 Tamuz is also the yahrzeit of:
R’ Dovid Lifshitz (1993), Suvalker Rov
R’ Yosef Shlomo Dayan (1985) Talmid of R’ Mordechai Sharabi
R’ Zalman Sorotzkin (1966) Lutzker Rov, wrote Oznaim L’Torah
R’ Moshe Chevroni (1975), Rosh Yeshiva of Chevron Yeshiva, Talmid of the Chofetz Chaim and wrote Masaas Moshe.

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu V’Al Kol Yisroel

Saturday, June 23, 2007

8 Tamuz - Yahrzeits

R' Shlomo ben R' Yehudah HaKohen (1827) Great Mekubal who wrote Yafeh Sha'ah
R' Meir ben R' Eliezer Horowitz of Dzikov (1877) Imrei Noam
R' Eliyahu Manni (1899) Great Mekubal who was Rov of Chevron and wrote Zichronos Eliyahu

Friday, June 22, 2007

7 Tamuz - Shabbos Yahrzeits

R' Boruch Frankel-Tumim (1828), author of Boruch Taam, father-in-law of R' Chaim of Sanz
R'  Gedalya Schorr (1979), Rosh Yeshiva in Torah Vodaas, author of Ohr Gedalyahu
R' Simcha Bunim Alter of Ger, the Lev Simcha (1992) son of R' Avrohom Mordechai, the Imrei Emes. Became Rebbe after his brother, the Beis Yisroel, passed away.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Taanis of Erev Shabbos Chukas

The Mishna Brura and Be’er Heitiv say that there are people who fast on Erev Shabbos Chukas, because on Erev Shabbos Chukas twenty huge carton loads filled with seforim were burnt in France. Many years later, on Erev Shabbos Chukas in 5408, two whole communities were destroyed in the massacres of Tach V’Tat.

The Be’er Heitiv says the reason the fast wasn’t established on a particular day of the month, like
Chof Sivan, was because of what was revealed in a dream. After the burning of the seforim, it was revealed in the dream that the day of the tragedy was connected to the parsha of Chukas. This was a decree of the Torah as it says in the beginning of Parshas Chukas זֹאת חֻקַּת הַתּוֹרָה - This is a statute of the Torah, which the Targum Unkelos translates as דא גזרת אוריתא - This is a decree of the Torah.

Because of the revelation of this dream, the fast day was decreed to take place specifically on Erev Shabbos Chukas, irrelevant of the calendar date. To this day there are some individuals that fast and have special minyanim, complete with Slichos and Vayichal.

6 Tamuz - Yahrzeits

R' Chaim De la Rosa (1786), Talmid of the Rashash and author of Toras Chochom

R' Moshe ben R' Yaakov Shimshon of Kosov (1855 - 1925) author of Leket Ani

R' Shmuel Majar (1848) Av Beis Din in Yerushalayim and Rosh Yeshiva of Chasidei Beis El.

R' Yisrael Yaakov Algazi (1756) Great Mekubal who lived in Turkey and Eretz Yisrael. He was the Rosh Yeshivah of Neveh Sholom Bris Avrohom and Beis El and was Rov of Yerushalyim

Tamuz - Satan, His Wife and the Antidote of Torah

Tamuz is a month where many tragedies happened to Klal Yisroel, such as the 17th of Tamuz, with all its related tragedies. Tammuz we also know is one of the summer months where the Yetzer Hora works extra hard to trip us up. One fascinating allusion to this idea, from the Chida in the name of Reb Shimshon Ostropolier, was already written up in a previous post on Shmiras Einayim. (See there, third section "Yetzer Hora Is Stronger in the Summer"). We all know Shmiras Einayim is, understandably, much more difficult in the summer and interestingly the sforim mention many more relationships between the month of Tammuz and the eyes. 


The Summer Months Represent the Eyes

The Bnei Yisaschor says that according to the Arizal each month represents another part of the head. Tammuz represents the right eye and Av the left eye. An allusion to this is in Eicha (1, 16) עֵינִי עֵינִי יֹרְדָה מַּיִם and the Gemara in Tanis (24) says a kallah, meaning Klal Yisroel, whose eyes are nice; you don't have to check her whole body (to see if she's healthy) and the opposite is also true – if her eyes are not nice than…. We see here a fascinating allusion – if Klal Yisroel (who's called a kallah) guards their eyes than the rest will stay pure. (For more on this, see Bnei Yisaschor, Tammuz Av 1:4)


Satan's Wife & the Antidote

Each one of the twelve months represents one of the twelve possible permutations of Divine Name, Yud-Kei-Vav-Kei. The Minchas Elazar in Shaar Yisaschor points out that the permutation for Tamuz is completely backwards from the normal spelling - it is written ה-ו-ה-י. This name comes from the last letters of the words from Megilas Esther (5, 13) זֶ׳ה אֵינֶנּ׳וּ שֹׁוֶ׳ה ל׳ִי. The gematria of this posuk is 480, equal to that of לילי״ת (Satan's wife), another allusion to her extra strength in this month. Also, Haman was the one who said the words in this posuk, and he descends from Esav, who has power over the month of Tamuz.


