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Jewish Wisdom For Business Success: Lessons Fro...

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Sacred Jewish texts such as the Torah and the Kabbalah have long been con-sid-ered repositories of some of the greatest wisdom ever assembled. Yet only the smartest and most successful business professionals take advantage of these powerful collections of advice. Using real-world business situations as illustrative examples, this book reveals a four-thousand-year-old blueprint for success.

But our hypothesis is even bolder than some might expect. We aren''t just saying that the Torah speaks about business ethics (it does that also). But it goes much deeper. The Torah offers a blueprint for the businessperson to create, maintain, and grow a profitable and successful enterprise. That blueprint isn''t in PowerPoint format or sketched on a whiteboard in some synagogue office. It''s hidden deep within the Hebrew Bible and its auxiliary texts known together as the Torah. The etymology of word Torah is hora-ah, which means "to teach" thus this book takes the teachings and lessons of the Torah and shows how they relate to business success.

Sacred Jewish texts such as the Torah and the Kabbalah have long been considered repositories of some of the greatest wisdom ever assembled. Yet only the smartest and most successful business professionals take advantage of these powerful collections of advice. Using real-world business situations as illustrative examples,Jewish Wisdom for Business Success reveals a four-thousand-year-old blueprint for success. From negotiation techniques, to management, to leadership, and much more, this enlightening and practical guide will give you the direction you need to make the knowledge found in some of the world's greatest texts work for you.

Combined with present-day tales of big business and figures such as Donald Trump and Warren Buffett, as well as companies including Google, Citigroup, and others, the time-tested guidance found in the ancient texts equates to proven management and leadership lessons you can use in your own life. This is an enlightening, inspiring guide that will help you climb the rungs of success using the same principles that have worked since the days of the Bible.

WWI By Mosheh FalkWith the end of the period of my childhood, I became more moderate and serious. I tried to work and also began to read a lot. Daily I read the two newspaper dailies Haynt and Moment. The Beilis trial interested me a lot. I read Bialik's City of Slaughter a lot. I already learned to sing ha-Tikvah by heart. There was a big picture of Herzl hanging on the wall. On another wall was a messianic theme: “At the end of days, the wolf and sheep shall live together...” Suddenly, there appeared on the streets announcements calling for a general draft for war. The population was bitter and sad. There was not a house in which the crying of women and children was not heard. They were being separated from the men in the family. We grew up suddenly and began to sense a new situation. Twice a day I ran to the post office and impatiently expected mail. I would soon have my Bar Mitzvah. My sister sewed a bag for phylacteries for me and my sister Blumah brought me a beautiful pair of phylacteries. However, the celebration was modest. Our house was full of refugees from Brisk and we also slept in the attic. We shared all with the refugees. Chickens and ducks disappeared from the city. We offered everything we had to the unfortunate. I myself offered the pair of phylacteries to a refugee and lost them. I was sad to have also given away the bag for the phylacteries into which so much love had been put into its making.Month followed month. The Germans conquered Warsaw and also Brisk fell to them. My father buried in the ground all his work tools and also the property and equipment we had at home. The city was full of Cossacks and a Cossack was commandant in the city. We sat locked up at home. The fear was great and we already heard shots in town. We went to live in the fields behind the city. The soldiers plundered all they found. They even took the boots from the feet of the men. Towards evening the smoke went up from the town they set on fire. My father ran to save the Torah scrolls from the study halls. When he came home at evening, he was full of soot and dropped from exhaustion. We revived him and he went back. He found the entire town burnt. However, he put the Torah scrolls in a house that survived.We went to our burnt house. My father found the hiding place of our valuables. My mother was in tears and clasped her hands in despair. Acquaintances came and advised us to enter for the time being one of the gentile houses. The inhabitants had fled. However, mother refused to live in the house of a gentile. Finally, our in-law Shelomoh the painter[Page 124]came and took us to live with him. We left my childhood house and went to live in our in-law's house. Itke, Shelomoh's daughter, went to live with her three children