AGENTS OF THE REBBE TO DISPENSE BLESSINGS
January 3, 2019
Beis Moshiach in #1148, Feature

What do Rabbi Zalman Abelsky a”h, shliach to Moldava; Rabbi Avrohom Tauber a”h, of B’nei Brak; Rabbi Yitzchok Yadgar, shliach in Taanach and Rabbi Yitzchok Kogan, shliach in Moscow, have in common? * They all received a special ability to bless people on behalf of the Rebbe! * About the instruction at “dollars” and in yechidus, about the empowerment at a farbrengen in Tishrei, and about a letter that paved the way. And of course, stories of miracles and wonders over the years. * Also, about a man who participated in a Chassidishe farbrengen a year ago, received a bracha, and saw salvation!

By Zalman Tzorfati

Rabbi Avrohom Tauber receiving a dollar for tz’daka from the Rebbe.The concept of a G-dly blessing coming down to the world through the agency of a human being is one of the foundations of our Jewish faith. The kohanim in the Beis HaMikdash were commanded to bless the Jewish people with love; prophets and tzaddikim throughout the generations blessed and decreed and Hashem fulfilled.

With the revelation of the teachings of Chassidus, the idea of receiving a blessing from a Rebbe became one of the cornerstones of Chassidus. To many of the greats of Chassidus, giving blessings was a central feature of their leadership roles.

Here and there, there are stories of simple people and Chassidim who gave blessings and their blessings were fulfilled, usually because of a special mitzva that they did. We are familiar with the Chassidim giving our Rebbe a bracha on his birthday, 11 Nissan, and the Rebbe standing and accepting the brachos. But in our generation, we see something new: Jews blessing other Jews with the power of the Rebbe’s blessing and bringing about salvation, miracles and wonders.

Some of them are still alive. They are shluchim, rabbanim and Chassidim who received the power to bless from the Rebbe. They use this power to bless Jews. They make a point of emphasizing that their blessings are derived from the Rebbe’s blessing and they use this to spread Judaism and Chassidus and simply to benefit Jews who need a blessing and salvation in their personal lives.

“BLESS JEWS AND I WILL BLESS THEM”

Rabbi Zalman Tuvia Abelsky was a shliach and the chief rabbi of Moldova. In his youth, he served as a shliach of the Rebbe Rayatz to Romania. He was one of the founders of Reshet Oholei Yosef Yitzchok, and the first shliach to Kiryat Gat.

In Shevat 5747, as R’ Abelsky passed by the Rebbe to receive a dollar, the Rebbe said to him, “Bless Jews and I will bless them.” After that, he began giving blessings and many Jews from around the world told of miracles that occurred as a result of them.

“When my grandfather received this directive from the Rebbe to bless Jews, he blessed them with all his heart whenever he could,” says Rabbi Menachem Mendel Zalmanov, a shliach in the CIS.

“People went to him from all over the world for a blessing. He always stressed that the blessings weren’t his but the Rebbe’s, and he would bless whoever asked him to.”

Interestingly, despite R’ Abelsky’s generosity with blessings, there was one place where he wouldn’t bless, and that was the vicinity of 770. People who asked him for blessings there were referred to the Rebbe.

“One of the shluchim told me that when he was a bachur in 770, he needed a certain blessing. Since he did not want to bother the Rebbe, he asked my grandfather. My grandfather gave him a withering look and said, ‘Here?! Here you have the source and you come to me for a blessing?!’”

R’ Abelsky had an important condition before he blessed, which was that people had to make a “vessel” for the blessing. “My grandfather had a principle that there be a vessel to contain the blessing. He said they needed to make a good resolution both materially and spiritually. By the way, he would also ask non-Jews to make a good resolution, which was usually related to the Seven Noahide Laws, something he was very involved with as chief rabbi of Moldova.”

BLESS JEWS EVERY DAY!

