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29 Tammuz 5775 - July 16, 2015 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Ha'Admor Rabbi Elozor Reisher, zt"l, Author of Mishne Lemelech al HaTorah

In honor of his yahrtzeit 15th Tammuz 5670 (1910)

In the year 5598 (1838) a son was born to HaRav Elimelech, rov of Rudnik. Reb Elimelech was a close talmid of the Rebbe of Ropshitz, together with his yedid, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.

The Divrei Chaim was heard talking of his great friend Reb Elimelech.

"I'll tell you a story," said the Sanzer, "from which you'll realize who he is.

"I once entered the beis medrash of Rabbeinu miRopshitz close to the onset of Shabbos and I saw Reb Elimelech of Rudnik sitting and toiling over a difficult Ran. He was crying copious tears and sweating over the meaning, so I went over and offered to tell him the pshat in the words of the Ran.

"`No, no,' refused my friend through his tears, `I prefer to work through it and exert myself until I come to the right conclusion and the emeser pshat. Even if the Ran himself were to appear to me and offer to explain I'd still refuse and toil over it on my own.'

"What should I tell you," sighed the Divrei Chaim, "Reb Elimelech subsequently told me such an amazing pshat to the words of the Ran such as would have been impossible for the human mind to grasp on its own; it was revealed to him straight from Shomayim."

And then he concluded, "Dos is Reb Elimelech Rudniker!"


On 19th of Teves 5609 (1849) this great Reb Elimelech passed away, leaving his eleven-year-old son Elozor an orphan. Before his petiroh however, he traveled to Sanz with the boy and said to his Rebbe, "I am leaving my son in your hands. Please take good care of him."

There in Sanz, under the watchful eye of the Divrei Chaim he grew in Torah and yir'oh, eventually marrying the granddaughter of the Divrei Chaim and settling in Sanz.

It became known amongst the chassidim in Sanz that the difficult and deep teshuvos regarding agunos that the Divrei Chaim wrote, he first passed to his beloved grandson Reb Elimelech to go through them before sending on to the one who asked the shailoh.


Following the histalkus of the Divrei Chaim, a group of loyal followers who had once been chassidim of his father gathered around Reb Elozor, appointing him as his father's successor.

When the debate arose as to which city Reb Elozor would reside in, Rabbeinu expressed his wish to settle in the city of Reisha. In explanation to this he related that in the days of his holy grandfather, the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, the city of Reisha was full of people who opposed his ways and even caused him trouble. Once the rebbe Reb Elimelech was heard to say wistfully, "I hereby bless the city of Reisha that one day a descendant of mine will spread G-dliness in the city and instill a his'orerus in the hearts of its Yidden."

Said Reb Elozor, "I wish to be the descendant of which my holy grandfather spoke." Suffice it to say that Reb Elozor became the focal point of Reisha, where throngs of its Yidden gathered around him and were strengthened in yiras Hashem.

Likewise his name spread as a poel yeshuos, particularly with regard to healing the sick.

As Reb Avrohom Sholom the Stropkover Rebbe said in the name of his father, the Divrei Yechezkel of Shinova, "Every tzaddik has his specially-endowed power from Heaven; to Reb Elozor Reisher they endowed the power to heal the sick of Klal Yisroel."

A man once came to the Divrei Yechezkel of Shinova. Small shards of broken glass had accidentally entered his eyes and the doctors had decided that the only way to save his eyesight was through a complicated and dangerous operation, whose success they could not guarantee. The unfortunate Yid begged the Rebbe for a brochoh that the treatment be successful.

Instead of the usual blessing, the Shinover instructed the stricken man to travel to Reisha to Rabbeinu.

Reb Elozor had the man lie on the table before him, and with a thinly rolled wick he carefully removed the shards of glass from his "patient's" eyes. He then sent him back to his uncle, the Shinover Rov.

When the latter heard what Reb Elozor had done and saw that the glass had indeed all been removed, he exclaimed, "Concerning Reb Elozor can be said the same as what they said of the Rambam in his time: The Rambam was a doctor about whom they said that he did more through the power of his tefilloh than the power of his medical knowledge."

In corroboration with the above, the uncle of Rabbeinu, the rav of Gorlitz zt"l, sent him a letter in which he asked Rabbeinu for a refuah for a certain ill person. Rabbeinu's reply was not long in coming: "I have never healed a single person without knowing his name and the name of his mother to enable me to daven for him."

From then on it became known that his expertise in medicine was only a facade; Rabbeinu's true strength lay in the power of his tefillos.

The holy Reb Yidele Horowitz of Dzikov related that his grandfather, the Ateres Yeshuo, initially had four daughters and no sons and went to Rabbeinu for a brochoh. "It was from this brochoh that my father Reb Alter was born."

Reb Elozor had an open house for all the sick and broken- hearted, but when it came to those against the Torah, Rabbeinu fought with all his might, even reverting to physical force when he deemed it necessary.

On one such occasion, an apikores came to Rabbeinu and began to lay out his questions and heretical ideas. Without further ado, Rabbeinu lifted him by the collar and threw him out of the house. Protesting, the arrogant fellow attempted to argue, "Don't we learn in Pirkei Avos (perek 2 mishna 14) `and know what to answer to an apikores?' Why is the Rebbe throwing me out?"

Replied Rabbeinu firmly, "This is indeed the answer that one has to know."


When Reb Elozor passed from this world on 15th of Tammuz, on an erev Shabbos, his followers found a request in his tzavo'oh that he be buried close to his father in another town. The special permission necessary to transport a niftar from one town to another was complicated and difficult to obtain.

In her sorrow and desperation, the Rebbetzin went over to the mittah and said: "During your lifetime you were a baal mofes. Work some kind of miracle now, too, so that your burial not be delayed on erev Shabbos."

To the wonder of all those present, within several minutes, the permit was secured and the levaya, followed by thousands of bereft Yidden made its weeping way to the requested town to bury their great leader still on erev Shabbos.

After Reb Elozor's histalkus, his writings were compiled and printed in the sefer Mishne Lemelech al HaTorah. Just as Rabbeinu in his lifetime, his sefer, too, serves to ignite and draw close the souls of Yisroel to avodas Hashem.


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