That's why there were 480 Batei Medrashim in Yerushalyim, to counteract the power of  לילי״ת.(The Seforim Hakedoshim teach that something with the same gematria has the power to counteract the other) The Rambam writes at the end of Hilchos Isurei Biah that the Yetzer Hora only rules over a heart that is bereft of Torah. Therefore immersing oneself in Torah is the way to win over this Yetzer Hora. Interestingly, Likutei Mohoran 214 mentions that the gematria of לילי״ת is equal to that of תלמוד, alluding that if one learns Torah properly he can overpower the Satan, but if one doesn't learn properly than chas v'sholom the opposite can happen.


Remember the Torah of Moshe

The previous paragraph is a great segue into the following from Likutei Mohoran 217: The first letters of  זִ׳כְרוּ תּ׳וֹרַת מֹ׳שֶׁה(Malachi 3, 22) (Remember the Torah of Moshe) spells תמז without the letter "ו". We need the remembering of the Torah to fix the forgetting of the Torah, which came about through the breaking of the luchos in the month of Tammuz. The Gemara in Eruvin (74) says that if the first luchos would not have been broken, Torah would never have been forgotten from Yisroel. Therefore Tammuz is without a "vav", because the luchos were the bechina of "vav", as the Gemara in Baba Basra (14) says that the luchos measured 6 tefachim long and 6 tefachim wide. Also, the first letters of ז׳מן מ׳תן ת׳ורתנו spell תמז, because this was the month when we received the luchos. It is again missing the letter "ו" because the luchos, which are the bechina of "vav", were broken, as mention previously.


A Segula for Shmiras Einayim

Sefer Hamidos (Re'iyah #9) says that when a man goes out to the market and is worried that he might come to hirhurim through his seeing beautiful women he should say the posuk: (Yeshaya 33, 7) הֵן אֶרְאֶלָּם צָעֲקוּ חֻצָה מַלְאֲכֵי שָׁלוֹם מַר יִבְכָּיוּן


See Shmiras Einayim - Thoughts, Stories and Segulas for much more on the subject of Shmiras Einayim.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Baal Haflah on Parshas Chukas - Don't Arouse the Midas HaDin

Today, 4 Tammuz is the yahrzeit of Reb Pinchos Halevi Horowitz, the Baal Haflah. The following is taken from a very interesting insight in his sefer Panim Yafos, which explains the first Rashi in this weeks parsha, Chukas, beautifully:


Rashi says on the posuk, Zos chukkas HaTorah, concerning the mitzvah of Parah Adumah: "Because Satan and the nations of the world will taunt Bnei Yisroel and ask: What is this mitzvah? What is the reason for it? Therefore the Torah referred to it as a chok; I have decreed and you're not permitted to dwell on it."


But, the Medrash gives a reason for Parah Adumah; it says that it's to atone for the sin of the golden calf. So why do we say it's a chok? Because anytime we mention past sins it arouses the midas hadin, and the Satan and nations of the world know this and want to do this to Klal Yisroel. This fits perfectly into Rashi's words:

"Because Satan and the nations of the world will taunt Bnei Yisroel and ask: What is this mitzvah? What is the reason for it?" They do this expecting us to answer that it's to atone for the sin of the golden calf, and that answer would bring the midas hadin on Klal Yisroel, which is their desired result. Rashi goes on to say:

"Therefore the Torah referred to it as a chok; I have decreed and you're not permitted to dwell on it." Meaning, don't say over the reason because that will arouse the midas hadin.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

4 Tammuz - Yahrzeits

Rabbeinu Tam, R' Yaakov ben Meir (1100-1171)

R' Pinchos Halevi Horowitz of Frankfurt (1730-1805) ben R' Tzvi Hirsch of Chortkov. One of the great talmidim of the Magid of Mezrich, together with his brother, the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsberg. He wrote Sefer Haflah, Sefer Hamkeneh and Panim Yofos and was the Rebbe of the Chasam Sofer.

