20. The Neschizer rebbe told the following story.
Once when, as a youth, the Lubliner rebbe went to see the holy R. Elimelech of Lizhensk, a heavy, cold rain fell while he was traveling. Night fell and he got lost.
He saw a house in the forest with lights shining. He entered the house. It was warm and comfortable, and he felt refreshed, after having suffered so much from the rain and cold.
The only other person there was an attractive woman. She tried to entice him to sin, God have mercy, and he did not know what to do, because they were alone. She told him that she was unmarried and halachically pure, and he suffered a great deal from her seductiveness.
He replied to her, “I have resolved never to do anything, even if it is permissible, unless it gives pleasure to God. And what pleasure would He have from this?”
When he said these words, he immediately saw that the entire scene was an illusion meant to test him, and that there was no forest, no house and no woman. Instead, he found himself standing near the road that he had to travel on.
21. Sunday night, 22 Adar 5628.
Rabbi A. told me that he once went to the Neschizer rebbe as he was celebrating the melave malka meal.
The Neschizer rebbe said, “Great is this meal, which is first mentioned in the Talmud.”
He told that once, when the Lubliner rebbe was a young man and not yet famous, he went to the Maggid of Mezerich.
And on Friday night the holy R. Shlomo of Skahl served him and arranged 12 challahs on his table.
The Lubliner was poor and he knew that he would have nothing to eat for the melave malka meal. So he waited for everyone to leave, and then he took a slice from the twelves loaves for the melave malka meal.
When the maggid came to the table, he asked, "Who took a slice?”
And R. Shlomo answered that “it could only have been done by the man from Poland.”
The maggid sent for him, and the Lubliner was very embarrassed, and he told him what had happened.
The maggid put his hand on the Lubliner’s shoulder and blessed him, “May it be God’s will that you eat will the melave malka meal with abundance.”
22. The Neschizer rebbe told the following story.
The Lubliner rebbe told the the Neschizer’s brother, the Ostiler rebbe, “When I came to the maggid, I saw him lying in bed. I saw that this was a being who was solely a simple will, the divine will. And when I came to your father, the holy [Moharam], I saw that he is solely dedicated to Hashem.”
23. The Neschizer rebbe told the following story a few times, including once to the Sasnivitzer.
The Lubliner rebbe once heard a proclamation from heaven, “Mordechai son of Gittel is solely dedicated to Hashem.”
The Lubliner rebbe set out to seek this man. The Lubliner rebbe was informed that this man was in Neschiz, and so the Lubliner rebbe came to Neschiz.
The entire city came out to greet him and honor him.
The Moharam himself went out as one of the people to greet him. He did not make himself known but wondrously concealed himself so that the Lubliner should not have the slightest awareness of him.
The Moharam greeted the Lubliner, who responded in kind. Because the Moharam was among other people, the Lubliner did not sense anything special about him.
When the Lubliner came to the city and was close to the home of the [Moharam], he asked, “Where does the rabbi live?”
The [Moharam] replied, “I live here.”
The Lubliner rebbe was amazed and said, “This is truly something special: to ‘turn your hat backwards’ and keep me from sensing your spiritual level.”
When the Lubliner rebbe left, the Moharam sat with the Lubliner rebbe in his carriage and, said the Neschizer, “[My father] put me on his lap. And my brother, the Kavler, and our brother-in-law, R. Meir Feivel (the son-in-law of the [Moharam]), sat opposite them in the carriage.”
On the road near the village of Aratish, they left the carriage, and the Lubliner rebbe told the [Moharam], ‘Let us go alone, so that no one goes with us.” And so it was.
But I, [told the Neschizer,] accompanied my father, since I was a boy. And I heard the Lubliner rebbe ask Father, “What should I do, since I am the object of controversy in my city? Perhaps this is because my way is to reveal hidden matters. Perhaps that is why I am the object of controversy.”
Father answered him, “Your intent in doing so is certainly for the sake of heaven, and you should not abandon this practice, since it is the service of the Creator, be He blessed. But please tell me: perhaps you have built some building.”
The Lubliner rebbe replied, “No. But I did shingle my roof.”
