Timche es Z’ Amalek: UNBELIEVABLE

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    The following story was printed in the Hamodia some time ago and I found it fascinating.

    I think it happened in Lakewood but I am not sure;

    A frum couple were driving around and approached a corner where there was some slippery area. Meanwhile a non Jewish , elderly couple crossed the road whilst the car skidded onto the sidewalk, killing the elderly couple.

    The frum driver of this vehicle was devastated at what he accidently did and couldnt come to terms with the fact that he killed two people. For monthes he had counselling and therapy to relieve him of his guilt but to no avail.

    After some time, he wrote a letter to a famous Gadol Hador seeking his advice on how to overcome this guilt. In the letter, he described how the accident happened and how devastating his life now became.

    Weeks passed before he recieved a reply from this Rav. When he opened the envelope which was adressed to him personally he found one sheet of paper with ONLY the word ‘AMALEK,’. Confused and having no inkling as to what this might mean, he put that piece of paper ina drawer and hoped that being written by that Gadol himself , it would give him chizuk to go on.

    Monthes passed and he and his wife decided they want to move into another area and were looking to buy a house. They found something through a Real Estate agency and made an appointment to see it.

    As they arrived they noticed a beautiful home with a loveley garden.After seeing a few rooms, he asked the Real Estate agent what the story is with this house and why the owner wants to sell it. The agent replied, ‘the owners were two elderly people who died in a car accident a few monthes ago, so the house is now up for sale.’

    After asking a few more questions, the frum man realized that this was indeed the couple who had had accidently hit . A tingle ran down his spine and quickly excused himself as to why he would not be interested in buying the house. The agent insisted that he continue looking around anyway, in case he would know of someone else who was interested.

    When he was taken down to the basement, he noticed a room in he corner where the door was closed. ‘This was the man’s office’, stated the broker, ‘he did all his work there’

    ‘Can I take a look inside?’ asked the man. ‘SURE,’ she replied.

    As he opened the door, he took a look at the wall and noticed a big picture of this man taken about 60 years earlier, in a Nazi outfit, positioning his hand in the ‘Heil Hitler’ manner.

    Personally, I had doubts on this story because how would he have recognized him in his youth if he was hardly able to identify him in that split second that he ran him over, HOWEVER, since he was a given a sign by that Gadol with the word ‘AMALEK’, it made sense.


    I don’t think it’s so unbelievable. Unlikely? Maybe. But not unbelievable.

    The Wolf


    Names? Places? Dates? Who was the gadol in question? Please before I’m going to believe this story as true, I need some verifiable facts.


    Beautiful story. I’ve heard it before and can imagine the sense of relief this frum guy had when he found out who these ‘victims’ were. Afterall, its a Mitzvah to destroy Amalek, so not only was a free of guilt but must have felt an accomplishment.

    Than k you for sharing the story!


    The original story, with several of the details different from what was written above, can be seen here: http://bp0.blogger.com/_prBfNuonF7U/R6IDLlyuh5I/AAAAAAAABaM/dBCyLfOPDUY/s1600-h/56449427.jpg


    I do not believe this story. Anyone who has ever sold a house knows that before listing a house, one of the things you have to do is get this house in condition to sell. This process includes removing anything that might be a turn-off to prospective buyers. No self-respecting real estate agent would show a house with a picture of Nazis in it.

    Think BIG

    This story made its rounds, and it is unquestionably true. it happened recently, within the last year or so. The gadol in question is once again, R’Chaim Kanievski. It was known in Lakewood even before it was printed, but it was written up by Nachamn Seltzer. You can contact him for more details.


    I can only Try,

    Thank you so much, can you please point out the differences for those readers who dont have the patients to skim through it?

    Thank you

    Think BIG

    chaimsmom you dont know what you’re saying. Houses are sold in many different conditions, some better than others. My rented house, (that I live in), is also for sale, and prospective buyers come all the time. I do not remove any object that might be a “turn-off” as you say.

    Additionally, the original story explained that the picture was on a high shelf, not easily noticable. But the buyer was looking up for some reason and noticed it.

    You might be new here, (I dont know), but we just went through a whole thread where the validity of stories was debated, so lets not go there again! Let’s instead stick to the point.

    Yossi G.