R' Yisroel Ezriel Hildesheimer (1820-1899), Rov in Germany, talmid of the Aruch La'ner
R' Eliyahu Lupas (1938), Rov in Yeshiva Porat Yosef, wrote Sefer Imrei Pi and Ben Avichayal

R' Chaim Moshe Mandel, mekubal in Bnei Brak (1996)

The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Gaze Into The Future

The following story involving the Lubavitcher Rebbe was sent to me and I find it to be one of the most fascinating stories I've ever heard. Although it is a Chanukah story, it is worth repeating it on the yahrzeit of this great tzadik.

(As told by Reb Moshe Chaim Greenwald - NY)

Since the Histalkus (death) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZY"A, at the places where I daven (pray) and work, Jews from all sects don't stop talking about the Rebbe. Not just stories in general, but it's interesting to see that every Jew feels some sort of personal relationship with the Rebbe. When I speak to these Jews, I tell them that I think that even though until now they have not told their story, now it's a Mitzvah to tell it so that our children would know about the great Tzaddik (righteous person) and shepherd we had amongst us. As it says, "Bless Hashem (G-D), Bless the servant of Hashem." To fulfill what I am telling others to do I will tell a wondrous story that happened to my father Z"L. Up until now this story remained in the family, but now I feel it is incumbent upon me to publicize it.

In the merit of belief in Tzaddikim, we should merit the redemption which the Rebbe has worked his whole life to bring. Now the Rebbe is surely still toiling from above to hasten the redemption.

My father, Reb Avrohom Tzvi Greenwald Z"L (of blessed memory), was born in Lodz, Poland. At the young age of 8 years he was orphaned from his father. His mother was left with 7 little orphans and was very worried about raising her oldest son. She sent him to her cousin, Reb Menachem Ziemba ZT"L (May Hashem avenge his holy blood). Reb Menachem Ziemba raised my father with great devotion and understandably worried about my father's learning and even personally learned with him.

My father was almost 17 years old when the "great wedding" took place in Warsaw in 1927. This was the wedding of the daughter of the previous Rebbe to the Rebbe ZY"A. My father always used to talk about the wedding in itself and about all the great leaders of that generation who had attended. My father also used to tell us how he merited meeting the young groom, the Rebbe ZY"A, personally. How did my father get to meet with the groom?

My father, who was then a young boy of almost 17 years, went to the wedding with his relative and teacher Reb Menachem Ziemba. The day after the wedding, Rabbi Ziemba told my father that he would like to go visit the groom at the hotel where he was staying. He also invited my father to escort him if he was interested. Of course my father agreed, and together they went to meet the groom.

My father could not remember the entire conversation which took place between the Rebbe and Rabbi Ziemba, but he remembered well the words, the parting words of the Rebbe. The Rebbe faced them and said, "There are several days left to Chanukah - do you know why on the night that we light the 5th candle there is joy and happiness in the "Shtiblach" (small Chassidic synagogues)?" My father didn't know what to answer, and remembers how Rabbi Ziemba looked at the Rebbe intently waiting for his answer. The Rebbe then faced my father and said, "The fifth night symbolizes the greatest darkness, because this day can never fall on a Shabbos. Therefore, the fifth candle can even illuminate the greatest darkness. Therefore, the power contained in the light of Chanukah expresses itself mostly on the fifth night of Chanukah, which symbolizes darkness. And this is the job of every Jew in every place; whether in Warsaw or London to illuminate the darkest spot."

As I already mentioned, my father could not recall what details were discussed between Rabbi Ziemba and the Rebbe, but he will never forget how the whole Talmud was traversed by these two great men. When they left the hotel, - my father recalled - Rabbi Ziemba was in awe of the groom, the REBBE, and for many days thereafter, did not stop talking about his conversation with the Rebbe.

Almost 20 years later, my father lived through the atrocities of the war, first in the ghettos and then in the concentration camp. His wife and five children were slaughtered in front of his eyes. When the war was finally over, he was left alive, thank G-d, but was broken in body and spirit.

For the next two years, he went from camp to camp in search of any family members who might have remained alive. This was in vain as all his family members were killed by the accursed Nazis.

In the year 1948, my father traveled to the United States to visit his uncle, an Amshinover Chassid, (Reb Moshe Chaim Greenwald) who had moved there before the war. His uncle tried to put my father back on his feet, since he was broken physically and spiritually from all that he had encountered in Europe.

Under pressure from his uncle, my father remarried my mother OB"M, also a war survivor. My mother was born in Kharkov to a prominent Alexander Chassid, Reb Zusia Shimkevitz. She and her sister were saved right at the outset of the war, when they escaped to Canada. There they were raised by an uncle, Reb Kopel Schwartz from Toronto.

Before their wedding, Reb Kopel took my father to a Yechidus with the previous Rebbe for a blessing. My father told me how much the previous Rebbe had changed since his daughter's wedding to the Rebbe ZY"A in Warsaw.(It was very difficult to understand the speech of the previous Rebbe, and the previous Rebbe was saying.)