in her parent's house. We got two of her rooms. We immediately began to think of establishing a study hall in the temporary building meant to be a hospital. The building was completed by the time of the High Holidays.After the High Holidays, the youth was taken to perform forced labor. They took me and my friend Yisroel-Mendl, the son of Yaakov Hayyim, the ritual slaughterer. The next day the two of us were sick with typhus. My dear friend died of the disease. As to myself, my mother did not close her eyes or leave my bed for eight days and prayed to G-d to take her in my place. I got well and she got sick and died. Her good eyes accompany me always.In the Gates of Torah By A. Ben-Ezra, R. Pinchas Michael, of blessed memoryWe assume that the Hasidic Rebbe and the regular orthodox Rabbi are two different types and they cannot be mixed up together in one person. This is because the Hasidic Rebbe is a miracle worker and leader to the ignorant masses. The regular orthodox rabbi is a professor of law, a scholar among scholars. One kingdom does not touch another in this regard. However, there is historical evidence for a mixture of these religious types in one person. There were some great people, who had mixed in them the qualities of the Hasidic Rebbe, a person of feeling, sharing in the troubles of the masses, and the qualities of the regular orthodox Rabbi, with great retentive and analytic powers, coming to a sharp point in the law. Some people could handle both of these in themselves.Still before Baal Shem Tov (ca. 1700-1760), the founder of the modern Hasidic movement, we had personalities like Judah b. Samuel he-Hasid (d. 1217), of the medieval Haside Ashkenaz, Judah Loew ten Bezalel (ca. 1525-1609), of Prague and other religious personalities, who combined in themselves the qualities of the Hasidic Rebbe and the regular orthodox Rabbi. Even after the spread of modern Hassidism, there appeared some rabbis of mixed type, such as R. Seckel Wormser of Mikhelshtat (1768-1847), R. Elijah Guttmacher of Graidits (1796-1874), and people like them.A rabbi of mixed type was R. Pinchas Michael, of blessed memory. He united in his person the vast and analytical knowledge of the Talmud and a caring personality, drawing to himself thousands of people, Jews and gentiles. They came just to see him and to receive his blessing.R. Pinchas Michael was born to his father Yitshak Eizik and to his mother Breinah Heniah in 1808 in the city of Sharshev (Grodno province). R. Eizik was the grandson of the great Rabbi Yehoshua of Pinsk, a descendant of R. Eleazar ben Samuel Schmelke of Amsterdam (1665-1741), author of Maaseh Rokeah and on his mother's side of Meir ben Isaac Eisenstadt (1670-1744), author of Panim meirot .R. Pinchas was an only child. However, he did not act like an only child. Only children are usually pampered and not scholarly. This was not the type of the youth Pinchas Michael. He was devoted from childhood to worship and study. His parent's ideal was not a secular one of accumulating wealth and possessions. Rather, it was a spiritual one, of attaining knowledge of Torah and wisdom. Pinchas Michael worshipped and studied all the time and eagerly acquired rabbinic knowledge. Of the rabbis who influenced him, we know the name of only one, R. Asher ha-Kohen (1797-1866), the author of Birkat Rosh. R. Pinchas Michael tried to be modest like his mentor. He learned from R. Asher to make due with little. Accordingly, he did not seek a rabbinical appointment until about the age of fifty, as did his mentor, R. Asher.He even imitated his mentor in his own literary output. Just like his mentor composed a commentary on the Tractate Nazir, so did he. Certainly, Pinchas[Page 125]Michael's composition is not as full of casuistry as that of his mentor. As his mentor, he was extremely diligent and went without sleep. He did this to such an extent that his father asked to sleep one hour in the afternoon to fulfill the commandment “Honor thy father...” It was from his father R. Yitshak Eizik that he inherited the great love of the Jewish people and devotion to matters of charity. As was the custom in those days, his parents married him off at an early age. He took as a wife Moshkah daughter of the wealthy R. Yehiel Mikhl of Pasval, who was a great grandchild of R. Jehiel ban Solomon Hellprin (ca. 1660-1746), author of Seder ha-dorot. His wife kept a store and maintained the household so her husband was free to just study.Already in the days of his youth, R. Pinchas Michael was known to be familiar with the Talmud and its commentaries. Then, he began a correspondence with rabbinical luminaries about the Early and Later Commentaries to the Talmud. He established himself as a critical analyst of the text. He began to write down his commentaries to Talmud, Rashi, Tosafot, Isaac ban Jacob Alfasi, Asher ben Jghiel, and Nissim ban Reuben Gerondi, until it became a thick book. However, he was humble and made no big deal of this. He would even listen to the youth studying in the study hall and accept their