    Quite aside from the veracity of the story, I have to question the moral lesson here: Don’t feel guilty about causing a death, because the person “obviously” deserved to die?

    It seems to me that even if this story was true, it is better not being told.

    Likewise with some of the “Emunah books” now being sold in seforim stores, like “Ein od milvado”, that tell how having really deep emunah helps prevent you from being caught by the police for law violations, but says nothing about observing the law. Very strange lessons to teach, in my opinion, not what one would expect from the people that claim to have taught the world morality.


    Cantoresq and chaimsmom are absolutely right.

    Morover when “Jewish Urban Legends” like this are told over (or stories of the supernatural, like those about talking fish) they invariably bring out of the woodwork the following categories of people.

    1) Those who choose to believe the story imeediately, becasue it’s a cool story.

    2) Those who feel it’s obligatory to believe the story becasue they think that if someone so much as claims a story with a jewish theme is true, it constitutes apikorsus to question it.

    3) Those (like me) who assume it to be a bubah maasah, simply becasue most such stories are, in fact, bubah maasos and because there is no obligation to believe them.

    You wanna try an interesting experiment? We have all heard that supposedly Joe Kennedy Sr. was cursed by a Rov that he would live to see his sons die.

    Ok…Who was the Rav, when did he issue his curse, and why?

    Let’s see how many versions we get. More importantly, let’s see what kind of evidence we get.

    Good Shabbos.


    nameless –

    Erev Shabbos homework – I’ll do my best, but make it quick.

    1) Most important: an elderly man was killed, not a couple.

    2) The heirs of the victim showed the house, not an agent.

    3) The victim was responsible for the driver’s parent’s deaths.

    Less important:

    The Gadol was Rav Kanievsky, shlita.

    Details of the accident were not given.

    The evidence was not in plain sight (re: chaimsmom’s question).

    Gut Shabbos to all.


    so much hester ponim….we live in a generation of not beleiivng anything without having seen it – im sure you’ve All had hashgacha protis stories of your own, how would you feel if you printed them and someone said ‘feh, i dont have to believe this, let’s see the proof’ – honestly, it’s a maysoh, seforim bring down maysos all the time, and this came from reb chaim kanievsky shlit”a, so if you dont believe it, ask him if he sent such a letter.

    better question stories than daas torah I suppose, but still – why all the skepticism?

    and what is wrogn with the lesson of killing amelek, it’s a mitzvah deoraysah!! sory if it doesnt ive will with your liberal american, brainwashed idea of morality – but if we knew vevadayus that someonen was from amalek, it would be a mitzvah to kill him.



    Are you telling me that if a Gadol today told you that an infant today was definitely from Amalek, you would have absolutely no qualms about going to his house, saying a “hareini…” and, in front of his parents, blow his head off in his crib? And you would do this happily because it’s a mitzvah?

    The Wolf


    I notice this story only points out that the man was a nazi, where does it say the woman was one as well? Just to assume the spouse is something because of one picture doesn’t really tell us much, he may have married her in the states, not telling her his dark side, unless im missing part of the story… I think the message in this story is that things happen for a reason, but if this God forbid happens to someone else, they shouldn’t automatically “assume” that the victim was a bad person. Tragedies happen, and people are always looking at “a way out” and others to put the blame on. It’s time for people to take responsibility of their actions.


    Yossi G, Like Matisyohu pointed out, the old man was an Amaleki — who we are OBLIGATED TO KILL (aside from the fact he was killed in an “accident”) — and a Nazi to boot.



    Please don,t be an ‘oiberchuchme’, If you dont believe that the Kenendy’s were cursed, then how do you explain the devastating misfortune that befell almost every memeber of that family, coupled with the fact that the old man was an outspoken anti semite?

    Yes, thre was indeed a delegation of Rabonim who put acurse on the Kennedy family. We (in our religion) DO NOT BELIEVE IN SUCH COINCIDENCES, BUT lets not waste time and energy disucussing the Kennedys,

    I knew the Rav in question was R Kanievsky when I posted the story. But because of hype on the blog about he 73 year coma, I decided that its better for the ‘Gedolim Bashers ‘

    to spare us their drivel so i kept it quiet.



