Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fascinating Remazim to the Heilege Rebbe Reb Meilich ZY"A

Received via email from DF who last wrote about Parshas Hamon.

The Heilege Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk ZY'A

Rabbeinu Ephraim, one of the Rishonim, says that every tzadik that is destined to be mechadesh in Torah is alluded to in the Torah. (Rabbeinu Ephraim, Terumah) The Rebbe, Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk authored Noam Elimelech, considered one of the most important works of the Talmidei Baal Shem Tov. It therefore stands to reason that there are hints to him in the parshios of Ki Sisa and Vayakhel-Pekudei surrounding the day of his passing on Sunday, כ״א אדר תקמ״ז. Here are some of them.


It is known that there is no section for Parshas Vayakhel in Sefer Noam Elimelech, though there is a piece on Vayakhel in the section for Pekudei. It is said that his son who put together the sefer, Reb Elazar, did this because 21 Adar, except on rare occasion, falls out in the week that Vayakhel is read. This is similar to the yarzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu usually falling out the week of Parshas Tetzaveh, which doesn't contain his name. (Ohel Elimelech 289) ויקהל – "he gathered" is appropriate because he spoke so much about Yidden gathering together and being like one, as he says in his tefila before davening: שנראה כל אחד מעלת חברינו ולא חסרונם "Everyone should see the positive of their friends and not their shortcomings." The parsha starts off: ויקהל משה את כל עדת בני ישראל.  The first letters of משה את כל עדת equal 131, the exact gematria of אלימלך. He passed away in a regular year in the week of Vayakhel-Pekudei which can mean "remember to gather" - be b'achdus. The first words of Pekudei are אלה פקודי המשכן משכן העדת, and their first letters also equal אלימלך.


The first posuk of Vayakhel goes on to say ויאמר אלהם אלה הדברים אשר צוה י־ק־ו־ק לעשת אתם. The words אלה הדברים equal 297, the gematria of נועם אלימלך. The first letters of אשר צוה י־ק־ו־ק לעשת equal אלימלך, and the next word, אתם, has the same letters as אמת. The last letters of אשר צוה י־ק־ו־ק לעשת אתם equal 650 – the gematria of הצדיק אמת. With the kolel, it equals הפקר כמדבר, alluding to the last piece of Noam Elimelech in Parshas Devarim. It is on the words אלה הדברים - equal to the gematria of נועם אלימלך - and he says that a tzadik needs to be הפקר כמדבר to help out those in need of בני חיי מזוני.


The first few pesukim of Vayakhel speak about שבת, and tzadikim are compared to שבת. His name, אלימלך בן אלעזר ליפמאן, is equal to שבת. (There are many different ways his father's name is spelled. I got this spelling from his signature on a letter he wrote.)


His exceptional humility was well known. A misnaged once showed his disdain for the sefer Noam Elimelech by placing it on the floor under the bench he was sitting on. The misnaged asked the Baal Hatanya, who was present, what kind of person the author of the sefer was. The Baal Hatanya replied that even if he would have placed the author under the bench, he wouldn't have said anything. אלימלך equals ענוה, which the Chida and Bas Ayin say is equal to סמאל, since humility is the weapon against the satan. The gematria of אלימלך, using the method of מנצפ״ך, equals 611 - תורה.  This in turn is equal to סמאל לילית, as the Torah is the antidote to yetzer hora. The beginning of Ki Sisa says:כי תשא את ראש בני ישראל לפקדיהם ונתנו איש כפר נפשו לי־ק־ו־ק לפקדיהם ונתנו איש כפר נפשו לי־ק־ו־ק בפקד אתם ולא יהיה בהם נגף בפקד אתם. His first wife was a descendant of many great tzadikim including the Rokeach. Her name, שפרינצא, is equal to כי תשא. The first letters of ראש בני ישראל are רבי. איש כפר is also equal to 611 (אלימלך and תורה, as mentioned above). In the first part of his Hanhogos Ha'adam, he writes that the first thing one should do is learn Gemara, Rashi, Tosafos and mefarshim - each person according to their ability. Afterwards, learn poskim, starting with Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim. He goes on to say how one should constantly daven to come to the truth.


There is a kabbala that if one davens at his kever, they will be helped as if he was alive and they won't leave this world without doing teshuva. (Ohel Elimelech 261) Two bochurim once told the Sar Sholom of Belz they were very happy because they just came from the kever of the Rebbe, Reb Meilich, and now they won't die without teshuva. He told them: "You're worried about dying with teshuva; in Tzetel Koton, he teaches us how to LIVE with teshuva!" He passed away on the 21st day of Adar. The Name of Hashem, א־ק־י־ק, is equal to 21. Reb Nachman of Breslov says this Name represents teshuvah, since it means, "I will be", meaning now that one is doing teshuvah he begins to live, because before that it is better if he wouldn't have been born, as the Gemara says. (Likutei Mohoran 6:2) He passed away the day after Ki Sisa – the 21st parsha - was read. The letter ה represents teshuva, since if one falls through the bottom, he can climb back in through the top. (Menachos 29b) If you spell out א־ק־י־ק with the letter ה, it is אלף־קה־יוד־קה – equal to 151 – the gematria of מקוה. The Maharil in Hilchos Erev Yom Kippur, brought down by the Magen Avrohom (606:4) brings an opinion that the main reason for מקוה is teshuva. If you spell out ויקהל - וו יוד קוף הה למד - it equals שב – an expression of teshuva. There are 122 pesukim in Vayakhel. This is the milui of the Name א־ק־י־ק spelled with Alephs - אלף־קא־יוד־קא (the milui is לף א וד א - 122). Reb Mendel of Riminov and Reb Chaim of Kosov said that after immersing in the mikva Erev Shabbos one can understand a little Noam Elimelech. (Ohel Elimelech 192; Even Shesia 5:2) Perhaps this is also alluded to here, as ויקהל is equal to מקוה, and אלה הדברים is equal to נועם אלימלך.


