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Jude 07-23-2003 02:09 PM

R' Hillel of Paritch

Jude 07-23-2003 02:14 PM

Rabbi Hillel of Paritch (1795-1864), who served as rabbi of the towns of Paritch and Babroisk in White Russia, was one of the many great scholars of his day to join the Chabad chassidic movement. For many years, he was a devoted disciple and follower of the second and third rebbes of Chabad, Rabbi DovBer (1772-1826) and Rabbi Menachem Mendel (1780-1866).

As a young man, Rabbi Hillel heard of the founder of Chabad chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812) and sought to meet with him. But the opportunity seemed to forever elude the young prodigy: no sooner did he arrive in a town that Rabbi Schneur Zalman was visiting, that he was informed that the Rebbe had just left. Finally, he managed to locate Rabbi Schneur Zalman's lodgings before the Rebbe was due to arrive. In order to ensure that he would not, once again, somehow miss his opportunity, Rabbi Hillel crept into Rabbi Schneur Zalman's appointed room and hid under the bed, determined, at last, to make the acquaintance of the great Rebbe.

In anticipation of his encounter with Rabbi Schneur Zalman, Rabbi Hillel had “armed” himself with some of his achievements in Talmudic study. At that time, the young scholar was studying the tractate Erchin, or “Appraisals,” the section of the Talmud which deals with the laws of how to appraise the value of one's pledges to charity. Rabbi Hillel had an insightful question on the subject which he had diligently rehearsed in order to discuss it with the Rebbe.

From his hiding place, Rabbi Hillel heard the Rebbe enter the room. But before he could make a move, he heard Rabbi Schneur Zalman exclaim: “If a young man has a question regarding ‘Appraisals,’ he had best first evaluate himself.”

The prodigy under the bed fainted on the spot. When he came to, Rabbi Schneur Zalman was gone...

How are we to apply this story to our lives?

The tractate of “Appraisals” discusses the laws presented in chapter 27 of Leviticus: “...If a man make a singular vow, to give to G-d the estimated values of persons, then the estimation shall be as follows: For a male from twenty to sixty years old, the estimation shall be thirty shekels of silver...” In other words, if a person pledges to give to charity, but instead of citing a sum he says “I promise to give the value of this individual,” we are to follow a fixed rate table set by the Torah, in which each age and gender group is assigned a certain “value.”

But why employ a flat rate which lumps together so many diverse individuals? Should not an accomplished scholar be considered more valuable than a simple laborer? The Torah (Deuteronomy 29:9) states that we all stand equally before G-d, “from your heads, the leaders of your tribes, your elders... to your wood choppers and water carriers.” But can a person truly view his fellow as his equal when he is so obviously superior to him in talent and achievement?

This is the gist of Rabbi Schneur Zalman's remark: If you have a question regarding “Appraisals,” if you find it difficult to relate to the Torah's evaluation of human worth, you had best take a long hard look at yourself. An honest appraisal of your own character and behavior will show you how much there is for you to emulate and learn from those who are supposedly ‘inferior’ to yourself.

From an address by the Rebbe, Shabbos Nitzavim 5710, September 9 1950

Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber

Gevurah 07-23-2003 02:16 PM

yahrtzeit 11 Menachem Av...

