Thursday, April 23, 2015

“Hinei Rakevet”: The Train From Lublin

Otzar Nachmani, sec. 169
From the collected talks of Rabbi Nachman Burstein
Translated by Dovid Sears, unedited

[Rabbi Nachman Burstein relates about the Breslover Chassidim in Poland before World War II:]

I heard from Rabbi Itche Meir Korman that after Rosh Hashanah, when the Breslover Chassidim would returned home from the kibbutz (gathering) in Lublin, they traveled by train, each disembarking at his own home town.  Various groups of other Chassidim were on this train, as well, and once a debate took place as to which group was bigger. One said that his group had so many Chassidim, while another claimed that his group had so many Chassidim, etc. Finally, one Chassid exclaimed, “What are these numbers you’re bragging about? For us, there were so many Chassidim pressed together that it was mamash sakonas nefoshos, actual mortal danger!”

When the debate began to wind down, they turned to the group of Breslover Chassidim, and asked them provocatively, “And how was it for you? What could have happened without a Rebbe?”

One of the Breslovers (probably Reb Mordechai Sokolover, zal) replied, “Vos zogt ir, az bie eikh iz gevvezn mamash sakanas nefashos? What are you saying, that for you there was ‘mortal danger?’ Bie inz iz gevvezn mamash mechayeh nefoshos! For us, it was actual new life!”

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