Today is the yaretzheit of the holy rebbe, the Noam Elimelech, Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk.
This story is related by the Rabbi of Madin grandson of the Ropshitzer:
Rebbe Elimelech had a custom that after the afternoon Mincha service he would converse with his close followers. He would then proceed to a special private room to pray the evening Maariv service alone in seclusion, purity and sanctity. Rabbi Naftali Ropshitzer, a student of the Rebbe always yearned to also be in that room. He constantly wished to see the deeds of his Rebbe and how he prayed at that time. Once he stole into the room unnoticed and hid beneath the bed. The holy Rebbe entered and closed the door behind him. He took his “gartel,” the traditional sash or belt1 used by Hassidim for prayer and preceded to fasten it about himself. The first time he wound the sash about his waist the whole house was filled with an awesome unbelievable light. The second time he tied the gartel winding it around, the light grew in intensity until the Ropshitzer could no longer endure it. He grew weak and found himself fainting. He called out in a loud voice. Rebbe Elimelech heard the cries of distress coming from his student and recognized their source. “Naftali my son are you here?” the Rebbe asked. “Fortunately, you did not remain here for the third and final time I wound the gartel. If you had remained your soul would have surely left your body from the intensity of the great light. Therefore leave now.” (Eser TzachTzachos #27) From the MiPeninei Noam Elimelech, selections from the sefer Noam Elimelech translated into English.
It is spoken quietly of among chassidim...the Tanya is the book of intermediates, the path for everyone to reach high and far. But the sefer Noam Elimelech is the book of tzaddikim, the path for the righteous to reach even higher and bring the klal along!
Last year Reb Nati merited to be at the kever of the Noam Elimelech, zt"l, on his yaretzheit. Below are a few photos from the Kever Noam Elimelech...
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא