On Simchas Torah we say in the davening, - HaShem hoshiya, hamelech ya’aneinu b’yom koreinu - “HaShem, answer us the same day.”
It would’t be so terrible if God answered the next day. I want you to know something so deep: sometimes you have an awakening in your heart, and you want so much to do something good, but at that time, on that day, it doesn’t work. Sadly enough, the next morning you wake up and you don’t want it anymore.
I have seen so many young people who mamash wanted to be on fire, or wanted to go to a Yeshiva or to maybe go to Yerushalayim, wanting to do something for the whole world, but on that day, it was impossible. The next day came and their luck turned.
So, “Master of the World, if You answer me, I am begging you, answer me the same day.” I can assure you too, I have seen thousands, thousands, who could have been the highest yidden in the world.
Okay, this is the story. I had the privilege of hearing this story from the holy Modzhitzer Rebbe, zt“l. Of all the Rebbes, he was a Rebbe for the longest time. Finally, he came to Tel Aviv and he passed away. A Rebbe doesn’t pass away; it means he’s not visible in this world any more. He became Rebbe when he was 17 years old, and I think he passed away when he was 92 or 93. He came to New York, nebach he was sick, and it was too much for him. He wanted to have a little farbrengen Friday night. I had the privilege of being there that Friday night. Right after the davening, this is how he told the story. He said, “I heard this from my father, who heard it from his father, who heard it from his heiligeh Tateh’s heiligeh Tateh, Rebbe Yisroel. Rebbe Yisroel heard it from his Tateh, the heiligeh Rav Yankev, who heard it from his father, the heiligeh Rhizhyner.”
In the year 1490 there was a big gathering of all the congregations of all the yidden in Spain, near Barcelona. You know, the yidden were at the peak - since the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, yidden hadn’t had it so good. They all had the biggest positions in the government, and they were all rich, so they where talking to each other, asking, “What can we do to make yiddishkeit stronger?”
So one of them said, “You know how rich we are? We are so rich! Let’s send a message to Istanbul that we want to buy the land of Israel back from the Turks. Of course, whatever price they want, we will pay, and we will build the Beis Hamikdash! We’ll go back!! We’ll return to the Holy Land!”
After he said that, there was so much simcha! Gevaldt, they were going to build the Beis Hamikdash again. Do you know what they did? First of all they appointed three outstanding people. In those days, to go from Spain to Istanbul and back would take a year. They decided that those three people would go talk to the Pasha in Turkey, and they gave them a year to come back. In the meantime, they decided, they would mamash opened new yeshivas for Kohanim to learn Kedoshim, for Levi’im to study music, and their simcha was up to the high heavens, ad hashamayim. Then they decided that the next year, on Rosh Chodesh Elul in the year 1491, they will all meet again.
The time came for the simcha, every body came, all the Kohanim knew the laws of Zevachim - sacrifices, the Leviim knew b’shira v’zimra. So they all get together, the door opens, and the three delegates come in. “We got a great price! We are buying the Holy Land!” Pssssshh! Not to be believed! The simcha was gevaldt. Suddenly a yid gets up and he says, “Who gave us the right to buy the holy land? The Ribono shel Olam drove us out from the holy land, so we don’t have the right to go back unless we have a sign from heaven! So the people said to him, “Are you crazy or what? Do you need a bigger sign? We have the money! The Pasha wants to sell it to us, and we want to go!”
So, sadly enough, do you know what poison is? There were already two parties, one said, “White,” and one said, “No! That’s red!”
They decided to wait another year, until Rosh Chodesh Elul, 1492, and everybody knows that on Tisha b‘Av that year they where driven out of Spain. Do you know what the problem is? Ki Va Moed. When the time comes, Don’t wait, Don’t wait…
Transcribed by Benyomin (Benjie) Steinberg, Tel Aviv
Reb Shlomo and the Rebbe of Modzitz, Rebbe Shmuel Eliyahu Taub (1905-1984)
Rebbe Shmuel Eliyahu
Rebbe Shmuel Eliyahu was born in Lublin, Poland on 9 February 1905. In 1935, Rebbe Shaul Yedidya Elazar and his son Rabbi Shmuel went on a pilgrimage to the then British Mandate of Palestine. While they were there R. Shmuel fell in love with the Land of Israel and asked his father if he could stay there. His father agreed and within a year Rabbi Shmuel’s wife and their child came over to Israel. After his father’s death in 1947 he succeeded his father as the Modzitzer Rebbe, to be known later as the Imrei Eish (”Words of Fire”). He continued the traditions of Modzitz both as a composer and Torah scholar. He died on 6 May 1984 (4 Iyar 5784), when he was succeeded by his only son, Rebbe Yisrael Dan Taub. His teachings have been recently published in a sefer under the title Imrei Eish.