Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Yahrtzeit of Reb Wolf Kitzes
From R' Dovid Friedman:
12 Cheshvan is the yartzeit of Rabbi Zev Wolf Kitzis, zy'a, one of the earliest and most senior talmidim of the Baal Shem Tov. (Don’t know his father’s name) There are many stories about the two of them together. B"H I was zocheh to visit his kever many times. He has the zekhus of being buried immediately to the right of the Baal Shem Tov in Medzhibuzh. Reb Wolf Kitzis was able to prevent the rabbonim of Brod from placing a cherem (ban of excommunication) on the Baal Shem Tov, since he greatly impressed the Rav of Lvov, who was the final decisor. He is well known as the baal toke'a (one who sounds the Shofar) of the Baal Shem Tov -- so it is no coincidence that he passed away the week of the Torah reading "Vayera," when we read about Akeidas Yitzchok. One of the ten reasons for blowing shofar on Rosh Hashonah, given by Rabbeinu Saadia Gaon, is to remember Akeidas Yitzchok. Here are some remazim (hints):
שופר with the 4 letters is equal to זאב וואלף קיצעס זצ״ל.
בעל תוקע with the kolel is equal to רבי זאב וואלף קיצעס with the 4 words.
עקידת יצחק with the 9 letters and kolel is equal to רבי זאב וואלף קיצעס זצ״ל.
ויעקד את יצחק with the 3 words is equal to רבי זאב וואלף קיצעס זצ״ל.
איל אחר נאחז בסבך בקרניו is equal to הרבי זאב וואלף קיצעס זיע״א.
Zechuso Yogen Oleinu
PS from Dovid Sears:
Close to 30 years ago, when we lived in Providence, RI, I was part of a group that visited Jewish patients in nursing homes on Yom Tov. I'm not sure if it was on Rosh Hashanah, but I once visited an elderly man named "Kitzis" in the Jewish Home for the Aged. When I mentioned Reb Wolf Kitzis to him, the patient readily told me that he was a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov's famous disciple. We were both happy to have met each other.