Sunday, February 6, 2011

Selfless Love



The story shared in this video is about the founder of the Sanz Chassidic dynasty, Rabbi Chaim Halberstam (1793-1876), known as the Divrei Chaim, after his work on Jewish Law.  The young girl was Rachel Feige, daughter of Rabbi Baruch Frankel-Teomim.  Rebbe Chaim and Rebbetzin Rachel Feige had eight children.  When she passed away, the Divrei Chaim married again; this marriage produced six children.  The Divrei Chaim was known for his great Torah knowledge, his humility, and his compassion.  Rabbi Baruch used to say, “My son-in-law may have a weak [body] but he has a very strong mind!''


It was the Divrei Chaim's custom not to go to sleep for the night until he had given away every last penny in his house.  Before Sukkot one year, a large donation reached the Rebbe's hands just before the holiday began.  He quickly apportioned this money to someone in town - a man to whom the Rebbe had already given a sum of money.  When the Rebbe's beadle expressed surprise at this, the Rebbe said, "The first sum of money was for the holiday itself.  But the man in heavily in debt.  How could he enjoy the holiday, knowing that after it ended his creditors would be back at the door?  This money," he said, pointing to the new sum, "is for his debts.  Now he can really celebrate."
That night, he told his sons, "Some people decorate their sukkot with pictures, wall hangings, fruit.  But our decorations are even more beautiful: we decorate with tzedakah - charity."


Today Sanz is represented by the Chassidic dynasties of Bobov and Klausenberg.   (This three minute video shows the marriage celebration of descendents of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin of Sanz.)
  • How can you apply the Divrei Chaim's philosophy to your marriage?
  • Does the Rebbe's giving attitude strengthen or weaken him? 

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