Reb Kopel told the previous Rebbe that my father was a sole survivor of the war. A stream of tears poured from the holy eyes of the previous Rebbe as he blessed my father with a good life and long years. Before my father left the room, he mentioned to the previous Rebbe that he was at the great wedding in Warsaw. The previous Rebbe's eyes lit up and he said, "My son-in-law is in the other room, so go in and give him Shalom."

Reb Kopel and my father walked down together to the room of the Rebbe. They knocked on his door and when they entered, they told the Rebbe that the previous Rebbe had sent them to him.

My father was really surprised that the Rebbe ZY"A recognized him. The Rebbe then asked my father for a description of the last days of the life of Reb Menachem Ziemba who was killed in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. After my father told the Rebbe all he knew about the days of Rabbi Ziemba, the Rebbe said, "Since my father-in-law sent you to me, I feel obligated to tell you a Dvar Torah. As we are now in the month of Kislev I will tell you something pertaining to Chanukah." The Rebbe then continued, "Do you know why on the night that we light the fifth Chanukah candle there is such great joy amongst Chassidim?"

The Rebbe then answered the question himself saying, "The joy of the 5th night is so immense because that night cannot fall out on Shabbos, therefore the strength of the light of the candles gives forth the most light on this night. This is then the role of any Jew, whether he finds himself in New York or London, it is his responsibility to illuminate the darkest spot."

There is no need to say how shocked my father was to hear these same words that he had heard from the Rebbe ZY"A 20 years earlier. These were the exact words that the Rebbe, then the groom, had said 20 years ago in the hotel in Warsaw.

After his wedding, my father began teaching in Adas Yisroel in Washington Heights, NY. There my sister and I were born. When I was 5 years old, we moved to Toronto to live near my grandfather, Reb Kopel Schwartz. My father continued his teaching career in Toronto.

During our years in Toronto, my father became a Satmar Chassid but sent us to learn in the well-known Yeshiva of Nitra.

Even though my father's way of life was similar to the system of Satmar, he never spoke a negative word about Lubavitch. On the contrary, he always wanted his children to know about Lubavitch.

In the year 1969, I got married. My father said that even though we didn't stem from Lubavitcher Chassidim, he would like me to go to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a blessing, just as he had done before his wedding. It was 20 years since my father had last seen the Rebbe and felt a great desire to see again.

I agreed full-heartedly, but was told that it was not that simple to gain entry to the Rebbe. After explaining that we could not wait for months for an audience with the Rebbe, (since I wanted to get a blessing from the Rebbe before my wedding) we were granted permission to see the Rebbe, but just for a blessing, and of course we were not to hold the Rebbe up with any other matters. We left Toronto to meet with the Rebbe on our designated day.

I don't recall the exact time we finally entered the room of the Rebbe, but I do remember that it was during the very early morning hours. This was the first time I saw the holy face of the Rebbe. My father gave the Rebbe a note with my name and my bride's name, and asked the Rebbe to give us his blessing.

The Rebbe took the note, and even PRIOR to opening it said, "20 years; it's high time, especially since my father-in-law had sent you to me…"

My father stood shocked, not able to answer the Rebbe. At this point, the Rebbe then unfolded the note and gave his blessing. He then turned to my father and said, "Just like you rejoiced at my wedding, may Hashem give you the strength to be at your grandchild's wedding."

My father's eyes streamed with tears of emotion, since he had suffered much torture in the past and was now blessed with such fortune.

Before we turned to go, my father asked the Rebbe if he could ask a quick question. To this the Rebbe answered, "Since the previous Rebbe, my father-in-law, sent you to me I will answer any question you may have."Again they heard a further knock on the door, however the Rebbe motioned us to ignore the persistent knocking.

My father faced the Rebbe and said, "For various reasons I have lived amongst the Satmar Chassidim. From some of them I have heard several complaints against Lubavitch. Of course I never believed what I had heard. Nevertheless, I have one question regarding the work of Lubavitch. There is a well-known verse of 'The Enemies of Hashem, I should dislike.' How is it that Lubavitch goes into the midst of these people who are against Hashem?"

The Rebbe faced my father and said, "What would a zealous neighbor of yours do if G-d forbid his daughter strayed from the proper path of life? Would he help her, or would he say 'The enemies of Hashem I should dislike,' and 'It is forbidden to associate with wicked people', and therefore distance himself from her and not want to show her friendship?" The Rebbe did not wait for an answer and immediately continued: "This zealot would certainly answer that this case is different, since we are dealing with HIS daughter, since there is a verse that states, 'you should not turn a blind eye to your flesh'".

