Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yossele Rosenblatt with the Previous Rebbe

Reb Yossele Rosenblatt visited the Previous Rebbe in Warsaw in 5688 [1938] after the Rebbe had just left Russia. Those present expected that he would sing. However, he understood from the Rebbe’s facial expression that he did not want that.

When he left the Rebbe’s presence and went into a side room, he met the Rebbe’s daughters and sang something in front of them. He had a very strong voice and was heard in the next room where the Rebbe was. Afterwards, the Rebbe said, “Er hot mir aroisgenumen fun atzvus, er zugt gut, er ken pirush hamilos” (He took me out of depression. He says well. He knows the meaning of the words).

(I heard this from my good friend Reb Shneur Zalman Baumgarten, who heard it from his uncle Reb Sholom Ber Hacohen Eichorn, who witnessed the story.)

In the year 5690, the Previous Rebbe visited America and stayed in Brooklyn for Shmini Atzeres.

During the Yom Tov, the famous Chazan Reb Yossele Rosenblatt walked from the Bronx, where he lived, to visit the Rebbe. The walk took him many hours. When he arrived, the Rebbe honored him to sing several pieces of chazonus. When he finished, the Rebbe turned to Reb Zalman Havlin – who sang nigunim with Heavenly sweetness - and said, “vaizt vos ir kent” (demonstrate what you can do). Reb Zalman sang several niggunim.

When he concluded, Reb Yossele said, “Ir mit eire nigunim macht finster mayne chazonus” (You, with your nigunim, darken [comparatively] my chazonus.)

(Reb Shneur Zalman Baumgarten heard this story from the elder chasidim Reb Shlomo Aharon Kazarnovsky and Reb Eliyahu Nochum Sklar, of blessed memory.)
Reprinted from Vert-a-lach (43) by Eliezer Zalmanov

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