Another Chassid who received the power to bless from the Rebbe is Rabbi Yitzchok Kogan, known as the Tzaddik of Leningrad. R’ Kogan is one of the leading shluchim in Moscow and rav and menahel of the Bolshaya Bronnaya shul and Aguch in Moscow.

R’ Kogan descends from a Lubavitcher family. He became a baal teshuva in his youth in Leningrad and was brought back by R’ Avrohom Medalia. He was one of the leading active Lubavitchers there from the late 70’s.

On his first Simchas Torah outside of Russia, in 5748, he went to the Rebbe. At the farbrengen prior to the hakafos, the Rebbe said to him that he is giving him a bracha for all the Jews in Russia. Then, when the hakafos began, the Rebbe said that R’ Kogan should be honored with a hakafa.

“I stood close to the Rebbe and saw how he danced with the Torah; it was a sight that remains before my eyes, one which I will never forget,” said R’ Kogan to Beis Moshiach. “I am a coarse, material person but I saw that it wasn’t that the Torah was present down below in his hands; rather, he was with the Torah up above within the clouds of glory.”

R’ Kogan received the power to bless one Shabbos that Tishrei. During the farbrengen, R’ Yitzchok went up to get a bottle of mashke. When he reached the Rebbe, the Rebbe asked him whether he said the priestly blessing every Shabbos. R’ Yitzchok said that since he lives in Eretz Yisroel, he blesses Jews every day. The Rebbe then told him to start blessing Jews all the time.

When R’ Yitzchok and a group of his students passed by the Rebbe for kos shel bracha, the Rebbe raised his hand and said in Russian, “Onward! Decisive blow! Attack! Bracha v’hatzlacha in all matters.”

When he passed by the Rebbe on Yud Shevat 5750, the Rebbe again turned to him and said that he is giving him a bracha for all the Jews of Russia.

“ANSWER IN MY NAME”

Rabbi Yitzchok Yadgar is a shliach to the Taanach region, director of the Chabad mosdos in yishuv Avital, and an influential person in the area. For decades he served as principal of the school at the yishuv and was mekarev hundreds of people to Torah and mitzva observance.

R’ Yadgar also received the power to bless from the Rebbe, and he uses this ability to bless Jews all over the country, mainly in his area of shlichus, the yishuvim of the Taanach region.

R’ Yadgar received the ability to bless in an amazing answer he received from the Rebbe following a letter that he wrote. As a Chassid and mekushar to the Rebbe, he always reported his activities to the Rebbe and asked for the Rebbe’s advice and blessing for the Jews he encountered.

Since communication in those days was limited and it sometimes took a long time until an answer came from the Rebbe, many people for whom he would write to the Rebbe would complain about how long it took for them to get a positive or negative answer.

R’ Yadgar conveyed their complaints to the Rebbe and received the following extraordinary answer: “Answer in my name to all who turn to you, in addition to conveying their names to me, and tell them to commit to mitzvos etc. And this will transform them into a channel and abundance of blessing for all that they need.”

Since that letter, R’ Yadgar blesses all who come to him with the power of the Rebbe with “an abundance of blessing for all that they need,” while first asking them to strengthen some aspect of Torah and mitzvos, as the Rebbe said.

It is interesting to note that R’ Yadgar’s hiskashrus to the Rebbe began in the 70’s. You can see the letters and reports that he wrote to the Rebbe on a regular basis in which he added the title, “To the honorable K’vod k’dushas Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach.

BLESS THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND HASHEM WILL BLESS YOU!

The Rebbe gave the ability to bless not only to shluchim and rabbanim, but also to Chassidim such as Rabbi Avrohom Tauber a”h of B’nei Brak.

R’ Tauber was a devoted Chassid, involved in the Rebbe’s mivtzaim from when he became close to Chabad in his youth. In his younger days he was very active among the students of various ideological movements: HaShomer HaTzair (the virulent anti-religious youth movement), HaTzofim (the Scouts) and HaNoar HaOved. He had a common language with them and was able to bring many of them to the famous mashpia, Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Kesselman a”h, in Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim in Lud.