    ‘Kol Hamirachem al haachzorim, sofo lihiyos Achzor al Harachmanim’

    Shaul Hamelech was commanded to kill out a town of Achzorim(please remind me the name of the town, somebody!). But because he had rachmonos on the wrong place he let one live(some say it was a sheep), and from that one came Amalek.

    Then without Rachmonos he killed out Nov Ir Hakohanim.

    Yes one should have not reservations about killing an amalaki.

    Your hypothetical question to Matisyahu is juvenile and irrelavent!



    If the infant is a definitive Amaleki, his parent must be one too. Therefore, when making the “hareini” I would have in zin to be yotzei on the parent as well.

    Like any mitzvah I would be overjoyed in having the zchus to be mekayim it. How often in our generation does one get the zchus of killing an Amaleki? (Of course doing this would necessarily be conditioned upon the certainty of not facing secular civil consequences for being mekayim this great mitzvah. This isn’t a mitzvah one is required to be msiras nefesh for.)


    to cantor esq.. so now you have the details of this story, with name (see link above from ‘i can only try) are you going to verify it. we assume you dont expect somone else to do it for you. or are you afraid the story will add up and your whole anti….will fall apart?


    to cantor.. about dracula..did you verify it with tha archeologosts or you are relying on the textbook, newspaper, library of congress etc, as a matter of fact the only way we would believe it, if we would go according to you shita, if you’d go down there your self and open the grave, and also then who is to vouch its dracula maybe someone was put in the day before,but you have no problem believing that ‘myth’ and this is what we’d call myth mit alle meforshim…..after all its ‘historical truths’


    RE; kennedy curse..even if there was no curse .one can say it was oinshin he deserved.he was personel friend with that malech hamshchis,malech hamaves in flesh and blood,rooted for him to the us govt. those who say details of this story does not tally (how could he recognize the picture if he saw him only fleeting moment, was only old man no wife was killed, all this is no kashye..and use your own imaginations why.


    Jent, I have to plead ignorance. I’d be glad to try and verify the story and contact R. Kanievsky and ask if he ever sent out such a letter. But I don’t know how to contact him. If someone would be kind enough to provide me that information, I’ll be glad to send him a letter asking for clarification.

    Regarding the mitzvah of abolishing Amalek as applied to finding an Amalekite baby in his crib. I’ve ling been puzzeled by that mitzvah since I’m convinced that were it not for our yearly recounting the story, Amalek would be long forgotten by now. But, there are bigger issues in our religion to bother me. As to the baby in the crib, I too do not know if I have the strength to kill the child, even if I know him to be from Amalek. But that it my weakness and lacking, not the mitzvah. Quite honestly I hope never to come upon the opportunity be tested in this manner.



    If your puzzled by a mitzvah, why not educate yourself regarding its details until the chiyuv is satisfied to your satisfaction? Yes, you are correct, if not for our recounting it, Amalek would be long forgotten. And that is precisely the point; we are specifically obligated to recount it — Zecher Amalek.

    If you feel that you would not have the streghnth to do the mitzvah, the solution is to streghnthen yourself to be able to carry out the mitzvah. This would apply to any mitzvah. Killing an Amaleki, is not a “issue in our religion to bother me.” It is an OPPORTUNITY to fulfil a chiyuv and a mitzvah. And your approach of “I hope never to come upon the opportunity be tested in this manner” is simply wrong. Its a mitzvah. Not an aveirah to avoid or be “tested” with. You should look forward to have such an OPPORTUNITY.