opinions. When he did not understand Rashi, Asher ben Jehiel, Me1r ban Jacob SchIff or Israel ban Gedaliah Lipschutz, author of the commentary to the Mishnah Tiferet Yisrael, he would not be assumed to say: “I do not have the merit to understand” or “They were so profound that I did not understand them”, and the like. However, when he would understand a disagreement between Asher ban Jehiel and Meir ben a gloss and not his words at all”.In places where it is clear to R. Pinchas Michael that Samuel Eliezer ben Judah ha-Levi Edels was not correct, he does not even accept him and writes: “His explanation is confused” and “His answer is contrived”. Mainly, he accepted Rashi's opinion but not always.It was not only in Jewish law that R. Pinchas Michael held forth but also Sharshev, R. Pinchas Michael's birthplace, was known for its rabbis and great scholars. R. David, author of Homot Yerushalayim on Shulhan erukh, Orah hayyim, held the rabbinical post there. It is said about this rabbi that according to astronomical calculations he wanted to have the new moon each month be celebrated for three days instead of one or two and wanted to have the scroll of Esther read on Purim for an additional day on the day of the holiday known as Shushan Purim. R. Pinchasben Azriel, ha- Levi, of Amsterdam, the author of Nahalat Azriel also had a rabbinical post there. Likewise, R. Eizk hakohen, author of Shaare Yitshak also held a post there.R. Asher ha-Kohen, 1797-1866, pupil of R. Hayyim ben Isaac Volozhiner, 1749-1821, also held a rabbinical post there. R. Asher was the author of Birkat Rosh on the tractate of Berakhot and commentary on the explanations of Rashi and Tosafot and Birkat Rosh on the tractate of Nazir and commentary on Maimonides' legal decisions.In the beginning, R. Asher ha-Kohen did not want to earn his living as a rabbi. He was a merchant until the age of fifty in Sharshev. During leisure hours, he would sit and study. Torah. Finally, he accepted the request of the town's wealthy people to accept a rabbinical post there. However, he did not remain long. This is because in 1852 (the Hebrew year 613) he was appointed rabbi of Tiktin (Grodno province) at the request of the town's leaders.When R. Asher ha-Kohen became rabbi of Tiktin, the leaders of the Sharshev community sought a rabbi capable of carrying on the intellectual position of the post in their community. Finally, they chose R. Pinchas Michael to replace R. Asher ha-Kohen. They saw in him the same scholarly type as his mentor, erudite in Talmud, modest and capable.R. Pinchas Michael was just as modest in his rabbinical post as he had been as a private person. He was friendly to the masses. He listened to what[Page 126]they said, participated in their sorrow, and helped them. He especially treated children with respect and addressed them as “You” (second person plural). Despite his popular behavior, R. Pinchas Michael was known as a scholar, who was asked for answers by famous rabbis.On the other hand, the common people turned to him for advice in their daily lives. His house was open to every poor person. Thus, he was rabbi in Sharshev for eight years until 1864 (624). This year has a new designation in the life of R. Pinchas Michael, because in this year he left his birthplace, Sharshev, in which he grew up and took root and came to the town of Antopolyah (Antopol in Russian), in the Kobrin district, in the province of Grodno.Antopol was famous not only among the Jews in the Antopol region. Rather, it was also famous outside of the boundaries of this province. It is a true fact that this town, which was almost forgotten to the Russian government was known to the Jews for its famous rabbis knowledgeable in Jewish law and mysticism. The saintly mystic R. Moshes Tsevi was rabbi here for forty-four years from 1818 to 1862 (578-622).R. Mosheh Tsevi was known not only for his knowledge of law and his knowledge in Jewish mysticism. He was also known for his good disposition, his good feeling to the public and individuals. People would come to him with both spiritual and worldly matters; this person in material matters, this one about earning a living, and this one about physical or mental health.After R. Mosheh Tsevi's death, R. Hayyim Zalman Bresloi, a descendent of the great rabbi Yosef David of Mir, was rabbi. Apparently, a quarrel broke out and he had to leave Antopol after two years and settle in Mir. The rabbinical position in Antopol was waiting for its true inheritor. A number of rabbis, learned and educators, were candidates for the rabbinical post in this small town. However, not a one of them satisfied the desire of its Jewish inhabitants. This was because the rabbi, who would inherit the rabbinical position would have to be a continuation of the rabbinical tradition in Antopol and satisfy all groups of people with his fatherly attitude towards all his congregants.It wasn't easy to satisfy the Jews of Antopol, who numbered more than one thousand inhabitants. This is because all of them were learned in Judaism. Some were scholars