After he married, he lived and was active in Ashkelon. Then, as per the Rebbe’s instruction, he moved to Nachalat Har Chabad and was one of the founders. His main job was working as the director of the employment office, where he blessed and helped hundreds of people who needed blessings and salvation. One of the typical pictures of R’ Tauber was of his tall figure leaning over Jews with his two hands on their head as he blessed them with the priestly blessing with great concentration. He did so according to the Rebbe’s explicit instruction and many were helped, thanks to his blessings.

“In a number of private audiences and in many letters the Rebbe told him that he is a kohen and thus must bless Jews,” says his son. “There wasn’t a yechidus without the Rebbe bringing this up. My father passionately kept to this instruction and it was common to see him blessing Jews in every place and at every occasion.

“When I was a boy, I once went along with my father to yechidus. The Rebbe said to him, ‘You are a kohen. Bless the Jewish people, and in this merit, Hashem will bless you.’ My father took this very seriously. With great warmth, he would bless every Jew he would meet.”

Many stories about R’ Tauber’s blessings became known to the family during the Shiva after his passing. “Dozens, even hundreds of people came and told stories about my father’s blessings that came true. Barren women conceived, people were healed, and people experienced a salvation that they needed.”

STORIES OF BLESSINGS, MIRACLES AND WONDERS

Let’s go back to R’ Abelsky, whose miracles brought about by his blessings can fill an entire book. Some of them were shared by his grandson, R’ Zalmanov.

“My grandfather used this ability he received from the Rebbe to benefit the shlichus in Moldova. He was there for over 25 years and everyone knew that he gave blessings. Sometimes, there were lines near the shul of people who came to consult with him and they all left with a blessing.”

One time, someone came to him shortly before elections in that country and introduced himself as the assistant of one of the candidates. That candidate did not stand a chance and his position in the polls was far off from his competitor’s. The assistant said that he heard of R’ Abelsky’s power to bless and asked for a blessing for his boss. My grandfather blessed him, and the candidate went on to surprise everyone with a victory.

Somehow, this was publicized in the local media, who attributed the victory to the blessing. This caused a great kiddush Hashem. Since then, visiting the office of the chief rabbi to receive his blessing became the accepted practice among local politicians before any election.

That assistant eventually became prime minister, and from that position he contributed a lot to the development and expansion of the shlichus and all Jewish matters in Moldova.

Not only the legislators and politicians flocked to the rabbi’s door:

It was Chanuka 5750, a short while after my grandfather came to Moldova. A Jew came to shul and in a Russian accent asked my grandfather for a blessing for a refua for his friend. My grandfather gave a blessing and the man left hurriedly.

Afterward, it turned out that the man who needed the blessing was the head of the local mafia and he had survived an attempted assassination by one his competitors who had attacked him. The one who came and asked for a blessing for him was also Jewish and served as one of his top bodyguards.

When the bodyguard returned to the hospital, he discovered that his boss was already declared dead and sent to the morgue. He made a fuss and demanded that he be removed from the morgue since he had a blessing from the chief rabbi.

The staff was frightened by his threats and took the body out. On the way back, the “corpse” began to respond and a short while later he was released from the hospital. All that remained was a big scar on his head from the blow of an ax that he had received. In his medical file, “MEDICAL MIRACLE” was written in large letters.

By the way, that Jew left his “business” and moved to Eretz Yisroel and married. When it was time for his oldest son’s bar mitzva, he flew to Moldova with his entire family in order to celebrate the bar mitzva with the rabbi who saved both his spiritual and physical life. On that occasion, my grandfather gave the bar mitzva boy a gift, a dollar he received from the Rebbe.

Then there was the couple from Nikolaev, who waited many years for children, heard about my grandfather’s blessings and made a special trip to Moldova. They were blessed by him and a year later had a son.

