Initially Reb Dov Berisch refused to accept the mantle
of leadership. However, as time passed and the period
during which his father-in-law had pledged to support
him was over, the young genius realized he had to
provide for his household and so he accepted a position
as rov in Biala.
His method of learning and derech avodoh Reb Dov
Berisch gleaned from his illustrious father, HaRav
Hakodosh Reb Avromele of Tchechenov, zt"l.
Nevertheless, he became a close chossid of the
holy Reb Itzikel of Vorka, zt"l, much to the
chagrin of his father's chassidim.
The turning-point at which R' Dov Berisch became
acquainted with the elderly Rebbe of Vorka was a
bris. R' Feivel Gritza invited R' Itzikel Vorka
to be sandek at his son's bris. The young
avreich Dov Berisch was at the time still staying
with his father-in-law in Gritza and since he was
already one of the distinguished young men, he too was
The Rebbe of Vorka and R' Dov Berisch began talking and
the latter immediately felt his soul being drawn to the
Rebbe. Then and there he decided not to return home,
but traveled back together with R' Itzikel to Vorka and
became his talmid muvhak.
The reciprocal love of R' Itzikel towards his
talmid was indicative of his respect for him. On
one occasion the Admor of Vorka was learning with his
talmidim and their arguing was getting
increasingly loud and more aggressive. In order to
break the noise, the Rebbe suddenly posed a question
and immediately answered it.
"Why at matan Torah did every Jew have a
mechitzah? Because the younger ones were pushing
the elders!" (Indicating that here too the younger
talmidim were "pushing" their older
At once the talmidim stopped arguing and lifted
their heads apologetically to look at their Rebbe. The
latter saw that R' Dov Berisch too, looked sorry and
called over to him. "I didn't mean you, for you are
already a zoken — zeh shekonoh chochmoh."
The followers of Reb Dov Berisch's father were
extremely perturbed to see their Rebbe's son so close
to another Rebbe, and tried constantly to alert their
Rebbe of their concern about this fact. He did not
share their concern and watched Dov Berisch grow ever
greater in Torah and yiras Shomayim.
Once Reb Dov Berisch came to visit his father in
Tchechenov, accompanied by a contingent of two hundred
followers. As was his custom, every meal, even on a
weekday, was a seudas mitzvah with divrei
Torah spoken at length, which was why so many
flocked to him every day.
Reb Avromele's chassidim came to him, complaining
that his son is behaving as a "rebbe" in his father's
town, an affront to the Rebbe's honor. Shrugging his
shoulders, Reb Avromele made it clear that not only did
he not mind his son conducting his "tish" here in
town, but even sent those very chassidim to put
wine on the table in his name.
Someone once reported to Reb Avromele on another
occasion that his son was so busy with his
tefillos and his chassidim that he was
neglecting his Torah learning. R' Avromele, duly upset
and concerned, determined to check out the facts for
himself. Barely had his son stepped over the threshold
of his father's house, when R' Avromele engaged him in
Torah conversation. Together they delved into the
depths of the most difficult sugyos in
Shas, moving from one sugya to the next,
asking, answering and being mefalpel. For five
consecutive hours they stood there on the doorstep
absorbed in their learning as though they were sitting
in the beis medrash.
After five hours, R' Avromele went to call his
Rebbetzin, announcing exultantly, "Rebbetzin, come and
prepare a grand seudah for our son the talmid
With the Rebbe of Vorka's petiroh, his son R'
Menachem Mendel took over the leadership and Rabbeinu
of Biala remained a staunch chossid of his. To
someone who questioned this, R' Dov Berisch replied,
"If I wouldn't be absolutely sure that the new Rebbe
can read the minds of all those who bask in his
presence, I would not come to him."
On the sixteenth of Sivan 5628 (1868) R' Menachem
Mendel of Vorka passed away. This time, the
chassidim turned to R' Dov Berisch, who took on
their leadership for seven years.
To quote the chassidim, these years were known as the
"seven years of plenty," for the Rebbe would constantly
daven that Heaven bestow all the world's
blessings upon the chassidim.
The elderly among them would relate how once, when R'
Menachem Mendel was still alive, Rabbeinu came out of
the Rebbe's room covered in perspiration after having
been closed in with the Rebbe a number of hours. Their
voices, raised in argument, had been heard by those
outside the room and one of them boldly asked R' Dov
Berisch what it was about.
"The Rebbe didn't want the blessing of wealth to
descend upon his chassidim for then they would be
taken up with their gashmiyus. I however argued
that one who has worries of parnossoh on his head
cannot serve Hashem properly. In the end after a few
hours, the Rebbe agreed with me," said R' Dov Berisch
"When I come to the Heavenly court," declared R' Dov
Berisch, "I will have one request: that the heavens
open and rain down a shefa of goodness and
blessing for all Klal Yisroel so that their
hearts will be free (of worries) to serve Hashem."
He was known as a poel yeshuos through whom many
A distraught couple once brought their ill son to the
Rebbe. Pouring out their bitter tale, they informed the
Rebbe that their son had been stricken with a strange
illness and his condition was steadily worsening. The
doctors had sent him home for they had given up hope of
recovery and the family was in despair.
Rabbeinu promised them that in a short while the boy
would have a refuah sheleimoh, and sure enough a
few days later his miraculous recovery was complete.
"How could the Rebbe be so sure that the boy would
recover?" asked a chossid.
Rabbeinu hid his greatness by bringing a proof from
Tehillim. "Dovko lo'oretz nafsheinu, kumah ezroso
When a person is down till the ground with despair and
everyone has given up hope of being helped by any human
doctor, then HaKodosh Boruch Hu has to step in
"I saw that you had all despaired and therefore
concluded that Hashem will have to have mercy and heal
the boy Himself!"