In the Merit of the Rebbe, Reb Elimelech

Thousands gathered in Lizhensk on Thursday, the yahrtzeit of the Rebbe, Harav Elimelech of Lizhensk, zy”a, author of Noam Elimelech. The brilliant light of this great tzaddik shone in this world until 21 Adar 1787, but has not ceased to illuminate the world for a single moment up to the very present, nor the inner souls of the mevakshei Hashem, and it will continue to shine until the coming of Moshiach. From the time he was beckoned to the Yeshivah shel Maalah, Yidden have not ceased to make a connection b’shulei adarto.

This connection is attained through his holy work, Noam Elimelech, or through bonding with tzaddikim who continue in his holy path; and when possible, for whom it was possible, the many who have visited his kever.

The leaders and tzaddikim throughout the generations and their talmidim have testified to the extent that this great and holy tzaddik sacrificed for Klal Yisrael. From his unimaginably high level of holiness, he descended to answer the needs of the Jewish people, to beseech Hashem on their behalf, and that their hearts and minds should be open to serve Him. He used to say, and so it’s written in his sefer: “The tzaddik is full of ahavas Yisrael and worries and grieves for every nefesh in Yisrael.”

In his well-known tefillah, which he composed to recite before davening, he speaks at length about the unity of Yisrael. From it derives the saying: “On the contrary, give us the ability to perceive the virtues of others and not their shortcomings…and let no hatred of others enter our hearts.”

In his holy ways, he left a legacy for all the generations, that every Jew should seek to attach himself to his Creator and to go in the straight and desirable path before Him. He used to say: “It is impossible for the world to exist without tzaddikim who go in this lowly world and are attached to the highest holiness.”

May his merit protect us and all of Yisrael, that we merit salvation and mercy.