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Sunday, December 11, 2011

From an ongoing translation of the holy words of Saba Yisroel

Story of the three wealthy intellectuals of Tiberius

But I forgot about the three wealthy men of Tiberius, oy, they were already from the new ones [from the newly drawn close] new zionists, they made, it was joke by them, all of Judaism and the Torah, but even still, they were children of the Land of Israel, and the most important one of them, had a flour mill, and he was important, his family, his father and grandfather were Karlin hasidim, so he wore a streimel (round fur hat), slanted such, according to the fashion, and he went with his friends, another two, this one, was the elder, he wasn't old but he was the eldest of them. These three, they were friends and they mocked Judaism, like the wise man of the Tales of Ancient Times. They went, it was a joke by them. They go to pray, but one, his name was Yisroel Ben Zalman, Zulmin, and the two? There were two, one was the owner of the largest drugstore in Tiberius, he was a wonder even in Jerusalem, a large drugstore and he knew the trade well, a great expert, this second guy. And the third was Leibel, also Aryeh (the Hebrew for Leibel – lion), he was the largest lumber merchant in Tiberius. These are the three. They went to the synagogue, but is was like a show, a type of jest. Just like that, in every synagogue, they went to the synagogue, scoffers! This one that had the flour mill, Yisroel Zalmens [Zulmintz], he was the outstanding of them, they had propriety with him, he was a smart man, they went with him to the synagogue, and this was a type of show, they went to the synagogue, and the house of Rabbi Yisroel was between all the synagogues [close to all the synagogues]. They saw a great commotion, the whole city, a great commotion, and also my family, and the family of Rav Tzvi, and Rabbi Yisrel, and there was screaming and crying, and they heard such a thing? “what is going on here? What is it?” “ho!... you don't know? Yisroel Ber has become a Breslov hasid, and they took me [him – R' Tzvi] and he disappeared, he went with his phylacteries to pray and didn't return!” so they heard such a thing, they saw, there was such a big gathering, in the middle they were told what is happening, what there is in Tiberius, Yisroel Ber from the hasidim of Breslov [he has become Breslov, and now Rav Tzvi as well]. “what? You have not heard? What a show? What? Yisroel Ber? What Breslov?” in any event, they approached the door of Rabbi Yisroel, it was closed. He closed the door, he prayed the morning prayer, such a kind of prayer! I didn't hear, but I heard that they said that it pierced the heavens. That it was such a prayer! My family, and his family, my mother, the mother of Rav Tzvi, so they stood next to the door of Rabbi Yisroel, and also Mordichai the muechtar sood there with policemen as well, they waited for him to finish the prayer, they will take him outside, outside they can take him, from the house it is forbidden to take him (that was the law, because R' Yisroel had an Austrian passport), but from the outside it is possible. In any event, they were angry, they wanted to break the door of Rabbi Yisroel. They found themselves with the muechtar, with the policemen, they heard the prayer of Rabbi Yisroel, fear fell upon them! They never in the world heard such a type of prayer, they never heard in the world, so they were aroused in truth, the Judaism was aroused, the heart, the Judaism, and all of them, this Yisroel Zulmin, from the flour mill, and these two, they said to Mordichai, to the muechtar, “get out of here” so he left immediately. They were a gang... if he didn't want to listen to them they would give money, there were very wealthy, he feared them, they were not simple people, they told him to go, so he went, and they remained. They didn't go to pray, they didn't go to Karlin, they saw such a kind of show! The whole city just searches “where Rabbi Yisroel?” the muechtar and the policemen... so they waited until he finished the 'shmone esray' (standing benediction) of the Shabbos prayers, they knocked on the door and they spoke with R' Yisroel. “Mordichai? We sent away Mordichai, we want to speak with you” so he opened the door and they entered, they were clever, smart, but they were abnegated in the face of the prayer that they heard from Rabbi Yisroel. For an hour they asked him some questions, and he answered them, the first question first, the last question last, he answered all of them, and they were very astonished, they had never heard such words. They were wise, they asked him! “what is this? Breslov and Karlin and all of them, all the religious, all of them, they have children and also the Breslovers have wives and children, what difference is there? These get married and they have children, and these marry and they have children, so what? What difference is there? They asked in jest, but Rabbi Yisroel answered them in truth, with acuity, “these get married? They marry for the desires of the body, as a matter of course they also have children, but the main thing is the desire! But these righteous? They, because they want children, for this, they get married!” they didn't know how to answer this. And he gave them a sufficient answer, and they didn't answer. And they abnegated to Rabbi Yisroel and they loved him. On everything that they spoke with him, he told them everything, and they abnegated, and they drew close to Rabbainu, they supported him [the publication of the books of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov]. They, for the first time in their lives, the three wise men, they heard for the first time in their lives, such a commotion, so they asked, “what is this commotion? What is going on here?” “Ho!... you didn't hear that R' Yisroel has become Breslov?” “Nu, we heard, what is it?” “they took Rav Tzvi!” they saw what this Rav Tzvi...

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