He passed away the day after Ki Sisa was read. רבינו בחיי on the second posuk starts discussing Elimelech in Megilas Rus and ends off the section with the words וימת אלימלך. (Interestingly, רבינו בחיי is equal to נועם אלימלך with the kolel ) The full posuk (Rus 1:3) is: וימת אלימלך איש נעמי ותשאר היא ושני בניה. The word נעמי hints at נועם as in נועם אלימלך. (Also נועם with the 4 letters equals נעמי). The last letters of נעמי ותשאר היא ושני בניה equal כ״א אדר, and the last letters of נעמי ותשאר היא ושני בניה with the kolel equal תקמ״ז (the year he was niftar).


The Four Main Talmidim

Though he had numerous great talmidim, there are four talmidim that he singled out with a specific spiritual inheritance. Reb Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel of Apta – the Ohev Yisroel received his spiritual power of the mouth. Reb Yaakov Yitzchok – the Chozeh of Lublin received his spiritual vision (hence the name "Chozeh"). Reb Yisroel of Kozhnitz received the spiritual power of his heart. Reb Menachem Mendel of Riminov received the spiritual power of his intellect. I would like to suggest they are alluded to in the posuk, וימת אלימלך איש נעמי ותשאר היא ושני בניה, which speaks about Elimelech's passing and leaving over children. One who teaches his friends son Torah is considered as if he gave birth to him. (Sanhedrin 19b)


היא contains the initials of אברהם יהושע העשיל (Apta Rov). ותשאר היא with the 8 letters equals יעקב יצחק (Chozeh) and ישראל (Kozhnitzer Magid). Alternatively, ושני בניה with the 8 letters equals יעקב יצחק הלוי. The last letters of אלימלך איש נעמי ותשאר היא ושני equal ישראל. The last letters of אלימלך איש נעמי ותשאר היא ושני with the kolel equal ר׳ מנחם מענדיל (Riminover). Interestingly, if you add the first letters of all their names together - אברהם יהושע העשיל, יעקב יצחק הלוי, ישראל, מנחם מענדיל - they equal אלימלך exactly.


The hint given for the 122 pesukim of Vayakhel is סנואה. I saw in the name of Reb Dovid Feinstein shlita that this is a hint to the סנה - "burning bush". When Moshe encountered the burning bush it says:וירא מלאך ד׳ אליו בלבת אש מתוך הסנה וירא והנה הסנה בער באש והסנה איננו אכל. The 3 times סנה is mentioned can allude to the first 3 parts of Tzetel Koton that speak about how one should imagine a fire burning till the sky and going into it al Kiddush Hashem. However, Tzetel Koton starts off saying "these are the things you should live by". When it says the סנה wasn't consumed, it means we should be lit up to live al Kiddush Hashem. והסנה is equal to 126, which is 6 times א־ק־י־ק. A few pesukim later is when Hashem reveals Himself as א־ק־י־ק אשר א־ק־י־ק. והסנה with the 5 letters equals אלימלך. איננו אכל equals אלימלך ז״ל, alluding to his teachings not being forgotten after his passing.


The first piece of Tzetel Koton says that when one is not learning and sitting idle, he should imagine himself going into a fire al Kiddush Hashem. By doing this he will have the mitzvas aseh d'oraisa of ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל. This is hinted to in the posuk:לא תבערו אש בכל משבתיכם ביום השבת, which can mean: On Shabbos - alluding to Olam Habah - don't suffer the fire of Gehinom due to all one's wasted time (alluded to by בכל משבתיכם). Instead, one can use his idle time acquiring the mitzvas aseh d'oraisa of ונקדשתי בתוך בני ישראל as just mentioned. This is hinted at by reading the posuk another way: לא – If one is doing nothing; he is idle. תבערו אש – light a fire (by doing what the Tzetel Koton suggests, as mentioned). בכל משבתיכם – at any the time you are resting. The Seder Krias Shma Shel Hamita of the Arizal contains a vidui that has a section corresponding to each of the four capital punishments. Each one of these corresponds to one of the four ways of spelling out י־ק־ו־ק. ביום השבת equals שבת, which can be an expression of teshuva, plus יוד־קי־ואו־קי (63), the Name that is connected to the punishment of "burning".


Rav Gamliel Rabinovitz shlita said no one should make light of going to go to the kever of the Noam Elimelech. However, he said that one should remember that at the kever of a tzadik you connect to his nefesh but when you learn the sefer of a tzadik you connect to his ruach – a higher level. His point is that whether we go or not we should learn from his teachings. He went on to say that if you learn Tzetel Koton (or his other teachings) you become "mamash a talmid of the Rebbe Reb Meilich." Reb Nachman of Breslov teaches that the image of a tzadik can be found in his sefer. (Likutei Mohoran 192)


גדולים צדיקים במיתתן יותר מבחייהן – "Tzadikim are greater in death than in life." (Chulin 7b) May the zchus of הרבי ר׳ אלימלך בן אלעזר ליפמאן זצוק״ל protect us and all of Klal Yisroel and bring all the refuos and yeshuos begashmios u'breruchnios!

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