    to cantor page 2, you dont have to go to EY, find out the names of the subject of this story,the couple who killed this old man,are in the states..you still didnt explain why you have no problem believing in the dracula ‘MYTH’..and dont be silly the, holy rav kainievsky will not answer such shylos, letters, thats not noigeia halach lmayse, you will have to go down and do seluthing thru his children,talmidim so now lets see you up to the par..,dont start chickening out, or is it as we stated above?..you have enough information to go ahead and dont look for excuses and dont expect any of us to do it for you. bnoigay to us dont care either way if this story happened or not ,but there is hashgacah prutious and such things happen on the issue of killing amalek we didnt comment. not aqauinted with the halacha so this you’ll have to refer to those who said its mitzvah.but if this story is true ,it was an accident and one can see hand of shomayim ,now such stories happened plentiful thruout ages,braught in medrosim etc,,(your kind of ‘myhts’, also in novi ‘shemuel a kapital 15, king shaul was instructed to eliminate amalek, and aggog, which he had mercy on(your kind of mercy) and the result was hamen…you say “hope not to be tested in this manner”..now if its a mitzvah, why not. the amaleks of all generation were tested with the mitzvah of ‘halacha b’yodia s’eisof soine l’yakov’ and passed the test with flying colors, the crulety, achzorious, etc,(60 years ago, spanish inq.etc, etc,)also see meforshim ‘vgam es hago ansher yavidin oisom dan enoichi’..breishis, rambam, rambam, oher hachaim hakodosh..and you are going to fail the test..nor pshat is if you can always hock on ehrliche yidden and say ‘frum are ganovim,tax evaders, conniving(sound familiar,thats also what your friends amalek always say,and we are not going to bother to link again to your words)so therefore you will also have a problem to be mkaim this mitzvah. you know what, we will link one of your posts..see following ,post #20 but we have plenty more where you hock’the frum..blah blah blah.. http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/21727/Rabbi+Balkany+Appalled+at+Divisiveness+of+Influential+NY+Conservative+Rabbi.html

    Think BIG


    Perhaps I can help you out.

    1. There is a guy named Nachman Seltzer who writes for the Hamodia newspaper. You can contact him through Hamodia. He is the guy who publicized this story. The subtitles in his stories are “a true story by nachman seltzer”. I am a bit familiar with the world of newspapers, and can tell you that they will forward your question to him. Ask him for the details and where you can find poof.

    2. There is an organization called “torah communications network”. They have thousands of shiurim on every topic. There is a shiur by Rabbi Moshe tuvia Leif (under the title purim) that discusses your excellent question, namely, how can we “erase” or forget Amalek by remembering him every year! If we were not commanded to read about him etc, he would long have been forgotten. Though there is an 8 dollar charge per month for the service, some of the timely shiurim are for free. You may be able to hear that shiur Purim time for no charge. Or it may be worth your while to become a memebr (as I am). There is a wealth of info there.

    (There is another similar service that is absolutely free called kol halashon, but its not as sophisticated)

    (In addition, i am sure there are lots of other sources that discusses your question. I would give you the answer myself, but I want to give you the satisfaction of learning up the answer…:) )

    Think BIG

    Mattisyahu, I appreciate your response. It is unfortunate that we keep debating the veacity of stories rather than learn a point.

    Personally, when I hear a story such as this, I don’t get wowed by the “supernatural” aspect of it. If there was no lesson, in my opnion, the story would be pointless. The danger of repeating these types of stories is that some people base their entire belief on these stories (subconsiously, of course). That’s why i prefer stories that involve tikkun hamidos and such (see the story on shviras hamidos on a new blog)

    I remember years ago, the story went around that remains of what appeared to be Noach’s ark were discovered in the area where Noach was aupposed to have landed….I remember some people were saying, “wow, that proves that the story of Noach was true…” A wise person taught me at the time that having that perspective is a mistake. We do not believe things based on stories. Because if we did, if the story were ever discounted, there would go our beliefs. We can repeat and enjoy such stories for interests sake, always keeping an open mind. Sure enough, that report about “Noah’s ark” was found to be fraudelent two years later.

    In this particular story, the message I took out is that Hashem runs the world, and every “accident”, however unfortuante is by His design. It also teaches me the greatness of our Chachamim and Gedolim. Here is a leader who practically doesn’t step out of the daled amos of Torah, yet, he has far-reaching vision.

    For those who don’t like the “it’s okay he died, he was an amaleiki” idea, just bear in mind that he killed the man by accident. It was only after the fact that he learned that he was from Amalek. He realized Hashem used him, though unwittingly, to carry out this mission. He was just a pawn. In this case, he had the gift of understanding as well, thanks to the letter of R’ Kanievski.

    Think BIG

    Yossi g. I appreciate your points. I find oftentimes a story is told over, and the message is vague at best, and easy to misconstrue at worst. An example that comes to mind is the one where two girls come to Rav Shach for a pshat in the Rambam, and Rav Shach asked them if they know how to bake cakes and kugels…(it has been mentioned on one of the other blogs) I , for one, appreciate the story and find deep meaning to it. But I have heard this story being completely misunderstood…People need to bear in mind that when a Rav says something to someone, it may just be that it is applicable to them, and the wording is forceful to make a point, and not that it is his shita per se.

