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Double Disciple

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Double Disciple

Before Eliyahu ascended to heaven, he told Elisha “Request what I should do for you before I am taken away from you.” Elisha responded, “ויהי נא פי שנים ברוחך אלי, may twice as much as your spirit be mine,” i.e., to be twice as great as you.[1]


A deeper meaning in Elisha’s words is the following. Elisha was saying that when he is with his Rebbi, Eliyahu, he feels as if there are two ruchos (פי שנים ברוחך) — the person he is and the one he knows he can be.[2] His Rebbi challenges him and pushes him to greater heights. “When you are gone rebbe, who will remind me of how great I can become?”

Why Did The Ba'al Shem Tov Pass Away? -

This personifies a Rebbi-student relationship. When a student is with his Rebbi, he should feel as if there is the person he is and the one he can become if he maximizes his potential. A Rebbi challenges his students and pushes them to greater heights. A student should feel about his Rebbi, “When you are gone rebbe, who will remind me of how great I can become?”

[1] Melachim 2, 2:9.

[2] When Avraham was called it saysאברהם אברהם  (Breishis 22:11). Similarly, by Yaakov it says יעקב יעקב (Breishis 46:2). Likewise, by Shmuel it states שמואל שמואל (Shmuel 1, 3:10). However if we look carefully, we will notice a line, called a פסיק, separating between אברהם אברהםיעקב יעקב and שמואל שמואל in contrast to Moshe where it says משה משה– Shemos 3:4 (Shemos Rabba 2:6). This is to indicate the greatness of Moshe who cleansed himself spiritually to the extent that there was no difference between the light of his Neshama in the upper world to when he was in a body (beginning of Ruach Chaim).


Writer of the weekly Fascinating Insights Torah sheet in Englishעברית ,אידיש and français
Author of Five Books including the recently released “Magnificent Marriage Insights: Captivating Torah Essays about Marriage”

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