who gave lessons in Gemara, like R. Yekutiel the blacksmith, and others like him.The heads of the community found only one rabbi fit for the post. This was R. Pinchas Michael, full of Talmudic knowledge and love for his fellow beings. The town's leaders overlooked his speech deficiency, the fact that he stuttered. They knew that it was not a physical defect. Rather, it was the result of quick thought and rapid mental grasp. They looked at his simple nature, both in his way of teaching and his life style, his good nature, and his immense knowledge of Talmud and commentaries. These qualities made him the appropriate heir to the rabbinical post of Antopol.Before he accepted the post, he told the town's leaders that he did not want a salary. Rather, he would have an income from his wife's sale of yeast. On the first day of the month of Heshvan, 1864 (624), R. Pinchas Michael came to town. The entire city was happy to receive its new rabbi. Finally, Antopol received a rabbinical authority that merited the two crowns – learning and good reputation. Everyone wanted to hear his first sermon. It would certainly be studious with references to earlier and later commentators on the Talmud, as was the manner of contemporary scholars.However, R. Pinchas did not deliver a sermon like this. The people did not hear law from him. Rather, they heard lore and ethics. In order to fulfill his responsibility, he discussed a matter of law at the end. This is also God's manner. He did not address the children of Israel when they came the first day to Mt. Sinai. They were tired from the journey. So, it is with the commandments that God gave to them.[Page 127]First, he gave them easy commandments, like the priest's share of the dough, new meal offering, and afterwards, leave offering, tithes, sabbatical year, and jubilee year, which were harder. “When God gave his commandments, He took a gradual approach, instructing us to act justly and kindly.” Pinchas Michael passed from statements of Jewish lore to Jewish ethics. He repeatedly warned about the observance of easy commandments, such as praying on time and value of study.He expanded on the value of study. Almost all of his first sermon was devoted to this topic. These are his words: Everyone, even if he worked for a living in crafts or trade, has to diligently set aside time for study of Judaism, whether a little or a lot, each according to his ability, or to listen to others in this study, each according to his ability. God will not request a person to study hard things, only what he is able. The point is to do something. And to guard oneself from idle talk, especially in the study or synagogue, learning Judaism is important. The woman should help her husband by also working to earn a living, like Zebulun the merchant provided for his brother Issachar, enabling him to study.The first sermon that R. Pinchas Michael preached in Antopol was the program according to which he acted all his stay in this town. He explained in it the principals of his method in law and manners. This is primarily because he was a teacher of Jewish law. He would repeat these ideas in almost every sermon. Teaching of Jewish law should be done simply, without trying to show off. There was a need to guide the heart in study and not to study externally. Every person should learn according to his nature. “Some people are able to study better before going to sleep. Some are able to study better when they awake, because then their thoughts are quiet and rested.” In addition to the study of Jewish law, there are two more fundamentals: prayer and charity. These are the three principles on which he based his sermons and private conversations. R. Pinchas Michael deviated from the established custom that a Rabbi would only give a sermon twice a year: on the Sabbath before Passover and the Sabbath between the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement. He gave a sermon on every holiday. He would stand before the congregation on the Sabbath between the New Year and Day of Atonement, wrap himself up in his prayer shawl and weep. The congregation would weep after him. This was his “sermon” by which he stirred the people to repent and do good deeds.Most of his sermons were not sharp. Rather, they had work of ethics and admonishments for daily living, like keeping the Sabbath, doing deeds of charity, feeding the poor, and keeping accurate measures for weighing goods. He stood up for these matters and called out for their observance on every occasion. He was firm on studying simply. He studied and taught others by this method. His method was to simply explain the obtuse without being far-fetched and wordy. Rather, he used a logical explanation and set up the text correctly and with brevity. R. Pinchas Michael used this method in his short explanations that were precise to the Tractates of Nazir, Temurah, Meilah and Tamid.His explanations could be described as a little that contains a lot. He knew the secret of reduction in writing. He knew what to put down and. what to omit. He acts this way in his explanation to the Talmudic Tractates of Ternurah, Meilah, and part of Tamid. Like in his introduction to the explanation of Nazir, so he does in his explanation to the other tractates of the Talmud, apologizing and saying: “Behold, I understand how little is my value and my intelligence. It is certain that there are things that I do not understand”.R. Pinchas Michael kept this manuscript with him for many years, certainly because he did not have the money to publish it. He kept it until he got instruction from heaven that he must publish it. Then, he gave it to the publisher. His explanation immediately found a wide audience, because it was so precise.