Monday, July 23, 2007

Chozeh of Lublin

Tisha B'Av is the yahrzeit of Reb Yaakov Yitzchok ben Avrohom Eliezer HaLevi Horowitz, known as the Chozeh of Lublin or the Rebbe of Lublin, who passed away in 1815. He was a talmid of the Magid of Mezritch, Magid of Zlotchov, Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev and the Rebbe Reb Shmelke of Nikolsburg. His main Rebbe, of course, was the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizensk, the author of Noam Elimelech. He was one of the four top talmidim of the Noam Elimelech. (The other three were Reb Yisroel of Koznitz, Reb Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel of Apta and Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov. There were, of course, many other great talmidim, but these four were singled out by the Noam Elimelech and he gave them each different spiritual gifts before his passing.)


His talmidim included Reb Dovid of Lelov, Reb Yissochor Dov of Radoshitz, Meor VeShemesh, Reb Naftali of Ropshitz, Yid HaKodosh, Bnei Yisaschor, Yismach Moshe, Reb Meir of Apta, the Zhidichover and Komarna Rebbes, Sar Sholom of Belz and numerous other great tzadikim. He also wrote approbations for Sefer Likutei Mohoran and Siddur Tefila Yeshara (Berdichiver Siddur). His seforim include Divrei Emes, Zichron Zos, and Zos Zichron.


Young Yaakov Yitzchok Prepares His Own Shabbos Food

One Friday afternoon, as a new student in the yeshiva, young Yaakov Yitzchok entered the yeshiva kitchen and told the one in charge that he likes to personally prepare his fish for Shabbos; he picked out a piece of fish, salted it and put it back. The other students standing around laughed at this, saying that this student doesn't know which piece of fisg he is going to get on Shabbos. The Baal HaTanya witnessed this and realized there is something special about this student, so he tied a piece of string around the fish salted by the Chozeh. When they served the fish on Shabbos, the Baal HaTanya watched to see what would happen. He saw the piece of fish with the string attached placed in front of a student seated right next to the Chozeh. The student began to feel nauseas, so he pushed the fish over to the Chozeh and told him he could have it. Already, as a young student he was a "Seer".


Why the Rebbe of Lublin was called the Chozeh

(This story was already mentioned in a post on Shmiras Einayim, but worth repeating.)

If one has "kosher" eyes he will be able to see lofty things that the eyes normally can't see. (Likutei Mohoran 254)


When Reb Yaakov Yitzchok was a student he used to walk with his eyes closed, so he wouldn't see what he shouldn't. One of his friends would go with him to guide him. Some of his fellow students went over to their Rebbe and asked what kind of foolishness this was, but the Rebbe told them to leave Yaakov Yitzchok alone because he is sincere in his actions.


When Yaakov Yitzchok reached of age, a fine shidduch was found for him. He did not look at his kallah until the wedding, as he had no need to see her until the wedding. At the wedding, he opened his eyes to see his soon to be wife, and saw the form of a graven image on her face. He immediately told his father that the wedding has to be called off. They were, understandably, quite angry at him. The girl supposedly had all the qualities anyone would want. But, he knew what he saw on the girls face, there was some form of impurity there, and he had no choice but to call off the wedding.


From all those years of not looking at anything improper he was able to see things that the regular eye couldn't perceive. The rest is history. He found a proper match and went on to be called the Chozeh, the Seer, because he could see from one end of the world to the other, due to his protecting his eyes from seeing the forbidden.


You Will Cry On the Day I Die

On Simchas Torah the Chozeh fell from a window and hurt himself very bad. Certain opponents of the Chozeh were openly happy about this. When the Chozeh heard about this, he said: "On the day I die they will be crying". This statement was understood when the Chozeh passed away on the saddest day of the year, Tisha B'Av.


Preview of the Coming Year

Reb Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov (Bnei Yisaschar) in Igra Dekala (Pekudei) says in the name of his Rebbe, Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, that each of the first 12 days of Nisan represent 1 month of the year and contain all the koach of that coming month. He says it is well known that the Chozeh of Lublin would write down what would happen in the coming year during the days of the Neseim, each day for the corresponding month.  The year he died he stopped writing at the month of Av; he passed away on Tisha B'Av.


How the Chozeh Got the Choicest Plot

If one goes to the cemetery in Lublin, they will see the Chozeh is buried next to Reb Shachna of Lublin. Here's how that happened.


As soon as the Chozeh passed away, his dedicated talmid, Reb Naftal of Ropshitz went to pick a proper plot for his Rebbe in the cemetery. The Rov of the town, a misnaged of the Chozeh, instructed the gravediggers to not to give him a choice plot. Reb Naftali went at night to the cemetery with the gravediggers and managed to trick them into thinking they were digging a grave in a regular plot. In the morning they realized they had dug a plot right next to the famous Reb Sholom Shachna of Lublin, who had been the Rov of the town many years before. They went to the Rov and asked him what to do. He told them that once the grave is dug, it's too late and they have no choice but to bury the Chozeh there. During the life of the Chozeh, he would often tell people to go daven for yeshous by Reb Shachna's kever.


See Heichal HaNegina for a great post with much more on the Chozeh of Lublin.


May the Zchus of Reb Yaakov Yitzchok ben Reb Avrohom Eliezer Halevi protect us and all of Klal Yisroel.


Tish B'Av is also the yartzeit of Reb Gavriel "Malach" ben Reb Dovid Horowitz of Moglenitza(1858) who was a talmid of the Ohev Yisroel of Apta, Magid of Koznitz and his son, Reb Moshe Elyakim Briah and Reb Chaim Meir of Moglenitza. He helped put together the writings of the Magid of Koznitz.


A Simple Jew said...

Great post!

BTW: You might remember that the Chozeh's haskama to the sefer Degel Machaneh Ephraim stated, "these precious words will help those who engross in them."

yitz said...

Also, today is the yartzheit of Rav Yitzhak Nissim who was the Rishon L'tzion for 18 years (including during the unification of yerushalayim, the six day war)

Yitzhak nissim ben Rachamim and Amam

(he was my wife's grandfather)

Unknown said...


shalom alecheim:
does anyone have pictures of the actual kever of the SEER OF LUBLIN? I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THEM. ALSO ANY OTHER kivrot tzadikim in poland.
tizke le mitzvot
chodesh tov

Unknown said...


shalom alecheim:
does anyone have pictures of the actual kever of the SEER OF LUBLIN? I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THEM. ALSO ANY OTHER kivrot tzadikim in poland.
tizke le mitzvot
chodesh tov

Anonymous said...

Are there any reputable list of descendants of the Chozeh? My Grandfather changed his name from Horowitz to Kaplan when he moved to the States. He was from Minsk. Just curious if I could be related.
Sam Kaplan