Last week, Harav Tzvi Cohen, z’tl, the Rav of the Ohel Avraham shul in Bnei Brak and author of over 50 halacha sefarim, passed away.
Harav Cohen, who lived in the same building in Bnei Brak that the Gerrer Rebbe used to reside in, used the miklat of the building for years to store the many sefarim he published.
Eight years ago, one of the Gerrer Rebbe’s gabbaim called up Chanoch Gavrielev, a Gerrer chassid who was friendly with Harav Cohen, and asked him to speak to Rav Cohen about allowing a parking lot to be built under the building for the Rebbe.
Gavrielev passed on the request to Harav Cohen but since a parking lot would mean that Harav Cohen wouldn’t be able to store his sefarim in the miklat, the Rav refused on the grounds that he had a chazakah for use of the space.
Shortly after his death, the late Harav Cohen appeared to Gavrielev in a dream and reminded him about his request on behalf of the Gerrer Rebbe and asked him to request forgiveness from the Rebbe in his name. “I caused him agmas nefesh and I don’t have menuchah,” Harav Cohen told Gavrielev in the dream.
R’ Chanoch visited the Gerrer Rebbe to tell him the dream and the latter told him that he never had any kapida against Harav Cohen and the request was the initiative of the gabbaim. In fact, the Gerrer Rebbe told R’ Chanoch that he never had any direct contact with Rav Cohen except when his mother-in-law passed away and he sent someone to tell Rav Cohen to leave the building since he’s a Kohen.
The Gerrer Rebbe then said “machul lo” three times.
R’ Chanoch asked the Rebbe what he should do if Rav Cohen appears to him again in a dream and the Rebbe answered with a smile: “Don’t worry. He won’t come again.”
R’ Chanoch told the story to Harav Cohen’s family during the shiva.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)