Thursday, August 23, 2007

Reb Pinchos of Koritz

10 Elul is the yartzeit of the great tzadik, R' Pinchos of Koritz (1790) ben R' Avrohom Abba Shapiro, a descendant of R' Noson Nota Shapiro, the Megaleh Amukos. He was not only one of the greatest talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov, but was also considered a friend of the Baal Shem Tov. His teachings are collected in Medrash Pinchos, Nofes Tzufim and Imrei Pinchas. His talmidim included R' Raphael "der Emesser" of Bershad and the Shpoler Zeide. See A Simple Jew (last year, but worth seeing again) for more.

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The Baal Shem Tov instructed a certain group of chassidim that, after his passing, they should choose for themselves a leader who when asked how to rid oneself of the horrible trait of conceit, will respond that he doesn't know. If someone claims to have the solution, it indicates that he doesn't realize that there are still traces of conceit in his heart. After the Baal Shem Tov's passing, this group traveled around asking different tzadikim this question. They all gave various ways that they felt would help people rid themselves of conceit. Finally, they came to R' Pinchos Koritzer and asked him how to get rid of conceit. He replied, "I am troubled by this same problem and know no way out." And so, they chose Reb Pinchos as their Rebbe.


Zchuso Yogen Aleinu

1 comment:

A Talmid said...

Also the yartzeit of R' Yitzchok of Bohush (1896) ben R' Sholom Yosef of Sadiger.