Father responded to him, “If so, do the following. Remove a certain row of shingles, and the dispute will come to an end.”
Meanwhile, the Lubliner rebbe saw that I was with them. He said, “Didn’t I ask that no one should accompany us?”
Father replied, “What of it? He is only a boy.”
But I contemplated their words deeply.
So did the Neschizer rebbe tell.
24. The Lubliner rebbe told that for a number of years he tied a [cloth] over his eyes and did not look at anything at all. And all of his life he did not look past four cubits.
25. The Neschizer rebbe told that the Maharshal at first opposed the Ari. The Ari sensed this and sent out two of his students on a Friday, who miraculously came in an instant to the Maharshal.
A mirror stood before him, and he saw the students enter behind him. He asked them, “Where are you from?”
They told him that they were students of the Ari, and that they had that day left the Holy Land. To prove that they were genuine, they told the Maharshal that they knew that during his prayers he had been thinking about such-and-such a halachah.
So he believed them.
They went with the Maharshal to a cellar in an underground cave, and they miraculously showed him something similar to the creation of heaven and earth.
The Maharshal replied, “Now I acknowledge that your way is fitting before Hashem. But I shall go on my way, which I am accustomed to.”
26. The Neschizer rebbe used to say in the name of his father, the Moharam, that he did not think highly of any stories of tzaddikim, because many are forgeries and riddled with errors.
But he made an exception for stories about the Baal Shem Tov, because even if a story was not literally true, the Baal Shem Tov had the power to do everything.
27. The holy Neschizer rebbe told the following.
Regarding all of the awesome and wondrous things that we know that my father (the brilliant Moharam) did, including bringing the dead back to life here in Neschiz (author’s note: The holy tzaddik brought back to life a member of my own family), I am not as I am impressed as by the following story.
An agunah, a woman whose husband had disappeared, begged Father at length to free her, and came to him many times.
One time he could no longer bear her troubles, and he replied, “What should I do for you?”
She said, “Is it beyond the rebbe to bring my husband back to me?”
He answered, “And is he here that I can help you? Here is a bowl of water. Maybe he is there.”
In her great faith, she believed that meaningless words would not issue forth from his holy mouth. So she looked into the bowl of water standing there, and she cried out, “Here he is! I can see him sitting in the bowl.”
The Moharam asked her, “How is he sitting?”
She said, “With a yarmulka on his head, without a hat.”
He told her, “Show me the yarmulka.”
She put her hand into the bowl and pulled out the yarmulka.
The story was that her husband was a tailor, who was sewing in a distant courtyard. As he sat before an open window, a wind suddenly lifted his yarmulka from his head and she grabbed it.
After some time passed, he understood that this episode meant something, and his heart inspired him to return home. His wife showed him the yarmulka and he recognized it, and she was freed from being an agunah.
28. The Neschizer rebbe also told the following.
Father had the custom of traveling to the city near the village of Stabichave (near Neschiz) with his servant Eliezer. Father would leave him in secret and roll in the brambles in the forest.
One time, Father told Eliezer to gather certain grasses, because through them thousands of infertile women would be healed.
The servant rejoiced and thought, “Even if each woman gives me only ten gedulim, that will be enough for me.”
When Father came home he told the servant to put the grass under his bed. And when the eve of Passover arrived, Father told him to take the grasses outside.
The servant asked him, “But the master had said that with this, infertile women would be healed.”
Father replied, “They were already helped without having to come here.”
29. The Neschizer rebbe told that R. Yitzchak Lebovner came to Neschiz to Father’s gravesite on his yahrtzeit, on the eighth day of Nissan. At that time the snow was melting. The river here had overflowed its banks and he had to sail on a boat when the river was stormy.
[The Neschizer] asked him, “Why did you risk your life to come?”
He answered him, “It was all worthwhile in order to come for the yahrtzeit of the rebbe.”
[The Neschizer] asked R. Lebovner to honor him by sitting down. But he did not want to, saying, “Will I sit before the son of the rebbe?”
The Neschizer begged him, until R. Lebovner drank some liquor as a sign of respect.