Friday, April 28, 2017

Power of Gedolim Pictures- Yartzheit of Reb Shaya Kerestirer

This Shabbos 3 Iyar is the Yartzheit of Reb Shaya'la of Kerestirer (1851-1925) one of the famous chasiddic Rebbes from Hungary in the early Twentieth century. Many are making the trip to his Kever and spend Shabbos at his house in northern Hungary. His picture is believed to be a segulah and a amulet of protection. Many stores have his picture to keep away mice.
 Here is the The Famous Mouse Story- link. 
 (see below for story of  how a picture of Rav Aaron Kotler brought someone back to Yiddishkeit)

Reb Shaya Kerestirer
Affectionately known as Reb Shaya'le (Rabbi Yeshaya Steiner of Kerestir), the Kerestirer Rebbe lived around the beginning of the 20th Century. He was a very pious man and extremely humble, always referring to himself in the diminutive (Shaya'le). He was known as a "miraculous" person. His greatest pleasure was to host a very elaborate Melave Malka, the meal that follows Shabbos, on Saturday night. Often he would have his chassidim shecht fresh chickens for his meal.

One motzei Shabbos, while Reb Shaya'le was eating this special melave malka meal, a chossid came to him with an urgent request. He was a man who had a warehouse full of foodstuffs and he made his living by buying an selling food. For the past number of months, his warehouse had been taken over by mice who were eating his grain and other commodities and his entire livelihood was threatened. He asked Reb Shaya'le for a blessing that the mice should leave his warehouse. At that time, each small town in Europe was ruled by the local church pastor. Some of the pastors were kind towards the Jews and others were very harsh. Reb Shaya'le asked the chossid if the pastor of the town he lived in was kind or harsh. The chossid replied that he was very harsh toward the Jews. Reb Shaya'le then instructed the chossid to go to his warehouse and to tell the mice, "Reb Shaya'le says to go to the estate of the pastor." The chossid followed the Rebbe's advice and instantly hundreds of mice raced out of the warehouse all heading in the direction of the pastor's estate. The chossid's business was saved and ever since Jews who have been plagued with this problem have used Reb Shaya'le's picture to accomplish the ridding of mice from their homes.
  Story with Picture of Rav Aharon Kotler- 

Rav Aharon Kotler
Recently a story about a Bochur who went off the derech, yet he was still living at home and his parents gave him the privacy of his room they did not enter it at all. It so happened that a contractor who was working on the home had to enter the room and to his amazement amongst the not so tzniusdik pictures on the wall and other posters of rock stars and Holywood greats there was a picture of  The Lakewood Rosh hayeshiva Rav Aharon Kotler Z'TL. Not sure what to make of it he discussed it with the boys mother and his rav, he didn't feel it was bakovedik for the picture of Rav Aharon to be hanging on a wall shared with other secular pritzusdiker pictures. The boys mother decided not to make anything of it or speak to her son about it. At least let him have some connection to yiddeshkeit. 

Eventually the boy started coming around and joined the family at the shabbos seudos. When asked what helped him make his turn around he explained. He once gave a donation to the Lakewood Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha and they sent him a poster of Rav Aaron Kotler. He dosent know why but he hung it on the wall. Something about the picture talked to him and he felt Rav aharon was looking at him.
The current Rosh Yeshiva Rav Malkiel Kotler shlita remarked the Kedusha of the Zaydeh was so powerful even a picture can bring someone back to yiddeshkeit. 


  1. Reb Shaya'la was a tzaddik. Yisroel Besser just published a biography. Here is what he shared today:

    The Shopraner Rov, Rav Shimon Yisroel Posen retold a story.

    A visitor from Munkacz arrived in Kerestir in the middle of the night. The local inn had no more space so, with little choice, he headed for the rebbe’s home and knocked at the door.
    The visitor was welcomed by an attendant, who was hard at work seeing to the many guests. Wearing neither jacket nor hat, the ordinary-looking Jew circulated amongst the guests, ensuring that they were all sleeping peacefully.
    The visitor from Munkacz was shown a place to sleep as well and he thanked the diligent and gracious attendant, clearly committed to the comfort of the guests.
    In the morning, the guest was astounded to learn that the shirt-sleeved host attendant was the rebbe himself; he’d never encountered a rebbe who behaved that way. When he returned to Munkacz, he shared the account of the strange rebbe in Kerestir with his friends, and eventually, his tale made its way to the Munkaczer Rebbe, the Darchei Teshuva.
    Rather than respond with ridicule, as some of the less sophisticated listeners did, the rebbe reacted by making immediate plans to visit the young rebbe in Kerestir.
    The Munkaczer Rebbe arrived on rosh chodesh, and Reb Shaye’le invited the prominent visitor to join him in leading the rosh chodesh seudah. The Darchei Teshuva was seated next to Reb Shaye’le and after they washed, Reb Shaye’le made the bracha of Hamotzi and sliced the challah- but rather than taking a bite of challah, he continued slicing, removing a large chunk from the middle of the loaf.
    The rebbe motioned to a fellow at the end of the table, summoning to the head of the table. As the fellow made his way along the table to Reb Shaye’le’s seat, the Darchei Teshuva, concerned about the long hefsek between the brocha and eating, knocked on the table, urging Reb Shaye’le to take a bite of the challah.
    Only after the unfamiliar Jew received his piece of challah did Reb Shaye’le himself start eating.
    Once they had eaten, Reb Shaye’le turned to his distinguished visitor and explained that as he was slicing the challah, he noticed a guest at the far end of the table who appeared weak with hunger. His eyes were fixed on the loaf and his mouth was open wide, as if eager to pounce on a piece of bread.
    Reb Shaye’le discerned that this Jew’s teeth had fallen out and understood that it would be impossible for him to chew a crusty piece of challah. And so- realizing that it was imperative that the Yid eat immediately, the rebbe found him a soft piece- and only then, when the hungry fellow had his challah, did Reb Shaye’le take a piece for himself.
    “So I ask you,” Reb Shaye’le concluded, “is this different than the halacha of ‘g’vil l’turi’ ? (The halacha that a person may not eat until he has fed his animals. Shulchan Aruch, O.C 167, 6).

    " A Yid is certainly not worse than an animal!”

    The Munkaczer Rebbe would retell the story with admiration- both for Reb Shaye’le’s compassion and for the keen vision which had allowed Reb Shaye’le to perceive that his guest had no teeth. “From shamayim, they shower special abilities upon someone who has so completely negated himself; they open his eyes so that he can see things that others would miss, both the needs of that Jew, and the relevance of the halacha of ‘govil l’turi.’

  2. was the picture ofvreb Aaron from BMG or from Adelphia yeshiva.