Jude 07-23-2003 02:20 PM

Rabbi Hillel was born with exceptional gifts, and he strove diligently in Torah study. At thirteen he had mastered Talmud, and at fifteen, the Kabalistic works of Ar'i (Rabbi Isaac Luria). Mastering Talmud by mid-teens was not rare in those days, but attaining proficiency in Kabala besides that was a wonder even in those luminous times. In addition to his eminence in Torah learning he trained himself in self-discipline. He "mobilized" his body to act only as the Torah prescribes, even to conform with Kabala.
Rebbe Hillel of Paritch was a tzadik and great scholar who chose to become a devoted chassid of the first three Chabad Rebbes. It is known that he would not change his custom of dress, even under threat of death. Explaining his steadfastness, Reb Hillel said he possessed a document of Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz on which was written that just as clothing covers and surrounds us, so too they are spiritually connected to the divine attribute of Understanding (bina), that "covers" and is the basis of our emotions which lead to action. The Arizal said that even though the Jews in Egypt had entered the 49 gates of impurity, they had not yet fallen into the 50th. For this reason we were redeemed from Egypt. The 50th gateway of impurity is parallel to its converse: the pure 50th gate of Understanding. By not changing their dress - which is connected to understanding - the Jews had the power to stay out of that 50th gate of impurity! R' Pinchus's document also explained that just before the final redemption, there will be enormous pressure on the Jews to conform to foreign dress codes - to push them into the 50th gate of impurity - and they will succumb, G-d forbid! So on what merit will we be redeemed? On the merit of a few individuals who, against all odds, will not relinquish their customary dress. Rebbe Hillel closed by saying that anyone who had such a document would undoubtedly sacrifice all to fulfill its requirements; the only problem is that no one has it. I do, therefore I must comply!

Gevurah 07-23-2003 02:25 PM

source of vision mashal on chazon
pelech rimon - good stuff ;)
Gal Einai likes him

Jude 07-23-2003 02:33 PM

For the Melave Malka meal (Saturday night meal to escort the Shabbat queen), Rabbi Hillel of Paritch would always eat chicken that had been freshly slaughtered, salted and prepared that night.
One Shabbat, he was a guest in the home of the chief rabbi, Rav Yosef Tumarkin, in Krementzug. There were two shochtim (ritual slaughterers) in town, one from Lithuanian and one from Poland. Rabbi Hillel would only eat the chickens slaughtered by the Polish chasid.

Immediately after Shabbat, the Rebbetzin arranged for a chicken to be prepared. Unfortunately, the Polish shochet had already left for the slaughterhouse, which was located out of town.

The Rebbetzin was in a dilemma. She knew that R' Hillel was known to eat only meat slaughtered by the Polish shochet. On the other hand, she did not want to return home empty-handed. "My husband," she rationalized, "is the local Rav. If he relies on the other shochet, on this one occasion, it will have to do for R' Hillel as well." Quickly, she ordered the chicken form the Lithuanian shochet and soon the table was set for the Melave Malka meal.

When the chicken was served, Rabbi Hillel sniffed it slightly and set his portion aside, without touching it. The Rav realized that something must be amiss with the chicken and quickly turned to his wife. "Was there a halachic question about the chicken's kashrus?" he inquired.

"Not at all," she assured him. Taking her husband aside, she explained what had happened. "Evidently, Rabbi Hillel has his way of knowing that this chicken was not slaughtered by his usual shochet."

The Rav then turned to his guest, telling him what had happened and asking him to explain his reluctance to use meat slaughtered by the Lithuanian shochet. "If, in fact, he is not reliable, why then, I should not be eating chickens slaughtered by him either."

"He is a skilled shochet," replied Rabbi Hillel. "However, I once overheard him speaking disrespectfully about a Torah scholar. Therefore, I do not eat from the meat he has slaughtered."

The Rav knew the offended scholar. "How can the shochet atone for his folly? The man whom he shamed has since passed away."

"He should gather ten people to accompany him to the cemetery and beg forgiveness at his grave. After this, there will be no further questions about his slaughtering and I too will rely on him."

[I]From From My Father's Shabbos Table by Rabbi Yehudah Chitrick[/I]

the Tzemach Tzedek (the third rebbe) testified, "Reb Hillel is himself half a Rebbe."

Jude 07-23-2003 02:41 PM

Shabbos Nachamu, is the yahrtzeit of the famous Chassid Reb Hillel of Paritch, who passed away on the 11th of Menachem Av 5624 (1864) in the city of Kharson, where he is interred.