    About the point that we see the greatness of Rav Chaim Kanievski, that we have a man in our generation who can “see” so far: For those who have issues with that, let me tell you an interesting tidbit thay say over about Rav Moshe Feinstien zt”l.

    They say about him that if you were in a car passing through Manhattan, and you would pass skyscrapers, he would be able to tell you at a glance how many windows that skyscraper had.

    Now, is that really true? Do I believe that? I don’t know but they aint saying that about me or you!!

    So, is this story really true?? Did r’ Chaim really “know”? I don’t know for sure, but they’re not saying these stories about me or you! So, I believ that it certainly CAN be true.


    Jent: I never said I believed the story about Vlad the Impaler’s body being uncorruptable, I simply said that it was reported aa such. In fact I don’t believe it for several reasons; most notably the lack of any proof (i.e. photos, the actual body etc.). Other instances of bodies not decomposing have been shown to be subject to embalming or other preservation techniques, or exposure to certain climatic conditions which preserved the body. So I have yet to see any proof of any body ever not decomposing after death.

    Regarding R. Kanievsky, if you choose to remain part of the problem (i.e. disouraging me from seeking the truth of this matter concerning a one word letter from R. Kanievsky)I’ll ignore you and respond to those who are part of the solution. BTW, it’s interesting how you asume that I do not believe in hashgacha pratit. Nothing is further from the truth. I have had experiences which can be only understood as Divine intervention. Indeed I’ve even witnessed acts of G-dly men that are only understood my me as prophecy. But those instances are deeply personal, between me and my Maker. I submit that anyone who publicizes such profoundly stirring and disturbing things, never really experienced them. You have to trust me on this one.


    To Nameless, who said:

    “TVT, Please don,t be an ‘oiberchuchme’, If you dont believe that the Kenendy’s were cursed, then how do you explain the devastating misfortune that befell almost every memeber of that family, coupled with the fact that the old man was an outspoken anti semite?

    Yes, thre was indeed a delegation of Rabonim who put acurse on the Kennedy family. We (in our religion) DO NOT BELIEVE IN SUCH COINCIDENCES, BUT lets not waste time and energy disucussing the Kennedys,”

    I think you miss an important point. I of course belive the misfortunes that have befallen the Kennedy clan are the will of HKB”H. I also belive that it MAY be related to their patriarch’s anti-semitism – or it may not. I’m not a navi, and neither are you.

    I just don’t necessarily belive the story about the curse from a Rav. You say it was a delegtaion of Rabbis. Ok who? when?, and why?. For what it’s worth, Google makes reference to a Rabbi Jacobson in 1937 becasue of an incident on a ship. I have heard MANY otehrs say it was the Satmar Rebbe, zt”l.

    My point was not to ch”v question hasgacha pratis. My point is that convenient and satisfying details that somehow puff up our sense of self-righteousness, like the idea that some Rav cursed the Kennedys, are most often, miscommunicataions, exagerations, or outright fabrications – and there is no obligation or even “frum” haskafa reason to believe them. If Hashem saw fit to punish them, he didn’t need any Rav’s curse.


    very inspirational

    This is like the story of the man who was robbed of his money…by a man who his father has stolen money from…

    this is a story that should strengthen our emunah—-it proves how Hashem has a cheshbon for e/o and e/t is planned out exactly!!

    especially in todays generation when things are difficult to understand, we need to know that Hashem planned this all with reason..and when we ask why? we should know there is a cheshbon!!

    Thanx nameless for writing the story


    Timche es Z’ Amalek is one of the hardest mitzvos out there. I hope to be challenged because it will mean Moshiach is here (B’Karov)!

    Jent & Joseph: If a Tsadik and Melech like Shaul did not pass, don’t “dis” CANTOR for not wanting to be tested. This reminds me of the story in the Gemorah of RAV and Menashe HaMelech.


    May I just correct a very common misconception of this blog, as some people have been saying that you can have the mitzvah of “mechias amolek” today. Let’s not dwell on whether we actually could do it. The fact is that the gemoro says that today we do NOT know who amalek is. “Boh sancheriv ubilbel kol haolam kuloh”. Sancheriv (the Assyrian) came and mixed up (transferred populations) the whole world. Hence, TODAY, we do not know who is an amoleki and the mitzvah is moot. YOu will not be able to know who is an amoleki till Elijah Hanovi comes and tells us.

