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A Royal Residue

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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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A Royal Residue

In 1924, at the laying of the cornerstone of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, R’ Meir Shapiro said, “Our great Rebbes of Chachmei Lublin—the Maharshal, R’ Shalom Shachna, Maharsha, Maharam Lublin…You Gedolei Hador spread Torah here in Lublin before me. It is your light and power that gave me inspiration to establish a Yeshiva that will continue the light of the Torah that you transplanted in Lublin. I invite you to come and be part of our cornerstone laying. I am sure that in your merit and in the merit of your Torah we will be successful.” Then he commented קדושה ראשונה קידשה לשעתה וקידשה לעתיד לבוא:[1] The Kedusha from the great Achronim whose Torah we learn to this day, that Kedusha remains.

Rashi[2] says יציאת צדיק מן המקום עושה רושם, the departure of a Tzadik from a place makes an impression.  R’ Menachem Mendel of Kassov[3] remarks that even after the Tzadik leaves, an impression of Kedusha remains, which is recognizable that in that place, a Tzadik was there.[4]


R’ Tzvi Hirsch Chayus known as the Maharatz Chayus (1805-1855) once had the great Tzadik, R’ Zelig Shrintzker, as a guest.  After the Friday night davening, R’ Zelig was walking to the house of the Maharatz Chayus when at a certain corner he suddenly rested. He then commented, “It smells like Gan Eden here.” Bemused, the Maharatz Chayus called the elders of the city to find out what occurred at this corner. He was told that it was at this corner where R’ Avraham Gombiner wrote his famous commentary called Magen Avraham (on the Orach Chaim section of Shulchan Aruch).


The reverse is also true. R’ Baruch Mezbitzer was once in a house and wanted to say some words of Torah but was unable to. He then commented that there must have been a Rasha who once lived there. In this way he explained דרוש נוי ואולמי:[5] seek out (דרוש) who was in this dwelling (נוי) and then you will know why you are an אלם, mute (ואולמי), meaning that you are unable to say words of Torah.[6]

[1] Megila 10a. The simple meaning of this is that the initial sanctification of Yerushalayim and the Beis Hamikdash sanctified for its time and for all future time, meaning that the sacred status is retained even after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and the walls.

[2] Breishis 28:10.

[3] Mayana Shel Torah, Breishis 28:10. After Moshe spoke to the Jewish people about the Mishkan, it saysויצאו כל עדת בני ישראל מלפני משה, The Jewish People left Moshes’ presence (Shemos 35:20). Another interpretation is that it was recognizable on their face that they came from Moshe because of the yerei shamayim that was left on them. This is the meaning of ויצאו, meaning it was taken with them as the yerei shamayim of Moshe left an impression on them.

[4] The Tzelach says (Brachos 6b) that the main reason for a makom kavua, fixed place by tefilla is because once you daven in that location, that location acquires kedusha. When you daven there again, the kedusha of that spot assists you for your tefilla to be accepted.

[5] In the Zemer of Shabbos day Dror Yikra. The simple meaning of this is, “Seek out my Temple and my Sanctuary.”

[6] In a similar vein, we can explain ובמושב לצים לא ישב, didn’t sit in the session of scorners (Tehillim 1:1). That is to say, in a place where scorners once were. This can be compared to a disease that has gone away but the germs remain there.

Writer of the weekly Fascinating Insights Torah sheet in Englishעברית ,אידיש and français
Author of Six Books including the recently released “Dazzling Money Insights: Illuminating Torah Essays about Money”

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