Day 31 of the Omer

אַאַמוּ"ר כְּשֶׁהָיָה נוֹטֵל צִפָּרְנָיו, הָיָה מְעָרֵב עִמָּהֶם קֵיסָם, קוֹדֶם הַשְּׂרֵיפָה.

When my revered father, the Rebbe [Rashab], would cut his nails, he would put a sliver of wood together with the clippings before burning them.1

אַאַזְמוּ"ר אָמַר לְהֶחָסִיד ר' אֵלִיָּהוּ אַבּעֶלעֶר — אִישׁ פָּשׁוּט מִצַּד כִּשְׁרוֹנוֹתָיו וִידִיעוֹתָיו — כְּשֶׁנִּכְנַס אֵלָיו לִיחִידוּת: אֵלִיָּ' אִיךְ בִּין דִיר מְקַנֵּא. פאָהרסְט אוֹיף מעֶרק זעֶהסט אַ סַך מעֶנשׁעֶן, אִיז וועֶן אִינמִיטעֶן עֵסֶק רעֶדְט מעֶן זִיךְ מִיט יעֶנעֶם פאַנאַנדעֶר אִין אַ אִידִישׁעֶן וואָרט אַ עֵין יַעֲקֹב וואָרט, אוּן מְ'אִיז מְעוֹרֵר אוֹיף לעֶרנעֶן נִגְלָה אוּן חֲסִידוּת, פוּן דעֶם וועֶרט אַ שִׂמְחָה לְמַעְלָה. אוּן דִי מעֶקְלעֶרַיי צאָהלט דעֶר אוֹיבּעֶרשׁטעֶר אָפּ בְּבָנֵי חַיֵּי וּמְזוֹנֵי. אוּן וואָס גְרעֶסעֶר דעֶר מאַרק מעֶהר אַרבּעֶט, אִיז גְרעֶסעֶר דִי פַּרְנָסָה.

R. Elye2 Abeler, a simple man of scant learning, was a chassid of my revered grandfather, the Rebbe [Maharash]. Once, when he entered his study for yechidus, my grandfather said: “Elye, I envy you. You travel to regional fairs and markets and you meet many people. When you’re in the midst of your transactions and you get to talk with someone about a Torah thought or a saying from Ein Yaakov, and you inspire them to study nigleh and Chassidus, great joy is generated Above. G‑d pays up the commission for this with blessings of children, health, and livelihood. And the bigger the market, the more work, and the more livelihood.”3

A Chassid to Remember

R. Elye related this encounter to the Rebbe Rayatz thirty years after his yechidus. He described it with such freshness and vitality as if it had happened the day before. “After the Rebbe told me this,” he exclaimed, “my head began to spin. I decided immediately to hire a tutor for myself, for I understood that it was high time that I became a mensch.”

He further related that when he returned home, he assembled all of his townsfolk and shared his yechidus. “The Rebbe’s words spread through the entire region. They lit a fire in all the listeners, and brought enthusiasm and vitality4 to many hundreds of Jews.”

Why did the words of the Rebbe Maharash have such a powerful effect? Because he was being truthful. In his humility, he was sincerely envious. Being a Rebbe, he was able to recognize the budding qualities that are unique in every individual, and to help him nurture them to full bloom.