Reb Hillel of Paritch once heard a maamer from the Tzemach Tzedek. Later, as the Chassidim were sitting and discussing what they had heard, a dispute arose over a certain point in the maamer. Reb Hillel understood the maamer in one way and the Tzemach Tzedek’s sons understood it in another.

Unable to resolve the problem themselves, they decided to ask the Rebbe himself what he had meant. The Tzemach Tzedek explained the maamer according to his sons’ interpretation and not Reb Hillel’s.

Reb Hillel responded by saying, “When the Rebbe utters a maamer Chassidus, it is exactly ‘as if it were given from Sinai.’ Afterwards, however, when we attempt to understand it, we too are allowed to use our intellect to comprehend it in our own terms.”

How could Reb Hillel, who was renowned for his bitul and hiskashrus, have said such a thing?!

It is said, for example, that Reb Hillel’s friend, the famous Reb Aizik of Homil (a Chassidic giant in his own right), would deliberately give over maamarim in his own words rather than verbatim. Reb Aizik would explain that this was the truest indicator of having fully absorbed the Rebbe’s words and arrived at their inner meaning beyond their “form.”

Reb Aizik was known as a great Chassidic maskil, blessed with enormous mental powers and an expansive intellect. Whatever he learned, he acquired and made his own.

By contrast, Reb Hillel was known as an oveid, his entire essence permeated by complete bitul and iskafya. Whenever he heard a maamer from the Rebbe, he would contemplate it with such a degree of self-nullification that it was if he were trying to squeeze himself inside it.

For this reason, Reb Hillel was always careful to repeat a maamer in the exact words in which it was uttered. When we read Reb Hillel’s maamarim, we can see that the Rebbe’s original style is faithfully retained.

Despite the fact that, in general, Chassidim don’t learn the maamarim of other Chassidim in the same way that they learn the maamarim of a Rebbe (for the reason that the G-dliness a maamer contains is only in the original), Reb Hillel’s maamarim were always considered to have retained the original style with all the G-dliness of the original words.

So how can we understand Reb Hillel’s response to the Tzemach Tzedek? What did he mean? How could he have claimed that after a maamer is uttered, we have the right to inject our own intellect and express an independent opinion?

The Rebbe cites the above story in the Dvar Malchus of Shabbos Parshas Matos-Masei 5751, together with a short explanation [free translation]:

“The saying of Reb Hillel of Paritch about the maamer of the Tzemach Tzedek (and by extension, all the Rebbeim), in which he makes a distinction between the utterance of the maamer and the subsequent explanation and attempt to understand it, is well known.

When the Rebbe utters a maamer, it is in a manner of ‘the Divine presence issues forth from his throat,’ ‘as if it were given from Sinai,’ which is not the case with regard to the shakla ve’tarya [debate] and elucidation that ensues thereafter, even that of the Rebbe himself. This is because there are two distinct thrusts in Torah: the drawing down of G-dliness from Above (‘as if it were given from Sinai’), and the process of elevating upward (the intellectual attempt to understand something). In general, this is the difference between Torah (the drawing-down of G-dliness) and prayer (which elevates the individual upward).”

Jude 04-21-2004 08:23 PM

where's the story written about R' Hillel Paritcher who wouldn't take his yarmulka off even in the mikva, and would immerse as his yarmulka floated right above him so that when he emerged, he would emerge directly into his yarmulka, and how one time he nearly drowned because his yarmulka floated away, and when he realized it wasn't there, he [I]stayed under water![/I]

Shear-Yashuv 05-26-2016 07:30 AM

Three modes of prayer

it's said in the name of Reb Hillel of Paritch that there are three modes of prayer: 1.) to pray while seeking to understand Pirusch Ha-Milot, 2.) to pray with Avodat Ha-Lev, 3.) to pray with chassidishe Pirusch Ha-Milot.

Does anybody know where Reb Hillel said this? I'm looking for the hebrew/jiddish text.

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