Friday, September 2, 2011

The Miraculous Etrog Tree

Rav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz zt"l
It is well-known that Rav Michel Yehudah Lefkowitz zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh L’tzeirim, who was niftar this summer, was given seeds of an esrog by the Chazon Ish to plant to produce esrogim that are pure and are under no suspicion of being murkav, grafted.  The Chazon Ish had approached him with an esrog that he said was definitely kosher and was not grafted. The Chazon Ish actually asked Rav Michel Yehudah to plant the esrog seeds in his yard and told him that he would have parnassah from it. 

Rav Michel Yehudah asked, “Can an esrog grow in the Bnei Brak climate? Moreover, I don’t have any experience growing esrogim, and an esrog tree takes much time to cultivate. I don’t have time to cultivate it; I want to learn Torah!”

The Chazon Ish replied that all he would have to do was plant the esrog and water it. The Chazon Ish promised him that it would not take up much of his time.

Remarkably, that esrog tree grew into the famous “Lefkowitz-Chazon Ish Esrogim.” Rav Michel Yehudah barely had to invest any time into it, despite the fact that an esrog tree is usually very sensitive, requires much attention, and does not last for many years. 70 years later, that tree stood tall in Rav Michel Yehudah’s yard and was still producing beautiful esrogim.

However, this month, news emerged from Bnei Brak that the historic tree has died. Since the time of Rav Michel Yehudah’s petirah, the tree’s branches have gradually been getting dried out, and, at the present time, the tree is all but dead. The fruit have fallen off and the branches have dried out.

Upon learning of the news, the Toldos Aharon Rebbe, who is makpid each Sukkos to make a bracha on an esrog from Rav Michel Yehudah’s yard, sent chassidim to confirm the report. They indeed found that the tree has withered.

Source and more at : Matzav

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