Saturday, November 30, 2013

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Chanukah Chassidus

via Lma’an Yishme’u


In the household of the tzaddik, Reb Dovid of Tolna, hadlokas haneirois (chanuka candle lighting) was a special event. His chassidim would gather excitedly in his house to take part in the lighting of his golden menora, which was an elaborate piece of artistic craftsmanship. One year, on the first night of Chanuka, when the tzaddik was ready to light it, he turned to one of his chassidim and said, "Your wife is short, isn't she? When you want to speak to her, what do you do? Do you bend over towards her, or does she raise herself up to your height?" Without waiting for an answer, he recited the berachos and lit the menora. Needless to say, the chossid and all those present were very puzzled.

During this time, Reb Dovid's great nephew, the tzaddik, Reb Mordechai Dov of Hornisteipol, was staying at his home, and seeing the confusion of the chassidim, he explained: The Gemara says that "The Shechina does not descend lower than ten tefachim from the ground." However, there is an exception to this rule, for the Chanuka menora is ideally required to be lower than ten tefachim, and it brings theShechina itself here below. Reb Mordechai concluded by quoting from theAriZal that this is the deeper meaning of the words of the Gemara, 'If your wife is short, you should bend over and whisper to her.'

The following evening, at the time of hadlokas haneiros, Reb Dovid again made some puzzling comment to one of his chassidim. Immediately, though he had not been told of the previous night's explanation, he turned to Reb Mordechai and said, "This time, you will not understand as you did yesterday!"

(סיפורי חסידים זוין מועדים ע' 281)


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