    So this whole story about killing an amoleki is one of psychological support,but not one of actual veracity. I’d fall of my chair if I heard (authoritatively)that Rav Kanievski shelita said that this man was ACTUALLY an amoleki.


    rabbiofberlin – anyone who stands against klal yisroel is amalek..

    Think BIG


    Whether the man was actually a descendant of Amalek or not is not the point. It is well known and accepted that Hitler and the nazis y”s are considered the “spiritual” descendants of Amalek. I dont think it was merely “psychological support”. The idea is that Rav Kanievski knew that the soul of the man was from Amelek. (If you had the opportunity today to put a bullet thru Hitler’s head, would you hesitate?)



    ‘Tzaddik Gozer Vihakodosh Boruch Hu Mikayem’

    I believe it was Reb Ahron Kotle and R’ Eliezer Silver.



    You continue to miss my point.

    I didn’t say that gezeirosav shel chachomim cannot influence things. I only said that we don’t have to belive that such gezeiros or curses were involved. Especially when there seesm to be so many fuzzy versions of a story that would have to be no more than 65 years old and when many people close to those supposedly involved are still alive. If we were talking about a claim that the chasam sofer and R’Akiva Eiger put a curse on Napolean, that would be harder to verify. But don’t you think there must be some living talmidim of Rav Aaron who could claim to have heard him say this? Have you ever met such a talmid? By the way, I’d love to know the circumstances of why Rav Aaron and Rav Leizer thought it so important to collaberate on a Kennedy curse. I would have thought they were too busy with Hatzaloh work at the time.

    I welcome anyone reading this thread who has any connection to an “old” Lakewood talmid to see if you can get verification of this.

    So so far we have:

    Rav Aron

    R’ Leizer Silver

    Rabbi Jacobson, and

    the Satmar Rav

    Anyone have anyone to add to the list?

    The real question is not why people would question the story, but why do have such a need to believe the story.

    If the story was well founded with hard facts, details, and dates, then perhaps it would give us insight into schar and onesh because we would know exactly what prompted the curse. But just to say that the Kennedys, among all the rabid anti-semites on the scene at the time, (Father Coughlin comes to mind) somehow deserved “special” treatment is pointless. It seems far more likely that this story evolved after 1968 (by which time three Kennedy boys had died) when someone retrofitted some vague story or anecdote to fit the facts.


    think big and matisyohu28,

    ABSOLUTELY !!!! I would put a bullet through every cursed nazi I oculd and so did many of the fighters in the war. You are indeed correct in saying that there is still a reason to kill the enemies of our people. And matisyohu28 can assert that the nazis were spiritual descendants of Amalek, again, true. My point was that if you would meet that person today, without knowing his background , you could not have that mitzvah today.

    Clearly, if he is a murderer and enemy , you would have to kill him, because of “ubiartu horoh mikirbecho”.

    if you insist that Rav Kaniesky knew/knows that his soul was from Amalek, I’ll agree to this. Actually, this whole story could be easily verified. Was there indeed such a room of Nazi paraphenalia? Or wasn’t there? Just have the actual person coem forward and I’ll be happy to accept the story. As said previously, if there are reliable witnesses, sure, you should believe.

    anon for this


    Your post said exactly what I thought but couldn’t articulate about this Jewish urban legend. Also by 1968 Kathleen Kennedy had died, as well as Joe’s grandson Patrick.


    Sorry for taking this thread off topic in my last posts, but the point is the same.

    Those of us who are skeptical about this Amalek story are being criticized by those who believe it for what they perceive as our lack of emunas chachomim or lack of emunah in general.

    This completely misses the point of our skepticism.

    We are not skeptical because we don’t think there are gedolim capable of such things, or that such things are impossible.

    We are skeptical for the same reason we are skeptical when a coloful postcard arrives in our mailboxes screaming “You Have Won ONE-MILLION DOLLARS !!”. In other words we are skeptical because by and large these stories tend to be false.

