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Thursday
May092019

THE QUESTION THAT WAS NOT ASKED

The Rebbe Maharash, Rabbi Shmuel, was the sixth and youngest son of the Tzemach Tzedek, the third Lubavitcher Rebbe. Although he was the youngest son, his father hinted that he would be the Rebbe after him.

Half a year before the passing of the Tzemach Tzedek, he wrote to R’ Shmuel that he liked his divrei Chassidus and therefore, he blessed him and asked him to publicly say Chassidus.

In addition, the Tzemach Tzedek wrote to the Chassidim, “Listen to him like you listened to me.”

Indeed, after the passing of the Tzemach Tzedek, R’ Shmuel became the Nasi and became known as the Rebbe Maharash.

The following is a miracle story that happened with him.

***

The factory was full of workers. Some of them produced wine from fine grapes and strained it. Others filled barrels and bottles. The sharp and intoxicating scent of wine filled the place.

Nobody prepared the Chassid, R’ Shmuel Yitzchok Lubinsky, the owner of the factory, for the drama that was about to take place.

There were strong knocks at the door and then in stormed the official superintendent. His mouth was pressed closed, his back was straight and he looked piercingly all around.

“Please hand over your accounting book,” asked the inspector. R’ Shmuel Yitzchok confidently handed him the book. He smiled at the man but his heart was pounding. He knew that the government was looking for an excuse and would search the cracks and crevices to see what was not in order. It was unlikely that he would emerge clean.

After studying the books, the inspector walked around the factory to make sure everything was being done legally. The workers continued to work as though nothing was going on. They tried to conceal their concern.

As he inspected, the man wrote down notes in his notebook. Every line that he wrote made the Chassid even more nervous for he knew that he would need a big yeshua (salvation).

What he feared, came to pass. The inspector gave his superiors a list of problems that he found.

“Shmuel Yitzchok Lubinsky, owner of the factory, has done several things against the law,” he wrote in the incriminating document.

The sentence he could expect was a number of years in jail.

He soon received a summons to court. The Chassid and his family, as well as his friends and members of the community, waited fearfully and murmured chapters of Tehillim for a miracle.

The Chassid knew that he had one person to whom he could turn, the Rebbe Maharash.

He left the town of Seminovka where he lived and traveled to the Rebbe. He left behind his wife and children who worried and prayed.

He arrived at the Rebbe and asked to see him right away since he was facing big trouble.

“Rebbe,” he said in tears, “the inspector visited the factory that I own and wrote down that I have committed many crimes and I can expect a long prison sentence … What shall I do? … Rebbe, save me!”

The Rebbe looked at him and asked, “What do you have to say about all the charges the inspector raised against you?”

The Chassid thought a bit and then began to tell the Rebbe what his response was to each charge and why, what he did wasn’t actually against the law. He enumerated about ten so-called crimes and explained them away.

The Rebbe listened and looked pleased.

“I think these explanations are reasonable and I hope that with Hashem’s help the judges will accept them,” the Chassid concluded.

“But there is one detail they are likely to ask me and I have no answer for that,” he said sadly. “This is what worries me so much and this is why I have come to the Rebbe to ask for counsel and a bracha.”

The Rebbe smiled and said, “R’ Shmuel Yitzchok, you have a good mind …”

R’ Shmuel Yitzchok was a scholar and a big talmid chacham. He had semicha for rabbonus. For a number of years he had traveled with the Chassid, R’ Hillel of Paritch to serve as his rav if a question arose on the journey.

The Rebbe said, “You learned a lot of Gemara. You are smart and sharp. This is why you think they will ask you about this point that has to do with the making of wine. But the judges did not learn Gemara and their brains are not as developed as yours and so they won’t think to ask you that.”

Then the Rebbe blessed him with success that the case end well for him.

The Chassid left the Rebbe’s room encouraged and happy. He returned home with a lighter heart and he sang chapters of praise and thanks to Hashem from Tehillim for the salvation that would surely happen.

The day of the court case, the Chassid pictured the yechidus he had had with the Rebbe and he went to court confident in the happy ending.

The case began. The prosecutors went through the list of charges. For each charge, R’ Shmuel Yitzchok responded well. The judges looked at the Chassid standing there confidently and presenting his side logically and they accepted what he said. Everything he said was approved of by the judges.

The final question, to which he had no answer, was not asked by the judges, as the Rebbe had predicted.

At the end of the trial, the judge banged with his gavel and announced, “The accused is innocent of any crime and the file is closed.”

The Chassid returned home joyously.

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