[Page 128]Directly or indirectly, R. Pinchas Michael influenced thousands of Jews, whether they heard him speak morality or wisdom or whether they only heard of his name. During his lifetime he was already a legend, passed from father to son and grandfather to grandchild. Every one talked of the righteous man, who listened to every, one turning and who did not differentiate between Jew and gentile. This is because “a gentile also has to live”. He was a father and patron to every suffering and bitter person that came to him from a distance. Among those coming were Jewish scholars, merchants, craftsmen, women and children. If a tragedy happened at home, they immediately ran to the righteous man. If a Polish squire did not want to renew a lease, they turned to R. Pinchas Michael to seek advice. If someone was dangerously ill, they called for the aid of the righteous man. The righteous man would say: “I don't know, God will bless you”.R. Pinchas Michael became the emissary of those turning to him. He would add these people to his prayers in saying the Shemonah Esrah. He did not act as a typical Hasidic Rebbe. He would not receive gifts. At the most, he would take some pennies for poor students. The purse was tied one's neck and he would put into it and take out counted pennies for the needs of charity. Charity is one of the pillars of the Jewish would. Therefore, he would repeatedly warn about keeping this commandment at every opportunity.R. Pinchas Michael would actively participate in the troubles of poor Jews. He would say: “It is very hard for a Jew to earn a ruble”. He meant that a Jew had to work really hard to earn a living. Therefore, he would be lenient in ruling on kosher slaughter or mixing meat and dairy. This is in spite of the fact that he would oppose the Hasidic method and customs. Nevertheless, when it came to decide if a cow was kosher according to ritual law, he accepted the opinion of the book Daat kedoshim, a Hasidic Rebbe in Caliela.Once a poor woman came to tell him that she had mixed dairy in a meat dish. The rabbi asked about her children and what they ate. When he heard that that were actually hungry and would benefit from the meat dish, he ruled that she should feed her children.He was not only bothered by daily matters. He was also asked about things that could not be postponed, such as we have mentioned above. His sharp eye penetrated into Jewish life in distant America that was just taking shape. This was at a time when the Jewish community in the United States was still small and the practice of Judaism there was weak. He would advise his questioning people to immigrate to the United States. He used to say: “Go to America. You will earn a living there. And he would add: “Keep the Jewish Sabbath.”Like Rabbi Salanter, who was his contemporary, he advised people to immigrate to the United States. This is because he saw the wave or pogroms taking place against the Russian Jews. What about himself He wanted to live in the land of Israel. However, his people would not let him go. He would accompany everyone immigrating to Israel, whether a tailor, shoemaker, merchant or property owner, some distance outside the city. To live in Israel was very important to him. Just desiring to live there made Jewish redemption a possibility. He would explain the statement: “Because of four reasons our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt ... because they did not change their language and their name.” A person desiring to settle in another country changes his language, his name and clothes and accustoms himself to the ways of the country. However, the person who desires to return to his ancestral home acts the opposite way. This is why the Jews were redeemed. Despite all the difficulty of slavery, they did not cease to believe that they would return home and therefore they went from slavery to redemption.Rabbi Pinchas Michael had advice on how to be redeemed and get out of difficulty. This was accomplished through observance of the Jewish Sabbath. Therefore, he would encourage those fearing his sermons to hurry up to receive in the[Page 129]Sabbath. For example, he asked artisans and their workers to leave their shops early, in order to exit the bathhouse in time.R. Pinchas Michael would take it upon himself to enter the bathhouse a long time before sunset with a rod in his hand and “whip” those