Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Ukraine's Komarna Rebbes

This is a re-blog from 2011. Ukrainian history.  This is a familiar map to us now, back in 2011 perhaps not so familiar to most of us.

Komarno is near the city of Lviv

Source: Yitzchak Yaakov Rosenbaum HaLevi - as heard from the Komarno Rebbe Eliezer Tzvi Safrin shlita

[Interestingly, all of the previous Komarna Rebbes passed away during the time of the Omer]

After the collapse of communism in 1990, the chassidim of the Komarna dynasty travelled to search for the graves of their Rebbes which had been destroyed by the Nazis.

They arrived in Komarno [Ukraine] and asked many people where they could locate the part of town where the Jews had lived. Here they found an old farmer and questioned him regarding the whereabouts of any Jewish graves.

The farmer had no idea, he couldn't help them at all.... but the chassidim continued to question him and ask him if he could think of anything that could help them....... suddenly the farmer remembered that there is a certain paddock, about a mile from the town of Komarno, where they take the cows and sheep to graze. The animals would always stop at a certain point and refuse to go any further. They would only eat the grass on one side of the paddock.

Ohel of Komarna Rebbes
The farmer took the chassidim to the paddock and showed them the area that the cattle refused to graze in. The chassidim began to gently dig at the grass and discovered the graves of their Rebbes. Although the headstones had been destroyed by the Nazis, the graves were lying untouched beneath the grass.


A visitor to the ohel reported a newly-lit candle burning in the corner. He wondered who had been there and left it - he went outside and asked the children playing there who it was who had just visited and left the candle. The children said that no-one had been there at all, and that he was the first visitor that day.

Pirkei Avot [ch.2] states: "Weigh the loss from a mitzvah against its reward." This is an admonition to the leaders of the community, said Komarno Rebbe Eliezer Zvi Safrin [1830-1898] zatz'l, that they should be willing to sacrifice their personal spiritual gain in order to raise the level of others. Even if a person must interrupt his own learning or growth in order to engage in kiruv (bringing others closer), this loss is insignificant compared to the rewards.

Rav Safrin -- known as the "Sar Bet Hazohar" [Master of the Zohar]: Regarding this the Zohar [II:128b] says that if one helps another overcome his yetzer hara, it is as if he has created a new person. Moreover, there is no greater honor to Hashem than this, the Zohar says. If one holds the hand of a rasha and tries to lead the rasha on a new path, he accomplishes three things: he helps to crush the yetzer hara, he brings honor to G-d, and he causes the world to endure. Such a person will merit to see children and grandchildren, and about him it says "Mighty in the land will his offspring be, a generation of the upright who shall be blessed." [Zekan Beto]

1 comment:

skbzk said...

beautiful and timely. thanks!