    The fact that Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit’a has his named attached to this story doesn’t add any credibility. (Wasn’t there a recent letter published by a member of his family disavowing Rav Kanievsky’s connection to any number of tzedakos or kol korehs notwithstanding the fact that his picture and/or name is attached to just about everything coming out of EY?) In this day and age anyone – and that means anyone – can tell any story they like in the name of anyone they like with little concern for reprecussions. With a modicum of skill on Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop it can all be made to look like the real thing.

    Actually I don’t think it is us skeptics who needs a reality check on our bitahcon, I think it is those people who fall over themselves to believe every one of these stories the minute they see the light of day. I, for one, don’t see that as a sign of bitachon, I see it as a desparate need for proof in the existence of the spiritual.

    A related story is told over about Rav Elchanan Wasserman zt”l regarding his involvenment in the famous dibuk incident with the Chofetz Chaim. (As an aside, that is one story I do believe because it was associated with the preeminent gedolim of the day, and it was corroborated by the fact that Rav Elchanan zt”l himself repeated it and was further relayed by some of his talmidid who heard it from him in subsequent years, notably Rav Asher Katzman zt”l.) The story claims that Rav Elchanan was once telling the story of the inciedent to a group of his talmidim and when he finished was annoyed by the look of amazement on their faces. He took this to be a sign of something lacking in their bitachon, because he felt that, if they had stronger emunah, they wouldn’t find the story so compelling. Supposedly he avoided telling the story after that because he didn’t like the idea of bnei torah getting an “emunah boost” from the telling of a spooky story. He felt bnei torah should be above that.

    Think BIG

    tvt, I tend to agree with your point, and in fact I made this exact same point near the top of this page. “supernatural” stories should not be “proof” to us about these things.

    But, I don’t have a problem with repeating or hearing a story that has an important lesson, despite the fact that it may have an unusual twist to it. As long as one always keeps in mind that their emunah should not be hinging on the outcome of that story, for it may be false.


    think big – stories certainly can be proof – case in point, the clal of maysoh rov.

    However, emunah should not be based on stories at all – thats very dangerous, unless of course, the story happened to you, then it’s different – but there’s nothing wrong with reading stories to give one chizuk..thats what they’re there for


    matisyohu 28

    of course emunah should not be based on stories

    but it should definetely become strengthened


    Native Israeli,

    I understand your point.

    The problem is, what happens when we here a story about an innocent todler the child of the nicest people in the world being hit by a car? Should our emunah be weakened, ch”v?

    Obviously I mean the question to be rhetorical. I think what Matisyahu, myself and others here are reccomending is that we exercise emotional restraint when it comes to stories. That’s one reason why we think a dose of skepticism is a GOOD thing. We each occupy a very small sliver of time on this world in Hashem’s grand scheme of things and looking to make sense out of the few events we are here to witness, is often counterproductive.


    to tvt..and all the millions of yiddishe neshomes “shnakdu al kiddush hashem”..so this goes back to the fundemental question moshe rabbainu had ‘mipnay mah yesh tzaddik vra lo, vrasha vtov lo?’brochos 5a (?)”asarah harigay malcus’ and so on..


    to tvt…also this has to do with gigulim (reicarnation in fancy language)may we not be tested…the asarah harigay malchus were gilgul of yosefs 10 brothers, they had to suffer because of his mechirah, thats why in the payot yom kippur on the subject of 10 harigay…that episode is mentioned (.. the roman king asked them what is the halacha if someone sells a captive) also read somewhere that the victims of spanish inquisition were gigulim of those who bowed to the ‘eigel’ so this was thier tikkun..not sure but mir think saw it in ‘sfer hadoros’ many years ago.we will say more but there are some out there who are koifer in th whole concept and atart with their usual..of course this is not our own …any way to all of us may we not be tested ,val teviaynu lo liday ‘NISOIEN’. WHILE WE ARE AT IT SEE SEFER ‘DIVREI YECHESKAL’ FROM THE HOLY ‘SHINIVE REBBE, SON OF THE HOLY DIVREI CHAIM, 1ST(?) PIECE PARSHAS MISHPATIM..also some neshoms have to come down for short period to be mesaken some thing ,in hagadah of holy steipler there is such instance…yes cantor we know you consider such stories hog wash, so this is not for you…..


    Motzi shem ra not allowed

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