At this juncture the Rebbe's face took on a serious look and he closed his eyes and banged on the table and said: "As far as the Almighty is concerned EVERY Jew is as dear to HIM as his only son. As far as the Rebbe my father-in-law is concerned, the concept of "not turning a blind eye to one's flesh' applies to EVERY YID."

My father apologized profusely for asking such a question, but he just wanted to understand the system that the Rebbe had implemented, in order that he would be better able to explain it to others.

Following this the Rebbe looked at me and my father OB"M, with a penetrating look and said: "And we will conclude with a blessing. As is well-known, it has been the custom of Chassidim to celebrate the 5th night of Chanukah. What is the reason? The 5th night of Chanukah cannot fall out on a Shabbos (Sabbath), therefore it symbolizes the greatest darkness The power of the light of Chanukah illuminates the greatest darkness. This is the job of every Jew whether he is in Toronto or London. Every Jew has a part from Above in him and it is his duty to awaken a Jew who is in the darkest situation."

My father was so shocked to hear these words that he didn't hear the rest of the Blessing of the Rebbe. He didn't even remember leaving the Rebbe's room.

The whole way back to Toronto my father whispered these same words over and over, "Very strange, very strange indeed."

Another twenty years passed. In the year 1978, my younger brother was getting married in London. My entire family, including my parents, sister, brother-in-law and myself all traveled to London for his wedding. On the way to London I noticed that my father was perturbed by something. I asked my father what was bothering him, but he wouldn't tell me. Finally after pestering him several times, he told me the following:

Several minutes before my father left the house in Toronto, his neighbor came into him crying uncontrollably. He told my father not to tell anyone a secret that he was going to entrust to my father. He then commenced telling him his secret.

He told my father how his daughter left the path of Yiddishkeit (Jewish way of life). They did not realize how bad it was until two weeks ago when they received the tragic news that she ran off to London with a "Goy" (gentile). All his relatives in London had tried to help and bring her back to her religion, but all efforts were in vain. He then asked my father, who was going to London to see if he could possibly help and do something to bring her back.

My father who was a close friend of this neighbor was terribly shaken by this story. I was also distraught and began thinking about what we could possibly do about this situation in London.

The wedding passed propitiously and with great success, and on the first night of Sheva Brochos, (seven days of rejoicing with the bride and groom) my father turned to the bride's father and told him the story of his neighbor's daughter. He asked if perhaps he could help my father contact somebody who could help them.

When the bride's father heard the story he said, "I know someone amongst the London Lubavitcher Chassidim, to whom the Rebbe had personally sent on several missions. His name is Rabbi Avrohom Yitzchok Glick and if there is anyone who can help, it's Rabbi Glick. He has already helped many people throughout Europe who have strayed from Judaism."

The bride's father called Rabbi Glick that same night and told him the tragic story. Rabbi Glick called Toronto to get some more information in order to give him a hint as to where to start looking. Rabbi Glick then gave his word that he would do all he could to help.

I don't know where Rabbi Glick looked or where he went or who he asked, but one night, (my parents stayed in London for 12 days, until after Chanukah) Rabbi Glick called the bride's father to come to his house urgently because he had a real surprise.

The bride's father called my father and they quickly went to see Rabbi Glick. As they walked into his apartment, they saw a girl sitting in the living room crying bitterly. At the door of the living room there was a lit Menorah.

As soon as my father saw the Menorah lit with 5 candles he felt faint. He remembered the words that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had told him 50 years ago, 30 years ago and again 20 years ago: "The fifth night of Chanukah symbolizes the power of the Menorah It is the job of every Jew to illuminate the darkest spot, whether in Warsaw or LONDON, in New York or LONDON, in Toronto or LONDON What would that zealous neighbor do if his daughter strayed from her religion? For the Al-mighty every Jew is like an only child. For the Rebbe every Jew is part of his own flesh that he cannot turn a blind eye to."

There is no need to say that this young girl returned from her wrong-doings. There is also no need to say that from that day on this "zealous neighbor" stopped speaking against Lubavitch.

When my father returned to Canada he felt a strong desire to see the Rebbe again. But by this time it was very difficult to get a private audience with the Rebbe.

In 1980, the following October, my father succeeded in having a private audience with the Rebbe, along with all the guests who came for the Holidays.

My father told me how when he finally got into the Rebbe, he could not speak and burst out crying as a result of great emotion. The Rebbe heard only several sentences from my father. The Rebbe then faced my father and said, "My father-in-law, the previous Rebbe (who sent you to me in Warsaw) had a far-reaching look."

