Dei'ah veDibur - Information &

A Window into the Chareidi World

23 Shvat 5775 - February 12, 2015 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by











Sparks of Greatness
Rabbi Dovid of Mikoleiv, zt"l

In honor of his yahrtzeit, 25 Shevat 5560

When a person is totally perfect, or has corrected any flaws that needed tikkun in this world, it is known that he has the tzelem Elokim imprinted on him in its entirety.

The Baal Shem Tov once said of his talmid, Reb Dovid, "On his face one can see the whole tzelem Elokim."

In a similar vein, the sefer Yosher Divrei Emes brings a vort of Rabbi Dovid's and says, "I heard from a venerable old person whose description is like that of a mal'ach Elokim, a talmid muvhak of the Baal Shem Tov."


Reb Dovid was wont to say, "The more a person perceives the greatness of Hashem Yisborach, the further he is removed from haughtiness and pride, for he sees how worthless he is in comparison to His infinity.

"Ga'avoh, on the other hand, stems from distancing oneself from Hashem.

"Chazal tell us that, in the days before Moshiach comes, chutzpah will be rampant. The connection is seen in the words Ikvesa DeMeshicha.

"Comparable to the distance between the heel (eikev) and the head is the distance between people and Hashem Yisborach, and therefore chutzpah, which is a result of pride, abounds."


There are two stories relating how Reb Dovid came to be such a close talmid of the Baal Shem Tov:

Before the Baal Shem Tov became known, Reb Dovid once lodged in the same inn as his future Rebbe.

In the quiet of the night hours, Reb Dovid was suddenly awoken to the sound of weeping. Opening his eyes, he beheld a huge burning flame surrounding the bed of his fellow guest.

Startled, Reb Dovid jumped up to bring water so that he could douse the flames and perhaps save the other man's life, but before he could do so, he noticed the Baal Shem Tov sitting calmly within the fire, reciting Tikkun Chatzos.

Reb Dovid understood that a holy soul had been revealed to him and decided to cleave to him from then on.

Another story is told of an erev Shabbos when Reb Dovid arrived in Mezhibuzh. He was extremely tired and lay down to sleep a little before Shabbos.

He dreamt that he had been wandering in a forest for several days without food. Upon meeting some shepherds, he asked them the way to Mezhibuzh.

"There is no Mezhibuzh here," they replied. "Go up that mountain and there you will find Gan Eden Hatachton."

"I don't want Gan Eden Hatachton," countered Reb Dovid. "I'm on my way to my Rebbe in Mezhibuzh," and continued walking on his way.

Subsequently, he came across a group of talmidei chachomim who were sitting and learning. He posed the same question, asking for the way to Mezhibuzh, but their answer, too, was like the shepherds'.

"There is no Mezhibuzh here. Go up that mountain and you'll reach the Gan Eden Hatachton."

To them, too, he insisted, "I do not seek Gan Eden Hatachton. I'm looking for my Rebbe and teacher of Mezhibuzh."

Reb Dovid awoke and found himself in his bed in Mezhibuzh.

After washing his hands, he went to say Shalom Aleichem to his newly-found Rebbe, the Baal Shem Tov.

The latter told him that this had been no ordinary dream.

"You were being tested from Heaven to see if your true will is to cleave to your Rebbe and in this way serve Hashem, or not. Apparently you passed your trial successfully."

The Baal Shem Tov drew him into his closest circle, even appointing Reb Dovid as his baal tefilloh of the musaf prayers on the Yomim Noraim.

It is told of Reb Dovid that on Erev Yom Kippur he fulfilled the mitzvah of eating to an extreme degree, surpassing the ability of what a human can eat. Yet from the moment the day turned to dusk, Reb Dovid stood in holy awe before the omud and didn't move from his position until motzei Yom Kippur.


Before his passing, Reb Dovid told his talmidim through his tears, "When a man returns from the yerid, the business fair, after a day or two everyone asks him, `Nu, what did you buy?'

"I am about to return from the business fair of Olam Hazeh, in which I spent my lifetime. What will I answer when the great question is posed to me?

"Nu — what did you bring with you from the fair?"


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.