Living Legacy: The Rebbe Rav Meilich, zy”a.
This Friday, 21 Adar, marks the exalted day of the hilula of the Rebbe Rav Meilich of Lizensk, zy”a.
234 years after his petirah, the ascension of his holy neshama to the upper realms, the tzaddik is as present, and as central in the thoughts and emotions of our community, as any time… probably since his passing.
Lizensk, that tiny hamlet in Eastern Galicia, has had the eyes of Klal Yisroel fixed upon it for yeshuos for centuries—hoping that the unique power of the Rebbe Reb Meilich, who had extended himself during his lifetime to bring yeshuos for his fellow Yidden, would continue to do so for us from his exalted place On High.
This power is what continues to draw Yidden to this place, year in and year out—and the air of auspiciousness is palpable, as the throngs pour out their hearts in the knowledge that no problem is too large to leave behind by the Rebbe in Lizensk.
In the 1950’s there lived in Boro Park the last Lizensker Rov, who had come from East New York after that neighborhood deteriorated. His name was Rav Menashe Frankel (the father of ybl”ch the legendary Reb Hertz, longtime principal in the Satmar girls school), who inherited that position from his father in law.
In Boro Park today, there is a Khal No’am Elimelech Lizensk, on 59th Street and 14th avenue. It was founded by the Lizensker Rov, Rav Meir Leifer, shlit”a, l’refuah sheleimah, a descendant of the holy tzaddik.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain, the annual pilgrimages were begun, and they soon grew with intensity—with thousands of Yidden making the trip from America to Lizensk. The tradition was pioneered by the legendary Boro Park resident Reb Mendel Reichberg, z”l, who had done so much for the preservation of the holy sites in Poland.
The legacy of the Rebbe Reb Meilich is multi-pronged: he was one of the primary transmitters of the derech hachassidus from the holy Maggid of Mezrich to the Galician landscape—and it has been handed down generation after generation from there.
Then there is his monumental and holy sefer No’am Elimelech, through which one can draw holy emunah and deep Torah. The “Tzetel Kotton” is a document with 17 instructions for life, through which one can absorb the holy derech that the tzaddik taught.
This 21 Adar—although the physical trip to Lizensk will need to wait for after the Coronavirus— there will still be the holy day on which the tzaddik ascends one more level, his famed exhortation to “see only the good in our fellow Yid,” and the holy Torah and teachings which comprise the Rebbe Reb Meilich’s Living Legacy.
Zechosoi Yogen Aleinu.
“Living Legacy” explores the lives of great personalities whose impact continues to be felt in our community, and appears weekly. Comments or suggestions may be emailed to [email protected]
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