Every time my father retold this story, he could not get over the wondrous miracle of the Rebbe. Fifty years ago when he was a bridegroom, the Rebbe saw what would happen 50 years later. But even more so he could not come to terms with the modesty of the Rebbe, who said with such simplicity, "My father-in-law had a far-reaching look.

The chain of miracles did not end there. On the 15th day of Kislev, 1989, the moment the last Sheva Brochos of my daughter ended, (the Rebbe had blessed my father with a long life, and to live to see the wedding of his grandchild) which was exactly 60 years since the great wedding of the Rebbe in Warsaw, that same day my father returned his soul to it's Maker.

Zchuso Yogen Aleinu V'Al Kol Yisroel

Monday, June 18, 2007

3 Tammuz - Yahrzeits

R' Yissachar Dov Illowy (1814-1871) one of the great Rabbonim who came to the USA in the 1800's. See here for his bio.


R' Yaakov HaLevi Sapir, Rov in Saana, Yemen, author of Even Sapir


R' Yosef Chaim Shneur ben R' Ahron Kotler, Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva(1982)


R' Menachem Mendel ben R' Levi Yitzchok Schneerson (1994), the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. He was the son-in-law of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, R' Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson. They are buried right next to each other in Queens, NY, minutes away from JFK Airport. These are probably the most visited kevarim outside of Eretz Yisroel and are accessible 24 hours a day. There is a visitor's center adjacent to the Ohel with a Shul and place for people to sit and have refreshments. See here for information and directions. For those that live too far away you can send a kvitel through their website.


Reb Nachman Horedenker - Longing For Eretz Yisroel

This Monday, 2 Tammuz, is the 246th yahrzeit of Reb Nachman Horedenker, perhaps, best known as the grandfather of Reb Nachman of Breslov, who was named after him. Reb Nachman Horedenker was one of the great talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov (Besht), and is quoted many times in Degel Machane Ephraim, often next to his Rebbe, the Besht. (See 2 examples here - Parshas Bamidbar and Parshas Behaloscha.) Sefer Mili D'Avos contains his biography and Torah.

Reb Nachman Horedenker was the son of Reb Yitzchok of Zalkova who came from a very illustrious lineage. Reb Nachman was the seventh generation from the Maharal of Prague, who descended from Rav Hai Gaon, a descendant of Dovid Hamelech. He was also the seventh generation from Reb Avrohom Chaim of Apta, the Av Beis Din of Nikolsberg, who was descendant of the Maharshal, a descendent of Rashi, who was the 33rd generation from Rebi Yochonan Hasandler, a descendant of Raban Gamliel Hazokein, whose lineage extends back to Dovid Hamelech. Some of his other ancestors include Maharam Padua, Reb Shaul Wahl and Reb Naftali Katz, the Smichas Chachomim.

The sister of Reb Yitzchok of Drohbitch (father of the Zlotchover Magid – R' Yitzchok and his father R' Yosef were talmidim of the Besht) asked the Besht to find her a good shidduch. The Besht suggested his talmid, Reb Nachman Horedenker, who agreed to the match, and the shidduch was finalized. The Besht asked Reb Nachman what he would give him as payment for putting together this shidduch. When Reb Nachmam didn't answer, the Besht said that when his own daughter, Udel, has a daughter, and Reb Nachman has a son, they should make a match between them and that would be the Besht's shadchonus payment. Reb Nachman mentioned that he has yichus going back to Dovid Hamelech. The Besht responded by pulling out his family tree and showing how his yichus also goes back to Dovid Hamelech. Of course we know the rest is history; Reb Nachman's son, Simcha, married Feiga, the daughter of Udel, and their son was Reb Nachman of Breslov.

Reb Nachman Horedenker traveled to Eretz Yisroel with his son, Reb Shimshon, but he returned to Europe, leaving his son in Eretz Yisroel. He wanted desperately to settle in Eretz Yisroel permanantely, but the Besht didn't accede to his desire. One time he had such a burning desire to go to Eretz Yisroel and asked his Rebbe for permission to go back to Eretz Yisroel. The Besht told him to first go to the Mikva and then come back to him. After immersing in the Mikva, the Besht asked him: "What did you see in your first immersion?" Reb Nachman answered: "I saw Eretz Yisroel".

The Besht asked: "What did you see in the second immersion?" Reb Nachman replied: "I saw Yerushalayim."

The Besht asked: "And in the third?" Reb Nachman replied: "I saw the place of the Baiss Hamikdash."

The Besht asked: "And in the fourth?" Reb Nachman replied: "I saw the Kodesh Hakodoshim, but I didn't see the Aron."

The Besht replied: "the Aron is in Mezibuz".

Reb Nachman understood that the Besht didn't want him to go to Eretz Yisroel, son he stayed by his Rebbe until the Besht passed away.

