שבת ט' בכסלו תשפ"ג 03/12/2022
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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Reflections

The Chassidic Master Rabbi Yeshayah Steiner Kerstirer, of blessed memory

Rabbi Yeshayahle Kerstirer, founder of the Kerstir dynasty, passed away on the 3rd of Iyar. Rabbi Yeshayahle was a great wonder maker, and his picture is used to scare off mice.

27/04/2009 10:00
The Chassidic Master Rabbi Yeshayah Steiner, more known as Rabbi Yeshayahle Kerstirer, is named after his city, Kerstir. He was born to his father Rabbi Moshe in 5612 in the village of Zbario, Slovakia. When Rabbi Yeshayahle was three years old, his father passed away, and he was raised by his mother until he was 12, when his mother sent him off to learn by the Chassidic Master Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Friedman of Liska. Rabbi Yeshayahle grew up in Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch's house and was eventually appointed his personal assistant.

Aside from being a disciple of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch, Rabbi Yeshayahle was also a close pupil of the Chassidic Master Rabbi Chaim Halberstam of Sanz, the 'Divrei Chaim'.

After the passing of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch, Rabbi Yeshayahle's reputation as an extremely righteous person and a miracle worker began to spread far and wide. He settled in Kerstir, Hungary, and thousands of people flocked to his door to ask for blessings and salvations. A story is told about a Jew who had immigrated to the United States and became rich after buying a dry-cleaner store. After a while, two Italian partners opened up a cleaner store right across the street, which caused the Jew to lose his customers. Before long, the Italian partners began threatening the Jew and demanding him to close down his store. One day, a Jew from Hungary came by the house of the troubled Jew and told him of the great Rabbi Yeshayahle in Hungary, where the man was soon to return to. He urged the Jew to send a kvittel (letter) to Rabbi Yeshayahle and ask for a solution to his problem. The Jew was more than happy to comply, and readily put his problem in writing; he described in great detail how the Italian partners had opened a state-of-the-art cleaners with sophisticated machines, and how his long-time costumers were slowly but surely drawn to his rivals, causing him to lose his livelihood.

Some time went by and the Hungarian Jew returned to the States and handed over a kame'ah (a small paper containing a text that protects its owner) from Rabbi Yeshayahle to the local Jew. He said that Rabbi Yeshayahle had told him to say that he should open the kame'ah whenever he sees fit. The local Jew took the kame'ah and prayed for a salvation.

In the meanwhile, the Italian partners hired a criminal to set the Jew's cleaners on fire. The criminal waited for the darkness of the night to approach the store and put it on fire. As he walked up and down the road, however, he could not find the Jew's dry shop, despite the exact address and a precise description given to him by the Italian partners.

Desperate, he turned to a man who was walking down the street and asked for directions to the cleaners. The man, not knowing better, thought that the black man was referring to the Italians' cleaners, and directed him there. Without hesitation, the criminal poured oil on the store and burnt it down to the core.

The next day, the Italian partners were shocked to discover that their own store had been burnt down, and that they had fallen into their own trap. The police was quick in finding the criminal who was responsible for the crime, and he told them that he had been sent by the Italian partners to burn down their competitor's store. The Italians were immediately arrested and the Jewish store-owner could once again relax.

A few years passed, and Rabbi Yeshayahle returned his soul to his Maker. The Jew decided that now was the time to open the kame'ah which Rabbi Yeshayahle had sent him so many years ago. With trembling hands and a heart full of anticipation, he opened the kame'ah. He was astounded to read the verse that Rabbi Yeshayahle had written: "And the people who were standing across the house, He had struck with blindness, big and small, and they could not find the opening".

Despite Rabbi Yeshayahle's greatness in spirit, he was tremendously humble and referred to himself throughout his life as the assistant of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch of Liska. He would sign his name as 'the lowly Yeshayah, son of Rabbi Moshe, who used to assist the holy Rabbi of Liska'.

Rabbi Yeshayahle passed away on the 3rd of Iyar and was laid to rest in the city of Kerstir. After his passing, his son continued in his footsteps and was appointed Chassidic Master of Kerstir. Six months thereafter, however, he passed away, and his brother-in-law, the son-in-law of his father Rabbi Meir Yosef Rubin took over the position. Rabbi Meir Yosef was murdered al Kiddush Hashem in Auschwitz, may G-d avenge his blood.

Rabbi Yeshayahle's picture and signature are still famous today for preventing mice from entering the house.