delaying to leave. He would whip them out of love. R. Pinchas Michael objected to bodily punishment. Once he slapped on the cheek a youth of 14 years of age for hitting his playmate. R. Pinchas Michael regretted doing this and he could not concentrate on his prayers until he approached the boy and asked for his forgiveness. When the boy forgave him, he held his hand and was very happy.According to his nature, R. Pinchas Michael was forgiving and easy going. Many people took advantage of this weakness and used it for their personal good. One wicked man forged his signature and traveled from city to city to collect money on behalf of the Jewish religious elementary school in Antopol. R. Pinchas Michael put an announcement in newspapers and asked the rabbis of the cities to which this man should come to take the notebook containing the forged letter and burn it. He asked only this and nothing more.A wicked person also took advantage after the fire that broke out to Antopol in the summer of 1885. This was when 80 houses were burnt. And on the twentieth of June of that year another fire burnt one hundred and twenty houses. The Jews of Antopol became extremely poor and sent messengers to collect funds on behalf of the victims.The elders of the town used to talk about the first fire that happened about 1869 as a historic event in the life of the town. This is because almost all the town went up in flames. In that year R. Pinchas Michael went out with R. Netanel Hayyim Pappah, one of the wealthy people in town, far away on behalf of the victims. They came up to St. Petersburg. Everywhere they were received in a friendly fashion. Thanks to these two distinguished townspeople the city was rebuilt. Jewish life again took its course and forms.R. Pinchas Michael returned to the town and its Jews. He cared not only for his flock but also for the entire Jewish community. Once he said to R. Yekutiel husband of Belah Hartakes: “It is better for you than for me, because the world does not depend on you.” People came from everywhere to see him and did not give him rest in spirit or body. Moshkah, his wife, used to drive out those coming to their house saying: “He is not able to help and he does not know how to help. Leave him alone! “ As many as she would drive away, more would come.And what about his study of Torah Behold, a person is required to study “day and night”. Therefore, he fulfilled the Talmudic statement: “The nights were only created to study (Tractate Eruvin 65). He would sleep a little and almost all the rest of the night he would study Torah. As a result, he had an amazing knowledge of Talmud and Codes. This was “up to the point that all the luminaries of his time treated him with respect.” Lack of sleep, many cares and strong devotion to studies caused R. Pinchas Michael to develop a severe internal illness. Following the advice of doctors, he went to Berlin for an operation. When he set out for Berlin, he also prepared for his death. This is because who knows what tomorrow will bring in such a situation. A person must leave an ethical will for his household. R. Pinchas Michael wrote such a will. Although the will was written to his sons, a person who reads it carefully with open eyes will see that this will represented his fundamental beliefs. We see his democratic attitude and opinion about the state of the poor and artisans. In his time, the artisan had an inferior status. The most important person was the Jewish religious scholar. Therefore, he tells his children to marry their sons to the daughters of scholars. “Do not seek out the rich, give your daughters to a good and scholarly person, even if he comes from a family of artisans. To do so is not contemptuous, as fools say. It is more contemptible to be one of the rich, who lose other people's money than an artisans who lives from the work of his own hands and is dear to G-d.”[Page 130]R. Pinchas Michael also had an aesthetic sense and a desire to treat others gently. He asks that books be bound well, “because this is a glory to those who do so in this world and the world to come.” R. Pinchas Michael warns: “Do not curse, even a gentile and even a living animal, and raise your children pleasantly and not with blows, only with good words...and be advised not to sadden any person, and especially a servant, because they are daughters of fathers like your own. Therefore, take care to honor them and you merit much good.Likewise, he warns about household peace. A man must be easy going to his wife, even when she makes his life miserable. He advises not to bother quarreling, because it is hard for a husband to win in a quarrel with his wife. The husband should give his wife the benefit of the doubt. He also warns his daughters and daughter-in-laws to watch out for the honor of their husbands and not to make them sad “even with small talk”.He warns against sadness and anger several times, “Because sadness and anger are of no help in correcting anything. Remove sadness and anger and trust in G-d in all your affairs.” He also advises