Reb Nachman was one of the talmidim that was with the Besht, when he passed away. After the passing of the Besht, Reb Nachman would regularly go daven at the tzion of the Besht, and would speak to him as if he was still alive. He was able to do this because of his great kedusha and separation from the materialism of this world and because of his great attachment and devotion to his Rebbe. Every time he would ask about going to Eretz Yisroel the Besht would answer no. Finally, one day the Besht said he agrees to let him go, and Reb Nachman went away dancing and singing "I'm going to Eretz Yisroel - I'm going to Eretz Yisroel".

He traveled to Eretz Yisroel with Reb Menachem Mendel of Premishlan and other talmidim of the Besht, and arrived there on 12 Tishrei. (The year was probably 5521) He fulfilled his lifelong dream of settling in Eretz Yisroel, where he lived out his final days until his passing on Shabbos, 2 Tammuz 5521/1761. He is buried in Teveria, where, his grandson, Reb Nachman of Breslov went to daven, on his famous trip to Eretz Yisroel.

May the zechus of Reb Nachman ben Reb Yitzchok protect us and all of Klal Yisroel.

2 Tammuz is also the yahrzeit of:

R' Shmuel ben R' Yechiel of Cologne HY"D (1096) He was killed by the crusaders.

R' Avrohom Twersky, the Trisker Magid (1889) He wrote Magen Avrohom and was the son of R' Mordechai of Chernobyl. See Heichal HaNegina for more on the Trisker Magid.

Zchusom Yogen Aleinu V'Al Kol Yisroel

Saturday, June 16, 2007

1 Tammuz - Yahrzeits

R' Kalonymus Kalman ben R' Ahron Halevi Epstein of Krakow (1823) was a talmid of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizensk. He was the first to spread chassidus in Krakow. His sefer, Meor V'shemesh, is one of the essential and most used seforim of chassidus.

R' Shlomo ben R' Meir Noson Halberstam, the first Bobover Rebbe (1905)


R' Yisroel ben R' Moshe Najara, talmid of Arizal, wrote the famous Friday night song, Koh Ribbon Olam. Wrote sefer Lekach Tov. (There seems to be some confusion between him and his father, who I listed yesterday. I'm not sure whose yahrzeit it really is and what date so I listed both)



Friday, June 15, 2007

30 Sivan - Shabbos Yahrzeits

R' Moshe ben R' Levi Najara (1580), talmid of Arizal , wrote Lekach Tov on Rashi, father of R' Yisroel Najara

R' Chaim ben R' Yitzchok Kitza (1849), Av Beis Din of Irsha, one of the great tzadikim of Hungary

R' Shlomo Kluger (1869) ben R' Yuda Ahron, Rov of Brod, author of Chochmas Shlomo and many other seforim, He was raised by the Dubno Magid.

R' Meir Rosenbaum of Kretchnif (1908) known as a great Baal Mofes and writer of kameyas He was the son of R' Mordechai of Nadvorna

Segula For The Release Of Jewish Prisoners

Rabbi Tal Zwecker had a post on his Be'er Mayim Chaim site concerning a segula for Jewish soldiers to be released (and I humbly suggested also for Jonathan Pollard, Yehonasan ben Malka). Yitz from Heichal HaNegina also sent me an email about this today.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

28 Sivan - Yahrzeits

R' Meshulom Feivish HaLevi Lowy of Tosh (1873) ben R' Mordechai. Talmid of Maharam Ash (yahrzeit was yesterday) and then R' Dovid of Dinov and then became one of the important Chassidim of R' Yitzchok Issac of Kaliv. His great-grandson, the presnt Tosher Rebbe, who bears the same name, is one of the most respected tzadikim alive today. He has a community, called Kiryas Tash, near Montreal, and people travel to see him from all over the world, in order to receive his blessings. The Tosher Rebbe and his Chassidim are known for their love of all Jews and welcome visitors there with open arms.

R' Avrohom Adadi (1874), Rov in Tripoli, wrote Vayikra Avrohom

R' Shimshon Aaron Polansky, Rov of Teplik

Noam Elimelech - Without Korach the Torah Isn't Complete

As with every Parsha, the Noam Elimelech says a lot of fascinating things on Parsha Korach. Here is one of them:


The Medrash Shocher Tov says: "Why is תּוֹרַת ד׳ תְּמִימָה? (Why is the Torah of Hashem complete?) Because מְשִׁיבַת נָפֶשׁ, it restores souls". This Medrash is a really great wonder. What is this supposed to mean? The Mekubalim write that Korach was a gilgul (reincarnation) of Kayin, therefore, Korach was swallowed up in the earth, as a tikun for the earth that opened up for the blood of Kayin's brother, Hevel. That's why Kayin was reincarnated in Korach. But, why couldn't the tikun be done through Kayin himself at that time? Because Hashem created gilgulim in order to make the Torah complete, for if it wasn't so (and there was no Korach), we would be missing the posuk of וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח in the Torah. Now we can explain the words of the Medrash. Why is the Torah complete? Because it returns souls; through Hashem creating gilgulim, the Torah is complete.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

