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How To Celebrate

The History of Passover

Thoughts & Essays

Letters From The Rebbe

Passover Anecdotes

   The Right Hand

The Special Matzos

Caring About Clothes

Matzos by Reb Levik

A Lesson About Chametz

The Rebbe's Children

A Certain Sort of 'Great'

Mark My Words

Leaven 'Paranoia'

Burning The Decree

Next Year?

Philosophizing Is Not Enough

A Loaded Question

Passover Stories

Children's Corner

Q & A

Last Days of Passover

Text of the Passover Haggadah

 Leaven 'Paranoia' Next Year?

Burning The Decree

A renowned businessman by the name of Heilprin was privy to the doings of the nobility. Through his contacts he had heard that a certain aristocrat threatened that if the Jews didn't give him 20,000 rubles by the gentile holiday, he would punish them with terrible edicts. He immediately posted a letter to the holy tzadik Reb Aharon of Chernobyl requesting that he and his brothers, also notable scholars and rebbes, exert themselves to raise the enormous sum.

The response of the tzadik amazed everyone. When he read Heilprin's letter he said simply, "Why is he bothering me with these fantasies?" The rebbe's secretary was shocked, "But Rebbe, this is a grave matter for all the Jews!"

The tzadik, however, paid no attention. Heilprin dispatched a messenger to speak directly to Reb Aharon, but the messenger received the same response.

"Please, Rebbe, give me something in writing that I can present to my employer, or else he may refuse to believe that I even saw you." The rebbe agreed and told him, "Go back to your employer and tell him to worry about business and forget about this thing."

The matter of the nobleman's threat came to the ears of Reb Aharon's brother, Reb Yitzchak of Skver, and he also contacted Reb Aharon, asking him to make every effort to collect the enormous sum of money. Reb Aharon's response did not change. The morning of Passover arrived. The Jews of Chernobyl had an honored custom of bringing their leftover leaven to the tzadik who would take all of the chametz and throw it into a great fire. This year the rebbe took the bowl which contained his own chametz and threw the entire contents quickly into the fire, saying to the chasid who had carried the bowl, "My brothers think that evil edicts are abolished with money, but that is not true. They are abolished thus."

The chasid looked puzzled. What had the rebbe meant to say, he wondered, for it was not clear at all. The rebbe continued, "Do you remember the words of the hymn that is recited on the Shabbat before Passover? There is one verse that says, 'That is to say, by the sixth hour to burn the chametz, why are we bid? To recall Divine haste, of edicts to be rid.'

Relief and amazement were experienced by every Jew when the news spread that the nobleman who hung the edict over the heads of the Jews had suddenly died, and with him his terrible threat.

 Leaven 'Paranoia' Next Year?

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