A BLESSING AT A CHASSIDISHE FARBRENGEN, THEN AND NOW

One of the principles of Chassidus is the power of Chassidim to bless one another from the depths of the heart and with Ahavas Yisroel at a Chassidishe farbrengen. Here are two stories that illustrate the saying that a Chassidishe farbrengen can accomplish what the angel Michoel cannot. The first story is from the time of the Alter Rebbe and the second, from last year:

Chassidim of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Horodok were sitting and reviewing the Torah they had learned. At the time, the Alter Rebbe was also in Horodok. After reviewing the Divrei Torah two and three times, they began to farbreng and brought out mashke.

One of the Chassidim stood up. He suffered from a disease for which the doctors had no cure and he began to cry and ask that the Chassidim bless him with a refua shleima.

One of the Chassidim, upon hearing his request, began to laugh. “Do we have the power to bless? What are you thinking?” Others were annoyed with him for believing in ordinary people like themselves. They maintained that blessings were only from very special people, tzaddikim.

But the Chassid paid them no attention and begged them, and as he continued to beseech them, he was again overcome and cried bitter tears from the depth of his heart. A group of Chassidim, seeing that their fellow Chassid was insisting, began to sing, thinking this would calm him down. Then the Alter Rebbe announced, “Sha!” Those who were singing stopped and the crying Chassid stopped crying.

The Alter Rebbe said: “My friends, did you forget the note that fell down from the High Heavens by Divine decree during a gathering of the holy fellowship of students of our holy Rebbe, stating that the blessing of Chassidim at a Chassidishe farbrengen accomplishes great salvations in Heaven that even the angel Michoel cannot accomplish?”

All the Chassidim at that farbrengen were aroused with a great passion of brotherly love, and they all blessed their fellow Chassid with a refua shleima.

The following story was publicized on social media:

A Poilishe Chassid was at the Rebbe for Tishrei 5778 in 770. He wrote to the Rebbe in the Igros Kodesh that he did not have children and asked for a bracha. The Rebbe’s answer was to attend the first Chassidishe farbrengen he saw and ask for a blessing from the participants. This was on Chol HaMoed Sukkos.

He went to the first sukka he saw in which a farbrengen was taking place. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gurevitch, mashpia in Yeshivas Ohr Simcha in Kfar Chabad, was farbrenging. During the farbrengen, the man told the people his story and what the Rebbe wrote in the Igros Kodesh. Three kohanim who were present got up and blessed him with the priestly blessing, singing in the customary tune.

One of these kohanim was R’ Effy Cohen of Migdal HaEmek. After they finished, they asked him to let them know the good results.

Last summer, exactly nine months from the farbrengen, one of the participants, R’ Avrohom Sitton, received the happy news: Boruch Hashem, we had a baby girl, mazal tov! Please tell the others who participated in that farbrengen on Chol HaMoed Sukkos with the priestly blessing, “Thank you very much!”

THE REBBE RASHAB: “I WANT A BLESSING FROM YOU”

Rabbi Pesach Kupfer told a story about the brachos that Chassidim gave the Rebbe:

When I was a boy, my father took me to the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch for him to bless me. When the Admor agreed to this, my father also asked that the Admor place his hands on my head. The Rebbe agreed and placed his holy hands on my head.

After the Tzemach Tzedek passed away, I went with my father to Rabbi Shmuel, his son. Once again, my father asked that he bless me by placing his hands on my head, and he did so.

After R’ Shmuel passed away, I went to his son, Rabbi Sholom Dovber. I told the young Rebbe that his father and grandfather blessed me that way and I asked him to bless me with his hands on my head. R’ Sholom Dovber agreed too, and he blessed me as I asked.

When he was done, he said, “Now I also have a request of you; don’t refuse me. Since my father and grandfather blessed you in this way, I want a blessing from you.” He immediately stood and asked me to sit in his chair and place my hands on his head and he did not stop insisting until I did as he asked of me. I placed my hands on his head and blessed him.”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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