to give a tithe on behalf of the poor and poor relatives and for other holy matters. The money for this is to be kept as if it does not belong to the giver. If earning a living should not be so easy, do not go to ask the help of a saintly person i n another town. This is “because in every city there are people, who fear G-d and are able to beseech Him for the sake of the needy.” This is also the case in physical needs. First, a person should ask mercy for himself from G-d. At the same time, he should ask others to seek mercy for him. Just as he was in his lifetime a representative for all the needy, so he promises to help those asking in the next world.The admonishments of R. Pinchas Michael are similar to the admonishments of R. Asher of Stolin, of blessed memory, who was the son of R. Aharon, of Karlin, of blessed memory, the founder of Karlin Hasidism. He also warns some times about observing the Sabbath and adding a little extra time to it over the legal time of its entrance and exit. He warns about the need to set times to study Torah, to give a tithe and the likes of this.Was R. Pinchas Michael influenced by the Baal Shem Tov's Hasidism Did R. Pinchas Michael incline to Hasidism We can answer the last question certainly in the negative. On the contrary, from anecdotes brought in his name, we learn that he was opposed greatly to the Hasidic way and Hasidic Rebbes. How are we able to reconcile his two different tendencies Certainly, the two opinions are correct. In his youth, R. Pinchas Michael was a great opponent of the Hasidic way of life. However, he came closer to Hasidism in his last years. Sometimes, he would pray in the prayerhouse of the Hasidim of Stolin.R. Pinchas Michael was rabbi of Antopol for twenty-six years. Not all the years were good and peaceful. It happened more than once or twice that a person attacked his spiritual leadership. R. Pinchas Michael forgave the insult quietly in his heart. We should say the truth. Not all of the inhabitants of Antopol saw the high value of this rabbi. An anecdote told in the name of R. Pinchas Michael will shed light on the attitude of the Jews of Antopol to him.Once he was asked, “Why are you not as important inside the town of Antopol as outside of it” R. Pinchas Michael answered, “The Biblical section when read in its place and time of reading is not very important. This is because we read it in the three weeks between the breach of the city walls of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. However, when we read it outside of its place, as the last section of the Torah reading on a holiday, then a lot of money is paid to be called to the Torah for its reading. Pinchas in its own place does not have such recognition but Pinchas out of its place is more important.”[Page 131]Thus, after his death people used to stretch out on his grave and ask him to intercede for them. It was not only the masses, which came to his grave. Rather, intellectuals and enlightened people used to come yearly, each as the rich Jew, Luria, of Pinsk. Everyone began to recognize the great importance of their pious man and rabbi, who lived as one of the holy and left the world holy after his death.Thus, they say that on the new moon of Adar 1890 (650), R. Pinchas Michael took sick with typhus. He lay some weeks in a bed from which he did not get up. However, his mind was clear. When the time for prayer came, he awoke and prayed. On the last Sabbath of his life, he made + tie blessing over the reading of the Torah, and said to his family: “I am a guest. A guest must get the chance to say the blessing over the reading of the Torah”. At the end of the Sabbath when he separated the passing of the holy day from the coming secular weekday, he wrote a card to be rushed to the Rabbi of Pinsk. He told in it of his coming death. He invited him to the funeral and asked forgiveness from him. Likewise, he informed him that in the case of the dispute in the place in Maimonides that the law is in accordance as he, the writer of the postcard, said. The day before the 17th of Adar, his soul exited in purity.The town immediately wrapped itself in mourning. Runners went to Horodets and Kobrin to give the bad news of the righteous man's death.Many from these towns, both Jews and gentiles, went to the funeral. The following rabbis gave the eulogy: R. Yehoshua Yaakov Rabinovits, rabbi of Horodets, Rabbi Tsevi Hirsh Rabinovits and R. Mosheh Berman, son-in-law of R. Pinchas Michael, R. David Rushkin, and R. Pinchasb. R. Eliyahu of Lida, the spiritual leader of Kobrin. They eulogized him near to the synagogue and near to the study hall on Pinsk St. Afterward, they came to the old study hall in which the deceased prayed. The luminary, R. Yosef Shaul Epshtein, rabbi of Kobrin, led the mourning. Thus, ended the episode of the life of R. Pinchas Michael, of blessed memory. And with his death ended a shining historical chapter in the history of the town of Antopol, whose Jews participated in its writing. 59ce067264


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