27 Sivan - Yahrzeits

R' Chanina ben Tradyon, tanna - one of the Asara Harugei Malchus

R' Meir ben R' Issac Eisenstadt, Maharam Ash, author of Panim Me'iros (1744)


Monday, June 11, 2007

Segula For Everything - Davening 40 Days Straight

There is a well known segula for one who needs a yeshua for anything (shidduch, health, parnasa, etc.) to daven at the Kosel Hamaravi for forty days in a row. Rav Moshe Shternbuch shlita of the Batatz Eidah Chareidas (descendant of the Vilna Gaon) says (Teshuvas VeHanhogos 4:61) that this could be done even if one doesn't have access to the Kosel. One can go to a any specific Shul or Beis Medrash for forty days straight to daven for a particular need and will have the same segula. He says that one should give 18 "prutos" tzedaka to those that toil in Torah before each of these 40 tefilos.

Segulas For Shidduchim

Perhaps, the best known segula for fining ones intended match, shidduch, is davening at Amukah, the burial place of Reb Yonason ben Uziel, the tanna and author of Targum Yonasan ben Uziel. Various reasons for davening at Amuka being a segula to find a shidduch have been offered, but from what I've been told, none of them have actual sources - they are assumptions. The best explanation I heard was that, although we might not know the exact reason, it is a Minhag Yisroel and Minhag Yisroel is Torah.


Being that 26 Sivan is the yahrzeit of Reb Yonasan ben Uziel it is a good opportunity to mention some segulas to find a shidduch. The best thing, of course, is tefila - pouring out ones heart to Hashem for their needs – in this case for a shidduch. It's never too early to start. Those with infants, or maybe even from when the child is in the womb, should daven to Hashem, asking that there child should get a good match when the time comes. Don't wait till things get desperate and then turn to Hashem. People make a mistake, thinking they could do things on their own and only when things get tough they turn to Hashem. No matter how good a catch you or your child may be, start davening for a proper match as early as possible.


Having said that, here are some segulas for finding shidduchim, all with sources from great tzadikim:


The first four segulas are from Sefer HaMidos.

1) Say Shiras Hayam (Az Yashir) with kavanah.


2) Kiddush Levana – the hint to this is לבנה is the first letters of ב׳תולה נ׳שאת ל׳יום ה׳רביעי  a maiden gets married on the fourth day. (Note: Kiddush Levana is only said by men)


3) Regularly reading the Korbanos of the Neseim (in Parshas Naso)


4) Through tefila, it is possible to change the match that was announced in Heaven.


5) A segula to find a proper shidduch is to say at the end of Shemonah Esrei, before יהיו לרצון, these two pesukim from Mishleiמָצָא אִשָּׁה מָצָא טוֹב וַיָּפֶק רָצוֹן מֵד׳ (יח,כב) and  בַּיִת וָהוֹן נַחֲלַת אָבוֹת וּמֵד׳ אִשָּׁה מַשְׂכָּלֶת(יט,יד) and after that a tefila to find a good shidduch. (Dor Yeshorim, heard from Reb Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel of Radzin in the name of Reb Gershon Chanoch Henoch of Radzin)


6) Whoever says Tehilim 121 at the end of all the tefilos, before stepping back, will find a good shidduch. Also, ask for mercy for Zivug Elyon, and you will be answered first. (The last statement, according to my understanding is that one should pray for a match for lofty reasons as opposed to materialistic reasons.) (Igra D'Pirka in the name of Asara Mamaros) The source for saying Tehilim 121 is a Medrash that says Yaakov Avinu said this, praying to find his match. The first posuk says "From where will my helper (meaning wife) come?" And the next posuk says "My help will come from Hashem".


7) One who is looking for a shidduch should say the following chapters of Tehilim: 32, 38, 70, 71, 124 (Segulas Yisroel)


8) I have heard that certain tzadikim would instruct people to give 26 dollars (or $2.60 or 26 cents if they don't have the means, 26 is the gematria of yud-kei-vav-kei) to Hachnosas Kallah as a segula. This is also done by women before lighting Shabbos candles every week (could be done in the smaller denominations). (I don't have an exact source, though it seems self explanatory.)


These are just a few segulas - there are many more. If anyone knows of others please mention it in the comments, if possible with the sources.